|the hardy boys unofficial home page|
Welcome to the Bayport Times.
This month featuring new collectible discoveries, letters, a new article by Rick Kelsey, a surprise review and more!
Did you know that Frank and Joe weren't the only heroes (or even the first) named Hardy to be featured in Stratemeyer Syndicate stories?
In the Alger Series and also in the Rise In Life series by Horatio Alger Jr. (really Edward Stratemeyer writing after the death of the great Alger) there was The Young Book Agent; or Frank Hardy's Rise In Life (1905).
In the Webster Series by Frank V. Webster (Stratemeyer again) there is Only A Farm Boy; or Dan Hardy's Rise In Life (1909) and also Ben Hardy's Flying Machine; or Making A Record For Himself (1911).
For those of you unfamiliar with the Webster series, it features stories that could have been written by Horatio Alger himself, invariably of young heroes struggling against almost impossible odds, improbable situations and dastardly villians.
If anyone knows of other heroes named Hardy in the Syndicate canon, please let me know.
The Mystery Of The Rare Wrap DJ
The first nine titles in the Hardy Boys series had their dustjackets converted from the old "yellow spine" to the "wrap spine" style in 1959 or 1960 and therefore were only in print for about two years or so until the conversion over to picture cover format took place in 1962.
Despite the fact that they aren't that old (well, relatively anyway), they can be very difficult to locate. Most had only four to six printings and, in my opinion, they are the most undervalued books in the series.
In my experience, the most difficult to locate is The Missing Chums (although The Secret Of The Caves runs a very close second) and the easiest is The House On The Cliff.
The special "This Volume Free" overprinting edition of The House On The Cliff had only one printing and undoubtedly is the rarest of all the wrap spine editions.
Hardy Boys Mailing List
I recently set up a Hardy Boys mailing list: http://www.onelist.com/subscribe/HardyBoys
You send your e-mails to this list and a copy gets distributed to everyone else on the list (there are currently around 85 subscribers.)
Please note that this is not the same as the Bayport Times mailing list, which I use to notify interested parties about the Bayport Times and other Hardy Boys news.
If you have not done so already, you'll have to register with the provider of this service, Onelist.com, which takes only a few minutes.
New Hardy Boys Play
"The Secret Of The Old Queen" - Started May 18 1999 at The Theatre Building On Belmont in Chicago.
The Perfect Hardy Boys Title
"The Mystery Of The Missing Lost Hidden Secret Treasure"
In which the Boys discover Harry Tanwick, his missing treasure and finally get to restore his wallet to him.
I need a scan of the Tower Treasure first art for the "Cover Art Gallery".
I'm currently using a scan from the Applewood book and would like to replace it with a scan of the original.
I would like to set up a cover art gallery for the digests.
If anyone out there has a scanner and access to all the digests, please contact me. Thanks!
Volunteers needed to write articles and reviews of Hardy Boys books for future issues of The Bayport Times.
I need your help to locate the following books for my personal collection:
2 in 1 editions: #8 Sinister Signpost/Figure In Hiding; #9 Secret Warning/Twisted Claw
Hardy Boys Classic: Treasure Island
Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
AND NOW A WORD FROM OUR SPONSOR...
I've just added many new books to my SALES PAGE .
Many Hardy Boys with DJ's and dozen's of like new PC editions as well as many other series.
If you would like to contribute an article, letter or announce a new Hardy Boys discovery, please send e-mail to: email@example.com - Please use "Bayport Times" as your subject heading.
See you next time!
New On The Shelves
It may take detectives as good as the Hardy Boys to put together all of the information and facts about the Hardy Boys animated series and rock'n'roll group.
That's one conclusion I came to when I tried to write an article about the subject. The Hardy Boys animated series was on ABC-TV from September 1969 to September 1971. Produced by Filmation, the famous detective brothers were transformed into members of a rock group which solved mysteries while traveling the country playing concerts. A real life Hardy Boys rock'n'roll band was formed to go along with the series which performed the songs on the show and actually had some records produced.
If you are like many of the Hardy Boys fans and collectors, you are probably wondering why I wanted to write an article about the animated series. After all, there seems to be little interest and little respect for the cartoon or the rock group.
This is understandable. After all, transforming Frank and Joe Hardy into rock band members, putting them into the mod, colorful clothing styles of the 1970s, and lengthening their hair was one thing. But the quality of the animated series was another thing. Unfortunately, the series was not that good. And Hardy Boys purists probably react to the animated series in the same manner as Batman purists react to the campy, parody "Batman" television series of the 1960s: with disdain and disapproval.
