Friday 16 March 2012

1960, Cars: Ford Taunus (P3) 17 M

In 1960 Ford-Werke GmbH (Ford of Germany) introduced the new Ford Taunus 17 M. It was the third newly designed German Ford to be launched after the war and for this reason it was from inception known within the company as Ford Project 3 (P3) or the Ford Taunus P3. The new car was nicknamed by the press as the “Badewanne” (Bath tub). Unlike the first post-war models with a North American design, the Taunus P3 was designed by German born Uwe Bahnsen.

Ford Taunus 17M 2-doors

The Taunus 17 M was available as a two-door, four-door saloon and a three-door “Turnier” station wagon. Coach built two-door cabriolets and coupé’s were offered by Karl Deutsch in Cologne, only about 150 were produced. There were three different engine sizes offered, being the 1498 cc, the 1698 cc and, from 1961, a new larger 1757 cc engine. Power outputs initially ranged from 55 PS (40 kW; 54 hp) to 60 PS (44 kW; 59 hp). All engines were petrol powered L4 water-cooled units.

Ford Taunus 17M Turnier

669,731 cars were produced during a four year production run (1960-1964).

Ford Taunus 17M Cabrio by Karl Deutsch (Cologne)

French Ad
German Ad 1

German Ad 2
German Ad 3
German Ad 4
German Ad 5

German Ad 6

Tuesday 13 March 2012

1977, Music: Baccara

The Spanish female duo Baccara had two hits in 1977, "Yes Sir, I Can Boogie", which reached number one across much of Europe and a successful follow-up "Sorry, I'm a Lady".

Baccara was formed in 1977 by Spanish artists Mayte Mateos and María Mendiola. Mayte Mateos, a graduated teacher from the Royal Spanish Academy for Arts, Drama and Dance in Madrid met Maria Mendiola at the Spanish Television's Ballet Company. In 1976 the two left the Ballet Company and formed the variety act “Venus”. The duo were spotted by Leon Deane, manager of the German subsidiary of record company RCA. He invited them to Hamburg where they met Dutch producer/composer Rolf Soja. Soja was the driving force behind Baccara. He developed their stage performance, recruited their instrumental support, and wrote together with Frank Dostal their first single "Yes Sir, I Can Boogie".

In 1978 their song "Parlez-vous français?" was selected as Luxembourg's entry in that year's Eurovision Song Contest. The duo finished in 7th place.

Sunday 11 March 2012

1976, Film: Network

"Network",  an American film, was released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1976. The film, about a fictional television network, Union Broadcasting System (UBS), and its struggle with poor ratings, was written by Paddy Chayefsky and directed by Sidney Lumet. The main cast are Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch and Robert Duvall.

Chayefsky's script was partly based on the on-air suicide of television news reporter Christine Chubbuck in Sarasota, Florida two years earlier. The anchorwoman suffered from depression and shot herself on camera on July 15, 1974.

William Holden and Peter Finch

The film tells the story of Howard Beale (Peter Finch), the long-time anchor of the UBS Evening News. One day news division president Max Schumacher (William Holden) tells him that he has just two more weeks on the air because of declining ratings. The two old friends get drunk and lament the state of their industry. The following day, Beale announces on live television that he will commit suicide during next Tuesday's broadcast...

Faye Dunaway

  • Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role: Peter Finch (1977)
  • Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role: Faye Dunaway (1977)
  • Academy Awards for Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Beatrice Straight (1977)
  • Academy Award for Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen: Paddy Chayefsky (1977)
  • BAFTA Film Award for Best Actor: Peter Finch (1978)


Friday 9 March 2012

1975, Television: The Good Life

With the arrival of the '70s, young people rejected the urban rat race in favour of a simpler life. It was the time when some of them abandoned the cities to live in the country, experimenting with communal living, independent farming and self-sufficiency. The same period saw the first flowering of the green movement.

This trend was the inspiration for “The Good Life”, a British sitcom produced by the BBC that ran from 1975-1978. The show followed the exploits of two unlikely social revolutionaries, Tom and Barbara Good, who reject their comfortable middle-class lifestyles and Tom's advertising career, turn over their typical suburban garden to vegetables, chickens, a pig and a goat, and strive for a self-sufficient life. Tom and Barbara's decision astonishes and alarms their conservative neighbours Margo and Jerry Leadbetter...

