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Origins: ever been to Pasadena?

GUEST,leeneia 16 Feb 09 - 01:38 PM
GUEST,Mary Katherine 16 Feb 09 - 02:19 PM
PoppaGator 16 Feb 09 - 03:03 PM
GUEST,leeneia 16 Feb 09 - 05:16 PM
Joe_F 16 Feb 09 - 09:19 PM
Joe Offer 16 Feb 09 - 09:37 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 16 Feb 09 - 10:26 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 17 Feb 09 - 07:58 AM
GUEST,leeneia 17 Feb 09 - 10:59 AM
Don Firth 17 Feb 09 - 01:57 PM
Joe_F 17 Feb 09 - 09:30 PM
Desert Dancer 17 Feb 09 - 10:39 PM
Songster Bob 17 Feb 09 - 11:09 PM
PoppaGator 18 Feb 09 - 03:02 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 18 Feb 09 - 03:35 PM
GUEST,leeneia 18 Feb 09 - 05:12 PM
GUEST,astro 18 Feb 09 - 07:25 PM
PoppaGator 18 Feb 09 - 07:39 PM
Don Firth 18 Feb 09 - 08:24 PM
Jim Dixon 26 Feb 09 - 07:22 AM
Mr Happy 26 Feb 09 - 07:42 AM
GUEST,leeneia 26 Feb 09 - 09:00 AM
GUEST,leeneia 26 Feb 09 - 12:16 PM
Jim Dixon 26 Feb 09 - 12:59 PM
fumblefingers 27 Feb 09 - 12:46 AM
GUEST,leeneia 27 Feb 09 - 12:18 PM
Amos 27 Feb 09 - 12:27 PM
ClaireBear 27 Feb 09 - 12:31 PM
Don Firth 27 Feb 09 - 01:37 PM
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Subject: Origins: ever been to Pasadena?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 01:38 PM

I've mentioned before that one of my instruments is fretted dulcimer. I play pretty songs, hymns, early music, classical, and folk tunes (Oh Susannah, etc) on it. A couple days ago I had an idea for a new type.

I will play 'The Little Old Lady from Pasadena' on it.

This song hit the charts when I was a kid, and I was less than thrilled. But now it intrigues me. Why Pasadena? It must have meant something to Californians that I didn't know.   What's the joke?


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Subject: RE: Origins: ever been to Pasadena?
From: GUEST,Mary Katherine
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 02:19 PM

Pasadena is an upscale bedroom community of Los Angeles; some lovely homes there. The (stereotypical) joke was that if a car was bring driven by a "little old lady from Pasadena," it meant that she usually drove 5 mph to a DAR meeting or the beauty salon to have her hair done. A hot-rodding granny would have been the exception rather than the norm.

Mary Katherine, who often has dinner with a group of friends in Pasdena on Monday nights.


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Subject: RE: Origins: ever been to Pasadena?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 03:03 PM

Pasadena is also the site of the Rose Bowl stadium. I would think that such a large arena would be out of place, because the town really IS a quiet & beautiful residential area. (I've been to Pasaadena, but never saw the stadium; missed that part of town.)

My brother-in-law lived there for many years until fairly recently, when he was forced to take early retirement from the LA TImes when ownership changed hands. He and his wife had a really nice house, quintessential American Bungalow style. When they bought it, it was in decent shape, but needed a little work, which they gradually put into it.

During the time they lived there, their neighborhood was declared a National Historical District, "Bungalow Heaven." They sold the house for about ten times what they had paid in the late70s/early 80s, and moved to Arizona.


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Subject: RE: Origins: ever been to Pasadena?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 05:16 PM

I'm beginning to get it.

Now, do people there actually have flowerbeds of gardenias, as in the song?

To me, the gardenia is a gorgeous, exotic flower which comes from a florist, and I've never pictured a bed of them outdoors.


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Subject: RE: Origins: ever been to Pasadena?
From: Joe_F
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 09:19 PM

One might also note the presence in Pasadena of Caltech, which I attended from 1954 to 1958 & 1962-1963. While Caltech had a football time, the Rose Bowl was its home field.


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Subject: RE: Origins: ever been to Pasadena?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 09:37 PM

At one time, Pasadena was looked on as the quintessential Los Angeles bedroom community. I think the first California freeway was the Pasadena Freeway, which ran direct from downtown Los Angeles to Pasadena. During the worst of the Los Angeles smog, Pasadena got hit hard, and property values went way down. Pasadena isn't so smoggy nowadays, and it can be crystal-clear in winter.

