Tuesday, January 31, 2023

More Vintage Baseball, The 1961 Oscars, Marge and Her Songs, More from Japan and the Trip to Vegas

Howdy Doody, everyone,

Last time around, I finally provided the New York Yankees tapes which had been a subject of discussion for a month or more. And that got me to thinking about how I have my own vintage baseball recordings. 

These are not nearly as historical (or complete, for that matter) as the Yankees/Red Sox games shared last time around, but they are a piece of my own history. 

I have no memory of falling in love with baseball, but it must have been a very sudden thing. I turned nine during the much-discussed CUBS season of 1969, and have no memory of it, or the excitement it caused. 1970 must have been my pivotal year. Because by opening day of 1971, I was enough of a fan that I feigned being sick on that opening day, in order to see the entire first game of the season. I'm sure my mom knew I wasn't actually unwell, but she seems to have gone along with it. 

And what's more, I taped parts of the game - essentially, all of the innings when the CUBS were up to bat. During the recording, especially in the early innings, you will hear me chiming in with comments and outbursts, as well as very soft conversations with my mother. 

Interestingly, play-by-play man Jack Brickhouse left the game in the later innings, in order to catch a plane to Los Angeles, in order to call a game for the then-fairly-new Chicago Bulls. I had no idea that they had a very good team in what was then their fifth season, but they were in the latter stages of the playoffs, and indeed, would lose the series with the Lakers, three games to two, that very night. So Brickhouse called two games in two different sports, half a country apart, in one day. 

Here is the tape.  

Download: Chicago Cubs Vs St Louis Cardinals - Opening Day, 1971 - 4-6-71 (Excerpts)

Play:

The next day, I raced back to the TV to capture the end of the second game of the season, which decidedly did not go the way the first game had gone. As you'll hear, Brickhouse was back to Chicago by that following afternoon, to call another Cubs game. 

Download: Chicago Cubs Vs St Louis Cardinals - Second Game, 1971 - 4-7-71 (Final Innings)

Play: 

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The latest nominations for Academy Awards, for films released on 2022, were just named a few days ago. And so what better time than now to share with you this lengthy recording of what I believe to be the entire 1961 Academy Awards telecast. I can't find that this is generally available anywhere, so this may be a particularly interesting recording for some of you.

Download: The 1961 Oscar Telecast

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Here is a tape which is one of a seemingly endless group of tapes which came from the collection of someone named Marge Magenheimer. Ms. Magenheimer (I'm going to type "Marge" from now on) seems to have written a couple of songs, and the tapes in question contain endless versions of those two songs in various settings and tempos, and with various singers.

This particular tape starts with Marge introducing an exciting moment in her life, when one of these songs, "Take Me In Your Arms" (copyright June, 1954) was to be performed on the radio by a pianist, followed by that radio broadcast. Then Marge sings the song with the piano. The radio performer then plays another of Marge's songs "You're a Lucky So-and-So", and she again sings over the broadcast. I can't tell for sure if she was part of the recorded broadcast, or singing over instrumental renditions of her song. I think it's the latter - that she was singing along with either a radio broadcast or a dub of that broadcast. 

There follows an instrumental version of Marge's third song, which might be called "So Long, Baby". 

The recording than appears to switch to a live recording by Marge, accompanied by perhaps another pianist, this time everyone performing live, in another rendition of "So Long, Baby". Or maybe this is still over a tape recorded backing. Anyway, this performance (really two shots at it, back to back) goes on for approximately three days. Or seems like it. 

Download: Marge Magenheimer and Friends Sing a Set of Songs - Circa January, 1955

Play:

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Returning to a project I've been working on for several months now, probably over a year, here is yet another audio letter from our young man in Japan, circa 1967. I'm still unclear as to exactly what he was doing there - certainly a student, not so certainly a soldier, but I'll keep the identification as a "student-soldier" consistent with the previous postings. 

Download: Another Student-Soldier Tape from Japan, 9-16-67

Play:


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And now, here's a tape I just listened to this week. The tape actually has about five short conversations on it, but all but one of them are recorded so poorly (low volume) and with enough low hum that no amount of fiddling on my part seemed to be able to make them decipherable. The one section that can be heard features a few folks, one of whom is a woman named Bill (not Billie, "Bill" - that's a new one on me), discussing a trip to Las Vegas, as well as the drive home, at some earlier time in their lives. 