Richard Briers and Felicity Kendal
Main cast
  • Richard Briers as Tom Good
  • Felicity Kendal as Barbara Good
  • Penelope Keith as Margo Leadbetter (née Sturgess)
  • Paul Eddington as Jeremy "Jerry" Leadbetter
  • Reginald Marsh as Andrew/Sir
Penelope Keith, Richard Briers, Paul Eddington and Felicity Kendal

Opening Credits

1974, News: The Sacred Heart College Fire in Heusden-Berkenbos

On Wednesday, January 23, 1974, 23 schoolboys perish in a blaze in Heusden-Berkenbos, Belgium. The schoolboys died during the night in a fire that burned out a dormitory of a Roman Catholic boarding school in this small town in north-east Belgium. 47 other young boys escaped from the building. The blaze may have been caused by a youngster smoking in bed and falling asleep. Most of the victims were in their beds and did not wake up before the flames caught them. The dormitory building was one of a group of brick concrete and glass buildings at the School of the Sacred Heart which the St. Francis Brothers operate. The fire broke out on the top floor where the boys slept in cubicles separated from each other by partitions. When the fire brigade arrived at the college the whole third floor of the dormitory was in flames.

Dormitory after the fire

Memorial service

Jambers (Dutch), wrong date!

Wednesday 7 March 2012

1973, Cars: Car of the Year, Audi 80

The Audi 80 won the Car of the year award in 1973 with 114 points. Audi still just a parallel manufacturer to VW, launched its 80 in 1972, almost one year earlier than its counterpart, the Passat (B1 platform). A close second with 109 points was the compact Renault 5. The Alfa Romeo Alfetta was third with 95 points.

Audi 80 L

Audi 80 GL

The 80 succeeded the Audi F103 produced by Volkswagen AG from 1965-1972, the first car with Audi label since WW II. Volkswagen acquired Auto Union AG (Audi – DKW – Horch – Wanderer) from Daimler-Benz AG in 1964 and dropped the DKW name in favour of the Audi label.

second place: Renault 5

The Audi 80 was available as either a two-door or a four-door saloon with a choice of two petrol engines, 1.3- and 1.5-litre L4. In certain markets a five-door "Avant" (estate) was offered, effectively a re-badged Volkswagen Passat with Audi front panels.

third place: Alfa Romeo Alfetta

The Audi 80 with B1 platform was dropped from the European market in 1978, after a production of 1,103,766 units.
Advertisment 1973 (German)
Advertisment 1973 (German)
 Brochure 1972 (Finland)

1972, Fashion: Bell-bottoms

Bell-bottoms became very popular during the 1970s. Bell-bottoms or flared trousers and sometimes called hip-huggers or elephant bells when made in denim, are trousers that become wider from the knees downward.

Sears 1972

Sears 1973



Sylvie Vartan 1973

ABBA 1974

Monday 5 March 2012

1971, Music: Middle Of The Road

In 1971 the Scottish pop group Middle Of The Road scored with three hit-singles in the charts: "Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep" (which went on to sell over 10 million), "Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dum" and "Soley Soley". By early 1972 the group had sold over five million records.

Lead singer Sally Carr, drummer Ken Andrew, guitarist Ian McCredie and his bassist brother Eric McCredie, founded the band on 1 April 1970. They already played together under the name Part Four since 1967 and later in Latin American style under the name Los Caracas.

left to right: Ian McCredie, Sally Carr, Eric McCredie and Ken Andrew

Band members
  • Sally Carr (born 28 March 1945, Muirhead, Lanarkshire)
  • Ken Andrew (born 28 August 1942, Bearsden, Glasgow)
  • Ian McCredie (born 15 July 1947, Partick, Glasgow)
  • Eric McCredie (born 17 July 1945, Partick, Glasgow; died 6 October 2007, Glasgow)
  • Neil Henderson (born 11 February 1953, Glasgow)
Title Chart positions
"Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep" - 1 2 2 1 1 2 1
"Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dum" - 2 15 - - 6 7 5
"Soley Soley" - 5 2 - 1 1 1 1

"Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep"

"Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dum"

"Soley Soley"

1970, Film: Ryan's Daughter

"Ryan's Daughter" is a British film directed by David Lean, with a musical score by Maurice Jarre. Robert Bolt wrote the script, a loose adaptation of Gustave Flaubert's novel Madame Bovary. The  film stars Robert Mitchum, Sarah Miles, John Mills, Christopher Jones, Trevor Howard and Leo McKern.

