Tag: magazine covers

All About Redbook Magazine

Redbook, July 1926 Cover

Redbook is an American women’s magazine published by the Hearst Corporation. It is one of the “Seven Sisters”, a group of women’s service magazines.

The magazine was first published in May 1903 as The Red Book Illustrated by Stumer, Rosenthal and Eckstein, a firm of Chicago retail merchants. The name was changed to The Red Book Magazine shortly thereafter. Its first editor, from 1903 to 1906, was Trumbull White, who wrote that the name was appropriate because, “Red is the color of cheerfulness, of brightness, of gayety.” In its early years, the magazine published short fiction by well-known authors, including many women writers, along with photographs of popular actresses and other women of note. Within two years the magazine was a success, climbing to a circulation of 300,000.

When White left to edit Appleton’s Magazine, he was replaced by Karl Edwin Harriman, who edited The Red Book Magazine and its sister publications The Blue Book and The Green Book until 1912. Under Harriman the magazine was promoted as “the largest illustrated fiction magazine in the world” and increased its price from 10 cents to 15 cents.

Redbook, June 1929 Cover

According to Endres and Lueck (p. 299), “Red Book was trying to convey the message that it offered something for everyone, and, indeed, it did… There was short fiction by talented writers such as Jack London, Sinclair Lewis, Edith Wharton and Hamlin Garland. Stories were about love, crime, mystery, politics, animals, adventure and history (especially the Old West and the Civil War).”

Harriman was succeeded by Ray Long. When Long went on to edit Hearst’s Cosmopolitan in January 1918, Harriman returned as editor, bringing such coups as a series of Tarzan stories by Edgar Rice Burroughs. During this period the cover price was raised to 25 cents.

In 1927, Edwin Balmer, a short-story writer who had written for the magazine, took over as editor; in the summer of 1929 the magazine was bought by McCall Corporation, which changed the name to Redbook but kept Balmer on as editor. He published stories by such writers as Booth Tarkington and F. Scott Fitzgerald, nonfiction pieces by women such as Shirley Temple’s mother and Eleanor Roosevelt, and articles on the Wall Street Crash of 1929 by men like Cornelius Vanderbilt and Eddie Cantor, as well as a complete novel in each issue. Dashiell Hammett’s The Thin Man was published in Redbook. Balmer made it a general-interest magazine for both men and women.

Redbook, February 1928 Cover

Radio Broadcastings

On May 26, 1932, the publisher launched its own radio series, Redbook Magazine Radio Dramas, syndicated dramatizations of stories from the magazine. Stories were selected by Balmer, who also served as the program’s host.

Circulation hit a million in 1937, and success continued until the late 1940s, when the rise of television began to drain readers and the magazine lost touch with its demographic. In 1948 it lost $400,000 (equivalent to $3.94 million today), and the next year Balmer was replaced by Wade Hampton Nichols, who had edited various movie magazines. Phillips Wyman took over as publisher.

Nichols decided to concentrate on “young adults” between 18 and 34 and turned the magazine around. By 1950 circulation reached two million, and the following year the cover price was raised to 35 cents. It published articles on racial prejudice, the dangers of nuclear weapons, and the damage caused by McCarthyism, among other topics. In 1954, Redbook received the Benjamin Franklin Award for public service.

Redbook I, May 1935 Cover

The next year, as the magazine was beginning to steer towards a female audience, Wyman died, and in 1958 Nichols left to edit Good Housekeeping. The new editor was Robert Stein, who continued the focus on women and featured authors such as Dr. Benjamin Spock and Margaret Mead. In 1965 he was replaced by Sey Chassler, during whose 17-year tenure circulation increased to nearly five million and the magazine earned a number of awards, including two National Magazine Awards for fiction.

His New York Times obituary says, “A strong advocate for women’s rights, Mr. Chassler started an unusual effort in 1976 that led to the simultaneous publication of articles about the proposed equal rights amendment in 36 women’s magazines. He did it again three years later with 33 magazines.” He retired in 1981 and was replaced by Anne Mollegen Smith, the first woman editor, who had been with the magazine since 1967, serving as fiction editor and managing editor.

Norton Simon Inc., which had purchased the McCall Corporation, sold Redbook to the Charter Company in 1975. In 1982, Charter sold the magazine to the Hearst Corporation, and in April 1983 Smith was fired and replaced by Annette Capone, who “de-emphasized the traditional fiction, featured more celebrity covers, and gave a lot of coverage to exercise, fitness, and nutrition.

