I’ll Have a Coffee to Go Please!

Hello and welcome to another edition of Vintage Media Millennial. I have been writing these blogs for several years, and only now I realise the randomness they have become. With that in mind, I shall attempt to tie together sections to a select theme. In this post, the subject of coffee!

Coffee has been a subject covered in media for decades. From Maxwell House commercials on George Burns and Gracie Allen’s radio show in the 1940s to coffee shops being the main meeting point for characters in movies and television. I’ve got the kettle on, and the coffee in the cup, so let’s get into it!

All sections are written by Jamie Dyer, unless noted.


I’m Finally Watching Friends!

Now I know what you are thinking, Friends doesn’t technically fit within the remit of this website. True but I would argue that it could be considered as classic as anything made before 1980, especially with younger audiences. The series, which ran for ten seasons between 1994 and 2004, celebrates its thirtieth anniversary this year. It is one that I have been meaning to see in full, but I just haven’t got around to it. I saw a handful of episodes back in the 90s, but I wasn’t of the age to appreciate them.

I received the complete series Blu-Ray box set as a gift many years ago and got through the first couple of seasons. I remember enjoying the show’s early years and marvelling at the chemistry between Matthew Perry, Courtney Cox, Jennifer Anniston, Matt Le Blanc and David Schwimmer. The joke rate was relatively high too, even if some humour doesn’t carry well. I highly anticipate seeing the rest of the series for the first time, and discovering just why the series has endured through endless repeats. If anyone needs me, I’m hopping into my time machine and heading to Central Perk!


Meet Me At The Coffee Shop – Bear Family Records

Written by Jane Grandle

Bear Family Records has released Meet Me at the Coffee House. The compilation consists of 25 songs all themed around coffee in some way. The accompanying booklet adds a little context about each track or its artist, including photos: a welcome companion while listening.

I might have preferred that the songs were all of the style I would associate with the 1950s coffee bars and burger joints we so often see depicted in movies set in the era. The sounds I would expect from a jukebox at this time would perhaps conjure the subject matter more effectively. However, I can see that keeping the musical genre and style in common between every number could become monotonous over 25 tracks. Interrupting the reverb-laden rock and roll sounds with jazz numbers like Abbey Lincoln’s Lonesome Cup of Coffee and Claire Hogan’s You’re The Cream in my Coffee breaks things up and keeps the CD from becoming bland.

A highlight for me is Percolator by well-known saxophonist and Nashville session musician Boots Randolph, under his pseudonym Randy Randolph. Produced by Chet Atkins, and recorded in 1958, this song is peppy and musically satisfying with a good balance between Randolph’s emotive sax and the other instrumentation.

The majority of the tracks’ release dates fall in the 1950s, with only two tracks from the 1940s and five 5 after 1960. In the 1950s in Britain, there was a coffee bar boom, with many outlets springing up to serve the youngsters coffee and music together in one establishment.

There is a coffee-themed track here for lots of different musical tastes. Meet Me at the Coffee House makes for a fun and pleasurable listening experience.

Meet Me At The Coffee Shop is available to order from Bear Family Records


When I Saw Expresso Bongo

While planning this post, I was trying to think of a film I have seen which features a coffee shop. The first one which came to mind was the 1959 musical film Expresso Bongo, an adaptation of the stage musical of the same name. It starred Laurence Harvey, Sylvia Simms, Yolande Donlan and Cliff Richard! It was the story of a sleazy agent, who discovers a teenage singer in a coffee shop.

I recall watching this film on Talking Pictures TV a while ago. I was intrigued to see it as it was one of the first appearances of Cliff Richard On The Silver Screen. It was very much of its time, but I remember enjoying the musical numbers. I also remember a bizarre moment when Cliff in character as Bongo Herbert, announces that he hates mothers. He says it in such a sulky way, that it has lived rent-free in my head ever since. If he hadn’t made better films afterwards, I have no doubt this moment of youthful rebellion would be more known. The Shadows make a brief appearance too, but it was clear they were shoe-horned in as an extra to tie in with Richard.

I remember the film being very entertaining, and one I must see again at some point.

Thank you for reading this edition of Vintage Media Millennial. If you have any thoughts on the content above, please leave a comment below. Alternatively, you can email Jame@OldTimeReview.co.uk with the subject line VMM.

Jamie Dyer

Jamie Dyer is an experienced writer, broadcaster, musician and social media marketer. He enjoys Old Time Radio, vintage TV, collecting vinyl and supporting the New York Knicks.

Leave a Reply

Next Post

John Le Mesurier Play for Today coming to BBC4

Mon May 13 , 2024
The BBC will air an episode of their Play for Today strand, The Traitor in May 2024. They have announced that the episode, written by Dennis Potter, will air on […]
Traitor starring John Le Mesurier

You May Like