Sunday, July 28, 2013

A Record Week!

On Wednesday, my friend and former teaching colleague Betsy Downer-Brown paid a visit to Dr. No's to say hello and to drop off the most thoughtful gift one could ask for. Betsy had found a large stack of her and her parents' records from those pre-CD days and she offered to give them to me if I was interested. (Although I still can't believe that Betsy was really old enough to actually buy records--she still appears to be in her 20s, just as she did when I first met her. I'd say she must have a Dorian Gray-esque portrait hidden away somewhere getting more and more hideous with each passing year, but Betsy is such a genuinely compassionate, considerate, and amiable person that even such a portrait would have a youthful glow and a perpetual smile.)

I only got to speak with Betsy for a few moments, but I also had a chance to meet her mother; I wish we had a chance to talk even longer, but we were able to speak for a few moments, just catching up on what each has been doing in the several years since we saw each other.

Bets brought me two large cardboard boxes filled with records; I have only listened to a couple of dozen of them so far, but it's been a treasure trove of songs I remember but don't own.

One of the most memorable discoveries to come out of this stack o' wax is that Monty Norman was more than a little influenced by Elvis in the composition of his famous James Bond theme. One of the records from the stack that I listened to earlier today was Elvis' Golden Records Volume 3, a really clean mono copy (and I should note that all of the albums were sonically clean and scratch-free, which made them especially enjoyable). I don't own much Elvis, so some of these songs were familiar and some weren't. When the track "Surrender" began to play, I realized that (a) I'd never heard it before, and (b) the piano lead-in to the song is very, very structurally similar to the opening bars of the James Bond theme, which in turn influenced almost every secret agent theme for years to come. Hear it for yourself here:

The song is from 1961, so it most definitely predated the James Bond theme song, which was written for Dr. No, a 1963 film. It's also quite reminiscent of Johnny Rivers' opening to "Secret Agent Man." An interesting little musical sidenote...

I've also listened to a couple of Dean Martin albums that I had yet to pick up, including a great selection of songs from The Dean Martin Show that I remember so well; a Pink Panther soundtrack; two Englebert Humperdinck albums; a Carpenters album I didn't have (and my gosh, what a voice Karen Carpenter had), a late-era Sonny & Cher album, and a few Christmas albums (if you know me at all, you're already aware of my love of Christmas music!). Lots more to listen to, but part of the fun of vinyl is that the nature of the medium itself encourages you to take your time and enjoy at least one entire side of an album before moving on to something else; the mp3-esque searching-and-sampling just doesn't seem right when you're playing a 12" slab of vinyl.

Thanks again for the gift, Betsy!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 7/29/63 to 8/4/63

The widening of Shorter Avenue west from Burnett Ferry Road westward past West Rome High had an impact on pizza lovers: the road construction required Pizza King (located at 1822 Shorter Avenue, in an area strongly impacted by the expansion) to change its hours and eliminate lunch service. For the duraiton of the construction Pizza King was forced to go to 4pm to midnight hours (1am on Friday and Saturday). Of course, with school starting up in mid-August, most of us weren't going to be able to pick up pizza for lunch anyway. (This didn't mean much to me at the time, because I don't believe I ever had pizza in the first ten years of my life. I think the first time I tried pizza was in 1964, when my parents got a pizza from Pizza Roma. I didn't hate it but I also didn't fall in love with it right away. That's strange, considering how much I enjoy pizza now...)

Fifty years ago, the city and the county were talking seriously about consolidating the two school systems into a single system, with the Rome Board of Education favoring the proposal. As we know, it never worked out... but this possibility was resurrected again and again in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s as a way of improving schools and reducing costs.  While it might succeed in the latter, I'm not sure it would ever accomplish the former...

Nowadays school systems bring students back to the classroom in early August, but in 1963 the starting date for West Rome High (and other city schools, of course) was August 29th (which meant that this was one of those years when we were still enjoying summer vacation on my late-August birthday!); students had to come by sometime on August 27th to get their schedule cards. The school system was rushing to finish up the "Alabama Road Elementary School" (don't worry if that sounds unfamiliar: the city renamed it West End Elementary before the school year started) before classes began, while the newspaper ran almost daily reminders to ensure that none of us forgot that we our summer was coming to an end…

Saving was much more rewarding in 1963: both the National City Bank and Rome Bank and Trust were advertising 4% annual interest on savings certificates of one year or more, with the National City Bank offering 4.5% on savings certificates of 3 years or longer.  Oh, if we could only find those rates today!...