I think of Pasadena as an architectural paradise. The "Bungalow Heaven" district that PoppaGator mentioned is well-known, and it's also the home of some of the finest works of the Greeene and Greene architectural firm, two of the best-known architects in California history, right up there with Julia Morgan.

And yeah, the gardens of Pasadena are gorgeous, and there are lots of gardenias. Neighboring San Marino is even prettier.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins: ever been to Pasadena?
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 10:26 PM

Re the Rose Bowl--
The stadium is in an Arroyo (small valley) on the western edge of Pasadena. Overlooking the Arroyo and Bowl on the west ridge are multi million dollar homes, although I'm not sure if those homes are still in Pasadena, or the tonier La Canada (pron. Canyada)/Flintridge.

As CalTech doesn't play football any longer, tenancy has been taken up my Alma Mommy, UCLA. For a while City Fathers tried to lure an NFL team to the Rose Bowl, but the citizenry and the NFL nixed that. That works fine for me, as I'd rather have the maximum games tved into LA area.

30 years ago the Pasadena downtown area was really shabby; it has since been rehabbed and the Old Town area has been a real shopping and eating destination.

In addition to Cal Tech, Pasadena is home to Fuller Theological Seminary; I shop the book-store, there, as they have a good selection of Judaica and Near Eastern archaeology.

And before the schism, Pasadena was home to Herbert Armstrong's World Wide Church of God, and affiliated seminary. The property is being converted into mixed use shopping and residences aafter laying fallow for perhaps 15 years.


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Subject: RE: Origins: ever been to Pasadena?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 07:58 AM

That should be fun on a hammered dulcimer...since it has a fast guitar picking melody with a bounce to it. The song you will be playing was part of the "hot rod anthems" that seemed to spring from the surfing culture. It would be included in a collection of "Giddy Up Little 409" "Little Duece Coupe" and "Hot Rod Lincoln."

The Pasadena Chamber of Commerce is active in its promotions.

http://www.pasadena-chamber.org/about.htm

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

It SHOULD be best known for the Doo Dah Parade...which they seemed have missed in their back-slapping promotional page.
www.pasadenadoodahparade.info


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Subject: RE: Origins: ever been to Pasadena?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 10:59 AM

Yes, I think it would.

I am working on bringing out the contrast between a legato 'It's the little old lady from Pasadena' versus a rambunctious, chordal 'Go Granny, go Granny, go Granny go!'

Thanks for all the info on Pasadena. I tried Joe's link, to see if their bungalows are like my bungalow, but no soap. No pictures.


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Subject: RE: Origins: ever been to Pasadena?
From: Don Firth
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 01:57 PM

I lived the first nine years of my life in Pasadena. This was at the height of the Great Depression. It was nevertheless a nice area for a kid to grow up in. My parents were from the Pacific Northwest but moved to Californian in the late 1920s. My sisters and I were born there. Then, we moved back to Seattle in late 1940.

At the time, the whole Los Angeles area had an excellent rapid transit system. You didn't really need to own a car to get where you wanted to go. That was the problem. The automobile companies, the oil companies, and the tire manufacturers talked the Powers That Be in the area to dismantle the light-rail system in favor of "going modern"—a system of freeways, or, as they called them then "speedways." "Why wait for a 'streetcar' when you can go where you want when you want?" Which neglects to mention that to do so, you have to buy an automobile, equip it with tires, and keep filling it with gas and oil.

A step backwards.

But I was down there for a visit a few years ago, and except for the smog, it's still a pretty nice area.

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory is there also. Fascinating.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Origins: ever been to Pasadena?
From: Joe_F
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 09:30 PM

"Mankind will grow to pastures greener
Till all the world is Pasadena."


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Subject: Lyr Add: HOME IN PASADENA
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 10:39 PM

from a different era (and sung wonderfully by Finest Kind -- this is from their web site):

Home in Pasadena

Lyrics: Grant Clarke and Edgar Leslie copyright 1923
Music: Harry Warren

Intro
Oh, you railway station, oh you Pullman train (I'm goin')
Here's my reservation for my destination
Far beyond the western plains
To see my…

Part 1
Home in Pasadena, home where grass is greener
Where honeybees hum melodies and orange trees scent the breeze,
I wanna be a home sweet homer, there I'll settle down
Beneath the palms in someone's arms,
In Pasadena town.

Part 2
Soon I'll be on my merry way, to that dreamland of yesterday,
Tell the mailman I long to stay, my California,
To be where honeybees and orange trees
They scent the breeze, sweet melodies.
Settle down in that happy town, with the mountains there all around,
Friendly people there to be found, nuts right by my door,
There beneath the palms, in somebody's arms.
In Pasadena town.

