Author: Jon Ponder (page 2 of 14)

Sunset Strip’s Crosby Building – Where Videotape Recording Was Invented – Nominated for Historic Status

From my article at “The California State Historical Resources Commission voted this week to nominate the Bing Crosby Building in West Hollywood for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. The vote at the commission’s May 17 meeting was unanimous among the seven members present.”

Here’s more from the article:

From 1936 to 1977 the building, which is at 9026 Sunset Blvd., was the headquarters for businesses operated by Bing Crosby, one of the 20th century’s most popular singers and movie stars.

During that time, two groundbreaking technologies were developed in the building. In the late 1940s, engineers employed by Crosby perfected audiotape recording for commercial use. A few years later they invented a game-changing technology: videotape recording. These innovations revolutionized the music, film and broadcasting industries in the latter half of the century.

READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE: WeHo’s Bing Crosby Building Nominated for National Historic Register

Review: ‘Tales from the Strip’ an Entertaining Romp Through Sunset Strip History

Check out my review at of Tales from the Strip: A Century in the Fast Lane, written by Van Gordon Sauter. Here’s an excerpt:

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USPS Issues Stamp Honoring Lena Horne, Who Got Her Big Break on the Sunset Strip

Along with Sammy Davis Jr. and Guns ‘N Roses, Lena Horne is one of the big acts who was discovered on the Sunset Strip. This month she’s being honored with a postal stamp as part of the postal services annual Black Heritage program. Check out my article on Lena and her discovery in a Sunset Strip nightclub at Here’s an excerpt:

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Round about Hollywood

A British production from 1931.

Film Clip from ‘Casablanca’: Ilsa Asks Sam to Play ‘As Time Goes By’

“Casablanca” was filmed while Humphrey Bogart lived above the Sunset Strip, at the corner of Shoreham Drive and Horn Avenue.

November 2016: 50th Anniversary of the Sunset Strip Riots

Los Angeles Times, 2005:

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Go Inside Cafe Trocadero on the Strip in the Early Thirties

Cafe Trocadero as it appeared not long after it opened in 1934

Cafe Trocadero as it appeared not long after it opened in 1934

From former Los Angeles Times columnist Cecilia Rasmussen, here’s a description of the genesis of Cafe Trocadero, published on Dec. 7, 1997:

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Sunset Strip 1950, Looking East Near Sweetzer

From the Los Angeles Public Library:

“Cars travel in both directions on Sunset Boulevard, at Sweetzer Avenue, in what is now West Hollywood. Seen are homes in the Hollywood Hills, Foster and Kleiser billboards for Grant’s whiskey and Ford automobiles, and a glimpse of the Chateau Marmont (right). Photograph dated March 14, 1950.”

Here’s a view of the same area, around the same time, taken from the roof of the Sunset Tower Apartments.

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Lovely Tribute Video to Barbara Payton, ‘Queen of the Nightclubs’ on the Sunset Strip

From John O’Dowd, author of the great bio of Barbara Payton, “Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye“:

Barbara Payton reached the pinnacle of Hollywood in 1950. Blonde and beautiful, her libido was robust, her taste ribald; her lovers formed a who’s who of Hollywood leading men from Bob Hope, George Raft, Gary Cooper, Gregory Peck, Guy Madison to Tarzan — with dozens and dozens of lesser lights in between. The tabloids feasted on her liaisons. When she flouted Hollywood’s code by taking on a black lover in 1955, her career was over at age 27. She went from making $10,000 a week at Warner Brothers to utter destitution and ruin, turning tricks for $5 on Sunset Strip.

Gene Roddenberry’s Curious Inspiration for Mr. Spock: LAPD Chief William Parker

The death of Leonard Nimoy last week was one of those rare losses to the culture that cuts across generations. As Mr. Spock, the ultra-rational, half-human, half-alien character he portrayed on “Star Trek,” Nimoy was instantly recognizable to sci-fi fans of all ages, from wizened old Boomers to hipster millenials — like the crowd who paused for a moment of silence at the Long Beach Comic Expo on Saturday, all of them giving Spock’s trademark Vulcan salute, to honor the passing of the 83-year-old actor.

While Nimoy personified Spock, the character was the invention of Gene Roddenberry, the creative genius behind “Star Trek,” a bold and imaginative wild-West adventure series set in the far reaches of the galaxies — “where no man had gone before” — that premiered in 1966, three years before the first man, Neil Armstrong, had stepped foot on the moon.

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