Playboy has received many a word of praise and criticism since it began publishing eight-plus years ago and that is to be expected, since the magazine is controversial in concept and never has been intended to appeal to everyone.
Playboy, July, 1962, Vol. 9, No. 7, Published Monthly by HMH Publishing Company, Inc., Playboy Building, 232 E. Ohio St., Chicago 11, Illinois. Subscriptions: In the U.S., its possessions, the Pan American Union and Canada, $14 for three years, $11 for two years, $6 for one year. Elsewhere add $3 per year for foreign postage. Allow 30 days for new subscriptions and renewals. Change of address: Send both old and new addresses to Playboy, 232 E. Ohio St., Chicago 11, Illinois, and allow 30 days for change: Advertising: Howard W. Lederer, Advertising Director, Jules Kase, Eastern Advertising Manager. 720 Fifth Ave., New York, CI 5-2620; Branch Offices: Chicago, Playboy Building, 232 E. Ohio St., MI 2-1000, Joe Fall, Midwestern Advertising Manager; Los Angeles, 8721 Beverly Blvd., OL 2-8790, Stanley L. Perkins, Manager; San Francisco, 111 Sutter St., YU 2-7994, Robert E. Stephens, Manager; Detroit, 705 Stephenson Building, 6560 Cass Ave., TR 5-7250; Southeastern, Florida and Caribbean Representative, Pirnie & Brown, 3108 Piedmont Rd., N.E., Atlanta 5, Ga., 233-6729.
If you look at the contents page of this issue, you'll see you are holding the seventh issue of Volume 9 (i.e., the July issue of our ninth year), a conjunction of mystic numbers which led our tireless research department to sources of antiquity and legend, both common and arcane, concerning them.
Six characters in search of an author found the right man in Herb Gardner, whose first play, A Thousand Clowns, will keep them gainfully employed on Broadway until the laughter begins to die down a year or two from now. The star of this offbeatnik evening is Jason Robards, Jr., the straight actor with the crooked smile, who clowns for comedy as if he'd never heard of O'Neill or Hellman. He plays oddball writer Murray Burns, lately the brewer of Chuckles and the Chipmunk, a TV decoction for kiddies, who threw up the job in more than one sense of the phrase. Now he is a nonworking nonconformist with one suit, one grubby New York flat (decorated in "Fun Gothic") and one 12-year-old nephew named Nick (Barry Gordon), whom he is bringing up to be a free soul like uncle. Life in Burnsville tends to be whimsical, but never sticky. When Murray isn't at the movies, he is likely to be instructing his neighbors through the window on their garbage disposal, or phoning for weather reports so he can chide the recorded voices for repeating themselves. Such are the simple pleasures of the idle poor — until a pair of investigators from the Child Welfare Board barge in to check up on Nick's unorthodox environment. The lady of the team (enchantingly played in an April storm of tears and giggles by Sandy Dennis) decides to make the uncle rather than the nephew her lifework. But her colleague (William Daniels) sternly decrees that Nick must be removed unless Murray goes back to work. As Murray's overwrought agent (A. Larry Haines) desperately points out, the only job open to a writer of his client's known nuttiness is back there in the TV trees with the kiddies and the chipmunks and the schizoid Chuckles himself (Gene Saks in a convulsive caricature of a Pied Piper who hates little children). Murray's choice between losing either Nick or his emancipated way of life doesn't make for much of a contest as plays go, but Gardner's robust talent for comic observation provides the needed vitamin supplement. At the Eugene O'Neill, 230 West 49th Street.
Billie Holiday — The Golden Years (Columbia) is one of the biggest batches of Billie reissued to date; it has the added attraction of containing several previously unreleased recordings (made with Basie's 1937 band) transcribed from radio performances. The Golden Years (1933–1941) finds Billie singing in front of her own band, Benny Goodman's and Teddy Wilson's, as the extensively annotated 3-LP package chronicles Billie blooming into her most productive years. Her efforts with Wilson, in particular, sound as lustrous today as when they were etched. Love Letters (Liberty), the latest offering of the indefatigable Julie London, stays in the gentle conic-hither groove she practically owns. The tunes are all standards or semistandards, each expertly cast in the London image. Catching a Diahann Carroll performance in person is half the fun, but the other half is to be found on Showstopper! (Camden). Miss Carroll communicates, something many of today's carbon-copy contraltos have failed to achieve. The session is made up of evergreens, all made a little more verdant by dynamic Diahann.
