August 31, 1928: American actor James Coburn born

James Coburn (1928-2002)

James Coburn (August 31, 1928 – November 18, 2002) was an American actor. He featured in more than 70 films, largely action roles, and made 100 television appearances during a 45-year career, ultimately winning an Academy Award in 1999 for his supporting role as Glen Whitehouse in Affliction.

A capable, rough-hewn leading man, his toothy grin and lanky physique made him a perfect tough guy in numerous leading and supporting roles in westerns and action films.

During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Coburn cultivated an image synonymous with “cool” and, along with such contemporaries as Lee Marvin, Steve McQueen, and Charles Bronson, became one of the prominent “tough-guy” actors of his day.

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20th Century Highlights

  • The Magnificent Seven (1960), “Britt”
  • Hell is for Heroes (1962), “Cpl. Frank Henshaw”
  • The Great Escape (1963), “Fg. Off. Louis Sedgwick, ‘The Manufacturer'”
  • Charade (1963), “Tex Panthollow”
  • The Americanization of Emily (1964), “Lt. Cmdr. Paul ‘Bus’ Cummings”
  • Major Dundee (1965), “Samuel Potts”
  • A High Wind in Jamaica (1965), “Zac”
  • Our Man Flint (1966), “Derek Flint”
  • What Did You Do in the War, Daddy? (1966), “Lt Christian”
  • Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round (1966), “Eli Kotch”
  • In Like Flint (1967), “Derek Flint”
  • The President’s Analyst (1967), “Dr. Sidney Schaefer”
  • Duck, You Sucker!, aka A Fistful of Dynamite (US) (1971), “John H. Mallory!
  • Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973), Pat Garrett
  • Hard Times, aka The Streetfighter (UK) (1975), “Speed”
  • Sky Riders (1976), “Jim McCabe”
  • The Last Hard Men (1976), “Zach Provo”
  • Midway, aka Battle of Midway (UK) (1976), “Capt. Vinton Maddox”
  • Cross of Iron (1977), “Sgt Rolf Steiner”
  • The Dain Curse (TV, 1978), “Hamilton Nash”
  • Firepower (1979), “Fanon”
  • Goldengirl (1979), “Jack Dryden”
  • The Baltimore Bullet (1980), “Nick Casey”
  • Loving Couples (1980), “Dr. Walter Kirby”
  • Affliction (1997), “Glen Whitehouse”

Source of information, pictures etc is Wikipedia* unless stated otherwise.

*Prof Nostalgia & are not responsible for external links


The Blood of Fu Manchu

The Blood of Fu Manchu (1968)

The Blood of Fu Manchu, also known as Fu Manchu and the Kiss of Death, Kiss of Death, Kiss and Kill (US title) and Against All Odds (original US video title), is a British adventure crime film based on the fictional Asian villain Fu Manchu created by Sax Rohmer. It was the fourth film in a series, and was preceded by The Vengeance of Fu Manchu. The Castle of Fu Manchu followed in 1969.

The movie was filmed in Spain and Brazil. Shirley Eaton appears in a scene she claimed she was never paid for; apparently the director Jesus Franco inserted some footage of her from another of her films (The Girl from Rio, 1968) into the Fu Manchu movie without telling her. She only found out years later that she was in a Fu Manchu film.

LUSCIOUS LIPS – Lethal in their biting sting of death!

In his remote jungle hideout, the evil Fu Manchu has discovered a deadly poison in a “lost city” in the Amazonian jungle that affects only men. Women can become carriers of the “kiss of death” by being bitten by venomous snakes. The poison causes blindness and ultimately followed six weeks later by death. Using mind control, he aims the women at Nayland Smith and other key people with political influence. This prevents them from interfering with his own ambitions to prepare millions of “doses” and spread them around the world’s major cities and capitals in a plan to gain world domination.

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Notable cast & crew

  • Christopher Lee, “Fu Manchu”
  • Richard Greene, “Nayland Smith”
  • Howard Marion-Crawford, “Dr Petrie”
  • Tsai Chin, “Lin Tang”
  • Shirley Eaton, “Black Widow”

August 30, 1958: Southern Television begins broadcasting to the South & South East of England

Southern Television (1958-1982)

Southern Television (August 30, 1958 – December 31, 1981) was the ITV broadcasting licence holder for the south and south-east of England.

Southern Television went on air on Saturday August 30, 1958 at 5.30 pm with the first playing of Southern Rhapsody, the station theme which was used to begin each day’s transmission until 31 December 1981, written by composer Richard Addinsell and performed by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra with Addinsell conducting.

