The song currently sweeping the country in many different renditions is Rag Mop, a silly tune that attracted a wide array of cover versions, the biggest of which was done by the The Ames Brothers which utilized their tight pop harmonies against an eclectic backing that including crisp drumming, an electric guitar interlude and a prominent accordion.

The song was based on a jazz record called Get On The Mop from a decade earlier by Henry “Red” Allen which was later transformed into this song by country artist Johnnie Lee Wills and from there it was picked up on by artists in every conceivable style, many of which were hits in their own right, among them Lionel Hampton, Joe Liggins, Johnny Flanagan, Jimmy Dorsey and budding rock star Doc Sausage.

The Ames Brothers’ version however was the one which topped the charts and was the last #1 hit to be released only on 78 RPM as now most records were also being released on 45 RPM which will soon become the dominant format for singles.


Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy announces that there are 205 known Communists working in the State Department at speech delivered to a women’s group in Wheeling, West Virginia.

This utter fabrication makes national headlines and accelerates the anti-Communist witch hunts that dominate the early 1950’s, a movement known subsequently as McCarthyism. The previously obscure Republican Senator is propelled to fame by his baseless charges, none of which he ever proves, nor really even bothers trying to, content instead to milk the sensational press accounts he creates with each subsequent outlandish declaration in order to boost his own career.


McCarthy’s words however prove so powerful that many lives and careers of the wrongly accused are ruined, reactionary policies are drafted to confront this perceived menace he alludes to and consequently for the next few years he becomes the most feared politician in Washington. But his lack of any substantive evidence and wildly fluctuating accusations ultimately does him in as a televised Senate hearing over his claims of Communist infiltration in the United States Army is viewed by 20 million Americans who can finally see firsthand McCarthy as the lying bully he truly was.

In December 1954, just over five months after the Army’s Chief Legal Representative Joseph Welch angrily reprimanded him and drew a rousing ovation in that hearing by asking rhetorically, “Have you no sense of decency, sir?”, Joe McCarthy was officially censored by the Senate and his power dried up as his own party finally came to realize he was a detriment to them.

McCarthy sank into alcoholism and died just a few years later in 1957 at the age of 48. But while his meteoric career ended in disgrace his methods of building his own brand by using blatant fabrications while calling any dissent part of a giant conspiracy lives to this day in the highest office in the land.

What’s My Line? debuts on CBS television. The erudite game show features four regular panelists who attempt to guess the profession of guests by asking simple yes or no questions. When a famous guest appears the panel dons blindfolds and the guest usually tries altering their voice when answering. The simple format, essentially a variation of the parlor game charades, succeeds largely due to the intelligence and wit of the panel, three of whom – columnist Dorothy Kilgallen, publisher Bennett Serf, actress Arlene Francis – remained fixtures on the program until Kilgallen’s sudden passing in 1965.

The fourth regular panelist was filled by figures such as comedy writer Hal Block (1950-1953), TV comedian Steve Allen (1953-1954), who coined the phrase “Is it bigger than a breadbox?” on the program to determine in a yes/no question if the guest worked with something large or small, and following Steve Allen’s departure to start his own talk show his spot was filled by legendary 1940’s radio comedian Fred Allen (no relation). Upon Fred Allen’s death in 1956 the fourth seat would be taken by guest panelists from across the entertainment field, usually a different person each week, or for just a brief run of shows.

Despite only cracking the Top Twenty in the ratings one year, the show which was hosted throughout its run by John Charles Daly, was a consistent Top Thirty hit as viewers tuned in to see well-educated people who seemed to enjoy each other’s company attempt to figure out something for which their intelligence and worldliness may not always help them ascertain. The program became the longest lasting prime time game show in television history, its simple format remaining unchanged until leaving the air in 1967. Starting the following year both Serf and Francis returned to a syndicated version lasting until 1975 which unfortunately eliminated the intelligentsia bent of the original show.


For much of the Twentieth Century The Boy Scouts was seen as a a wholesome, healthy organization that provided supervised outdoor adventure for kids in a world that was moving away from the rugged pioneer spirit that had defined the country’s founding.

Founded in 1910 the Boy Scouts promoted virtue, patriotism and self-reliance… while of course also insisting on religious conformity. In addition they excluded females from participating for the first century of its existence in addition to barring gay youth as well and allowed widespread racial segregation at the discretion of its regional councils until 1974. So much for upholding the country’s supposed melting pot ideals!

A year after the Boys Scouts were organized they began publishing a magazine to promote themselves called Boys’ Life and the February 1950 issue is typical in its focus, as there are articles telling you how to identify birds by their shape, various knot tying instructions and a pictorial layout showing white scouts painting their faces and pretending to be “Indians” at a fair designed to publicly celebrate offensive cultural appropriation in Wisconsin.

However it’s the magazine’s breakdown of the “Ditty Bag”, a small (6 by 8 inch) cloth pouch to house everything you’ll need in an emergency out in the wilderness, that gives perhaps the best insight into the Boy Scout’s mindset. The items range from the harmlessly non-essential (pencil and stationary… apparently for leaving notes for the bears telling them not to eat you), alongside a few more sensible things such as small pliers, a spare boot lace, foot powder and lip balm, various creams (or “dope” as they call it) for poison ivy and mosquito bites and some toilet paper for when nature calls.