The main focus was on the young woman who was balancing family, home, and career.” (Endres and Lueck, p. 305) After Ellen R. Levine took over as editor in 1991, even less fiction was published, and the focus was on the young mother. Levine said, “We couldn’t be the magazine we wanted to be with such a big audience, you have to lose your older readers. We did it the minute I walked in the door. It was part of the deal.”

Levine moved to Good Housekeeping in 1994, being replaced by McCall’s Kate White, who left for Cosmopolitan four years later. Succeeding editors were Lesley Jane Seymour (1998-2001), Ellen Kunes (2001-2004), and Stacy Morrison (2004-2010).

Tags : , , , , ,

Popular Culture: Discovering the Teenagers

Popular Culture: Discovering the Teenagers

Until 1950 the term teenagers had never before been coined. The word “teenage” had first appeared in the popular press in the 1920s, but the idea that there was a time of life between childhood and adulthood that could be isolated, and that had its own peculiar characteristics, belongs largely to the 1950s. Children were known as girls and boys were known as youths once they displayed signs of puberty. Then young people were grown up at 18 and fully adult legally at 21 when they often married and set up a home of their own, even if it was a rented room.

The long-established belief had been that people remained children until they suddenly became adults; this conviction lost its hold partly because of social changes, partly as a result of the flourishing postwar consumer economy.

What has been called the “self-conscious subculture” of the young developed during the 1920s and 1930s as a largely urban white middle-class response to the increasing leisure opportunities afforded by changing social attitudes. After World War II the extra years spent in education both broadened the base of the group and gave it a clearer sense of identity. The economy started booming and families experienced a great deal of economic power freedom and independence, including teenagers.

At the same time, teenagers in work (many of them working-class) found that increases in spending power and in leisure time enabled them to move to a position where they could both assert their independenee and be courted by leading representatives of entrepreneurial America. Ironically, while teenagers were more open than ever before to market influences, they were frequently hostile to the adult culture of which the market was a part.

Teenagers were also becoming more independent in the type of music they preferred to listen to, no more listening to what their parents liked, teens flocked to the new music of the decade, which was rock and roll. Even though teens were able to purchase rock and roll records because they were receiving extra spending money, their parents were opposed to rock and roll music, they despised it, and thought of it as corrupting their children.

Related Links

Continue Reading at Popular Culture
View More Popular Culture Articles

Tags : , , , , , ,

Clark Gable Hollywood Magazine Cover 1930’s

Clark Gable Hollywood Magazine Cover 1930's

William Clark Gable was born on February 1, 1901 in Cadiz, Ohio. Later that year his mother died, and his father sent him to live with his maternal aunt and uncle in Pennsylvania, where he stayed until he was two. His father then returned to take him back to Cadiz. When Clark was 16 he dropped out of school and worked at many odd jobs before joining a traveling theater company.

On December 13, 1924 he married Josephine Dillon, his acting coach and 15 years his senior. Around that time, they moved to Hollywood so that Clark could concentrate on his acting career. In April 1930, they divorced and a year later he married Maria Langham (a.k.a. Maria Franklin Gable), also about 17 years older than him. After working as an extra in various movies, he was offered a small part in the The Painted Desert (1931) in 1931.

From this point, his acting career flourished, and in 1934 he won an Academy Award for his performance in Frank Capra’s classic It Happened One Night (1934). The next year saw a starring role in The Call of the Wild (1935) with Loretta Young, with whom he had an affair (resulting in the birth of a daughter, Judy Lewis). Divorced in 1939, he later that same year starred in Gone with the Wind (1939).

In March 1939 Clark married Carole Lombard, but tragedy struck in January 1942 when the plane in which Carole and her mother were flying crashed into Table Rock Mountain, Nevada, killing them both. Clark then volunteered to be drafted and served in Europe for several years. After the war he continued with his film career and married Silvia Ashley, the widow of Douglas Fairbanks, in 1949. Unfortunately this marriage was short-lived and they divorced in 1952.

In July 1955 he married a former sweetheart, Kathleen Williams Spreckles (a.k.a. Kay Williams) and became stepfather to her two children, Joan and Adolph (“Bunker”) Spreckels III. On November 16, 1959, Gable became a grandfather when Judy Lewis, his daughter with Loretta Young, gave birth to a daughter, Maria. In 1960, Gable’s wife Kay discovered that she was expecting their first child. In early November 1960, he had just completed filming The Misfits (1961), when he suffered a heart attack, and died later that month.

