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“VETERAN MODEL’S AGENT: WILLIAM ADRIAN” ON NPR

NPR Logo“A couple of years ago, after one of my retro slide shows, this guy came up to me with a copy of one of my books, “Southern California in the ’50s”. It was opened up to the Los Angeles county fair page. He points to this 1955 photo of a dozen bathing suit-clad fair queens perfectly posed in a row on their backs with their legs up in the air and this guy standing behind them. He says, do you know who this guy is? He’s Bill Adrian; he’s the world’s oldest modeling agent, and you have just got to meet him.”

Click here and listen to Charles Phoenix discover the real history and a real person behind one of his many photos.


“THE BIDS GO ON AT CHER MEMORABILIA AUCTION” ON NPR

NPR Logo“The costumes are all pure Sonny and Cher, and Cher, and all that — by Bob Mackie, of course. Then all this Goth furniture, and some of it’s not so Goth. It’s kind of a combination between Goth and out-of-control Liberace, maybe a little? I mean, don’t tell Cher I said that.”

Hear the full story here on NPR.


“CLIFTON’S CAFETERIA, SERVING KITSCH SINCE 1935” ON NPR

NPR Logo“Clifton’s Cafeteria is authentic Los Angeles. It is at the corner of Seventh and Broadway. Clifton’s has been here since 1935 and it’s still going strong today… It is not only the grandest cafeteria, it is the largest restaurant in all of Los Angeles. Six hundred people can be seated at once. No other restaurant even comes close.”

Hear Charles talk about this incredibly rare Los Angeles institution here on NPR.


“CHARLES PHOENIX, FINDING KITSCH IN KODACHROME” ON NPR

 

NPR Logo“I wept when I found this slide. I mean, people back then were not taking pictures of where they had dinner. You can see all the neon on all the gas stations going down the street and there’s a corner sign for another, I guess, restaurant or club you can’t see. It’s called the Hawaiian Garden. It says `Entertainment’ and then, in neon, it says `Chicken, Steak and Squab.’ Squab in neon? I challenge you to go out today and find ‘squab’ written on a sign in neon.”

Click here and listen to NPR’s Madeline Brand exploring the slideshows of Charles Phoenix.