Tales from the Atomic Age

Fly-By-Night Fun: Fashion
and Fads, Toys and Trends

The Wham-O company hit pay dirt in 1958 when it marketed the hula hoop, not a particularly original idea, but the timing was right. Tens of millions of the hoops were sold, children and adults were twirling to their heart's delights, and all was right with the world for awhile. Georgia Gibbs and Teresa Brewer documented the 1958 sensation with versions of "The Hula Hoop Song," while Betty Johnson's "Hoopa Hoola" used slangier terms to describe the 'big round ring' ... MORE ››

Top 100 Lists

Eydie Gorme

Eydie Gorme's complaint: "Blame it on the Bossa Nova"! She's on the Top 100 Dance Hits of the '50s and '60s! Check out the other 99 toe-tappin' tunes ... MORE ››

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Featured Artist


Little Willie John

His first recording turned out to be a seasonal outing for a small label, Prize, in 1953. "Jingle Bells" was a more or less straight version backed with the overly sentimental "Mommy What Happened to Our Christmas Tree," credited to Willie John and the Three Lads and a Lass. Several months later, still in high school, he auditioned for saxophonist Paul Williams (of late '40s "Hucklebuck" fame) and was hired to tour with his band. One single by Williams on Rama, "Ring A Ling," came in '55 with a rousing vocal performance by Willie that hinted at what was to come. Singing with such a well-established band was a big break for Willie, but what Paul saw was an unruly youngster (albeit a talented one); the time spent at the Moore School apparently hadn't been ... MORE ››

The 45 Archive

Classic Picture Sleeves
and Record Labels!

The 45 Archive
Vinyl Attack Count Five

Psychotic Reaction
by Count Five

The San Jose rock scene was poppin' in the summer of 1966. Former Bay area "Battle of the Bands" winners Syndicate of Sound drew attention to the city with their hit "Little Girl" while The Chocolate Watch Band waited in the wings, likely anticipating more than the eventual cult status (obtained without benefit of a hit record) that was coming ... MORE ››