Sunday, January 23, 2011

Book Shelf: 16 Magazine Vol. 11 #12, May 1970, Part One

Sadly, the cover is gone from this classic teen mag; the thumbnail on the left is the best version I was able to find on the web. Otherwise, this awesome publication from Gloria Staver's classic period is complete. 16's business model was exactly the same as Tiger Beat: no ads, just newsstand sales and tie-in publications and merchandising deals. What gave 16 the edge over Tiger Beat was Stavers herself, a famous bulldozer of a journalist, highly regarded by her peers and with a savvy understanding of teenage psychology and the fickle nature of stardom.

This issue from May, 1970 presents us with a great look at a unique transition phase: the Beatles and Monkees were over with, Bobby Sherman's impressive reign as Head Teen Girl King was nearing its end, and the explosive debut of David Cassidy was still several months away when The Partridge Family premiered in September. Filling the gap is a peculiar mix of really difficult Trivial Pursuit answers: Jack Wild, Mark Lester (both from Oliver!), the Cowsills, Sajid Kahn, Bridget Hanley, Mike Cole and the Mod Squad, Dark Shadows, and a brand new group of swinging Mormons, the fabulous Osmonds! Basically most of these stars were about be be swept away by the end of the year by the Osmonds' rise to fame, the Partridge Family and David Cassidy, the Brady Bunch and the Jackson 5. Think of this period as the Sherman/Cassidy interzone.

Each of the pages below can be enlarged for fun reading from this fab period of teen obsession. First up, gossip about a Cowsill engagement and a Mod Squadder. Note, too, the kind of surprisingly tasteful record selections, no doubt from Gloria Stavers, who dated Jim Morrison:

Mailing list pimping and table of contents:

This issue really chronicles the last gasp of Bobby Sherman's stardom without even realizing it, as his TV show "Here Come the Brides" proved to be a massive flop which more or less ended his career. On the right is a futile mail-in plea to save the doomed show, which ceased broadcasting the next month. On the left is a hilariously creepy story "written by" soon to be out of work Brides costar Bridget Hanley which can best be described as a Bobby Sherman fan's hallucinatory fever dream:

The movie page is noteworthy for two things. First, there's a plug for the infamously corny flop rock musical The Phynx, and a minor notice and picture of a very, very young Olivia Newton John:

Above right and below right are typical examples of 16 Magazine's many ancillary publications. They printed out dozens of booklets, one-off mags, advice manuals, etc. Below left are lyrics to utterly forgettable songs by the Cowsills, the Raiders and the Grass Roots:

Below, OMG, what if Bobby Sherman only had six months to live? Calm down, he's OK. He's just in a philosophical mood, pondering death 'n' such:

Eerily enough, within six months, Bobby Sherman's career was, indeed, totally dead, although he would remain a 16 fave for a couple more years. Below, a delightfully straightforward proposition:

More 16 cheap quickie publications and advice from Saint Gloria:

Dreamsville! Dark Shadows gossip and prizes to be won, news about Mod Squadders:

Below, "Up-to-date with" really means "Whatever happened to." It's the end of the road for the Monkees. Sajid Kahn was a flash-in-the-pan Indian teen idol. Len Whiting was the star of Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet and never had much of a career afterward:

Speaking of "never had much of a career afterward," here's Oliver! star Mark Lester, who may or may not be the father of one of Michael Jackson's children (!!??):

Fiction! I guess 16 had been publishing a long soap opera about a teen girl runaway who is constantly bumping into teen idols and making friends with Bobby Sherman and Davy Jones and being embroiled in mystery. Here's an breathless summary of the story so far:

The story continues, so exciting:

I guess we'll never know how that turned out, but I hope Ceecee and Bobby Sherman escaped harm! Below left, boring TV news about flop shows mitigated by a funny picture of young and goofy Robert Wagner. Below right, Bridget answers all your questions about her hair and Bobby Sherman. For example, one concerned fan writes that she heard that Bobby Sherman is "stuck up." Bridget sets the record straight: Bobby Sherman is a wonderful human being.