Kim Novak has built a following — made up mainly of people who have been following her built — by presenting two of most things at once. Now it's two new comedies — but, unlike Kim's natural gifts, one is less bouncy than the other. Boys' Night Out starts with a Gallic-type gimmick. Four suburbanite gents (three of them married) team up to rent a luxury apartment in Manhattan, furnished with, among other things, Kim. Each of the commuters has a visiting night assigned to him. What these hopefuls don't know is that the gal is a sociology student doing fieldwork for her thesis on Adolescent Sexual Fantasies in the Suburban Male. Now her big problem is how to do her fielding without getting tagged. Tony Randall, Howard Duff and Howard Morris drool adroitly as the three married wolves at the door, but this penthouse party never really gets off the ground. Reasons? (1) As a comedian, James Garner, the unmarried swain, is a chip off the old Rock Hudson. (2) The dialog is by Ira Wallach, whose reputation as a wit should be investigated by the Senate Committee on Inflation. (3) Michael Gordon's directorial touch has to be measured in megatons. The only thing about Kim that needs uplift is her acting, and here she doesn't get enough support.
As Lolita packs the movie houses, Nabokov's new novel, Pale Fire (Putnam, $5), stacks the bookshops. This elaborate literary leg pull is in two main parts — a philosophical narrative poem almost 40 pages long, ostensibly written by one John Shade; and a much longer commentary on the poem by one Charles Kinbote. The poem itself is literate and sober; the commentary is a wild affair. Kinbote, who has been teaching incognito at the same college as Shade, gradually reveals himself to be the exiled monarch of Zembla, which the book's index (yes, there is an index) lists as "a distant northern land." Kinbote has escaped from Zembla, with a revolutionary agent on his track, and the ass of an assassin accidently kills the poet Shade instead of the king. Nabokov writes brilliantly; few men can turn a phrase or toss off a serious gag with such felicity. But his doses of melodrama, satire, fantasy and a highly sophisticated irony here produce a concoction that will daunt most readers. One thing is certain — it won't have as many as Lolita.
After many hours of brain-racking I've been unable to come up with a solution to a rather classic problem: Just how can I win back the affections of a girl I've been unfaithful to? Up until a couple of weeks ago our relationship was an extremely happy one. Then she left town briefly to visit relatives and I, being lonely and depressed, dropped by to see a friendly chick I used to date. There's no point in going into details — we had a couple of drinks, I made an automatic pass, and one thing led to the inevitable other. Unfortunately, word of this rendezvous got back to my girl. She was furious and demanded an explanation. I apologized, but how can one explain an act that was mechanical and essentially meaningless? I'm very much in love with her and would do anything to regain her respect and devotion. Any suggestions? — P. K., Phoenix, Arizona.
When Roger Haydock consented to go to Hollywood, against his better judgment, he had lately been presented with an important award for fiction, in connection with a book he had written chiefly for his own amusement (and that of his son) and which he had thitherto thought of, if at all, as a trifle. Since the advent of the honorific, he had reviewed his opinion and found it wanting in perception. More specifically, he had missed becoming pompous only through the steadying influence of his wife, a leggy, good-humored brunette who viewed him with tolerance and a wry concession to his faults. Attached to this man, like a gyro to a steamboat, she kept him from turning turtle as he wallowed through the self-roiled seas of a writer's life.
It is a truism that clothes alone don't make the man, and the corollary is equally apparent: good clothes are an indispensable aid in helping the man make it — socially, professionally and purely personally in the realm of esprit and self-esteem. Of virtually equal importance is meticulous grooming — as opposed to mere cleanliness — since good grooming, no less than good manners and tasteful attire, goes far to enhance the total impression of the total man.
As the interstate bus in which Harry rode moved slowly into the heart of Dixie, carrying him toward an adventure that would bring forth the culmination of his dark genius, though he hardly could have guessed that then, he passed the time by amusing himself with a young girl, telling her ridiculous lies that she believed completely and playing with her body in the dark until he succeeded in inducing her to have several orgasms. He also succeeded in making her think he was madly in love with her and that he intended to come back to her home town and marry her. The idiocy of women never ceased to delight and fascinate Harry.
There are few things more conducive to gargantuan appetites and prodigious thirsts than a long run through open water on a powerboat or sailing vessel. And there are no more felicitous surroundings in which to appease and slake the inner mariner than topside on a boat moored in a quiet cove, the summer stillness broken only by the gentle lapping of gins and tonics against frosty tumblers.
You will forgive me if I tell you — with a little admiration — about some criminals I once knew. They were part of my youth which, by itself, makes them admirable. But they were also brave, courteous and fond of us newspaper Neds. They never told lies, except to the police; never robbed any fellow man of his good name, only of his life if the situation called for it. And I remember no crook who was greedy, or no crook who thought that money made a man.