Gable was buried shortly afterwards in the shrine that he had built for Carole Lombard and her mother when they died. In March 1961, Kay Gable gave birth to a boy whom she named John Clark Gable after his father.

Tags : , , , , , , ,

Katharine Hepburn, Modern Screen Magazine Cover

Katharine Hepburn, Modern Screen Magazine Cover

Born May 12, 1907 in Hartford, Connecticut, she was the daughter of a doctor and a suffragette, both of whom always encouraged her to speak her mind, develop it fully, and exercise her body to its full potential. An athletic tomboy as a child, she was also very close to her brother, Tom, and was devastated at age 14 to find him dead, the apparent result of accidentally hanging himself while practicing a hanging trick their father had taught them.

For many years after this, Katharine used his birthdate, November 8, as her own. She then became very shy around girls her age, and was largely schooled at home. She did attend Bryn Mawr College, however, and it was here that she decided to become an actress, appearing in many of their productions.

After graduating, she began getting small roles in plays on Broadway and elsewhere. She always attracted attention in these parts, especially for her role in “Art and Mrs. Bottle” (1931); then, she finally broke into stardom when she took the starring role of the Amazon princess Antiope in “A Warrior’s Husband” (1932).

The inevitable film offers followed, and after making a few screen tests, she was cast in A Bill of Divorcement (1932), opposite John Barrymore. The film was a hit, and after agreeing to her salary demands, RKO signed her to a contract. She made five films between 1932 and 1934. For her third, Morning Glory (1933) she won her first Academy Award. Her fourth, Little Women (1933) was the most successful picture of its day.

But stories were beginning to leak out of her haughty behavior off- screen and her refusal to play the Hollywood Game, always wearing slacks and no makeup, never posing for pictures or giving interviews. Audiences were shocked at her unconventional behavior instead of applauding it, and so when she returned to Broadway in 1934 to star in “The Lake”, the critics panned her and the audiences, who at first bought up tickets, soon deserted her.

When she returned to Hollywood, things didn’t get much better. From the period 1935-1938, she had only two hits: Alice Adams (1935), which brought her her second Oscar nomination, and Stage Door (1937); the many flops included Break of Hearts (1935), Sylvia Scarlett (1935), Mary of Scotland (1936), Quality Street (1937) and the now- classic Bringing Up Baby (1938).

With so many flops, she came to be labeled “box-office poison.” She decided to go back to Broadway to star in “The Philadelphia Story” (1938), and was rewarded with a smash. She quickly bought the film rights, and so was able to negotiate her way back to Hollywood on her own terms, including her choice of director and co-stars.

The film version of The Philadelphia Story (1940), was a box-office hit, and Hepburn, who won her third Oscar nomination for the film, was bankable again. For her next film, Woman of the Year (1942), she was paired with Spencer Tracy, and the chemistry between them lasted for eight more films, spanning the course of 25 years, and a romance that lasted that long off-screen. (She received her fourth Oscar nomination for the film.) Their films included the very successful Adam’s Rib (1949), Pat and Mike (1952), and Desk Set (1957).

With The African Queen (1951), Hepburn moved into middle-aged spinster roles, receiving her fifth Oscar nomination for the film. She played more of these types of roles throughout the 50s, and won more Oscar nominations for many of them, including her roles in Summertime (1955), The Rainmaker (1956) and Suddenly, Last Summer (1959).

Her film roles became fewer and farther between in the 60s, as she devoted her time to her ailing partner Spencer Tracy. For one of her film appearances in this decade, in Long Day’s Journey Into Night (1962), she received her ninth Oscar nomination. After a five-year absence from films, she then made Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967), her last film with Tracy and the last film Tracy ever made; he died just weeks after finishing it. It garnered Hepburn her tenth Oscar nomination and her second win. The next year, she did The Lion in Winter (1968), which brought her her eleventh Oscar nomination and third win.

In the 70s, she turned to making made-for-TV films, with The Glass Menagerie (1973) (TV), Love Among the Ruins (1975) (TV) and The Corn Is Green (1979) (TV). She still continued to make an occasional appearance in feature films, such as Rooster Cogburn (1975), with John Wayne, and On Golden Pond (1981), with Henry Fonda. This last brought her her twelfth Oscar nomination and fourth win – the latter currently still a record for an actress.

She made more TV-films in the 80s, and wrote her autobiography, ‘Me’, in 1991. Her last feature film was Love Affair (1994), with Warren Beatty and Annette Bening, and her last TV- film was One Christmas (1994) (TV). With her health declining she retired from public life in the mid-nineties. She died at the age of 96 at her home in Old Saybrook, Connecticut.

