Monday, December 5, 2016

FLY THIS POST TO CUBA! NOW!

With the death of Fidel Castro, I thought it would a perfect moment to bring out this tape, which dates to the height of the "Take This Plane to Cuba!" string of hijackings.

It's a recording of an NBC news special, from 8/3/61. On that date, such a hijacking was foiled, as you'll hear in the report. They then cover other recent episodes in this trend. The show is anchored by the legendary Edwin Newman.

Just a neat little piece of history, captured by a dedicated audio collector, and now offered up by another such collector, shared with anyone who'd like to hear it.

Download: NBC News Special On Hijackings, 1961
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Thursday, November 24, 2016

A 1965 Thanksgiving Day Tribute to Kaolin!

So, where have I been - I won't duplicate the post, but I did write a bit about my last few weeks at my other blog, within this post. As I said there, I hope to be back on a regular schedule (which, for this site, is about every two weeks), starting immediately.

Today, I have a tape I find to be barely steps away from being totally bizarre, but then again, maybe you had to be there. You see, a significant amount of the wheels of industry and gears of income in central Georgia, at least at a point some 50 years ago, seems to have been all wrapped up in the clay known as Kaolinite, better known as Kaolin. Its uses have run from making glossy magazine pages shiny to being the key (original) ingredient in Kaopectate, and many other uses in between.

So important was it to the region, that for at least two years, radio station WCRY in Macon broadcast tributes lasting over an hour, about, and in honor of, Kaolin. My best guess is that the money brought in by Kaolin played a significant role in the life of this station, hence the "tribute". Without that supposition, as I said, this program strikes me is fairly odd, to say the least.

For this year's Thanksgiving, here is the first of the two shows titled "A Tribute to Kaolin", from 1965. If you're really clambering for the 1966 version, maybe I can share it with you next Thanksgiving.

Download: WCRY, Macon, Georgia: A Tribute to Kaolin, 1965
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On this Thanksgiving, I offer up my thanks to everyone who reads this site, with a special thanks to those who chime in with comments. I really appreciate it.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Raw Tapes from a "Man On The Street" Type TV Show

 
 
Well, it's been a busy few weeks, with a couple more to come in advance of a big event I'm part of. And that's meant less posting here. It will pick up after the middle of the month, and I have a lot more to share.
 
For today, here's an interesting reel, one which captures the raw tapes for a show - I believe a local PBS show from the Maryland area - called "People In Process". I can find no references to this show, but admittedly haven't looked that hard.
 
The investigation here (such as it is) is into how people in a small town view life in a small town. That they chose the city of Annapolis, Maryland, which is the capital of the state, strikes me as weird, especially given that the town had 30,000 residents in the late '60's and early '70's, which is when I'm guessing this is from. Perhaps it's because I was raised in a town of 4000 people, but 30,000 people isn't a "small town" to me.
 
The questions the interviewer chooses to ask, particularly the different things he asks different people, are quite interesting, and deserve their own sociological study. There's also the woman who doesn't want to be on camera. And there's the way he tries so hard to feed several interviewees questions, asking them to answer in complete sentences, even telling them how to start the sentences, and the way that NONE of them seem to understand what he wants them to do. Beyond that, to my ears, he just isn't much of an interviewer, and that's being generous.
 
The entire tape runs about 56 minutes.
 
Play:
 
 

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Greetings to a Soldier in Korea

Here's a tape which is a lot of fun, as well as touching at times, and just generally a snapshot of its time and place.

It seems to be a group of family and friends sending good wishes to a man (named John)who is stationed in Korea. As there's no date anywhere on the box or within the contents of the recording, it's not clear if this is during the "police action", or after it, but it does sound like the revelers had expected their friend John to be home by the date of this recording, and that this hadn't happened.

Reading between the lines, it seems at least possible that some of those involved thought John would be present at this gathering, and when John couldn't be there, they made a tape for him instead, even though it also sounds like he was still due back in a matter of days - at one point it sounds like he's only coming back on a brief leave.

The tape is boisterous at times - particularly the first several minutes, during which some reveling adults interact while, I'm guessing, enjoying some adult beverages. That's fun, but the most interesting part for me comes when some children start to talk to John at about 16:30, starting (briefly) with a very excited small child, and then an older child who talks for a few minutes.

After too few minutes of that, a more sedate adult follows with more narration about life and times. If the earlier speakers were a bit too sloshy, this guy is so dry as to appear to be reading his report, something he acknowledges and tries to correct at one point. Then there's about five sweet minutes of talk before and after a meal, with the kids chiming in here and there. I love the one kid trying to mimic everything that is said.

A couple of more serious (and older sounding) relatives follow - this section of the tape is marred by some damaged tape and a section which seems to have been edited out, via a splice (perhaps more damaged tape). And then, just as yet another person is coming in to speak, the tape runs out (although again, it's certainly possible that there was originally more tape here.

Please enjoy this little moment in time.

Download: Family and Friends: A Tape for a Soldier in Korea
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Monday, September 26, 2016

At the Circus with Some Nutty Ad-Men


So I opened up the above tape box, and started listening to its contents. And at first, I thought I genuinely had a tape of various companies' attempts to provide an ad for something called "Circus Nuts", as each ad starts with the name of an advertising company. In other words, a series of potential ads for the manufacturer to review and choose from. But that didn't make sense, since the name of the company providing the ads - Donahue and Coe, Inc. - was right on the box.

