It's a lively mixture of marching band music, swingy tunes and other instrumentals mixed with Wallace's ever-present and enthusiastic voice of instruction.
The set includes six records and assorted guides, along with a letter from Wallace encouraging the lady of the house to pay seventeen dollars on his "easy payment plan" to lose weight, shape up and regain their "lost pep". Why, he even brags that many people pay as much as three hundred dollars to attend his classes. Even though that was a boatload of cash in the forties, it's still easy to believe Wallace. The enclosed booklets written by him practically ooze assurance - and the ever-present photos of his trustworthy face put a person at ease right away.
One of the high points of the set for me is this booklet:
You may be asking yourself, "What is this 'Woman's Birthright' that is spoken of? Menstruation? Unwanted facial hair? Pay scales that don't match those awarded to male counterparts?" ( or you might just be thinking, "I didn't know that they could show naked lady nipple silhouettes in the forties") Either/or. Let's look inside, shall we?
First, a note from Wallace (and again with those eyes):
Whew! I bet he was really sweating bullets when those radios came in to vogue!
And how about a little of the introduction?
Thanks for the guilt trip, Wallace! I love the part where he says, "And beauty is a normal condition. If more women realized this - there would be more beautiful women."
Oh, snap! I also like the line: "Beauty is not a 'gift', but a reward for obeying Nature's laws."
Got it. Obey nature's laws. Can do.
(Unless nature has a law against Cheeto's and then well, slap the cuffs on me, Wallace!)
The booklet also includes some testimonials. This one from Mr. Frank Peterson:
Frank is enjoying his "new wife"! Let's hear it for those streamlined broads! Admittedly, she does look much more svelte and happy. One point for Wallace.
Here is another testimonial. This time from Mrs. Walter Smith:
Go Mrs. Walter Smith! She may have lost a couple of chins (color me jealous) but she didn't lose her taste in sweeeet hats. Oh okay, another point for Wallace.
Now before we get too excited and get our workout mats ready, a warning from Wallace:
And maybe we should look at his reduction tips:
So, wait..wait..he not only wants us to exercise but he also wants us to sweat ourselves into heat exhaustion? Who among us has ever worked out inside of our homes while wearing men's thermal underwear with fleece lining and thick Winter socks? After drinking hot water and before wrapping ourselves in a thick blanket while our life slowly drains from our body as we wait for our warm baths to reach capacity in our steam filled bathrooms? (If you have, don't tell me because I can't even bear to think of it.)
Before I get too riled up (and I am sure at this point that it's easy for you all to tell that I don't like to suffer for weight loss), let's take a look at the diagrams:
Wait one New York minute! That broad isn't wearing the grungy old, fleece lined long underwear that she got out of her husband's drawer! What's up with that??
Nah, that's only one of his homemade workout machines:
(For you ladies who don't want to make the men in your life mad by screwing eye hooks and rope into the nice baseboard, just put your feet under the front of the couch. Disclaimer: This isn't Wallace's tip but mine - from the days when I wasn't afraid of exercise.)
Now, I think it's time for what I'm sure your hearts have been longing for - a little bit of ear candy from Wallace. Here he leads us through the mule kick. Don't miss how he kind of loses himself towards the end and starts to sing. I love it!:
Upon researching Wallace, I learned that his last name was Rogerson and that he did these records for many decades. I found ads for the record sets from the twenties right on up to the fifties. It seems that one could send away for the first record for free and then the sales pitch for the other records in the set would begin. From what I can tell from reading a pretty confusing legal affidavit regarding the use of his name, he passed away in 1943 and his widow continued the mail order record business until 1959. Here is one of the ads from 1950:
Photo Courtesy of Duke University Libraries Digital Collections
As evidenced in the ad, he also used to have a "Get Thin To Music" radio show. I couldn't find much more except that where his office used to be is now a T.G.I. Friday's restaurant. Considering the calorie counts in that place, I don't think he'd appreciate that!
And if you're interested, here is a really cool website that shows the most awesome ad for the record set from the twenties and tells about how a "History Detectives" show has been done for PBS on these very same reducing records:
That ought to be a great episode and it's definitely going on my calendar. Maybe there will be some fascinating inside scoop on Wallace! It should air in September.
I'm planning on talking the Mister into doing a month of Wallace's plan with me. I'll report back. I'm sure that I'll reduce down to just a tiny sliver of a thing!
Until next time (one..two..three..four...one...two..three..four)
x's and o's,