Download: Bill and Friends - The Trip to Vegas, etc

Play:

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Our "Acetate of the Month" could not look more bland: 


But contained on that plain black disc with its plain black label, is heard a men's singing group, performing six songs all about the Sigma Chi fraternity. Here's the entire record: 

Download: Men's College Singing Group - 6 Sigma Chi Songs - One Side

Play:

Download: Men's College Singing Group - 6 Sigma Chi Songs - Other Side

Play:

~~

And finally, our "Very Short Reel" for this posting. The tape label promises to only provide us with a 60 second, Post-Christmas-Sale (from 1998) for "Car Stereo One" somewhere in or near Toledo, and that ad is heard, but the tape was previously used for two ads for Fritz Gifts & Collectibles Inc., of  Monroe, MI, just 20 short miles from Toledo. So left on the tape is the clunky introduction to those ads, 47 seconds of the first of the two ads, and two seconds of the second ad, so you'll hear those in sequence after the Car Stereo ad: 

Download: Car Stereo One & Fritz Gifts and Collectibles - December, 1998

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Friday, January 13, 2023

All That Baseball, Audio Letters, Some Dubbing, Superman, A Short Concert and Some Ads!

  HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I want to start with a bunch of housekeeping and thanks. 

First, thanks to everyone who continues to read and listen to my posts, and especially those who comment. I understand the purpose of the anonymous comment feature, but I sure wish I had a way of knowing how to respond individually to many of these comments which come through anonymously, or with a name, but no e-mail address. Please know I read and appreciate all of them. 

To a person named Kyle, who wrote that he is reposting some of this material to YouTube: I appreciate you doing that, and I found a couple of those postings. I would love it if you would include, in your re-postings, a link back to my site. That would give a little bit of publicity to the site, and to the additional material people can find here. Just a request. 

I also want to direct folks to the comments of my last post. "Old Guy", who has commented several times, and an anonymous poster (who might also have been "Old Guy") did some digging into the wonderful "Christmas 1978" tape that I shared. Between the two of them (or the one of him) they/he found out exactly who this family was, and provided more information on daughter Ginger, who was Miss South Dakota of 1977. Have a look. 

Next, I am very much overdue in directing folks to the YouTube page run by a frequent commenter to this site who goes by the name Timmy. His page is chock full of great - and often quite lengthy - radio broadcasts of the sort that people really like, based on what gets responses here. These date from the 1960's all the way into the 2000's. I listened last month, for example, to a great overnight appearance/interview by Flo and Eddie, a nearly three hour show from January 1st of 1977 on KLOS. His posts can be found here. Timmy has been a great pal and a true friend of my blogs. 

I also was lucky enough to encounter a gentleman named Charles who has a fascination with (and an enormous collection of) acetates, and who has been buying some of those from me (which I've mentioned a couple of times that I've been selling). He was delighted to find out who he was buying from, having been a reader of my posts at WFMU for years, and I was equally delighted to let him know I was still in business, here. He was kind enough to send along some fascinating looking reels that he had sitting around, which had belonged to a staff person at WABC-TV in New York. I have not delved into them yet, but if they contain what the boxes say they do, you will probably hear the contents of some of them, eventually, right here. 

Finally,  I want to make mention of a new correspondent - whose name I'm not sure I've yet been told - who is something of a kindred spirit to me, and who also has what sounds to be a massive collection of a great variety of sounds, some of which he has already started sharing with me (including an American's audio letter back home from Australia) and which, once I listen to it, I may request that he allow me to share some of it here. I am very much looking forward to whatever else our conversations may reveal. 

Oh, and one last thing - that final gentleman who I just wrote about, passed along some information I think is very helpful and worthwhile. He wanted to make sure I shared that libraries will transfer old media to digital formats for free, or, as they do in my local library, teach you how to do it and then let you do it for free. I'm sure there are some which will do this with reel tape, but most will do it with 8mm film and video tape. 

Thanks to everyone above, and anyone who I've forgotten to shout-out to. 

And now, back to the countdown: 

~~

Okay, I'm gonna start with the subject of much comment, e-mail conversations and requests and offer up the full baseball game recordings which I alluded to in an October post. At this point, I have no idea if these are the recordings which are already traded in baseball collector circles or if they are recordings of a different station than those traded tapes. I do know that the game I thought was from 5/31/61, and is labeled as such on the tape box, is actually from 5/30/61, and that means that both of these games DO circulate in those trading circles. But on the off chance that these are versions of those broadcasts unknown to the great number of baseball collectors out there, here they are. 