Just as is the case this year, 1963 was a very wet year, with July closing out at 8.28" above average rainfall; even more notable was the temperature average, which was a full 11.9 degrees below normal.  As I've said before, however, summers were generally cooler in the 1960s than they are now, which is why so many of us who grew up in Georgia in the 60s had no trouble enjoying Georgia summers even in those days when all too few homes had air conditioning.

Rome's professional football team, the Bisons, kicked off its season on Saturday, August 3rd, with a game against Tuscaloosa, who also had a team in the Southern Professional Football League. Alas, it wasn't an auspicious beginning for the Bisons, who lost the game 42-0. Take that as an omen, if you will...

Rome and Floyd County weren't ready to give up on Floyd Junior College quite yet; even though the Board of Regents had chosen Dalton/Whitfield County as the site of one junior college and had favored Cobb County (near North Cobb High School) for the other location, Rome's political leaders complained that the decision had been made due to some underhanded political pressure, and pushed for reconsideration.

Do you remember when Georgia Power sold appliances? They most definitely did, and they offered their own financing as well, addding monthly installments onto your electric bill. This week in 1963, they were offering a massive 13 cubic foot refrigerator for only $258.  (Today, manufacturers are pushing into the 30-33 cubic foot range for a large family refrigerator; how did people ever get by with a 13 foot refrigerator/freezer?)

Fish got a little bit cheaper as the Shrimp Boat kicked off their Tuesday-Thursday 85¢ fish dinner special that included fries and hush puppies!

Kroger was advertising tomatoes for a dime a can, pork and beans for 12¢ a can, and pork chops for 39¢ a pound. A&P had sirloin steak for 95¢ a pound, NuTreat ice cream for 49¢ a half-gallon, and cabbage, cucumbers, or green peppers for a nickel each. Piggly Wiggly had sugar for 49¢ a pound, bananas for a dime a pound, and chuck roast for 39¢ a pound. Couch's had chuck wagon steaks for 79¢ a pound, okra for 15¢ a pound, and those fish sticks that all kids love for a quarter per half-pound box.

Flipper was making waves at the DeSoto Theater during the week, with Irma La Douce continuing its run at the First Avenue (minus the rather suggestive advertising graphic mentioned last in last week's column… apparently the Rome News-Tribune and/or the management of the First Avenue decided it was a little too much for a Rome newspaper!), and a double feature of Billy Budd and Raymie at the West Rome Drive-In. Th weekend brought Jerry Lewis's Nutty Professor to the DeSoto, Drums of Africa to the First Avenue, and Follow the Boys to the West Rome Drive-In.

The number one song this week in 1963 was "So Much in Love" by the Tymes. Other top ten hits included "Fingertips Part 2" by Little Stevie Wonder (#2); "Surf City" by Jan & Dean (#3); "You're the Devil in Disguise" by Elvis Presley (#4); "Wipe Out" by the Surfaris (#5); "Blowin' in the Wind" by Peter, Paul, & Mary (#6); "Easier Said Than Done" by the Essex (#7); "Judy's Turn to Cry" by Lesley Gore (#8); "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport" by Rolf Harris (#9); and "Just One Look" by Doris Troy (#10).

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 7/22/63 to 7/28/63

Does anyone remember Romeo Floyd? The Rome-Floyd County Chamber of Commerce created this cartoon character to promote Rome and Floyd County; he was depicted as a wide-eyed youngster wearing a beanie cap, shorts, and a T-shirt with the Chamber of Commerce's emblem. If he lasted very long at all, I never noticed it; I have no memories at all of this character, and I'm the sort of person who's actually likely to remember cartoonish mascots!

Construction on the Alabama Road Elementary School (which we know as West End Elementary) was running so far behind that the school board was worried that the facility might not be ready for the 1963-64 school year. The board began making contingency plans just in case the school wasn't finished on time.

