News from Billboard Magazine 1950

It’s Wednesday, so it’s time for another look at Billboard Magazine for 1950. The war’s over, our boys are fighting in Korea, television’s getting bigger, and Elvis was only 15 years old.

There’s a new game they’re promoting: MOTO! POLO!

Billboard 1950

A Ford auto dealer devised the game in 1911 as a way to sell Model T’s. Unfortunately, the sport had a tendency to cause fatalities and worse, damage the cars. Really hurts the resale value.

auto polo 1911

The new version uses stripped-down cars and that new invention: seat belts!

moto polo

Polo cars were automobiles that had been stripped of everything except the running gear and the frame. Rounded roll cages and cross bracing were added to aid an overturned car in doing a complete roll and landing on its wheels again. Drivers were held in place with leather belts that were known to occasionally break. Most participants could expect to overturn on several occasions during the course of a single game.

Apparently, a new version of the game has appeared in Rwanda. It is played on motorcycles.

Meanwhile, a union for Negro musicians don’t want them to promote their records on the air, I guess.

In other news, there’s nothing new about proposing stupid laws to stop people from listening to Redd Foxx.

I wonder: Did anyone ask “how are we going to enforce this law? Record inspectors at the state line? Vinyl-sniffing dogs? What?”

And of course, when states ban one form of obscenity, there are businessmen figuring out ways of getting around it.

Here’s one of the wrestlers involved: Clara Mortensen.

World champion. Acted in “Racket Girls,” which was lampooned by MST3K. Not enough to earn her a Wikipedia page, but this site has a potted bio:

Clara Mortensen started wrestling in the early 30?s performing with “Crafts Big Shows,” a traveling carnival based in California. By 1934 she was recognized as ladies champion by those promoters presenting women’s matches, either as World’s Lightweight Champion or as World’s Women’s Champion. With women’s professional wrestling established in pro rings, Mortensen could be considered the first champion of the modern era.

Still remembered by wrestling historians, at least, and there’s a few clips up on YouTube.