One note before anyone gets to the end of 5/30/61 and is frustrated - the tape runs out just before the last out of the game. The game probably continued for fewer than a half-dozen pitches (perhaps only one) after the recording here ends, but... the entire game is not here. 

Here's the relevant detail from the tape box:  


And here are the two games: 

Download: New York Yankees vs Boston Red Sox, September 25, 1960

Play: 

Download: New York Yankees vs Boston Red Sox, May 30, 1961

Play: 

~~

Okay, on to things I haven't been asked to share. I have several tapes- all from the same collection - which feature people doing dubbing work for films or television shows. At some point - which I can't seem to find right now - I shared at least one of these tapes, and someone told me what was going on, which is that dialogue is being re-recorded to be looped into the existing film or video soundtrack. . The tapes never have anything written on them which identifies the work being "corrected", and by their nature are quite choppy and nearly random. Have a look at the box, which seems to actually say "Pubbing", rather than "Dubbing": 

This one is more interesting than most, to me, because of the interruptions at a few points by sounds in the studio and in the street outside. 

Download: Dubbing - with Some Interruptions

Play:  

If anyone is interested in hearing more of these, I have at least a half dozen more. 

~~

Now, here's a tape I've been sitting on for nearly three years. But I never shared it, for whatever reason. It is a compilation of audio letters from a medical resident - his name is in the track properties - to his family. The early tapes captured here have fairly poor sound quality, but it get considerably better after about 30 minutes or so. At the end of the tape is a bit of odd music which was contained on the other channel of the tape at one point. 

It's been a long, long time since I listened to these all the way through, so I don't actually remember any details at all, but I remember that this tape was quite captivating. I hope you will find it the same. 

Download: Compilation of Tapes from a Medical Resident to His Family

Play: 

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Okay, so here's a tape called "A Concert By a Male A Capella Group". And that's the pretty much everything I know about it, although I will say that a bit past the 30 minute point, they sing a wordless song which will familiar to many people who found themselves enjoying a certain viral YouTube video several years ago. At the end, they sing two songs I just adore, "Hawai'ian War Chant" and "Dry Bones"

Download: A Concert By a Male A Capella Group

Play: 

~~

Okay, I truly don't understand what's happening here, and this is another one I've been sitting on for years, with no real reason for the delay. I'll just call it a Superman parody, apparently in front of an audience, and invite any of you who'd like to offer up any insight into it, to do so, please. 

Download: Unknown - Superman Parody

Play: 

~~

And finally, our "Very Short Reel". And I suspect this will the favorite offering of the post for some of you, as it is a short reel sampling the commercial work of a company called "Com-Track, Inc." Dating from the spring of 1968, it contains some melodies and slogans which will be very familiar to those of us who were around in those days, for some of the most iconic American brands imaginable. 

Download: Com-Track, Inc - Sample Reel - 4-26-68

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Saturday, December 24, 2022

Christmas Through and Through

 Did you hear? Christmas is tomorrow! It was in all the papers! Well, most of them, anyway! I hope the news reached your corner of the globe! 

With that in mind, today's post will be entirely Christmas and End-of-the-Year related. If that's not your thing, please come back after the first of the year (after checking out the first two shares, I would suggest), but for those who revel in such things, we're going all Christmas, all the time. 

I have a lot of Christmas related things on my plate, so I will be brief in most of my comments:  

~~

I think the most interesting recording here, by far, and the one which will likely have the broadest appeal, is this first offering, which I suspect is exceptionally rare. Not rare in the sense that some of the other items here are - home recordings which literally only exist in one copy - but rare in the sense of it being a recording made at a radio station in 1938. The station is WTIC in Hartford, Connecticut, a station which still exists, with those same call letters, and which will soon celebrate its 100th birthday

Not only are recordings of local stations (as opposed to network programming) of that vintage fairly rare, I don't think this isn't even a broadcast. From what I can tell It's a jokey program created by and for the staff of the radio station, for Christmas that year, poking fun at themselves. . 

At least, that's what I think it is. (It's also not clear to me if this is the entire program, or if some is missing.) Please let me know if you have other impressions, in the comments. 

And oh, yes, this could also qualify as our "Acetate of the Month", as it clearly comes from a recording of multiple acetate sides. But this recording came to me on a reel of tape, where someone had recorded those acetate sides. 

