|1950s Radio in Color: The Lost Photographs of Deejay Tommy Edwards|
|Written by Will “the Thrill” Viharo|
A picture is worth a thousand words, the old saying goes, which makes this eye-poppingly colorful tome, jam-packed with classic celebrity photographs and profiles from the halcyon days of early rock ‘n’ roll radio, a virtual encyclopedia of iconic imagery.
Culled from the vintage vaults of disc jockey Tommy Edwards, himself a Cleveland legend, this bountiful book collects his personal photographs of the many famous guests on his WERE-AM program, documenting a very special nexus of world class screen stars as well as musical giants, from Tab Hunter to Michael Landon to Elvis to the Everly Brothers to Bobby Darin to Paul Anka to Doris Day to Wanda Jackson to Sam Cooke to Chuck Berry to Roy Orbison to Frankie Avalon to Marty Robbins to Patti Page, to groups like The Chordettes, The Mello Larks and The Diamonds, basically anybody who was deemed somebody during the talent-rich years of 1955-1960, over 200 in all.
The comprehensive range of subjects is simply breathtaking. This Who’s Who treasure trove is augmented by tons of informative background text, too, delving not only into the well-documented biographies of the famous in focus (as it were) but offering little known tidbits of trivia as well. The photos themselves are both candid and calculated, freezing in time and recording for nostalgic posterity not only unique faces but very specific moods, stunning styles, and fabulous fashions, all reflective of the nation’s popular tastes during that perhaps unduly romanticized but genuinely gorgeous era, at least on a purely visual level, and as the sands of time continue to drain and the bad stuff is washed away along with the good, these spectacular snapshots are all that ultimately remains in our collective, murky memory of a golden period in popular entertainment.
Will "The Thrill" Viharo is a freelance writer, host of the film series “Forbidden Thrills” at Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge, and creator of the long running cult movie cabaret “Thrillville.” He lives in Alameda, CA with his wife Monica “Tiki Goddess” Cortes and their two cats. His pulp novels “A Mermaid Drowns in the Midnight Lounge,” “Lavender Blonde,” “Chumpy Walnut,” “Down a Dark Alley," and the "Vic Valentine, Private Eye" series are now available at http://www.thrillville.net/fiction/index.html