Heeding the sartorial call of the wild, summer sportswear will be the balmiest in a month of sun-days — as aptly embodied by the spree de corps of this beachnik brigade. L to r: an aquanut oarbits in cotton denim shirt with mandarin collar, $8, cotton denim shorts with side zipper, elastic back panel, $6, both by Sea Squire. Farsighted avant guard sports nylon-tricot tank suit, by Speedo—White Stag, $4. Butterfingered cone-man scoops fashion scene in cotton mattress-ticking jacket with single button, side vents, Continental cuffs, no pockets, by Bill Miller, $35; cotton beach shirt, $6, acetate-cotton-rubber stretch-knit swim trunks with front belt, squared legs, $5, both by Catalina; rubber-soled leather slip-ons, by Jags, $11. Style-hip twister cuts rug in combed-cotton pullover with poncho front, 3/4 sleeves, by Jayson, $5; cotton stretch pants with foot stirrups, 1/2-top pockets, by HIS, $10. Fast-rising trial balloonist is a gas in fitted swim pants with self belt, foot stirrups, $15, cotton-knit boat-neck pullover with 3/4 sleeves, poncho tails, $6, both by Jantzen.
When Pamela Anne Gordon appeared as Miss March this year, Playboy staffers and readers alike were pleasantly alerted to the Playmate potential of Canadian north-of-the-border girls. For our Miss July, we once again chose a choice denizen of Vancouver, British Columbia: her name is Unne Terjesen and she was brought to our attention by sharp-eyed counter spies who spotted her working as a salesgirl in a downtown department store. Those who judge this statuesque (5′7″) and honey-haired miss a perfect Nordic phototype do so with good reason, for 19-year-old Unne was born and raised in the village of Odda, Norway, where she worked as a hair stylist, won several local beauty shows and in 1960 was a comely runner-up in the Miss Norway contest. Two years ago she, her parents and three older brothers set sail for Canada and a home-away-from-home in Vancouver; once settled in this beauty-blessed city, our well-rounded traveler (39–23–39) took up her current soft-sell chores. Not surprisingly, indigo-eyed Unne is fond of wintry sports such as skiing and skating; she also has an improbable penchant for full-throttle jaunts through the Canadian countryside at the helm of her brother's Harley-Davidson motorcycle. She's an amateur painter, is swayed by Sinatra's swinging, and prefers dating personable guys with a sense of humor (nothing depresses her more than sobersided types who can't give or take a joke). Hopefully, the future holds more in store for her than stores: Says Miss July, "Right now, I have three ambitions — to become a successful model, to own a shiny new black Mercedes-Benz convertible, and to travel, especially to see the skyline of New York." For an even more inspiring silhouette, we recommend a perusal of the accompanying gatefold.
Guy Lucey had had a secretary of his own for only a month, and he still felt a secret pride every morning when she came into his unitized-panel office and asked, "What is the schedule for today, Mr. Lucey?"
During a British Concert last fall, Dizzy Gillespie dedicated a number to "mother Africa." Looking at the audience with a characteristically mocking smile, he added: "We're going to take over the world, so you'd better get used to it."
About a year ago, my youngest son, Gordon — then 27 — informed me that he wanted to leave the family business and embark on a career as a composer of serious music, something for which he has always shown considerable talent. As much as I would have liked for Gordon to remain in business with me, I raised no objections. On the contrary, I approved his decision wholeheartedly. I could readily appreciate why he was willing to abandon a highly promising business career to become a composer. And, to tell the truth, I was — and am — very proud of him.
When Janet Pilgrim, our illustrious chief of Playboy Reader Service, told us that she planned to spend her vacation in California's fabled Palm Springs, we were about to ask her to send us back a spring or two. But we bit our tongue and hit upon a better idea—a pictorial record of J.P.'s pilgrimage to P.S. We told her that if she wouldn't mind having a Playboy photographer tagging along (lucky fellow) we'd be happy to pick up the tab for her trip. Janet, one of our earliest and most popular Playmates and the only girl ever to become Playmate of the Month on three occasions (July 1955, December 1955 and October 1956), happily accepted the offer. Thus, she had herself a nifty vacation on Playboy, and we—and you—got some fine photos of Pilgrim's progress on an oasis odyssey, as you'll see on these six pages. As in any good tale of the Wild West, Janet's journey was marked by a harrowing moment: on the third evening of her stay, the convertible in which she was riding ran off the Palm Canyon Highway. Walking away from the accident with a broken arm and a few beautiful bruises, Janet said, "I suppose this is the modern equivalent of getting tossed by a bucking bronco!" Roughriding notwithstanding, the Palm Springs Saga ended happily with a well-tanned Janet safely back in the Playboy Building in Chicago, supervising thousands of monthly reader queries on every subject from Playboy fiction to fashion to Playmate of the Month.
It came on a sunday afternoon and that was good, because if it had happened on a weekday the father would have been at work and the children at school, leaving the mother at home alone and the whole family disorganized with hardly any hope at all. They had prayed that it would never come, ever, but suddenly here it was.
During September, when summer's go-now-pay-later crowd is back home, and before the winter season commences, the world's playgrounds again offer beneficent elbow-bending room. First and foremost among these last resorts are the European festivals attendant to the harvesting of man's great and good friend, the grape; a grand tour can be made by him who would sample the multiform fruits of the vine.