Download: WTIC - A Self-Parody for a Christmas Party - 12-22-38

Play:

~~

What's more, the same tape contained a later, joking recording, created at the same station for some Christmas in the 1940's, a shorter piece of humor titled "The Announcer's Nightmare": 

Download: WTIC - A 1940's Self-Parody for a Christmas Party - The Announcer's Nightmare

Play:  

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For an entirely more homey feel, here is a tape of an unknown family singing Christmas Carols at home around 1950 or so. This comes from one of those early paper reels that only were in production until about 1951. Please enjoy these voices from over 70 years ago, sounding (for the most part, anyway) like they could have been recorded last week - such is the magic of reel to reel tape.  

Download: Christmas Carols at Home, Circa 1950

Play:  

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But mayhap you prefer your Christmas entertainment to be provided by the more... professional of performers. If that's the case, I present to you: Perry Como's 1964 Christmas Episode of the Kraft Music Hall, from December 17th of that year: 

Download: Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall - Christmas Show - 12-17-64

Play:

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Getting back into the domestic life, in 1960, Hope and Franklin decided to record about 42 minutes of their Christmas gathering, including, among other things, what sounds very much like some conversation around the dining room table, and some caroling. And in 2022, I am sharing that recording with you. As one participant suggests, "listen to it while you're having dessert".

Download: Christmas, 1960, at Hope and Franklin's House

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Now that dessert is over, it's time for a few reflections. Here is a gentlemen and his family, living in Sioux Falls, looking back at the events of Christmas that year (1978), as well as the events of the year. The recording was made on Christmas night of that year -  it would appear that this was one of a series, and that this family made such a recording every year, for some number of years, at least. Sort of an end-of-the-year family diary. As far as I've found thus far, I do not have any of their other Christmas recordings. Names of several family members are given, during the reporting, but I'll let you hear those. Something about this tape resonates with me very deeply - I find it extremely sweet and very affecting. 

Download: Christmas Evening, 1978, and Review of the Year

Play:

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Our "Very Short Reel" feature for today is also Christmas themed, although it was recorded nearly a month after Christmas of 1951, on January 20, 1952. In this recording, a very small child plays some of his or her (presumably) favorite records, and makes a very small child's attempt to sing along. Note that I don't hold this child to the same standard as the tone-deaf singer who apparently wanted to hear himself singing along to hit records, which I featured last time. It's not this tiny person's fault that the ability to carry a tune has not made itself known yet, nor that the parent decided to record the singing. 

What's more, this kid is in tune at least as often than our would-be singer from last time around. And your mileage may vary a great deal, but I find this recording endearing, something I couldn't say about the aforementioned recording. Perhaps that has something to do with just how long its been since I had a toddler in my life...

After we hear part of a Spike Jones record of nursery rhymes (our only non-Christmas content this week), we go straight into the classic Bing Crosby/Andrews Sisters versions of "Jingle Bells" and "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" (with another record overlapping the first song, for a moment, for some reason)

Download: Small Child Sings with Christmas Records - 1-20-52

Play:

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And finally, our "Acetate of the Month". And here's a surprise - it's Christmas related! And it's a "very short acetate", lasting barely two minutes. The "Duodisc"-brand acetate was a souvenir of a visit to see Santa at a store - Toyland within "Lord's, in Evanston" (Illinois, of course), you can read about the store here, and see a picture of it - what a fantastic building - here. Santa introduces himself, interviews a child about his life and his wishes for Christmas, then sings a few songs with him. My guess is that each of Santa's visitors got such a record. 

Download: Duodisc Acetate - A Visit with Santa at Lord's in Evanston, IL

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Monday, December 12, 2022

Mayor Daley, Christmas Night, Another Loungey Tape, Some Truly Annoying Recordings, and Some BIG NEWS!

 Hello again!

First, I need to acknowledge my most important news of the year. This past Saturday, my wonderful daughter Molly got married to the equally wonderful Sean. Here they are, stepping out into a swarm of bubbles, just after the ceremony: 

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And now, I'd like to do a little housekeeping, or, more specifically, make a few comments and give some belated Thanksgiving thanks to readers and commenters. 

First, to Eric P., who wrote about the fact that I have two near-complete Yankees game radio broadcasts. Eric, the games in question are 9-25-60 and 5-31-61. The former seems to be available, complete, in what I think is the radio broadcast, on YouTube. I cannot find the latter anywhere, so let me know if it circulates in the collection that you mentioned. Basically, let me know if I'd be adding to the available canon by posting either or both of these. Thanks!