Ceramics classes were so popular in Rome in the summer of 1963 that the Rome City Recreation Department had burned through its entire 1963 budget by mid-July. The city had ordered what they thought would be sufficient supplies for the entire year in early January to take advantage of bulk buying; in order to stretch out their remaining supplies as much as possible, they cut back on classes and limited new participants. The problem it turned out, was made worse by the fact that the funds that students paid to take part in the classes did not go back to the recreation department; instead, they went into the city's general funds. I remember my mother taking part in these classes, and I still have some of her hand-painted ceramics that she made in those classes; if the program was as popular as it sounds, there's a good chance that many other Chieftains have some vintage ceramics in their homes as well!

Sterchi's advertised its big maple furniture sale this week in 1963; it included a 3-piece master bedroom suite or a five-piece teen's bedroom suite, both in the then-popular Golden Harvest finish. Maxwell Brothers was also advertising a sale on maple furniture, with a five-drawer chest for $26.50. Maple may not be as popular for furniture today--and the Golden Harvest finish is definitely a 1960s trend--but it was the wood of choice in the early 1960s, supplanting the blonde wood modern look that had been a part of so many furniture store ads in the late 1950s and the early 1960s.

Kroger had ice cream (Country Club brand) for 49¢ a half-gallon, Clover Valley peanut butter for 99¢ for a 3-pound jar, and chuck roast for 49¢ a pound. Piggly Wiggly had a sale on whole fryers for 23¢ a pound, cantaloupes for a quarter each, and a 2-pound can of Maxwell House coffee for 99¢. A&P advertised it's Swift's Premium ham for 33¢ a pound, Sealtest Ice Milk for 49¢ a half-gallon, and banquet frozen meat dinners for 33¢ for an 11-ounce dinner (and it included that ever-popular salisbury steak!). Big Apple had leg o' lamb for 59¢ a pound, lettuce for 15¢ a head, and tomatoes for a dime a pound. West Rome's own Couch's Grocery had pork chops or ground beef for 39¢ a pound, DuBuque potted meat for a dime a can, and Oscar Mayer wieners for 59¢ a pound.

(One thing you notice from looking at the grocery ads from this time: brand names were much less important back then. Hot dogs, breads, ice cream, canned goods… many of them bear brand names that are unknown today, and there seemed to be very little difference in price between the major brands and the lesser-known names. Were these store brands? Were they locally produced regional brands? What happened to them?)

The developers continued to prominently advertise the new Beverly Heights subdivision, off Paris Drive in West Rome; on July 28th, they brought in Paul Hornung of the Green Bay Packers to sign autographs for those who came to look at new houses. It seems strange today to use sports stars to promote real estate, but the 60s were a different era…

Frank Sinatra starred in Come Blow You Horn, showing at the DeSoto Theater for the first half of the week. The First Avenue continued with 55 Days of Peking starring Charlton Heston & Ava Gardner, while the West Rome Drive-In was screening a double feature of The Magnificent Seven and Studs Lonigan. The weekend brought Irma la Douce (with Jack Lemmon & Shirley MacLaine) to the First Avenue ("No children's tickets will be sold," the ad stressed above the cartoony image of a policeman and a prostitute); Snow White and the Three Stooges and the low-budget "psycho shocker" Third of a Man at the DeSoto (obviously this is where the kids were expected to go!); and Period of Adjustment at the West Rome Drive-In.

The number one song this week in 1963 was "So Much in Love" by the Tymes. Other top ten hits included "Fingertips (Part II)" by Little Stevie Wonder (#2); "Surf City" by Jan & Dean (#3); "You're the Devil in Disguise" by Elvis Presley (#4); "Wipe Out" by the Surfaris (#5); "Blowin' In the Wind" by Peter, Paul, & ary (#6); "Easier Said Than Done" by the Essex (#7); "Judy's Turn to Cry" by Lesley Gore (#8); "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport" by Rolf Harris (#); and "Just One Look" by Doris Troy (#10).

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 7/15/63 to 7/21/63

West Rome's continued growth led to the opening of a new bank branch on Shorter Avenue at Division Street. Citizen's Federal announced that John H. Cook Jr. had been chosen as manager of the branch, with Martha Reed and Louise Baldwin assisting at the new branch, which held its grand opening on July 16th.