Stay tuned for more Dark Shadows, more fleeting celebrities you've never heard of, and teen Kurt Russell in part two!

Here's part two and part three.


Comrade PhysioProf said...

Awesome, bro!

Lulu Maude said...

Yow! A childhood guilty pleasure!

Old Gloria... dating Jim Morrison?

I never read Tiger Beat, but a college friend was a stringer for them. Her connection brought me dinner and participation on a panel on The Younger Generation at the Beverly Hills B'nai Brith with Frank Zappa. What a hoot that was.

Reading those teen mags made being a teenager a full time job.

Bobby Sherman, rest in peace.

Partick said...


CaliGal said...

Oh, I had that pic of Bobby Sherman on my bedroom wall, summer 1970!!! Tx for bringing it all back.

samael7 said...

Heh, the Sherman/Cassidy interzone. It's like the Jurassic/Cretaceous Boundary! Guess whose career is going extinct!

Matty Boy said...

I love the letter writing campaign to save Here Come the Brides. I notice the villain Mark Lenard is in none of the pictures anywhere. This is obvious and unseemly discrimination against... cock blockers!

Sorry there isn't a second chapter where CeeCee meets that dreamy Charles Manson.

J5Collector said...

Ah, these pages take me back. I just read in The Advocate that Bobby Sherman had had an affair with Sal Mineo. Bobby always reminded me of one of my early crushes -- a Girl Scout camp counselor named Avis. She was a bit more butch than Bobby, though.

MrsTarquinBiscuitbarrel said...

Lulu Maude, Bobby Sherman is definitely still alive, or at least he was in 2010, as pictured at this fan gathering.

He changed out of his LAPD uniform for something more dream-worthy:

Maia said...

I know I'm late, but I'm here to finally solve the mystery of what happened to Ceecee! I was a faithful 16 reader, and I remember the thrilling conclusion.
So...the big black car has just crashed into Bobby Sherman's famous midnight blue Silvercloud Rolls Royce.(Even though I was only eleven, I had to roll my eyes when Bobby, in the split second before the impact, did not keep his eyes on the road and his hands on the wheel; instead, he tenderly turned to Ceecee and wrapped his strong arms around her protectively, gazing down into her eyes to reassure her.) The dust settles and everyone miraculously survives the terrible collision. We discover the occupants of the black car are none other than Ceecee's parents, tracking her down in Hollywood to beg her forgiveness. And who did they bring along--none other than Craig, the handsome boy from back home. Much good news follows: Aunt Tillie IS a true friend and has been in touch with the parents all along, hence her suspicious behavior; the police only wanted to rescue Ceecee, not arrest her as a runaway; despite a fairly nasty crash, Bobby's Rolls suffered only a small dent; Craig more than knew Ceecee existed, he felt the same deep true love for her as she did for him. But best of all--when Ceecee confronted her parents about the unforgiveable betrayal of adopting her, they finally told her the tragic secret they had kept for years. Yes, they had adopted a little girl named Celeste Elizabeth, but she died. Later when their very own daughter was born, they named her after the adopted daughter they lost. Ceecee wasn't adopted after all, she was their real daughter! What a relief!(Again despite my youth, I recall being bothered by the message that adopted children aren't their parents' "real" children.) Now Ceecee had a difficult choice to make. She could stay in Hollywood, living with Tillie and working in the glam world of costume stitchery. Bobby confessed he was falling in love with her and wanted her to stay. But Ceecee wanted to go home with her parents now that she knew the truth. And while she had enjoyed dating Bobby, let's face it, he was no Craig. Bobby, though heartbroken, understood that family comes first. He invited the whole bunch to come watch the taping of his upcoming tv special. While rehearsing a song, the director decided he wanted Bobby to be singing to a girl...and you know who got the part. The story ends with hugs and farewells all around before Ceecee goes home to live happily ever after because she's not adopted.
I just did the math and that was 46 years ago. It might actually be a little sad that I remember it so well.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Maia! The end of that CeeCee story has been bugging me all these years. I wasn't allowed to get 16 every issue.