Readers’ corner |

Readers’ corner

Saturday’s ‘history’ test: Nothing’s ever easy, ya know? This innocent little history test that ran in this space on Saturday apparently had some incorrect – or at least, disputed – answers.

The most calls I received were about question No. 19, “What was the name of the singing group that made the song ‘Cabdriver’ a hit?” Although the quiz listed The Inkspots as the correct group, not everyone agreed on that answer. Don Runcie of Lake Wildwood called to let me know it was a group called the Mills Brothers and he said the song was popular in the ’40s, not the ’50s. Don was born in the ’20s and came of age in the ’40s, so he said he remembers this music very well. He also knew this trivia: that Dean Martin said the lead singer of the Mills Brothers was the best singer of his day. They were also famous for the song “Glow Worm.” Then Marilyn Duffy called. She has the song “Cabdriver” on a 78 record, a 33 and 1/3 record, a cassette tape and also on CD! And all of her music shows it was The Mills Brothers, not the Inkspots. I had a lovely talk with her as well.

And this, e-mailed from A.A. Jarosik of Cedar Ridge. “I’ve seen that ‘lesson’ before and the answer to question No. 19 is ALWAYS wrong. The Mills Brothers made that hit record.” He attached an album cover as well.

Next, William Toensing, a local car collector, wrote on our Web site that question No. 6 did not have a correct answer. That question, “What postwar car turned automotive design on its ear when you couldn’t tell whether it was coming or going” was answered as 1946 Studebaker. However, Toensing insists it was a 1947 Studebaker Starlite Coupe and I’m not going to argue with him because he really knows his cars, and also collects the old manuals.

Next, Dick Ryan e-mailed me to dispute the answer to question No. 15, “What was the name of the Indian princess on the Howdy Doody Show?” Dick says, “I’m probably not the only reader to bring this to your attention, but your history quiz in today’s (Feb. 18) Union presented some erroneous information. The correct answer to question 15 is a) Princess Summerfallwinterspring, but she was not ‘another puppet.’ The original (back in the late ’40s) Summerfallwinterspring was a very human member of the cast and a very attractive young actress. She was the only reason most young guys I knew watched that show; we thought she was ‘a babe.’ She was killed in an automobile accident and the character of Princess Summerfallwinterspring was subsequently reintroduced – but with the role played by a puppet. For a real trivia test – what was the name of the actress who originally played the part of Princess Summerfallwinterspring? Answer – Judy Tyler.”

And finally, this from Carolyn Maginot concerning question No. 16, “What did the really savvy students do when mimeographed tests were handed out in school?” Carolyn says, “On the 40 and over test … in school we sniffed the mimeograph papers not to get high, but because the purple ink smelled weirdly good … sort of like gasoline. I really miss mimeographs, Xerox copies can’t compare.”


Dixie Redfearn can be reached at 477-4238 or by e-mail at, or by fax at 477-4292.

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