Just here for the music cues? I understand. They’re here.

Did you miss the Diner? Here you go.





Now then. As you've no doubt noticed, this week's Bleat bans revolve around the Luckies Couple, unnamed figures who strolled through cigaretty vignettes in the late 50s.

Today's example throws me. It has to be the same guy, unless she suddenly dumped him for his goofy brother.


He's George Bush in the first, some sort of hard-knuckle political fixer in the second, rugged outdoorsman in the third. She remains constant and adoring:



The ads ran in '56 and '57, and I keep finding more and more. After a series showing the Luckies Couple in public doing wonderful things while smoking, the story moves indoors:



The third panel in a sequence that showed some sort of stacking game. This was the sort of things people did after dinner - oh, and by the way, it's totally OK to smoke at the table between courses.



She just can't get enough of him. You'll note his tie is the same as the picture above: after the game it was back to her place? Their place? for a meal. You could read her expression as something other than adoration, though; frozen mask of deeply-suppressed revulsion comes to mind.

After the meal:



The one who's drying doesn't have wet hands, so he can facilitate the nicotine administration to the one whose hands would make the addicton-facilitation sleeve fall apart.

Then again, an aqueous environment doesn't always mean you can't smoke.



It must have been like dating a guy with one arm.

Come the winter, it's up to the slopes, where he'll henreid a heater while she looks at her empty hands, wishing someone had invented the iPhone:



Don't you feel like you almost know them?







Now, the Cues from "The Couple Next Door." This week Aunt Effie was getting over her cold, and the Husband was getting one and complaining about, and the Wife was dealing with hers without making a fuss or bothering anyone. I mention this as a window on the author; this is the only serial radio show I've ever heard where people regularly get colds, and I'd bet that the appearance of a cold in the show coincides with the appearance of a cold in the author. Or, she needed to write out Margaret Hamilton for a week - but that's not entirely necessary, since Aunt Effie, like the children, vanish for short stretches with no explanation needed.

They seem to have settled down to a select number of out-cues, which makes sense; after 200 episodes, wouldn’t you want to establish a certain palette, a consistent series of audio cues that anchor the show? It makes you wonder why they used so many to begin with. Then again, most shows were like that - when Dragnet and Gunsmoke came along they had their own scores with distinct characteristics and orchestrations.

These things matter: I think one of the reasons “Star Trek” stuck in kid’s minds was because it had a specific set of cues, repeated in a variety of situations, and even though they were written by different composers it all hung together well.


CND Cue #230 It's a motif I've heard a few times, but I don't think I've ever heard it done this way - Quick darting inquisitions. What? What?


CND Cue #231. A repeat, which always makes me think of some Irish jig that turns into new-car showroom music.


CND Cue #232. Ah! New: drunkenness, mocking mockery, bird tweets: perfect for a scene that ended with someone falling down and hitting his head.


CND Cue #233. Another iteration of a common theme, but this one just kitchen-sinks the thing,


CND Cue #234. Busy birdy pecking music, with the Chord of Domestic Satisfaction striking an uneasy note, thanks to the bossy trumpet: Dum dum dum-dum. You can hear Mom ask if you've cleaned your room yet.


CND Cue #235. Sometimes I think the music was written with the understanding that it would not stand alone; perhaps the composer was dismayed to find it wasn't used to underscore a scene.


CND Cue #236. Then there's newcomers like this, which just get started before they're ushered off the stage.


Speaking of the Chord of Domestic Satisfaction: here it's used in another cue, with one single note upending the resolution and making you realize nothing is settled. Right? That's how we interpret these audio waves, right? That's how our cultural traditions have prepared us to absorb and evaluate these things bombarding a stretched piece of skin in our heads, right?


FBI #8 You can almost see a perfect clip-art 50s housewife put a finger on her cheek and say HMM.


This isn't music, but a line of dialogue that made me laugh.


FBI #9


He has a point.



Well, as long as it's Lucky day. Serch-a biddily bobbity boodily bordily

When I smoked cigarettes I tried a Lucky. Took my head off. Later they came out with a filtered brand, and they had a big campaign while I was traveling around the South as a seed salesman for Northrup King. I tried some, because I loved the iconography of the brand. An undiluted example of 30s style, a connection to the ld days before smoking was bad for you.

Tasted like I was sucking glue out of a donkey's hindquarters.

That's it for this week! Column up here; scroll down to the COLUMNS pane.








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