Webber and friend go for a dip—in the style of their dresses.
On the cover of Looks Like Fun!, a Café Society Series album by comedian Cliff Ferré, both models have decided to test the far limits of 1956 fashion with their dresses. Diane Webber, on the right, gets all Vikki Dougan with her asscrack, while her unidentified friend goes the more conventional route with a neckline that plunges so far it becomes a navel line. Not that we're complaining. The only thing we're unhappy about is not being able to name the model on the left. She's the same person as in this Technicolor lithograph, and we know that the photo was made by Tom Kelley. Beyond that we got nada. We would love to know who she is because we have her on three more lithographs we're reluctant to share without info.
As far as the content of the record goes, what you get is a collection of comical musical pieces. Sample titles: “A Cocky Cowboy” and “Fifi's Got the Biggest One in France.” Yeah. It's really bad. But you don't have to take our word for it—if you're the courageous type you can have a listen here. At least the platter is made from red vinyl, as you see at right. That's almost worth the purchase price. Almost. If you have any ideas on the unidentified model please drop us a line at the usual place: firstname.lastname@example.org.
There's nothing standard about this model.
This 1953 wall calendar from the Standard Parts Co. of Memphis, Tennessee features a lovely painting from famed pin-up artist Bill Medcalf. While it looks as if the painting featuring a golfer with a perfect follow through has been pinned to a sunny wall for ages and the colors faded as a result—an assumption seemingly confirmed by looking at Medcalf's original lithograph at right—the image isn't actually faded. A glance at the orange border, which is as vibrant as something harvested by Sunkist, proves it. The makers simply decided for stylistic reasons to go with a monochromatic sepia for the color. Why? We don't know. Maybe because golf is an exercise in serial failure that sucks all the vitality out of you.
The real bonus with this piece, though, comes when you flip it over. There on the other side of the Standard Parts calendar is none other than anything-but-standard model Diane Webber, aka Marguerite Empey, who was America's most famous nudist from the mid-century period. She's popped up on our site several times, usually in rare treasures we've had the pleasure of putting online for the first time, like here, here, and especially here. We're happy to add another find to the collection, and we'll have more from her a bit later.
Delivering thrills all year round.
Stan Borack painted the cover of this issue of Male from January 1958, and the interior art comes from Samson Pollen, Bob Schultz, John Leone, James Bama, Bob Stanley, John Kuller, and Tom Ryan. Not a slouch in the bunch. The magazine contains a preview of Shane author Jack Schaefer’s novel Company of Cowards, the Civil War tale of a group of Union officers who have all been busted down to the rank of private, but who are formed into a special unit and given a chance to earn back their honor. That chance takes them into Comanche country where they face an assortment of deadly challenges.
Also in this issue you get famed model Diane Webber/Marguerite Empey—who we’ve been seeing a lot of recently—doing a nice photo feature and complaining that since being elected Queen of the Nudists by a national sunbathing association all anyone wants to talk about is her naked lifestyle. But we think that’s just the editors trying to come up with an angle for the text. Webber was an official advocate of nudist lifestyle and even promoted her special brand of spiritual nudism in television interviews, so we doubt she was fed up with it at this point. The photos were shot by Russ Meyer, and we’re pretty sure they’ve never been on the internet before, which is always a fun moment for us. Please enjoy. Twenty scans below.
I don’t care what kind of bathing suit you paint—just make her look hot.
We’re guessing some underpaid artist was tasked with painting a bikini atop Diane Webber’s nude body, and after the acid kicked in he produced this concept that looks like all her naughty bits are on fire. Luckily it’s just an acetate overlay, and you lift the top layer to get original Webber in her altogether, at right. If it looks familiar that's because we showed you this exact print in August without the overlay as an A. Scheer pin-up, and as part of a drive-in calendar. So we've pretty much milked this image for all it's worth. We’ve also shown you a few other overlays, for instance here and here, and noted that we think the practice began with the déshabillables of the French magazine Paris-Hollywood. All those other examples are nice, but for pure weirdness this one wins.
This is the second time a warm front like this has passed through.
You may be thinking we already showed you this Diane Webber Technicolor lithograph, but nope. While it is almost identical at first glance, and Webber is even posing for the same company—A. Scheer—it's a completely different photo shot in a different place at a different time. Don't believe us? Compare and contrast here.
Diane Webber brings a bit of warmth to winter in Baltimore.
Today’s Technicolor lithograph features a recognizable figure for once—the much adored Diane Webber, a California born model, dancer, and actress who was also known as Marguerite Empey and became one of the most important fixtures of the 1950s and 1960s nudist magazine scene. You can see a few examples of those here. Webber was also a two-time Playboy centerfold under her Empey persona, in May 1955 and February 1956. We’ve mentioned before that the blank spaces at the tops of these Technicolor prints were made for the insertion of advertising, and at right you see how that worked with a calendar for a Baltimore, Maryland establishment called Stanley’s Drive-In. The original image came from the A. Scheer Company, was called Exclusively Yours, and appeared in 1955. The calendar came out in the winter of 1958.