Part 3
Oh there'll be an aggregation, waiting for me at the station,
In Pasadena town, in Pasadena town,
All my life I've been a rover now its time to think it over
I want to settle down, I want to settle down,
Busy little bumblebees, syncopated melodies
Trees are slowly swinging while the birds are softly singing in the breeze.
Be a happy home sweet homer nevermore to be roamer
In Pasadena town, in Pasadena town,
There away from all the worry of the city's hurry scurry
Every evening when the sun goes down,
Moonin' Junin' honeymoonin' palms,
Captivatin ,fascinatin' arms,

P-A-S-A-D-E-N-A town.

----

No vocals here, but a great sound! piano roll + Wurlitzer

~ Becky in Tucson
(and sometimes in greater L.A. with astro, where we go to the old-time music jam in Pasadena, and one of these days we'll actually get to a contra dance there, too...)


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Subject: RE: Origins: ever been to Pasadena?
From: Songster Bob
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 11:09 PM

I have a friend in Pasadena -- he lives just down the street from the Sirhan family (he says they're really nice folks, despite that their son was again turned down for parole recently).

I like the place -- there's a nice guitar/instrument shop there, with enough vintage guitars and banjos to make my mouth water (and my bank-book quaver in fear) -- and a shop that specializes in nuts that I turned my friend onto (he hadn't found it, despite living there for years). I'd be happy enough to live there (if I were to move to California).

The "little old lady," as mentioned in the song, was the quintessential blue-haired "church lady" who would drive at 15 mph and put maybe 10 miles a week on her 15-year-old two-door Ford, which makes the hot-rodder granny of the song so memorable. I suspect there are still several hundred LOLFPs still living there.

Songbob


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Subject: RE: Origins: ever been to Pasadena?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 03:02 PM

A couple of links:

Bungalow Heaven Neighborhood Association

American Bungalow magazine

I had hoped to see more pictures, but using those two sites as a starting point should yield some decent results.


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Subject: RE: Origins: ever been to Pasadena?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 03:35 PM

When you have mastered the tune post-it to YouTube - I would imagine it is the only dulcimer rendering of the song.

As Joe notes Everything seems to grow in California's fetertily - including octuplets. - location, location, location.
Gardenias like reflected sun on a north wall....and they only come in white.

ARTICLE on Features of a California Bungalow
Similar houses are found for a million and also for 100K - location - location - location.

http://www.realtor.org/rmohome_and_design/architecturecoach/pastarticles/arch20050627

Neighboring San Marino is one of the wealthiest cities per capita in the United States. Travel three miles south and it is hard core barrio - what a dicotomy of of differences - the difference in uniforms and equipment used by athletic teams at competing schools is astounding. This is most apparent to interscholastic sport officials that may cover contests in surrounding leagues - location - location - location.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Origins: ever been to Pasadena?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 05:12 PM

Thanks for your interest, Gargoyle, but the idea of posting a video is rather daunting.

What equipment do people use to make videos? I don't even know.

'Gardenias like reflected sun on a north wall....and they only come in white.'

Until now, I thought they only came in clear plastic boxes. :)

I see that the bungalows in Pasadena are similar to those in the Midwest. In England a bungalow seems to be something entirely different.


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Subject: RE: Origins: ever been to Pasadena?
From: GUEST,astro
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 07:25 PM

It is enjoyable to see the Floats the day before the Rose Parade in downtown Pasadena. They have them parked on side streets (with guards) and you can stroll past them with huge spotlights lighting everything up. They are quite amazing.

It sounds like there are a few catters in the LA area...there should a catagather sometime...

Hi Desert dancer...see you tomorrow night....

Astro in LA...though not in Pasadena now...


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Subject: RE: Origins: ever been to Pasadena?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 07:39 PM

Speaking of Leeneia's dulcimer rendition of this Beach Boys hit reminds of an ultra-cool bluegrass performance I heard just last night: "Secret Agent Man" as played by the G-String Bluegrass Band.

I, too, have neither the know-how nor the equipment to make a video and post it on the internet. So, do understand. Nevertheless, I'd love to check this out, and encourage anyone who can help Leeneia to do so!


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Subject: RE: Origins: ever been to Pasadena?
From: Don Firth
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 08:24 PM

I'd be more than just a little interested in reading up on this also!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Origins: ever been to Pasadena?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 26 Feb 09 - 07:22 AM

I seem to recall hearing the phrase "little old lady from Pasadena" in the 1950s or early 60s from a TV comedian—maybe more than one comedian—who joked about used-car salesmen.