I am a Hardy Boys fan and I agree that the cartoon was a weak and poor adaptation of the long running books series. So why did I write an article about this subject?
First, as I said, I am a Hardy Boys fan and I am also a freelance writer. Writing an article about the Hardy Boys has always been a dream of mine.
Second, little, if anything, had been written about the Hardy Boys animated series. That part of the Hardy Boys history seems to have been ignored. Thus, by writing an article about the subject, I was possibly going into uncharted territory. Here was a chance to do something different.
Third, I religiously watched the animated series when it originally aired on television. Even though I was only 12 years old at the time, I knew it was very different from the books that I read and enjoyed. But because I was only 12 years old at the time, I enjoyed the cartoon.
So for those reasons, I decided to write an article about this series and rock group.
Easier said than done. When I researched the series for my proposed article, I quickly discovered exactly how little had been done on the subject. Trying to find out information about the show was like trying to find buried treasure.
I started at my local library where I spent an afternoon looking through books on television shows, television history, and animation. The shelves were full of such books but they were not full of information about the Hardy Boys cartoon. Except for a few basic facts such as a brief description and when the show aired, these books had little to say about the Hardy Boys animated series.
In fact, most of the television encyclopedias which claimed to be complete didn't even list the cartoon. And what books did have information on the show, seemed to have the same information as the other books. From this I concluded that the books had the same sources or were copying information from each other!
Next I tried to find people to interview about the subject. But who to interview was a problem. My immediate wish was to find someone that actually worked on the series or one of the members of the real life band. But that wish didn't come true. For a brief time, I thought I had located Norbert Soltysiak, who was one of the real life band members. I found an east coast address for Soltysiak and I wrote and asked if he was once a member of the Hardy Boys rock group.
Soltysiak replied that he was NOT that Soltysiak. However, his sons had watched the show when it was on and he remembered the Hardy Boys cartoon and rock group. When my article was published, could I send him a copy? He and his sons would like to read it.
Next, I tried to find some Hardy Boys experts and fans. Perhaps there were some who would talk about the animated series. Through Bob Finnan's Unofficial Hardy Boys Home Page and Series Book Central websites, I was able to find many fans to interview and the opinions were unanimous: The series stunk! There was no problem in finding people to say that. But I wanted to do more than criticize the series.
The fan connection helped in another way. Through some fan referrals, I was able to locate people who had videotaped copies of some of the episodes. This enabled me to watch episodes and critique them. And everything I saw caused me to agree wholeheartedly with what Hardy Boys fans thought of the series.
In pursuing information, I was reminded that I owned some Hardy Boys animated series material. I searched through my closets and file cabinets and discovered what turned out to be a rare collectible. The Hardy Boys real life band had some records released. On the album covers were notices about a Hardy Boys rock group fan club. I bought the first Hardy Boys record album when it originally came out and joined that club. Much to my surprise I still had the membership kit in its original package.
This kit gave me some information about the rock group for my article and it also made me realize how rare an item it is. Whenever I mentioned the kit to a Hardy Boys collector/fan, they were astounded and asked for photocopies of the fan club materials. Bob Finnan even asked me for scans of the materials so that he could put the pictures on his website. If you go to the Hardy Boys On Television page of his Unofficial Hardy Boys Home Page website, you can see the scans of the fan club kit items and a note from Bob thanking me for the scans. What an honor to be a part of the Hardy Boys website!
At the same time I dug up the fan club kit from my closet, I also discovered a scrapbook of favorite TV shows and cartoons that I had kept when I was a kid. In the scrapbook was a brief article about the series and the rock group that had appeared in a children's magazine when the series originally aired. I had cut the article out of the magazine and put it in my scrapbook. This also provided me with some material.
Then through word of mouth, I came across a television history book that had more material than all of the other television history books combined. A friend of mine heard me talking about this article I was trying to write and casually mentioned "I have a book about all of the Filmation animated series and I think there's a chapter on the Hardy Boys. Would you like to borrow the book?"
The book was "Animation by Filmation" by Michael Swanigan and Darrell McNeil. If you are interested in the Filmation animated series, then this is the book for you. It has chapters on all of the company's cartoon shows. Unfortunately, because the book wasn't published by a major publisher, it remains an obscure and hard-to-find title.