The first presenter on air was continuity announcer Meryl O’Keefe (later to become a BBC announcer); her first on-air announcement was followed by an outside broadcast link-up fronted by Julian Pettifer (later an award-winning war correspondent) and a regional news bulletin read by Martin Muncaster.

Broadcasting was interrupted at 5:10 p.m. on November 26, 1977 via the Hannington transmitter of the Independent Broadcasting Authority. The broadcast message is generally considered to be a hoax, but the identity of the hijacker is unknown.

The company ceased broadcasting on the morning of 1 January 1982 at 12.43am, after a review during the 1980 franchise round gave the contract to Television South (TVS).

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20th Century Highlights

  • Day By Day (1961-1981)
  • Out Of Town (1963-1981)
  • How (1966-1981)
  • Freewheelers (1968-1973)
  • Runaround (1975-1981)
  • The Famous Five (1978-1979)
  • The Saturday Banana (1978-1979)
  • Worzel Gummidge (1979-1981)
  • Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years (1981)

Source of information, pictures etc is Wikipedia* unless stated otherwise.

*Prof Nostalgia & are not responsible for external links

“Those Were the Days” (1968) by Mary Hopkin

Hopkin, Mary - Those Were the Days
“Those Were The Days” (1968) by Mary Hopkin, single cover

“Those Were the Days” is a song based on the Russian romance song “Dorogoi dlinnoyu” (“Дорогой длинною”, literally “By the long road”). It deals with reminiscence upon youth and romantic idealism.

Mary Hopkin‘s 1968 version of the song, produced by Paul McCartney, became a number one hit on the UK Singles Chart on chart date October 1, 1968 for six weeks. The song also reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100, behind McCartney’s own band The Beatles‘ hit “Hey Jude“.

Released August 30, 1968 (UK).

Find out more at Wikipedia*, and Official Charts*.

Sources: Wikipedia* (information, pictures etc), IMDb* (movie release and original TV broadcast dates), and YouTube* (videos) unless stated otherwise.

*Prof Nostalgia & are not responsible for external links

August 30, 1908: American actor & singer Fred MacMurray born

Fred MacMurray (1908-1991)

Fred MacMurray (August 30, 1908 – November 5, 1991) was an American actor and singer who appeared in more than 100 films and a successful television series during a career that spanned nearly a half-century, from 1930 to the 1970s.

MacMurray is best known for his role in the 1944 film noir Double Indemnity directed by Billy Wilder, in which he starred with Barbara Stanwyck. Later in his career, he performed in numerous Disney films, including The Absent-Minded Professor, The Happiest Millionaire, and The Shaggy Dog. In 1960, MacMurray turned to television in the role of Steve Douglas, the widowed patriarch on My Three Sons, which ran on ABC from 1960 to 1965 and then on CBS from 1965 to 1972.

MacMurray was the first person honoured as a Disney Legend, in 1987.

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20th Century Highlights

  • The Gilded Lily (1935), “Peter Dawes”
  • Alice Adams (1935), “Arthur Russell”
  • Hands Across the Table (1935), “Theodore ‘Ted’ Drew III”
  • The Trail of the Lonesome Pine (1936), “Jack Hale”
  • The Princess Comes Across (1936), “King Mantell”
  • Swing High, Swing Low (1937), “Skid Johnson”
  • True Confession (1937), “Ken Bartlett”
  • Above Suspicion (1943), “Richard Myles”
  • Double Indemnity (1944), “Walter Neff”
  • Where Do We Go From Here? (1945), “Bill Morgan”
  • The Caine Mutiny (1954), “Lt Tom Keefer”
  • The Shaggy Dog (1959), “Wilson Daniels”
  • The Apartment (1960), “Jeff D. Sheldrake”, personnel manager, Baxter’s boss and apartment user
  • The Absent-Minded Professor (1961), “Professor Ned Brainard”
  • Son of Flubber (1963), “Professor Ned Brainard”
  • The Happiest Millionaire (1967), “Father”

Source of information, pictures etc is Wikipedia* unless stated otherwise.

*Prof Nostalgia & are not responsible for external links

August 29, 1998: SM:tv Live and CD:UK first broadcast on ITV

SM:tv LIVE (1998-2003)

SMTV Live (an abbreviation of Saturday Morning Television Live), is a British Saturday morning children’s television programme broadcast on ITV from August 29, 1998 to December 27, 2003.

