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Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

Tiki Central / General Tiki

Disappearing worlds

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This is very true of many things we may now take for granted. I try not to.

I have been saying to Kiliki for a while that we are living in the dying age of the 50's. Here in Knoxville, there used to be an AM/FM "oldies" station that played Sinatra, Dino, Perez, Alpert, etc. Then the FM was taken over by a pop station. Then we got a second AM station playing this stuff. And then the oldest AM station went to talk. Now we have one AM station playing what we think of as classic oldies. Denny, Baxter. They play some Manilow and Barbra too, but not so much.

Well, I am so glad to hear it because I know it's days are numbered. Not too many people under 50 listen to this station and the number of people over 50 gets smaller every day. What's "oldies" will very soon not be from the 50's, but the late 60's and 70's. The sounds of the 40s and 50s will disappear from current culture along with the people who remember WWII.

The googie will go away as decisions are made to either restore or tear down. Tearing down being the cheaper, easier option and land being valuable. That, and finding people who think it's nice to eat in an old diner rather than thinking it's just old and worn out.

The 50s culture we all love here is dissappearing in our generation. In a real short time, the people who lived when Googie and Polyensian pop were active will all be dead and so will their memories and knowledge, and so will all the places that may now cater to them.

You think it's hard to find this stuff now, in 10 years, it will be impossible.

So I listen to the oldies staion every day and try to seek out their advertisers and support them while I still can.

And I go to events and buy things and try to put as much money as I can into the event so that it can keep happening. Nobody is really making much money off this stuff. they do it because they like it and if they stop being supported, they won't bother any more.

So be awake and considerate. Don't take these Drive-Ins and diners and polynesain events for granted. Actively do what you can to make sure they will continue to be there year after year or they won't be. You can rest assured that if you take it for granted, it will go away, and afterwards you will regret it. We must be proactive. There is still this culture out there, but not for long without people like us who love things of another time.

Swanky is totally right. The powers that be (namely WalMart) tore down the legendary HiWay 39 Drive-In here in the County of Orange. I took my oldest daughter there 2 times before it was torn down. She was 5 at the time and I told her, as we sat in the bed of my truck on lounge chairs, cold beer in hand (mine that is), 'look around and burn this into your memory, as one day that's all it will be'

Although it is NOT Exotica, they will occasionally play a Denny or Baxter tune.

When in Cincinnati, I religiously listen to some public radio stations. I am into the big band / swing music - always have been.
I really enjoy the sounds, but the signal of these public radio stations are so weak that I have to be on top of them to hear 'em.

However, my point is, perhaps you are missing a public radio station in the area that may cater to "our types". I know that these stations WILL play something if you call and request it and they have it in their inventory.

One is on stream audio...perhaps worth a listen.

WMKV (Big Band Sounds) - http://wmkvfm.org/index_ii.html

WMUB (Various, from Big Band to Bluegrass)

WOUB (Heard some swing but can't get often) -

But the greatest thing about these (especially WMKV) is the no commericals!

Good luck in Knoxville. I know you've probably looked, but figured it was worth telling you about none-the-less.


Buildings are not typically considered for landmark status until they are about 50 years old. Extant mid-century structures are are now reaching that age. In here in L.A. we have a very aggressive Conservancy that keeps an eye out for endangered buildings and proactively seek to gain protected status for them and fight anyone who tries to tear them down - sometimes they win, too. This gives me hope!
As to lost "standards radio", we used to have such a station at 570 AM until it went to sports. Thank God for the internet.

Hey Swanky, I am so glad that you posted this topic because I was just hangin in your Swank Pad today at live365.com and I was looking for an opportunity to thank you for your great internet radio station, and didn't want to post off-topic. I actually got to hear your voice - nice touch. You're my hero. You put your effort where your mouth is and fill the gap left by traditional radio.

You also turned me on to Ursula 1000. I want to get one of their albums. Which one do you recommend?


Its any consolation, I'm having a house built right now that I designed to look as 50's ranch/modern as possible (within the new building codes) and I'm 31. I definitely agree that we are rapidly losing the wonderful googie architecture around us.. however, there are some of us out there that are of the new generation that still love (and demand) modernism in our lives. My builder thinks I'm nuts and has to run every detail by me before I will let them do anything, and the lighting dealer hates me because i barely bought any lights from him, opting to go with vintage fixtures and repros instead.

The house won't be a real 50's house, but it should be sleek and cool and just born in 2002!


There is a new thing going on in on-air radio, and it's happening here in Knoxville. Community radio. You can get an FM station that has a very low output and not butt heads with the pros. So Kiliki and I are looking into a regular DJ spot. But that does not replace the "real deal" that's going away. DJs who grew up with the music and know the history.

On the extinct AM oldies station here, they did a weekly live show called Eddie Arnold Then and Now. And it was 2 talented guys talking about the Man and telling stories. You can't get that. I can't deliver that.

I love lounge and I made my station to promote it. Everyone should do what they can.

I too took my daughter to one of two(!) Drive-in theaters here. SHE LOVED IT! And so did I. They are doing decently. Still open.

I just want people to realize what people like Otto and Baby Doe and others are doing. Sure, we all have fun, but that fun is totally dependant on these people putting up with the crap and taking the time to do it FOR NOTHING BUT THE LOVE OF IT! You go for the love of it too. If you want the events and the diners and anything else to remain, do all you can and don't take it for granted.

We are neck deep in Hukilau right now. We have met some awesome people who are working with us. If we tried to make money on it, we might pull together enough to pay for our hotel rooms in Atlanta. Maybe. Fun? Yes. We hope everyone has fun. But we will be at the site early helping everyone set up, then shower and change and come back and keep things going smooth then be there late breaking down. Not complaining here. People in bands know the routine. I am just realizing even more what I owe people who play the music I like and put on the great events I attend. ((((big hugs)))

In the small sub-culture we inhabit, we're makin' it and spendin' it. Folks like Shag are the exception. Don't begrudge a guy making a little money. It could end next year and the tiki carver selling a bunch at $500 a pop could go to selling one a year. The 50s diner you love to look at but eat at once a year could be bulldozed for a new parking lot.

So give and receive or you won't have the chance to receive in the future.

(Thanks for listening!)


I think "All Systems Are Go-Go" is what I like. I see there is a new one. I need to look into that.


I saw a picture of the cover of the new one and it appears to be by Shag!

Aaaah, just witnessed one of those threatened-to-dissappear worlds again:

After almost half a year on hiatus, 70-something Gerrie Pedrini and her Cocktail Drums is back again at Miceli's in Hollywood, performing her "International Evening" program every second Wednesday of each month.

This has to be experienced to be appreciated. Get a table close to her, and don't go with chatty friends, and you will be drawn into her swinging magic...

We could plan a Tiki Central gathering next month to see her show.


Something Kiliki and I have half-assed until now tried to do is take pictures. We can at least get that document of all the signs and buildings that are still standing in various states around our city and where ever we go.

Then one day you drive by where the great old skating rink sign was and it's all leveled and you can atleast have the pictures.

Roadsidepeek.com has a lot of stuff, but it could be bigger, and have a little more detail. We have a number of pictures we need to finish scanning and put up on the web site. Time. Time. We need more free hours in the day!

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