Tags : , , , , , , ,

Popular Culture: The Rise of Hollywood

Popular Culture: The Rise of Hollywood

The rise of Hollywood signaled the arrival of America’s urban-industrial age, a period when traditional values and established notions of family and community, of the social and political order, and of individual freedom and initiative were radically transformed. Hollywood movies were among the first and were certainly the most widespread and accessible manifestations of an emergent “mass culture” which brought with it new forms of cultural expression.

Businessmen began to realize the financial potential for movies. While movies were first shown as part of other forms of entertainment, they soon became the featured attraction themselves. By 1905 the first nickelodeon had opened in Pittsburgh, where customers each paid a nickel to see a full program of a half dozen short films. The opening of theaters completed the elements necessary for an industry: product, technology, producer, purchaser, and distributor. As the United States became an increasingly child-centered culture, concern grew about the moral effects of popular culture on the young.

This was not simply a matter of its content: many educationalists shared philosopher Charles Horton Coolef’s disquiet about its “expressive” function in stimulating emotions. The “rapid and multitudinous flow of personal images, sentiments, and impulses”, he feared, produced “an overexcitation which weakens or breaks down character”.

One man who learned his trade from Griffith was Mack Sennett. Sennett worked for Griffith for a few years as a director and writer, but his interests were more in comedy than in melodrama. In 1912 he broke away and began to work for an independent company, Keystone. Here he learned to merge the methods of stage slapstick comedy with the techniques of film; the results were the Keystone Cops, Ben Turpin, and Charlie Chaplin. Sennett’s films used only the barest plot outline as a frame for comic gags that were improvised and shot quickly.

From the Sennett method, Charlie Chaplin developed his own technique and character. He began making shorts under the direction of Sennett, but in 1915 he left and joined with Essenay which agreed to let him write and direct his own films at an unprecedented salary. Here he fleshed out his tramp character; one of his first films for Essenay was The Tramp (1915). He continued making films that combined his own comic sense and acrobatic movements with social commentary and along with Mary Pickford became one of the first “stars.”

Later he made features, such as The Gold Rush (1925) and Modern Times (1936). Sennett and Chaplin began a period of great film comedy. Buster Keaton combined a deadpan look with remarkable physical ability and timing. He too began making shorts, but soon was directing and starring in features, such as The General (1926). Harold Lloyd ( The Freshman, 1925) and Harry Langdon ( The Strong Man, 1926) also created comic characters that demonstrated their individuality and imagination.

Related Links

Continue Reading
View More Popular Culture Articles

Tags : , , , , ,

The Sweetest Thing Rolling Stone Cover

The Sweetest Thing Rolling Stone Cover

The Sweetest Thing is a 2002 American film farce directed by Roger Kumble and written by Nancy Pimental, who based the characters on herself and friend Kate Walsh. It starred Cameron Diaz, Selma Blair, Christina Applegate, Thomas Jane, and Jason Bateman.

Christina Walters and Courtney Rockcliffe, all-around party girls, attempt to ease their roommate Jane Burns’ relationship-induced depression by taking her on a girls’ night out. During that evening Christina meets Peter Donahue (Thomas Jane) and falls for him. Peter is preparing to get married, though she and Courtney mistakenly believe it is Peter’s brother (Jason Bateman) who is going to walk down the aisle.

Courtney decides to help her friend re-connect with Peter, and the two embark on a hazard-prone trip from San Francisco to Somerset, where the wedding is scheduled. Christina’s hopes are dashed, however, when the girls arrive at the church only to discover that Peter is the groom. Nevertheless, Peter’s wedding soon falls apart when both he and his bride (Parker Posey) confess to each other at the altar that while they love each other, they’re not “in love” and marriage just isn’t the right step.

A few months go by, and Christina still laments her missed opportunity with Peter, while both Courtney and Jane have each found new relationships of their own. After a night of clubbing, the girls come home to find Peter curled-up and asleep on the doorstep. He tells Christina that the marriage didn’t go through, and after an awkward start, the two begin a relationship that culminates in marriage.

The Sweetest Thing – 2002

Directed by: Roger Kumble
Starring: Cameron Diaz, Christina Applegate, Selma Blair, Thomas Jane, Jason Bateman
Screenplay by: Nancy Pimental
Studio: Columbia Pictures
Release Date: April 12, 2002
Box Office: $68,696,770 (US Domestic)

Tags : , , , , , , ,