While the chapter in the book on the Hardy Boys series provided me with more information, at the same time, it continued the trend of lack of information. For example, all of the other Filmation cartoons studied in the book listed episodes for each series. The chapter on the Hardy Boys was one of the few that didn't list episodes.
But still, with all of these pieces put together, I was now able to write an article about the series and the rock group. My article first appeared in the December 7, 1998 issue of the "AB Bookman's Weekly," a book sellers/buyers/collectors magazine. And the article was recently seen on the internet when it was reprinted in the May 1999 edition of The Bayport Times.
But even though I succeeded in getting an article published about a largely ignored area of Hardy Boys history, I still wish to know more about the cartoon and rock group and I still think there's a lot of information out there waiting to be found. I would still like to find one of the real life band members or find someone who actually worked on the series. And I would still like to find any other articles or books which mention or study the cartoon or rock group. If you have any copies of articles or books with information about the cartoon or rock group or know of anyone who might know anything, please email me at RSKEL@aol.com
Copies of the show exist in 16mm format. Fans and collectors have transferred the films to videotape format. If you own any shows not listed here, please let us know so that we can add them to the list. Please contact us only if you physically own a copy of the show so that we have proof of the episodes' existence.
This Month: Over The Ocean To Paris; or, Ted Scott's Daring Long Distance Flight
For a change of pace, this month I'm reviewing a story in another series penned under the Franklin W. Dixon pseudonym, probably for no other reason than the fact that this is one of my favorite series books!
PLOT IN A NUTSHELL: Upright, hardworking-but-poor orphan Ted Scott dreams of a career in aviation while he toils away at his menial job in the mammoth plant of the Devally-Hipson Aero Corporation. His foster father, Eben Browning, was swindled by Brewster Gale, so Ted beats up both of Gale's obnoxious sons a couple of times (An act repeated in most of the other stories as well. You'd think they'd learn to steer clear of Ted!). He then impresses/saves a couple of rich (and apparently very lonely) businessmen, Walter Hapworth and Paul Monet, who wine and dine him and then send him to flying school. After a series of aerial adventures both at school and in the service of the Post Office, one of the rich guys builds him a plane, Ted makes a grueling solo flight to Paris and becomes a world famous hero.
Comments: The Ted Scott series was written to cash in on the aviation craze that swept the nation after "Lucky Lindy" made his famous flight. This story is so close to recounting that flight and Ted Scott so closely resembles Charles Lindbergh, it's a wonder Lindy didn't sue for royalties!
(The following is an excerpt from a recently discovered, never-published Hardy Boys manuscript. By anyone's best estimation, it was written in the early 1960's. It is not known who the ghostwriter was, or why the project was never finished, although it is rumored that he got a better-paying offer elsewhere)
THE CHARTER BOAT
"There's no doubt in my mind," Professor Hinckley said, looking up from his microscope. "These two samples are from the same species of fern."
"Golly!" exclaimed Joe. "That's great news! Did you hear that, Frank?"
"I sure did, Joe. But tell me, professor, are these plants common?"
Professor Hinckley looked thoughtful for a moment and finally said: "No, boys, not all that common at all. To the best of my knowledge, I've only seen them on cliffs north of Barmet Bay." Frank and Joe exchanged meaningful glances at each other upon hearing this.
"We could go looking for some, Joe. But confound the luck, the Sleuth is still being repaired!" observed Frank. Joe looked glum at the realization that his brother was correct.
"Perhaps I can be of further service, boys. As part of my field research, I've booked myself on a small charter boat that takes short jaunts around the various inlets of the bay. I'd be happy to have you accompany me."
"Wow, professor!" exclaimed Joe. "That'd be swell of you. Why, we'll locate those ferns as sure as we're alive!"
"It's settled then," said the Professor. " Meet me at the charter office down at the waterfront at two o'clock."
"You bet we will, Professor! And thanks again!" said Frank as they made their way to the door of the laboratory.
Frank and Joe arrived at the charter office and bought their tickets with some of their seemingly inexhaustible pocket money. At the pier they were met by a pleasant but rather awkward boy not much older than they were. He introduced himself as the first mate.
"Nice to meet you fellows," said the friendly young man. "Do you have any luggage I can carry onto the boat for you?"
"No, no luggage," replied Frank. "Do you think we'll need any?"
"Oh, probably not. The whole trip only lasts two or three hours. But sometimes people come directly from steamships, and haven't had time to check into a hotel."
"I see," said Frank.
"Speaking of luggage, I better get to work. You fellows can go ahead onto the boat. Sit wherever you like."