The Rome Board of Education announced plans for a $793,000 school construction program (hey, that was big money in 1963!) that included the addition of an industrial arts shop at West Rome High School, "to give those students the same type of instruction nd facilities already enjoyed by Main High and East Rome High." The program would also equip the shop, add four more classrooms in the West Rome Junior High wing, and add four new classroom for the high school; it also included funds for landscaping, paving, ground improvements, interior painting and curtains and stage draperies for the auditorium. Construction was also wrapping up on the Alabama Road Elementary School (aka West End Elementary), adding eight classrooms,a  kitchen, lunchroom, library, administrative area, clinic, teacher's lounge, and meeting rooms. Other classrooms were schedule to open in the elementary school's second year. West Rome was definitely in growth mode!

West Rome was also seeing road expansion as work was underway to widen and resurface Shorter Avenue, turning it into a four-lane road from Burnett Ferry Road to the railroad tracks at Rice Springs. (Yes indeed, Shorter was only two lanes from Burnett Ferry to West Rome High School and beyond back in '63!) Work was also underway to widen and resurface Elm Street and Lavender Drive from Shorter Avenue to Redmond Circle, and then to widen Redmond Circle from Shorter Avenue to the General Electric plant. The new Rome Frozen Foods plant expansion near the intersection of Lavender and Redmond Circle was also announced.

1963 had a lot in common with 2013 weather-wise: as of mid-July, Rome was almost 10" above normal for rainfall, and July was already a half-inch above normal. Likewise, it was a mild start to summer, with many days in the low 80s. Those of us who grew up in Rome in the 1960s may wonder why summer never seemed that torrid when we were children--but the truth is, we were in a cooling cycle during the 1960s and the early 1970s, and for the most part it was indeed cooler than average!

One of our most beloved teachers, Miss Kitty Alford, was involved in an auto accident on July 16th. As she backed out of a driveway, 17-month-old Edward Burgess toddled behind her car and was hit; thankfully he was not seriously injured, and Miss Alford was not cited since the accident was deemed unavoidable.

There was a major solar eclipse on Saturday, July 20th, which meant that the media was full of stories warning school-age children not to stare directly at the sun to see the eclipse. (Remember all the instructions for making a pin-hole viewer from a shoe box so as to see the eclipse without blinding oneself?…)

Rome's professional football team, the Rome Bisons, prepared for an August 3rd season opener. And if you don't remember an AFL or NFL team called the Bisons, there's good reason: this professional team was a part of the short-lived Southern Professional Football League, which was one of four leagues in the US in 1963 (the others were the American Football League, the National Football League, and the United Football League).

Kroger had eggs on sale for 33¢ a dozen, baking hens for 29¢ a pound, and Starkist tune for a quarter a can. A&P had Sealtest ice cream for 69¢ a half-gallon, cantaloupes for 25¢ each, and a six-bottle carton of Pepsi for 19¢. Piggly Wiggly had 5 pounds of sugar for 59¢, chicken breasts for 39¢ a pound, and Nabisco Saltines for a quarter a box. Couch's had bacon for 39¢ a pound, Van Camp's chili for 29¢ a can, and frozen cream pies for 33¢ each. Big Apple  was serving up ground beef for 37¢ a pound, cabbage for a nickel a head,and bananas for a dime a pound. (Don't let the prices fool you too much, though: when you work in the 7.52 inflation multiplier, that would put many of these items proportionately higher priced than they are today!)

James Bond continued to combat evil at the First Avenue as Dr. No was held over for an extended run. The DeSoto had Tammy and the Doctor (with Sandra Dee and Peter Fonda) the first half of the week, while the West Rome Drive-In was in naughty mode,  screening Sodom & Gomorrah. The weekend brought Come Blow Your Horn (with Frank Sinatra) to the DeSoto; 55 Days in Peking (with Charlton Heston & Ava Gardner) at the First Avenue, and The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari and The Slave in a double-feature at the West Rome Drive-In.

The number one song this week in 1963 was "Surf City" by Jan & Dean. Other top ten hits included "Easier Said Than Done" by the Essex (#2); "So Much in Love" by the Tymes (#3); "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport" by Rolf Harris (#4); "Memphis" by Lonnie Mack (#5); "Fingertips—Part Two" by Little Stevie Wonder (#6); "Wipe Out" by the Surfaris (#7); "Sukiyaki" by Kyu Sakamoto (#8); "You're the Devil in Disguise" by Elvis Presley (#9); and "Pride and Joy" by Marvin Gaye (#10).

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Johnny B. Goode

If Happy Days had kept this cast, I would have watched the show regularly!