When the film was released, it was a critical and popular failure. After "Ryan's Daughter" Lean did not make another film for fourteen years. His next and last film was "A Passage to India" (1984). Despite the bad reviews, “Ryan's Daughter” contained Lean's legendary craftsmanship, resulting in sequences of breathtaking beauty and erotic symbolism, and which perfectly captures the wonderful Irish landscape and seascape, as well as the claustrophobia of village life.

Sarah Miles

The film tells the story of a married woman in a small Irish village and her affair with a troubled British officer.  1916, World War I seems far away from Ireland's Dingle peninsula when Rosy Ryan Shaughnessy (Sarah Miles) goes horseback riding on the beach with the young English officer Randolph Doryan (Christopher Jones)...

Sarah Miles and Christopher Jones

  • Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role: John Mills (1971)
  • Academy Award for Best Cinematography: Freddie Young (1971)
Sarah Miles and Robert Mitchum


Sunday 4 March 2012

1969, News: Kennedytunnel

The Kennedytunnel opened to road traffic on May 31, 1969, and to rail traffic on February 1, 1970. Named after John F. Kennedy, the thirty-fifth President of the United States, the Kennedytunnel is an important road, rail and bicycle tunnel to the south of Antwerp under the Scheldt.

The immersed tunnel has a length of 690 meters and consists of four tubes 15 meters below sea level. Two tubes for cars, each with an inner width of 14.25 m (2 x 3 lanes), run on either side of a 4 m wide bicycle tunnel, and a tube for railway traffic with a width of 10.50 m.
Work on the tunnel in 1967

Plans for the tunnel dated from the fifties. Between 1945 and 1960 the volume of traffic going through the Waaslandtunnel had quintupled, so by the end of the fifties this tunnel had to accommodate more than 38.000 vehicles a day. Because of the increasing daily traffic, the construction of a second crossing was necessary.

Thursday 1 March 2012

1968, Cars: Citroën Méhari

In 1968 French auto maker Citroën launched the Méhari, a small utility car and off-roader. The Méhari was Citroën's replacement for the 2CV Sahara and was named after the breed of a fast-running dromedary camel, which can be used for racing or transport. A Méhariste was a French Armée d'Afrique cavalryman that used these camels.

Preproduction Citroën Méhari (1967-1968)

The Méhari was based on the Citroën Dyane 6, and had a body made of Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) with a soft-top. It employed the 602 cc engine shared with the 2CV6 and Citroën Ami 6. A four-wheel drive version of the Méhari was produced from 1980 to 1983. 144,953 Méharis were built between 1968 and 1988.

Citroën Méhari Mk I (1968-1970)

Citroën Méhari Mk II (1970-1978)

Citroën Méhari Mk III (1978-1988)

 Brochure 1968 (French)

1967, Film: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

"Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" from 1967 is an American drama starring Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier and Katharine Hepburn. The film was ground breaking for its representation of the controversial matter of interracial marriage. The film was produced and directed by Stanley Kramer and written by William Rose. The musical score was composed by Frank DeVol.

The film is notable for being the ninth and final on-screen pairing of Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, filming ended just seventeen days before Tracy's death. The film was released in December 1967, six months after his death.

Katharine Houghton & Sidney Poitier

Among the socially prominent citizens of San Francisco are Matt Drayton (Spencer Tracy), the publisher of a liberal newspaper, and his wife, Christina (Katharine Hepburn), the owner of a fashionable art gallery. One day their daughter, Joey (Katharine Houghton), returns from a vacation in Hawaii with John Prentice (Sidney Poitier), a black physician whom she has known for only 10 days but intends to marry. Because John must leave the next day for Switzerland on behalf of the World Health Organization, Joey is determined that their wedding take place immediately, and she asks for her parents' permission. Furthermore, John secretly confides to the Draytons that he will not marry Joey without their consent. Suddenly confronted with a test of their long time liberal beliefs, Matt and Christina find themselves unable to reach a decision...
Spencer Tracy & Katharine Hepburn

  • Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role: Katharine Hepburn (1967)
  • Academy Award for Best Writing, Story and Screenplay - Written Directly for the Screen: William Rose (1967)
  • BAFTA Film Award for Best Actor: Spencer Tracy (Posthumously,1969)
  • BAFTA Film Award for Best Actress: Katharine Hepburn (1969)
  • BAFTA UN Award: Stanley Kramer (1969)
Katharine Hepburn & Katharine Houghton