Second, to Diane, who admittedly, probably won't see this - I always appreciate hearing from someone related to a person featured on one of my postings. Thank you. For the rest of you, one of my early favorites here were the tapes of Bob Hoppe, one of which can be heard here. That post also links back to an earlier posting of similar material. Well, his granddaughter just commented on that post, and that really made my day. 

And then, finally, thanks! Thanks to Lee D., Vinushka, Larry Z, Snoopy, Timmy and Anonymous, for general encouragement, love notes, additional information and/or specific feedback about what is most enjoyable.

Please know that I read and appreciate every comment. And if I missed anyone, I apologize!

Okay...

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I'll start with something that seems to get a lot of positive reaction around here, Commercials. In this case, a tape that starts with part of a commercial promotion that I found severely irritating at the time, the "Noid" commercials put out by Dominoes in the late 1980's. If this tape solely contained "Noid" ads, I doubt I would be sharing it, but the tape then also contains several minutes of Dominoes production music, which I think is interesting: 

Download: Dominos Pizza - 'Noid' Commercials and Production Music - 11-7-88

Play: 

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Switching gears roughly enough to perhaps end up needing a new transmission, I note that we are coming up on, one week from tomorrow, the 46th anniversary of the death of Mayor Richard J. Daley of Chicago. As I have never lived more than ten miles outside of the Chicago city limits, this was a man whose name and exploits dominated what little I knew about politics as I was growing up. And his birthday, just days before Christmas, 1976, was a shock to most of us who lived in and near the city. The following day, the hosts and producers of a local TV show called AM Chicago, understandably threw out everything which had been planned for the day, and produced a show entirely about the life and death of Mayor Daley. Here is that show: 

Download: AM Chicago - The Day After Mayor Daley Died

Play: 

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Let's have some happier Christmas memories now. Here's someone's audio letter, recorded on Christmas night, to mom and dad. This seems to be from either 1961 or 1962: 

Download: A Christmas Night Audio Letter to Mom and Dad, from San Diego, circa 1961 or 1962

Play: 

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And now, something that you may well find annoying, and which I find annoying as well, but which also holds a strange fascination for me. I've shared a few of these before, and here's another one. 

Okay, first: I do not understand the practice of recording oneself playing records, and singing along with them. Do people who do this actually go back and fondly listen to themselves singing along with record that they presumably still own, and could listen to, and sing along with, right now, rather than listening to a tape of the same thing? 

And what to make of this practice when the person doing the singing and recording CAN'T SING?!?!?! Here is a fellow enjoying his collection of circa 1956-61 pop records, and doing an astonishingly bad job of accompanying them with something closer to atonality than to tunefulness. 

I remain thoroughly befuddled by this exercise, but, as I said, it sort of fascinates me, too. 

Download: Singing Along Badly with the Hits, circa 1961 (and a few odds and ends)

Play: 

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Here's a fairly short bit of tape, featuring someone testing his microphone and recorder, then recording a few minutes of a station called KAJO in Grant's Pass, Oregon. The Kate Smith record featured at the end of this segment was released in 1965, and the reference to the LBJ administration during the microphone test indicates it has to be from no later than 1968, so that's a fairly good snapshot of the era in which this was recorded. 

Download: Testing and KAJO Redio, Grants Pass, Oregon
Play: 

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I've gotten a bit of positive feedback from posting loungy acts in concert, and so, for those folks, here is a male acoustic duo with about 24 minutes of performance. They do not appear to have much of an audience. I know nothing else about these performers, the venue or the date: 

Download: Unknown - An Male Duo with Acoustic Guitars, Live

Play:

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Finally, our "Very Short Reel" for the post. Here is a gentleman singing a song which certainly sounds like a show tune, but I have been unable to find any reference to these lyrics online. I've dubbed it "Except When We Tangle With Dames"

Download: Unknown - Unknown Song ("Except When We Tangle With Dames") 

Play:

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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Blowout Post # 3!!!

Well, it's time for me to have no time to blather on again, so today, we'll have episode three of the "Blowout Post" series, which I started under similar circumstances a few months ago. In summary, I'm going to unload ten files about which I have relatively little to say, some of them quite lengthy and fairly esoteric (107 minutes of discussions of how to entertain a visiting honoree, anyone???), and others perhaps more generally entertaining. About none of them, except the first one, do I have very much to say. 