The salesman claimed that a certain car, although old, was in pristine condition because it had belonged to "a little old lady from Pasadena" who drove it very little and treated it very tenderly.

The more I think about it, the more I can picture this as part of the plot of one of Jack Benny's shows.

Does this ring a bell for anyone?

There must be SOME reason why "little old lady from Pasadena" was a catch phrase known to me as a kid in the Midwest before the song came out, and before I knew anything about Pasadena. I'm just trying to figure out who popularized the phrase.

*

By the way, it was Jan & Dean, not the Beach Boys, who had the big hit with LITTLE OLD LADY FROM PASADENA It peaked at #3 in 1964. (Their other hits were SURF CITY and DEAD MAN'S CURVE.)

It was written by Don Altfeld, Jan Berry, & Roger Christian.


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Subject: RE: Origins: ever been to Pasadena?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 26 Feb 09 - 07:42 AM

I always liked this one from the Temperance Seven http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nhvqhLjzgs


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Subject: RE: Origins: ever been to Pasadena?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 26 Feb 09 - 09:00 AM

Thanks for the link, Mr. Happy. For the 1960's that group is unique. (I'd never heard of them before.)

I wondered at first why you'd posted it, but then I realized the song is about Pasadena.

My mother used to collect old 78's, the oldest she could find. The Temperence 7 sound like the oldest of the old.


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Subject: RE: Origins: ever been to Pasadena?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 26 Feb 09 - 12:16 PM

Thanks, Jim Dixon, for your explanation. If it was a catchphrase already, that would make the song a hit faster.


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Subject: RE: Origins: ever been to Pasadena?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 26 Feb 09 - 12:59 PM

Allmusic.com says The Temperance Seven were/are a British band that appeared in 1955 and still performs, although the personnel have changed. They performed a lot of "revival" jazz from the 1920s. George Martin was their producer.

See also Temperance Seven's own web site and Wikipedia.

They do a good job of sounding old, don't they?


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Subject: RE: Origins: ever been to Pasadena?
From: fumblefingers
Date: 27 Feb 09 - 12:46 AM

I've been to Pasadena, Texas.


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Subject: RE: Origins: ever been to Pasadena?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 27 Feb 09 - 12:18 PM

What!? Who said there could be a Pasadena, Texas?

What is a pasadena, anyway?


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Subject: RE: Origins: ever been to Pasadena?
From: Amos
Date: 27 Feb 09 - 12:27 PM

It's an Indian (Chippewa, from Minnesota!) phrase meaning "of the valley". Wikipedia reports:

"Naming Pasadena


Colorado Blvd., 1890.
The mail came to the Indiana Colony via Los Angeles so marked. In an attempt to obtain their own Post Office, the Colony needed to change the name to something the Postmaster General would consider more fitting. The town fathers put three names up to a vote. The first was Indianola. The second was Granada, in keeping with the area's Spanish heritage. The third was proposed by Dr. Thomas Elliott, who had contacted an Indian missionary friend in Michigan who had worked with the Minnesota Chippewa Indians. He submitted four names for translation: "Crown of the Valley," "Key of the Valley," "Valley of the Valley," and "Hill of the Valley." The names came back starting with "Weo-quan pa-sa-de-na," "Hat of the Valley." All the names ended in "pa-sa-de-na (of the valley)".[7] The name was put to a vote, and due to its euphonious nature, it was accepted as Pasadena. Pasadena was incorporated, the second incorporated municipality of Los Angeles County after Los Angeles, in March 1886. In 1892, John H. Burnett of Galveston, Texas had visited Pasadena and when returned to his home near Houston, Texas he plotted a town along two bayous and named it Pasadena, Texas after the California city for its lush vegetation."

There is also a Pasadena outside of Adelaide, I believe.


A


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Subject: RE: Origins: ever been to Pasadena?
From: ClaireBear
Date: 27 Feb 09 - 12:31 PM

Not sure if anyone ever answered this -- gardenias would definitely be a garden item in Southern California. We can even grow them in Northern California, in just the right place.

C


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Subject: RE: Origins: ever been to Pasadena?
From: Don Firth
Date: 27 Feb 09 - 01:37 PM

Thanks for that, Amos. I remember getting stuffed with California history by my teachers when I was a wee squirt living in Pasadena, but they never covered that. I always thought everything in California was named by Fra Junipero Serra or Zorro or someone like that.

Don Firth


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