Southern Comfort, the whiskey+fruit n’ spices liqueur (I guess?), produced these pamphlets that you could find in your favorite magazine from the 1950s on. This one is probably from the early 1960s and everyone looks like they’re having a grand time.
You may not be a SoCo fan, but it’s more tasteful than most of these toasts.
Someone else who helped sell Southern Comfort in the late Sixties? Janis Joplin, who drank a lot of it. Joplin died of a heroin overdose (possibly compounded by alcohol) in 1970.
So here was a tendency: self-immersions, burials, entrapments, irritating provocations, projects with a built-in self-destruct button, all in the name of asking a better question. But whenever one proclaims a tendency in culture, one had better be prepared to find the opposite tendency at the same time. Sure enough, one could: plenty of joyous, communal, repetitive music, but similarly intense, and similarly resisting the concept of a leader, or a hero.
Recently we visited Manitoga, a National Historic Landmark that is the studio and home of industrial designer Russel Wright. A prime advocate of what has been called “Livable Modernism,” Wright, with the aid of his wife, Mary, became one of the most influential and well-known designers of the 1930s to 1950s. His pottery, tableware, and furniture brought Modernism to the American masses (quite literally: his most popular line of pottery and one of his furniture lines were both named American Modern).
Together, they wrote the 1950 manifesto Guide to Easier Living which promoted radical ideas like “buffet suppers, one-pot meals, portable seating and lots of double-duty storage…They may be the inventors of modern grad student storage: wooden shelves on cinder blocks hidden behind a curtain” (Alexandra Lange, “Easier Living, By Design”, The New York Times July 23, 2010).
Manitoga came later in his career. He and Mary purchased the land in the Hudson Highlands north of New York City around 1942 and spent many years modifying the landscape, including turning an abandoned quarry pit into a swimming pond complete with a waterfall.
They lived in a cottage (still standing, but not part of the Landmark) next to the quarry. It was not until several years after Mary’s death in 1952 that Russel began building the house and studio (designed with architect David Leavitt). It was completed in 1960 and Russel lived there with his daughter Annie and her governess/housekeeper until his death in 1976.
Dragon Rock is a rare instance of Mr. Wright contradicting his theory of “easier living,” — his daughter, Anne, recalls arduous hours spent vacuuming the rocks and keeping all 11 levels in some semblance of order.
Richard Horn, “Collecting Russel Wright” The New York Times August 23, 1979.
Jazz legend Dave Brubeck’s house has eight bedrooms, five and a half bathrooms, and at least four pianos. It’s not clear whether the latter, or the Nakashima furniture, is included in the $2.75 million price tag.
Dave and Iola Brubeck hired an unknown young architect, Beverly David Thorne, to design their first house, completed in 1954, in Oakland, California. When they moved east, Thorne also designed their Connecticut house. He “often slept outdoors on the property in a sleeping bag while designing the house to chart where the sun emerged in the sky each day so he could best position the structure for maximum sun exposure during season changes,” according to Brubeck. The house was completed around the same time Thorne designed Case Study House #26 in California.
Releasing this week: Ella: The Lost Berlin Tapes. Not to be confused with her legendary 1960 Berlin concert, or her other, formerly lost, 1961 Berlin concert, this is a never-before-heard-on-record 1962 live performance.
In her 1960 show, Ella Fitzgerald famously forgot some of the words to Mack the Knife and seamlessly improvised new lyrics. In 1962, those lines about Bobby Darin and Louis Armstrong are deliberately repeated, but there’s a different moment of “imperfect perfection” (or is it perfect imperfection?) as Giovanni Russonello describes in his New York Times review: “Ella: The Lost Berlin Tapes,” a newly unearthed 1962 performance. You can hear that song, and that moment, in the video below.
Actress Dame Enid Diana Elizabeth Rigg has died at the age of 82. Of all her screen and stage roles, the most iconic was as Mrs. Emma Peel, partnered with Patrick Macnee in the 1960s British TV series The Avengers.
As the plaque above clearly shows, the 1969 Woodstock Concert is legitimately a site of historical importance. While the rule of thumb is that only sites at least 50 years old are considered for listing on the National Register of Historical Places, Woodstock was placed on the Register in 2017, only 48 years after the three day festival of music took place on Max Yasgur’s farm near Bethel, New York.
The Bethel Woods Center for the Arts and the Museum at Bethel Woods maintain the Woodstock site with the goal of preserving the historic landscape. The actual stage and seating area are now open grassed areas. Across the road there is a small wooded area known as Bindy Woods or Bindy Bazaar. In 1969, trails were cut through the woods and rocks were gathered and stacked to create simple foundations where vendors at the “Aquarian Crafts Bazaar” could set up makeshift stalls to sell goods to the concert goers.