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We'll start off with an sample from a bunch of tapes I listened to over the last several weeks, all from various members of the same group of amateur musicians. Across the tapes, variously, are heard accordion, guitar, ukulele, drums, piano and probably a few other instruments, as well as vocals at times. Not all of them at the same time, or even on the same tape, but clearly, people who enjoyed playing pop hits, folk tunes and dance music together. This particular tape starts with a few seconds of music off of TV or radio, and ends with one of the participants reading the names of some of the songs that were played. 

If this is appealing to you, let me know - there's a bunch more, including some with more variety of song styles and instruments. And, intriguingly, these tapes seem to feature at least some family members who were heard on the "Gaggle of Giggling 12 Year Olds" / "Noisy Birdy" tape which was the very first reel I shared on this blog. Clearly, I obtained far more tapes from that family than I previously knew I had. 

Download: Music at Home - Marlene, Bill and Vernene, 1-17-58

Play:

By the way, some of these tapes come with extensive notations. Here is what was in this tape's box. As you can see, the file shared above is actually from two different recordings, one on 1/17/58 and one on 1/21/58: 

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From a considerably more accomplished musician, and certainly a more celebrated (and ridiculed) showman, here is a tape of an episode of Liberace's 1950's television show: 

Download: An Episode of the Liberace Television Show

Play:

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Next up, here's a guy who is giving a speech - to whom, when and where I do not know - that I find more and more disagreeable as it goes on. But I'm a lefty if there ever was one. I'm sure he'd find my ideas just as cockamamie as I do some of his. 

Download: Unknown - A Chamber-of-Commerce Type Speech

Play:

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And now, the aforementioned 107 minute tape of preparations. Someone named Richard Holden (presumably not the Richard Holden I knew at my church in the 1970's, who was a dwarf) was to be honored (along with his family), during the last few days of 1955 at the first days of 1956, in the Los Angeles area. He was to be "The Airman of the Year". The gentlemen heard here go over the minutia buried within the minutia of this visit. And believe it or not, the start of this conversation was actually erased - it originally went on even longer than this!

Download: Making Plans for the Visit of Airman of the Year Richard T Holden, Late 1955

Play: 

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Christmas is coming. Did you know? Is this too soon? 

Here is my first Christmas offering. I don't know anything about this little performance, but I called it "A Rather Homely Christmas Carol Concert", not "homely" in the way it's mostly been used in the last several decades (meaning plain, or unattractive), but rather - as I found in one online dictionary - "free from affectation, unaffectedly natural, simple". I rather enjoy it in its guilelessness. I hope you will, too. 

Download: Unknown - A Rather Homely Christmas Carol Concert

Play:

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Somewhere between the limited skills of our accordion band and Liberace, you might find the sort of band or duo who played at small meeting houses, supper clubs, Holiday Inns and the like. It would appear, from the paper taped to the box for this reel, that two fellows named Heinz and Parker teamed up and, calling themselves "Padded Cell", appeared locally (wherever "locally" was, for as many as, oh, four people, if the applause here is any indication. There are only the two names on the box, but there are obviously at least three people here, four if the vocalist was not playing an instrument. Anyway, here they are on the first of April, 1961. 

Download: Padded Cell (Heinz and Parker) - Live, 4-1-61

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Here's that paper from the tape box cover: 


Or - and I just thought of this - maybe the name of the nearly empty club was "Padded Cell"

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Here's another of those lovely hodgepodge tapes I enjoy so much. This one is particularly varied, even though it very strongly appears to have been recorded by the same family at various points within a relatively short period of years. The title provides all the explanation I hope you'll need. 

Download: Hodgepodge - WLS Polka Show, Conversations Around the House, Choral Song, Audio Letter - Late 1950's

Play:

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And here's a short excerpt from a syndicated Album Rock Countdown from May of 1978, as heard on the late, great, WMET, Chicago. This was all there was of the show, on the tape in question. If this had been simply the songs from the countdown, I doubt it would have been very interesting or worth sharing, although God, do I love "Still the Same" - one of my favorite 50 hit singles ever, I'd say, and from an artist I otherwise have almost no interest in, save for that one and "Fire Lake". 

But.... one third of this tape a commercial break, and it provides a nice little pair of radio ads from that moment. And as much as I hate McDonald's, the moment with the little child at the 2:00 mark cracks me up - very effective.