(Yes, the photo is real. May Pang, with whom John Lennon was living at the time, said that she, John, and Julian Lennon were touring Paramount's lot during the  filming one of the early Happy Days episodes, and this souvenir photo was taken. I'm always happy to find a John Lennon photo I knew nothing about, so this strange pop culture amalgam brought quite a smile to my face.)

(But you know, Happy Days would have been quite a different show had this been the cast, wouldn't it?...)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A Life in Four Colors (Part Thirty-Eight)

In the late summer of 1965, I bought a copy of Help! I didn't realize it at the time, but it would be the final Beatles album I would buy for several years—until Abbey Road, in fact.

I was an avid Beatles fan from the first time I heard their music in 1964 and on into 1965, so it may seem incomprehensible that I would simply give up on the group entirely. It wasn't dissatisfaction with their music that made me quit buying their albums; I enjoyed Help! immensely, both as an album and a film, and was particularly pleased to see a comic book reference in the movie (at one point, a number of DC comics, including Action, Superman, and Jimmy Olsen, can be seen on the sheet music rack of an organ)—a perfect blending of two of my favorite interests, obviously! And the over-the-top story of Help!, with its blending of James Bond motifs and musical cues, added a third major interest of mine.  So what wasn't to like?

I can't point to any one thing that led to my drift away from the Beatles, but I suspect it was a combination of factors. For one thing, the group's music was moving into new directions, and I suspect I wasn't aesthetically ready for the changes. I loved not only the early Beatles album, but that wholesome pop image that was associated with the group; as they began to emerge as more complex people capable of producing more complex music,  the twelve-year-old me wasn't ready to progress with them.

Secondly, I found myself spending more of my money on comics. by 1965, I had discovered a number of other comics that piqued my curiosity, including the Warren Magazines line, ACG, Charlton, Magnus Robot Fighter at Gold Key, plus the whole line of Marvel and DC titles... my comics interest was growing exponentially, and my budget wasn't. Since I could still hear the Beatles' hit songs on the radio even if I didn't buy their albums, it seemed like the most logical thing to cut. And back then, one album cost almost as much as thirty comic books!

Third, my growing friendship with Gary Steele, as well as my waning but still existent friendship with John Ball, led to a de-emphasis of music. Neither Gary nor John had much interest in music—the only record I remember Gary owning at that time was a copy of Lorne Greene's "Ringo" (about a Western gunslinger, not a Beatles drummer), while I don't remember John ever buying any music at all. And for me, music has always had a social element: without friends to share an interest in music, I found less motivation to buy albums. My old comic book buddy Phil Patterson, with whom I shared a passion for Beatles albums, had moved into other social circles by this time, and had pretty much abandoned comics. So I really had no one with whom I could discuss Beatles albums or any other music.

And here's a real surprise, considering my adult devotion to the Beatles: in 1965, my favorite part of the US Help! soundtrack was the James Bond-ish intro lead-in to "Help" that George Martin tacked on to the song—and the Beatles had nothing to do with that little bit!

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

If You Could Only Own One Dean Martin Album...

...My recommendation would be Dream with Dean, a little known and rarely remembered 1964 Dean Martin release on Reprise Records. Unlike most of Dino's better known albums, there is no orchestral bombast, no large chorus, no heavy production; instead, this is Dean Martin singing, accompanied by the subdued accompaniment of guitarist Barney Kessel, pianist Ken Lane, bassist Red Mitchell, and drummer Irv Cottler.

 I ran across this album quite by accident; until I heard it, I really didn't know there was another Dean Martin album I needed other than his Capitol and Reprise Greatest Hits packages. This is a soulful, subdued, and at times melancholy Dean Martin album, which is quite a change for the crooner best known for more upbeat numbers. He touches on a few standards, such as "Blue Moon" and "Smile," but the most memorable cut on this album is "Everybody Loves Somebody." No, it's not the hit version that everyone remembers; this is a very personal, almost intimate take of the song, and it became my "go-to" version as soon as I heard it.

Dean Martin may be an acquired taste, but I consider him one of the best male vocalists in mainstream pop music. If you've ever liked his voice, you're going to be glad you tried Dream With Dean.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 7/8/63 to 7/14/63

Rome was apparently a hotbed of break-ins and burglaries a half-century ago: on July 10th, 1963, someone broke into the Eastern Airlines office at Russell Field and stole the safe and its contents. A similar break-in and theft was reported at a truck stop just a few miles away.  The big surprise here is (a) that there was an Eastern Airlines office at Russell Field, and (b) that they did enough business to need a safe!