Be careful about looking for cheap thrills—you might just find them.
This issue of Adam magazine with its nice cover art illustrating Arthur J Bryant’s story “Hey-Day in Hong Kong” appeared this month in 1971. Bryant’s story, which has a convincing sense of firsthand realism, is about an Aussie traveler searching Hong Kong’s red light district for a “yum-yum girl” but ends up attacked by three thugs. Turns out the hooker employs the toughs because she wants any man who purchases her services to prove he’s deserving of her gifts by fighting for her. You haven’t really had sex unless you’ve done it after being punched in the ribs and eye. Try it sometime.
Elsewhere inside you get more fiction, a bit of fact, plus the usual assortment of humor and models, including, notably, nudist icon Diane Webber, aka Marguerite Empey. The cover art for Adam was painted by Jack Waugh and Phil Belbin. The pieces are always unsigned, but we’re thinking this is Belbin’s work. Don’t quote us on it, though. Both Belbin and Waugh have departed this world, and we doubt there’s an Adam archive somewhere definitively crediting the covers. Anyway, we have thirty-four scans below and so many other issues of this magazine tucked away in the website it’s silly. If you want to see them just click here.
We’re gonna need a bigger tub.
After two weeks of unknowns, we’re back to a face we recognize on this installment of the Good Time Weekly Calendar of 1963. She’s none other than Diane Webber, aka Marguerite Empey, one of the most popular nudist models of the 1960s, photographed by Peter Chiodo. We say “nudist” rather than nude because she specialized in posing for sun worshipper publications, of which we posted a rather entertaining collection here way back in 2008. Below are the usual transcriptions of daily quips from the calendar. And like always, some of them are nonsensical to us. For instance, did people really call women "turnpikes" back then? And what the hell is Jackie Gleason on about? No idea. But we’ll keep sharing these little quotations anyway on the off chance you get a chuckle out of them.
March 31: “Man to man: Planting gardens is strictly for the birds.”—He-who Who-he
April 1: “April Fool. Our favorite Biblical truth for today is: Do one to others as others do one to you.”—Art Linkletter
April 2: Tranquilizers in April are sold to help decide the line between straight income or capital gain.
April 3: Women’s hair rinse: Wash-and-wear.
April 4: “Don’t call any woman a turnpike unless it’s absolutely true—not a curve in sight.”—He-who Who-he
April 5: “Remember the good old days? The ‘cold war’ was only a fight between you and the janitor.”—Jackie Gleason
April 6: The twist is not possible in Russia because too much is already twisted there.
August 1960 calendar shot of Diane Webber, whose specialization in nudist and health publications made her one of the most photographed models of the sixties.
Don’t look too closely or you might spot your grandmother.
International nudist magazines promoted group nakedness as fun, healthy, and innocent—and even an unavoidable next step in human social evolution. If someone raised their eyebrows at your Campus Jaybird, it just proved they weren’t ready to be free, man. At least you knew better than to invite them on your next nude biking trip. Nudist magazines proliferated throughout the 50s and 60s, and remained popular into the 1970s. The Nudist Idea and American Nudist Leader, both below, feature covers with Diane Webber, aka Marguerite Empey, a former Playboy centerfold who remains one of the most renowned nude models of all time. Also putting in an appearance is Virginia Gordon, another Playboy model, seen on the cover of Paradise. Though the international nudist movement still exists, it is possibly less accepted than fifty years ago. We’re too young here to know for sure, so you’ll just have to ask your grandma about that. What we do know is you’ll be seeing more of these covers from us.
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
1961—Plane Carrying Nuclear Bombs Crashes
A B-52 Stratofortress carrying two H-bombs experiences trouble during a refueling operation, and in the midst of an emergency descent breaks up in mid-air over Goldsboro, North Carolina. Five of the six arming devices on one of the bombs somehow activate before it lands via parachute in a wooded region where it is later recovered. The other bomb does not deploy its chute and crashes into muddy ground at 700 mph, disintegrating while driving its radioactive core fifty feet into the earth, where it remains to this day.
1912—International Opium Convention Signed
The International Opium Convention is signed at The Hague, Netherlands, and is the first international drug control treaty. The agreement was signed by Germany, the U.S., China, France, the UK, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Persia, Portugal, Russia, and Siam.
1946—CIA Forerunner Created
U.S. president Harry S. Truman establishes the Central Intelligence Group or CIG, an interim authority that lasts until the Central Intelligence Agency is established in September of 1947.
1957—George Metesky Is Arrested
The New York City "Mad Bomber," a man named George P. Metesky, is arrested in Waterbury, Connecticut and charged with planting more than 30 bombs. Metesky was angry about events surrounding a workplace injury suffered years earlier. Of the thirty-three known bombs he planted, twenty-two exploded, injuring fifteen people. He was apprehended based on an early use of offender profiling and because of clues given in letters he wrote to a newspaper. At trial he was found legally insane and committed to a state mental hospital.
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