Download: Album Rock Countdown, May, 1978, Short Segment

Play:

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And here is the "Very Short Reel" for this post. Not a lot of explanation needed here, just someone reading a bit of a classic novel, "Great Expectations": 

Download: A Brief Reading from "Great Expectations"

Play:

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And we'll finish with our "Acetate of the Month". I will let you discover the nature of this little audio letter from the 1940's by listening to it. I will only say that 1.) I included both sides of a small acetate in one file, 2.) I cannot find this record to share a scan of it (I may have sold it...), and 3.) it is as utterly charming as anything I've shared on this site all year. 

Download: Merry Xmas to Willie - 12-12-48 (Knight Acetate)

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Sunday, November 20, 2022

"The Sportsman's Friend", The Hits of 1954, A Bit of Art Linkletter, More Shortwave, "Sing Baby Sing", and More!

Howdy, Y'all, 

I have another motley batch of seven slabs of vintage reel to reel recordings for you. I'm delayed this time around by a minor eye injury which made looking at a computer screen (which I have to do for work all day) increasingly uncomfortable, meaning I did little online outside of work for about a week. It seems to be all better now. 

But enough about me. Let's hear even more about Lucky Lager. Somewhere along the road of life I managed to take possession of a whole batch of Lucky Lager related reels, and if this group of sixteen ads on the them of "Sportsman's Friend" is not the best of the lot, it's close. 

Download: Lucky Lager - 16 'Sportsman's Friend' Ads - 1969

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Next up, yet another in my now-diminishing batch of previously unshared Shortwave recordings, this one - as most of them have been - is a recording of Australian programming directed at the American market. 

Download: Australian Scene - August, 1974 (Via Shortwave)

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And now here's a tape which, under most circumstances, would have been my showcase share, right at the top of the post. It's a broadcast of some station's rendering of the top hits of the week, done in very much the style of "Your Hit Parade" in which the songs are played at random, with the ranking number given, rather than being a strict countdown. 

Two things resulted in my burying this down a few spots in this post. First, it's programming from about June of 1954, which was certainly one of the less scintillating moments for pop music in North America. But even more so, the sound quality is wretched. I mean, the shortwave recording above, is also in terrible quality, but that's expected in such a recording. This seems to have been recorded during a thunderstorm or something, and the station doesn't seem that well tuned in, either. If it wasn't for the nature of the tape - a genre I just love (the hits of the week) - I might have passed on sharing it at all. Hope you find it worth listening to, despite the quality. 

Download: The Week's Top Hits, Circa June, 1954

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Here's the relevant bit of the tape box, even if the sticker on it is inaccurate - everything here is from 1954: 

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Switching gears pretty aggressively now - and that's a good way to put it, as I'm sure this man switched a few gears in his time - here's a brief excerpt from an episode of "Art Linkletter's House Party", a wildly popular television show which ran for almost two decades. In this segment, he interviews "The Fastest Man in the World", Lt Col John Stapp. The segment does a good job of explaining that title, and if you want to read more about Stapp, you can do so here

Download: Lt Col John Stapp on Art Linkletter's House Party

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Are you, by chance in the mood for a bit of supper club style music? Well, if so, I have just what you've been waiting for - about 18 minutes of a guy named Jack Wells, performing in front of what seems to be about eight people at most - dropping the name of blind balladeer Al Hibbler at one point - with a handful of songs. 

Download: Jack Wells Plays a Few Songs

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Here's one sort of thing that I just love, and that I sometimes hear from others that they enjoy, as well, It's the family home recording, in this case, a bit of a hodgepodge. Adults are heard discussing the recording process itself, and having other innocuous conversations. Children sing songs and are interviewed by the parents. In between the segments are moments of older recordings. An article about a speech by Vice President Nixon is read. A statement about being unable to stop smoking follows, although it veers off into other subjects, after a while. Finally, a brief audio letter finishes the tape - although it seems odd that such a letter would be on a tape filled with family material, and that it would not be recorded on the length of tape actually needed for what the guy wanted to say (it runs out, mid-thought). 

Download: Recordings Around the House

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And finally, our "Very Short Reel" today comes from the Mountain Home Schools of Arkansas, where, at some point, there was a production of a show called "Sing Baby Sing", and here we have three promos for that show. 

Download: Three Promos for the Mountain Home Schools' Production of "Sing Baby Sing"

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Monday, October 31, 2022

An Anti-Medicare Screed, Another Japanese Missive, A Lovely Hodgepodge, Mrs. Isono, and More Mitch Miller Than Anyone Can Stand

Howdy, Y'all. 

Oh and BOOOO!