Frank and Joe stepped onto the small boat and found an open seat. It was a beautiful day on Barmet Bay, without a cloud in the sky.
"Hello," said a dark-haired young woman sitting on the opposite side of the small craft. Joe was flattered by the sudden attention. "Hello. My name is Joe-- Joe Hartley," he replied, almost letting the cat out of the bag. "Are you from Bayport?"
The girl blushed demurely. "Oh no, I'm visiting my aunt. I'm actually from the Midwest."
Frank gently nudged Joe's elbow, and made a subtle gesture to redirect his brother's attention. At dockside the awkward young man was talking to an older couple with a considerable amount of luggage. Alongside side them was a younger woman with flaming red hair, perhaps their daughter. The older man was clutching one particular valise close to him, as if he valued it more than life itself.
"Do they seem a little overdressed for a quick tour of the bay?" Joe whispered out of the side of his mouth. "They sure do, Joe," replied Frank. "They look more like they're set to go to a formal ball, rather than a boat ride."
The young first mate began hauling on the massive luggage, which included several steamer trunks. At this time a heavyset man stepped to the middle of the boat and began speaking. "Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentleman. I am Captain Grumby, the skipper of this fine craft. I will be your host for the afternoon, pointing out the sights of interest in and around Barmet Bay."
"I wonder where Professor Hinckley could be," said Joe. "I think we're almost ready to cast off."
Frank Smiled. "Not to worry. Here he comes now." Professor Hence sauntered up to the dock, identified himself to the first mate and stepped on board. He took a seat to Frank's right.
"Forgive me for being late, boys," said the professor. "My experiment took longer to conclude than I anticipated."
"We're just glad you made it, Professor," exclaimed Joe. "It was starting to look like you'd miss the boat!"
The first mate cast off, and the small boat pulled away from the dock with the portly captain at the wheel. As Bayport shrank in the distance behind them, the boys took great interest in the captain's descriptions of the bay. "I sure hope we see some of those certain ferns," whispered Joe to Frank. "I'll say!" replied his brother.
Suddenly, as often happens on Barmet Bay, there was a drastic downturn in the weather. "Fear not, my good people," said the captain with confidence. "My first mate and I know this old bay like the backs of our hands."
The captain's assurances notwithstanding, the weather starting getting rough, and large whitecaps chopped through the water. The tiny ship was tossed. The sky was getting blacker by the moment, and large bolts of lightening crashed across the heavens. The captain addressed the passengers again, looking much grimmer this time.
"People, this storm is larger than we anticipated, and it appears to only be getting worse. We will have no choice but to ride it out. At this time I would like each of you to put on a life preserver and rain gear for your own safety." Joe helped the two younger women into their gear. Frank helped the older woman, whose husband seemed reluctant to put down his valise long enough to put on his rain gear.
"A three hour tour... a three hour tour," the gentleman kept muttering to himself, clutching the bag tightly to his chest.
"Look at how he holds that valise, Frank," observed Joe. "You'd think he had ten thousand dollars in it." The Hardy brothers exchanged meaningful glances again.
Without warning, a huge wave crashed across the deck. Frank and Joe, being the only ones standing up were swept over the side in a huge torrent of water!
(Chapter 11 was never written, but the outline described Frank and Joe being rescued by the coast guard. The fates of the Professor, the first mate, the skipper and the rest were not specifically stated although it is speculated the ship was beached on an unchartered desert isle.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Raymond (and Cam) Merkh)
I became re-interested in the Hardy Boys last August when, on the last night of a vacation, I told my son the plot of "The Tower Treasure" as a bedtime story. We had to dig the books out of the attic when we returned home, and when we left on another trip, we had to stop at every place along the way that advertised old books for sale. We bought about a half dozen titles. I didn't want to get the revised versions if I could help it, but he was pretty insistent at times, and I gave in. Now I learn that one of the ones we got is a "scarce" edition ("Yellow Feather Mystery" with no white printing on the back cover). I had originally told my son that we were not buying them to make money with, just to read. (The first place we had stopped had nice yellow-spine editions for twenty bucks apiece.) We were just in New York City; twenty dollars now looks like a bargain.
From: email@example.com (Ilana Nash)
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Lisa A Mowins)
From: email@example.com (Hallvard Dyrland)
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Thomas E. Flora)
From: Gopullman@aol.com (Tom Hoffman)
From: email@example.com (Raymond Merkh)
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Diedre Johnson)
Letters may be edited for content, spelling etc. but, then again, maybe not!
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