I'm probably just slow, but it took me until the fourth ad, purported to be from "The British Ad Agency 'Stiff, Upper & Lip'", before it dawned on me that these tracks - including the introductions - were the commercials that ran on the air, and that each "company" named was somehow indicative of the contents of the ad. Ho ho.

There are three minute-long ads and nine 30-second-long ads. A few are fairly funny, all of them are typical of the era (and happily nostalgic for me today, for that reason), and the whole thing is an enjoyable listen.

Here's the entire, eight minute long tape:

Download: Donahue & Coe, Inc. - Twelve Circus Nuts Ads
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Monday, August 29, 2016

",,,They've Been Practicing For Over a Month Now..."

I could not have come across this tape at a better time, and I had to race to share it with the little corner of the world which comes here to listen to my collection of ephemera. This ties in perfectly with the recent release of the wonderful film "Florence Foster Jenkins", and with the publication of a book by the same title, by my friend, and fellow blogger, Darryl Bullock.

For what fell into my lap last week (or, more specifically, my speakers), but a spectacularly incompetent performance by a pair of otherwise unknown young men, laughably bad and comically sincere. 

This came about a quarter of the way through an otherwise tedious and nearly unlistenable 90 minute tape of a Pentecostal style church event, date and location unknown. The tape starts with the singing of several hymns, interspersed by prayers and community announcements. After the segment I'm featuring was a lengthy sermon, based on a specific text of scripture, and then, an even lengthier revival speech, by a man who, based on his accent, was clearly Australian - his speech leads to music while people come up to the front of the church to be received and to accept Jesus as their personal savior. 

Ah, but in between the final of the initial hymns and that lengthy sermon, comes this moment of magic, when, as you'll hear, a member of the congregation introduces two young men from the congregation, who have been practicing their song "for over a month now". Clearly, "over a year now" would not have helped, either. I don't know if it would have been appropriate in that setting for people to applaud, but no one does, and only a meek "thank you, fellas" follows the atrocious performance. Perhaps the man who introduced them no longer felt it was the "very special treat" he indicted it would be. 

In the spirit of Florence Foster Jenkins, please enjoy Zac and Arthur, with their rendition of "I'll Tell the World That I'm a Christian": 

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A Hodgepodge - Three Short, Unrelated Tapes

I'm doing a bit of cleaning out of my "not yet shared" folder today, and offering up three relatively brief tracks, each from a separate tape, and not related to each other in any way I can think of (not from the same family, same genre, similar content), except that each is a home recording.

First up, a tape I've titled "11 Minutes of Chords and Talk, Two Minutes of Singing". I just got a kick of this tape, because these young people are clearly having fun, and interacting happily, and yet the point of recording seems to have been to record a performance - and yet, most of the tape is preparing in different ways for that performance - deciding what to sing, working out the chords, playing bits and pieces, etc. (in addition to multiple people asking "are you recording", or something similar, and a comment that "we've been here two days without getting organized..."), with the actual performance coming during the last 15% of the recording - little more than two minutes of a 13 minute tape.

I enjoy the fact that they mention, or sing lines from, at least four songs (by my count), but then end up doing a number not mentioned until moments before it is performed (and a half-assed performance it is, indeed). Musicians might enjoy one person telling another to play his guitar in "F Flat....or E!" Just a few moments in the lives of a small group of friends. A minor pleasure for sure, but I love stuff like this.

Download: Unknown - 11 Minutes of Chords and Talk, Two Minutes of Singing
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A tape I can best describe as "reprehensible" follows, one I've labeled "Badgering a Toddler", although "Dad's a Jamoke" would have worked, too. Please forgive me for the loud noise at the beginning - I should have lowered the volume or edited this out, and didn't....

Not much description needed here - an adult man repeatedly tries to get a child to talk into the microphone, becoming fairly abusive in tone at times. Both the sound of the child, and a brief reference to his age, make it clear that this is a toddler, and the man berates him for having nothing to say, and for not following his instructions. For nearly ten minutes. Obnoxious and exceptionally irritating.

Download: Unknown - Badgering a Toddler
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Finally, something that's getting to be an old standby of this site already, an audio letter. In this case, a stultifying set of conversations from a man (unnamed) and a woman (Jean) to some recipients named Dorothy and Bea. This tape features weirdly echoing sound for the first two-thirds of its 14 minute length.

And the tape seemingly starts up in the middle of a conversation, making me think maybe the tape is on side two as it starts - there are clearly references to things that have already been discussed, and we jump right into some exceptionally dull talk about research and theoretical issues. However, there is nothing on the flip side of this tape, so... either the flip side was erased, or there was another tape, or, this is all there was. I dunno.

After the man speaks, Jean comes in, and her discussion is nearly as mind-numbing, as she talks about teaching a chemistry course for "girls who are not going on to college" - it's a science course, but sounds more like a home-ec course. She finishes the tape by talking about some day to day events in her life (including her teaching experiences) and responses to things said/asked by the recipient of this tape.

Download: Unknown - Audio Letter
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