Last time around, I asked if anyone knew the link between Frank Zappa and "Pipeline" by the Chantays. Well, I had a couple of questions about that, and here is the obscure answer. It comes from an interview I have on tape, I believe it's with Dr. Demento, but I could be wrong. I don't have an exact quote, but in the interview, Zappa says more or less: 

"It was one of the first time I was in a 'real' recording studio with booked time and a song to record." He goes on with something along these lines: "we had to wait for awhile - the producer needed to finish working on a record he KNEW was going to be hit - Pipeline, by the Chantays - before we could record..."

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Also, I heard from frequent commenter "Snoopy", who said he'd really like to hear the entire Bob Binderman car race segment, which I edited in order to remove what I thought was about three minutes of mouth-made car noises, with no narration in between. It turns out it's actually 2 1/2 minutes, but for Snoopy, and anyone else who is interested, I have re-posted that bit, unedited this time, at the bottom of this post. 

And now.....

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With politics in the news all day, every day here is America this week, we'll start with a flashback to an earlier day, and the hot button issue of 1962 - whether to offer government insurance to certain portions of the population. The bill at the time was the King-Anderson Bill, and the Medical establishment was dead set against it, as heard in this presentation from the head of the AMA -  a response to a much flashier presentation the Kennedy administration had given a short time earlier, as you'll hear. This particular bill was defeated, but a similar bill was more successful a few years later. I've labeled this a screed, and find it to be full of scaremongering - your mileage may vary, but it's worth noting that the successful tweaking of this bill, a few years later, called Medicaid, is quite popular, nearly 60 years after its passage. 

Download: The American Medical Association (Dr Leonard W Larson) -  Presentation Against the King-Anderson Bill - 1962

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Well, after that hyperbole, maybe a nice palette cleanser is in order. Here, ahead of the usual arrangement, is our "Very Short Reel" for the day, a sweet home recording I've labeled "A Few Minutes at the Schafer Home". I don't know the actual spelling of the family's last name, as there are several versions of that moniker, so I guessed. Mostly, this is a series of piano solos rendered by a little girl, but near the end is a bit of stilted conversation which I thought was interesting.  

Download: A Few Minutes at the Schafer Home

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It's been awhile since we checked in with our young man in Japan. As I've explained before, I'm unable to ascertain exactly what he was doing there, although I've identified him as a student-soldier in previous posts and in the names of files. If someone else has figured out what he was doing in Japan from these tapes, I'd love to hear it. Search for "Japan" in the labels, and all of the previous posts from this series of audio letters will show up (along with a few other Japan-related items)

Download: Audio Letter from a Student-Soldier in Japan, January 19th

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I always enjoy it when I come across what I call a hodgepodge - a (usually shortish) tape which contains a series of things completely unrelated, or at best, barely related to each other. That's about all I'll say about this item - its title explains its contents pretty well. 

Download: A Hodgepodge - Born Free, Narration, Heavy Breathing and Mario Andretti

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Last week, I listened to a tape containing two complete New York Yankees baseball broadcasts, one from from 1960 and one from 1961. That was enjoyable enough, but my favorite moment was actually a little ad for Ballantine Beer which popped up in the middle of the 1961 game. This doesn't really qualify as a "very short reel" since it's 40-some seconds out of a tape lasting more than six hours, but I wanted to share it here. 

Download: Ballantine Beer Ad, 1961

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And now, the moment that perhaps NO ONE was waiting for. But.... I had this tape, and it's probably a fairly rare piece, so I thought I'd share it. Contained on the tape are four near-complete episodes of "Sing Along with Mitch" - the four episodes broadcast in May of 1963. This is a really long share, and its certainly from another time and place, but perhaps it's your thang, and if so, do what you wanna do: 

Download: Sing Along With Mitch - Four Full Episodes from May, 1963

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And now it's time for our "Acetate of the Month". I know very, very little about this record. It looks like this on one side: 

And like this on the other side: 

Perhaps someone out there who can read Japanese can tell us all what it means. Regardless, it seems to feature a Mrs. Isono, if the label is to be believed, and why shouldn't it be. Here are the two sides: 

Download: Mrs. Isono - Side One

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Download: Mrs. Isono - Side Two

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And finally, as mentioned in the blurb at the top of this page, here, for those who want it, and Snoopy in particular, is the full, unedited Bob Binderman Auto Race performance, complete with another 150 seconds or so of mouth-as-car-engine performances at the end: 

Download: Bob Binderman - Calling an Auto Race in Reims, France (unedited)

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