Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
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2019 February 01 • Friday

The weather app assured us that it would feel like 1 degree Fahrenheit outside even though the actual temperature was around 10.

We never need much encouragement to stay inside but this was an overwhelming amount.

And so we settled into our rocking chair and flipped through the November 1954 issue of Esquire magazine while sipping some bourbon.

Bourbon turned out to be exactly right, and not just for the usual reasons. There were ads for fourteen different whiskies or bourbons in this magazine, along with ads for fourteen other kinds of alcohol: various liqueurs and cordials, gin, brandy, cognac, rum, sherry and vermouth, even an ad for angostura bitters.

Another trend in advertising was the movie tie-in ad. Despite having seen Rear Window numerous times, probably even as many as ten times, we had never given much thought to Wendell Corey's shirts in that movie. In fact, perhaps since it's been several years since our last Rear Window viewing, Wendell Corey's entire presence in the film had slipped our mind. This is just one difference between 2019 and 1954, no doubt.

His ring is more interesting than the shirt, though the shirt isn't bad.

It's not just movies, either. When I saw this ad for pajamas that dragged in one of the stars of The Pajama Game, I assumed it was the movie. But that movie wouldn't come out until 1957 and the ad was relying on readers' familiarity with the Broadway musical, which opened in 1954.

And a classy mag like this even acknowledges the existence of opera!

The copy tells us that the woman in the picture is "lovely Metropolitan Opera soprano" Patrice Munsel. About the men who are boring to look at she is quoted as saying, "A little less monotony and a little more imagination in their choice of clothes would certainly make a big difference".

Some of us have been wearing the same black sweatpants and black shirt for the last three days...