On the surface, the programme did not seem to stray away from the format of other Saturday morning output, featuring an audience of children, competitions and cartoons, though it constantly won in ratings battles with the BBC‘s Live & Kicking and became ITV’s most successful children’s programme since Tiswas. The major success of SMTV Live has been attributed in equal parts to Ant & Dec‘s original presenting partnership with Cat Deeley, its use of thinly veiled comedic innuendo aimed at older viewers, and its broadcast of the Japanese anime series Pokémon. At the height of its popularity, SMTV Live regularly attracted 2.5 million viewers.

During the final episode of the 14th series of Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway in 2017, Ant & Dec asked Deeley if she would be up for an SMTV reunion in 2018 to mark the show’s 20th anniversary, to which she accepted. After the 2017 British Academy Television Awards, Ant & Dec confirmed that ITV had green-lit the revival and the show would air in August 2018. It was postponed to 2019 in March 2018.

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20th Century Highlights

Selected sketches:

  • “Chums” (parody of Friends)
  • “Fartbeat” (parody of Heartbeat)
  • “F’art Attack” (parody of children’s art show Art Attack)
  • “SMTV 2099 (parody of Star Trek and sci-fi in general)
  • “The Vicar of Dribbley” (a parody of The Vicar of Dibley)
  • “The Beautiful Corrs” (a parody of Irish pop group The Corrs)
  • “Casually” (a parody of BBC‘s Casualty)

Selected games:

  • Wonkey Donkey (similar to Catchphrase but guessing phrases containing rhyming words)
cd:uk (1998-2006)

After each programme, CD:UK (an abbreviation of CountDown United Kingdom) was broadcast, with the same presenters as SMTV Live. This was also presented live, and featured bands in the UK Singles Chart, music videos, and interviews with famous music stars. Ant & Dec originally presented the show with Cat from 1998 to 2001 and Cat continued to present until 2005. It was the replacement for The Chart Show, which had been airing on the network for nine and a half years. CD:UK was axed in April 2006 due to budget cuts and financial difficulties.

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Source of information, pictures etc is Wikipedia* unless stated otherwise.

*Prof Nostalgia & are not responsible for external links

August 29, 1958: “King of Pop” Michael Jackson born

Michael Jackson (1958-2009)

Michael Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, songwriter, and dancer. Dubbed the “King of Pop”, he was one of the most popular entertainers in the world, and was the best-selling music artist during the year of his death. Jackson’s contributions to music, dance, and fashion along with his publicised personal life made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades.

The eighth child of the Jackson family, Michael made his professional debut in 1964 with his elder brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, and Marlon as a member of the Jackson 5. He began his solo career in 1971 while at Motown Records. In the early 1980s, Jackson became a dominant figure in popular music. His music videos, including those of “Beat It”, “Billie Jean”, and “Thriller” from his 1982 album Thriller, are credited with breaking racial barriers and transforming the medium into an art form and promotional tool. The popularity of these videos helped bring the television channel MTV to fame. He continued to innovate with videos such as “Black or White” and “Scream” throughout the 1990s, and forged a reputation as a touring solo artist. Through stage and video performances, Jackson popularised a number of complicated dance techniques, such as the robot and the moonwalk, to which he gave the name. His distinctive sound and style has influenced numerous artists of various music genres.

Thriller is the best-selling album of all time, with estimated sales of over 66 million copies worldwide. Jackson’s other albums, including Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991), and HIStory (1995), also rank among the world’s best-selling albums. He is one of the few artists to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, and was also inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Dance Hall of Fame as the only dancer from pop and rock music. Jackson won hundreds of awards, making him the most awarded recording artist in the history of popular music. Jackson is also remembered for his philanthropy and pioneering efforts in charitable fundraising in the entertainment industry. He travelled the world attending events honouring his humanitarianism.

Jackson became a figure of controversy in the 1980s due to his changing physical appearance, his relationships, and behaviour; the controversy intensified due to a 1993 child sexual abuse scandal when a family friend accused him of sexually abusing his son; the case led to an investigation but was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount. While preparing for his comeback concert series, This Is It, Jackson died of acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication, after suffering from cardiac arrest.

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20th Century Highlights (UK Number 1s)

[Official Charts] Links to YouTube or Spotify.

Source of information, pictures etc is Wikipedia* unless stated otherwise.

*Prof Nostalgia & are not responsible for external links