Fifty years ago this month, that venerable men’s magazine of many of our youths – Playboy – put out a “historic” issue, featuring its first pair of Playmates, the identical twins Mary and Madeleine Collinson.
The twins were celebrated with no less than an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, and went on to feature in a handful of films – perhaps most famously in the 1971 Peter Cushing vampire/witch thriller Twins of Evil (AKA Twins of Dracula) – before retiring from the movie biz in the early ’70s.
We thought this occasion – Playmates in stereo, as it were – might afford us an opportunity to take a look at what of the latest and greatest in hi-fi was being spotlighted and advertised in the pages of Playboy that month. The truth is, not as much as we thought there might be. While the magazine would become a veritable catalog of the newest in stereo (and quadrophonic!) equipment within a couple of years, manufacturers had not yet unleashed the full flood of their advertising dollars upon the publishing giant.
Still, the October 1970 issue does give us a feature article on the exciting new advances being made in compact-cartridge technology (those would be cassettes), as well as a fair smattering of adverts. In future months, we’ll look at other past issues of Playboy, as well as Rolling Stone and other popular magazines of the day, to see not only what was being sold, but how it was being sold. Enjoy!