Floyd County ended a decades-old policy of housing mental patients in jail when they opened their new psychiatric wing on July 12th. Until this time, the mentally ill were confined in a city or county jail cell while they awaited treatment in Milledgeville or another state facility; now, their mental health needs could be addressed in Rome in a medical facility rather than a cell.

Apparently Rome Automobile's Volkswagen advertising was putting some pressure on Bonnie Davis Chevrolet: they rolled out a very strong ad campaign for the Corvair in the summer of 1963, touting its great gas mileage, its light weight, its maneuverability, and its rear-mounted air-cooled engine ("which means there's no antifreeze or water for you to add--ever!"). Of course, all of these were also qualities of the VW… And ironically, a VW ad touting the same things ran the day after the Corvair ad!

North Georgia was excited about a proposed extension of the Blue Ridge Parkway that would reach deep into Georgia, ending near Lake Allatoona. It was seen as a boon for the entire northern half of the state in its effects on both commerce and tourism. Plans were to link it to I-75 north of Marietta… but of course, I-75 was far from complete at this time, so the point where the proposed extension would connect was still on the drawing board. There was also talk of four-laming Highway 53 from Rome to the Parkway Extension. As we now know, that extension fell by the wayside, but support for the idea proved so strong that it gave way to the Zell Miller Mountain Parkway, which becomes I-575 in Cherokee County and extends down to connect with I-75 just north of Marietta.  Alas, the complete four-laning of Highway 53 never took place, so Rome never got the connection it hoped for… an all-too-familiar refrain when it comes to Floyd County highway plans…

Kroger had chuck steak for 59¢ a pound, leg o' lamb for 59¢ a pound (lamb seems to have been much more popular in the 1960s than it is today), and pork & beans for a dime a can. Piggly Wiggly had chuck roast for 29¢ a pound, Swift's luncheon meats (including bologna, pickle & pimento loaf, and liver loaf) for 19¢ per half-pound package, and 10 pounds of potatoes for a quarter. A&P was offering a 24-bottle case of Coca-Cola for 79¢ plus deposit, a 5-pound bag of sugar for 59¢, and beef short ribs for 39¢ a pound. Big Apple had sirloin, t-bone, or porterhouse steaks for 99¢ a pound, salmon for 49¢ for a 16-ounce can, and that ever-popular ice milk for 39¢ a half-gallon. Couch's offered stew beef for 29¢ a pound, corn for a nickel an ear, and center cut pork chops for 39¢ a pound. A&P offered baking hens for 29¢ a pound, peaches for a dime a pound, and hot dogs for 49¢ a pound.

Fifty years ago this week, the first James Bond film premiered at the First Avenue Theater; Dr. No had already generated some buzz, since President Kennedy had said that he was a James Bond fan, so there was advance interest in this film and its relatively unknown star, Sean Connery. The DeSoto Theater was showing Call Me Bwana with Bob Hope and Anita Ekberg, while the West Rome Drive-In had a pair of high-class cinematic masterpieces: Monster That Challenged The World (apparently it didn't deserve the introductory article "The" in its title) and Jesse James' Women. Dr. No hung around for the weekend at the First Avenue, while the DeSoto brought in the double-feature of The Man from the Diner's Club (with Danny Kaye) and Everything's Ducky (with Mickey Rooney & Buddy Hackett) and the West Rome Drive-In had The Yellow Canary and Thirty Years of Fun.

If you checked out the comic book spinner racks at Conn's Grocery, Couch's Grocery, or Candler's Drug Store in West Rome this week in 1963, you would have seen Spidey battling Doctor Doom on the cover of Amazing Spider-Man #5.

For the second week in a row, the number one song was "Easier Said Than Done" by The Essex. Other top ten hits included "Surf City" by Jan & Dean (#2); "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport" by Rolf Harris (#3); "So Much in Love" by the Tymes (#4); "One Fine Day" by the Chiffons (#5); "Sukiyaki" by Kyu Sakamoto (#6); "Memphis" by Lonnie Mack (#7); "Blue on Blue" by Bobby Vinton (#8); "Hello Stranger" by Barbara Lewis (#9); and "Wipe Out" by the Surfaris (#10).