The final more questionable items they deemed important enough to take up valuable space were cement, a handkerchief (which together can make an excellent canoe repair kit, they insist) and of course a miniature American flag, apparently to affix to your sinking canoe… or in case you run out of toilet paper.

Your Show Of Shows, widely considered the greatest sketch comedy variety show in television history, makes its debut on February 25th beginning a four year run that was both successful – reaching #4 in the ratings its first season – and massively influential on the genre.

The weekly 90 minute show was aired live and its primary on-screen foursome centered around Sid Caesar, who was seen as the creative genius of the show even though he didn’t write the material, but his versatility – stand-up comedy, acting, pantomime and eccentric characterizations – put him front and center. His primary foil was Imogene Coca, a rubber faced comedienne who could match Caesar in every way, something most memorable when portraying the battling couple The Hickenloopers.

They were rounded out by Carl Reiner, often playing the sane outside interviewer of Caesar’s various “expert” characters, and Howard Morris, the small intense ball of energy who went on to immortal fame as Ernest T. Bass in The Andy Griffith Show, while Reiner, who also was among the show’s writing staff with Mel Brooks, Neil and Danny Simon, Selma Diamond and other luminaries, later used his experience on Your Show Of Shows to create the classic sitcom about a writer on a variety series, The Dick Van Dyke Show.

Despite universal acclaim and strong ratings the show ended abruptly in 1954 when it was decided to split Caesar and Coca up for separate shows after 139 episodes.

Are you men tired of being forced to buy shoes that don’t fit simply because the pushy salesmen insist on it? You’re not alone, but the days of limping about in uncomfortable footwear is now a thing of the past thanks to the friendly folks at Jarmen Shoes For Men who proudly announce that they’re now able to offer you Smarter Styles in your Correct Size!

You’re probably thinking that this extravagance will cost you an arm and a leg… or a foot… but these shoes can be yours for the reasonable price of $9.95 to $14.95 and as a special added bonus at no extra charge they promise that if your size falls between 5 and 15 you’re guaranteed to walk out of the store in any one of three handsome (though remarkably similar looking) styles that are known coast to coast for their friendliness of fit!

While their competitors apparently continue to market the same old ugly shoes in random sizes that has always made shopping for footwear a man’s worst nightmare (and a podiatrist’s dream), Jarman’s has found a truly innovative solution to this problem by coming up with a wide array of sizes that correctly match the wearer’s own feet.

This novel concept will undoubtedly revolutionize the men’s fashion industry and make for many miles of walking pleasure.

RUFUS THOMAS: I’ll Be A Good Boy
RUFUS THOMAS: I’m So Worried
JOHNNY OTIS (ft. THE ROBINS): The Turkey Hop
FLOYD DIXON: Gloomy Baby
FLOYD DIXON: Roamin’ Around
MR. GOOGLE EYES: Life Can Be A Hard Road To Travel
AL SEARS: Shake Hands
PROFESSOR LONGHAIR: Professor Longhair’s Boogie
BIG JOHN GREER: Rocking Jenny Jones
JEWEL KING: Broke My Mother’s Rule
CHA CHA HOGAN: My Baby Loves Me
CHA CHA HOGAN: My Walking Baby
JOE MORRIS: Wig Head Mama Blues
THE MAXIN TRIO: Ain’t That Fine
PAUL GAYTEN: Bellboy Boogie
JOHNNY OTIS (ft. DEVONIA WILLIAMS): I’m Not Falling In Love With You
PROFESSOR LONGHAIR: Mardi Gras In New Orleans
THE SHADOWS: I’d Rather Be Wrong Than Blue
THE SHADOWS: You Are Closer To My Heart (Than My Shadow)
T. J. FOWLER: Midnight Clipper (Pt. 1 & 2)
DAVE BARTHOLOMEW: That’s How You Got Killed Before
STICK McGHEE: Drank Up All The Wine Last Night
STICK McGHEE: Southern Menu
R. B. THIBADEAUX: R. B. Boogie
BILLY WRIGHT: Back Biting Woman
BILLY WRIGHT: Thinkin’ Blues
MADONNA MARTIN: Madonna’s Boogie
DOC SAUSAGE: Sausage Rock
DOC SAUSAGE: I’ve Been A Bad Boy
WYNONIE HARRIS: I Like My Baby’s Pudding
WYNONIE HARRIS: I Can’t Take It No More
RUTH BROWN: (I’ll Come Back) Someday
AMOS MILBURN: Walking Blues
LARRY DARNELL: Pack Your Rags And Go
EARL BOSTIC: Choppin’ It Down
EARL BOSTIC: No Name Blues
PEPPERMINT HARRIS: My Blues Have Rolled Away
JOHNNY OTIS (ft. REDD LYTE): Little Red Hen
JOHNNY OTIS (ft. REDD LYTE): Going To See My Baby
TODD RHODES: I’m Just A Fool In Love
TODD RHODES: Comin’ Home
ED WILEY: Cry, Cry Baby
ED WILEY: Blues After Blues