Ultra Swank - Retro Adventures


Remembering Bob Thompson – A Pioneer of Space Age Music

This morning I woke to the sad news of the passing of Bob Thompson. A composer, arranger, and orchestra leader who scored film and television soundtracks, and wrote commercial jingles. He was a leading exponent of Space Age Bachelor Pad Music. This experimental orchestral music became hugely popular in the 1950s and 1960s as a result of the home stereo systems that had become popular....

Memories, Modernism and Our Concepts of a Misremembered Future

The recent exhibit of Deborah Aschheim’s drawings and architectural installations at Edward Cella A+A focused attention to the iconic modernist landmarks of Southern California that once represented the future. Aschheim’s works documented these structures, once the symbols of Southern California’s utopian dreams, which are now forlorn, crumbling commercial towers, buildings, and centers. Treated for the most part as “unacclaimed” monuments of a distant era, Ascheim...

The Man from Organ
Written by James Vaughan in Music

The Man from Organ

Originally developed in the 1930’s as a cheap alternative for small churches that could not afford a pipe organ, the electric organ became a fixture in millions of suburban homes during the 1950’s and 60’s. Along the way this all purpose instrument produced the melancholy soundtrack for countless soap operas, kept the beat at roller rinks and eventually was dipped in ‘acid’ and mutated into...


Atomic Lounge is a 90 minute documentary that looks back at the Space-Age inspired architecture, design, fashion, and lifestyle of post-WWII America. The film will explore the conditions that led to a unique time in history when Americans experienced a dual sense of optimism for the future and fear of impeding nuclear holocaust. This period represents the critical point in the Western world when a...

Swank Style Surprise Discovered
Written by Guest Writer in Interior

Swank Style Surprise Discovered

I had the occasion this past summer to stay in a Motel 6 here in the U.S. for the first time in many years. I was most pleasantly surprised at the new look of the room. It was simple, utilitarian, but perhaps best of all, something new in that it reminded me of mid-century America with a bit of a nod to Deco, 1950s “Space-Age”...

1965 Spacemen Yearbook
Written by Guest Writer in Readable

1965 Spacemen Yearbook

Spacemen Magazine was a relatively short-lived publication. It was published from July 1961 to July 1965 and was a spin off from the more successful “Famous Monsters of Filmland.” Both were edited by the late Forrest J. Ackerman and Published by James Warren. The cover art for the 1965 Yearbook was by well-known comic book artists Russ Jones and Wally Wood. This particular cover was...

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