Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Shortwave Broadcast Direct from Australia - August, 1974

After I wrote that the baseball broadcast I shared last week sounded as if it was recorded over shortwave, I got to thinking about a set of multiple recordings that I have of Australian Shortwave programming.

Here's an example, featuring two 15 minute programs recorded in early August of 1974.

First up is a brief "magazine" style show, in which we are told about:

A man known only as "Arthur" who went around writing "Eternity on various pavements
A man who thinks the earth is going to run out of resources relatively soon, due to overpopulation
Robert Slatzer, who claimed to have been married to Marilyn Monroe for four days, and his expose book on her death, which he identified as a murder (followed by a short clip of Monroe singing)
A new method to quit smoking
A man who wants to build a giant statue that no one else is interested in

All in less than 15 minutes!

Then, it's MUSIC TIME, and a very friendly and knowledgeable folk singer named Dennis Gibbons sings us three traditional Australian folk songs, complete with detailed back stories (the back story for the third one is considerably longer than the song!). The songs are:

Lime Juice Tub
Ben Hall
The Overlanders

Enjoy this 41 year old trip through Australia!

Download: Shortwave From Australia, 1974

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Chicago Cubs Are On the Air - Circa 1953 or 1954

Time is very short this week, but I really want to make a go at getting something worthwhile up here nearly every week. The trade-off will be a much shorter bit of commentary, which I'm sure will break your hearts.

So... .in honor of my beloved Chicago Cubs, who have the best record in baseball over the past few weeks, here is a 33 minute slice of Cubs play-by-play from Mutual's "Game of the Day". The recording quality is awful - it sounds like a short wave broadcast - but I just love this sort of thing, regardless of

Based on the players heard in this game, it appears that this is from either very late 1953 or some time in 1954. Be sure to listen for the announcer commenting calling the other team The Boston Braves, before giving the score, moments later, at the end of an inning, and correctly calling them The Milwaukee Braves, a move that took place before the 1953 season.

At the very end of this tape is a 30 second excerpt from a boxing broadcast, then an even shorter (seven seconds) excerpt from a Dodgers game.

UPDATE: Thanks to a commenter (view the comments, below), it looks like this is the first game of a doubleheader on May 23, 1954. Many thanks for this information!

Download: Circa 1953-54 Chicago Cubs Game

Monday, August 10, 2015

"Isn't it Wonderful the Things They Invent Nowadays!"

First, I want to let everyone know that the files in last week's posting, which were initially unplayable and could not be downloaded, have now been completely fixed.

Second, regarding that same post, I want to thank those who chimed in to identify a young Barry Manilow singing the Stridex jingle, and also who suggested the companies behind these jingles. That information is all in the comments, and I will add it to the actual post soon. Have a look!

Today's item comes from a paper-backed reel of tape. I've written about these before, and it's always a fascination to me to find one of these, because, as likely as not, it will contain something recorded at the dawn of home recording on reel to reel tape. Paper-backing was quickly phased out in favor of more sturdy backings (paper tapes will literally just tear in half). I've written about them here, in a post which also features some photos of the tapes in my basement. I'm sure it makes me sound more than a little crazy, but my heart starts beating faster when I spy a tape I know may be (or is) a paper backed reel - maybe an ancient scotch brand box, featuring one of their earliest designs - say, one that looks like this:

And the tape above did not disappoint. I've identified this as the 1950's, but depending on when the tape was bought, it could even be the very late 1940's, and I doubt it's much after 1952.

The 24 minute segment below contains the total recordings made on this tape. And those contents are varied. It starts off with a family discussing some recent activities and events, and very soon, the method by which the reel to reel machine works is explained to an older sounding woman, who's response could be the motto of this site: ""Isn't it wonderful the things they invent nowadays!"

There follows (at about 2:45) a brief skit with a child about going to the zoo, and then there is a very brief (failed) attempt to record a phone call.

The longest segment follows (starting at 4:35), in which a man repeatedly interviews a little girl (very likely his daughter), on a variety of subjects important to her life - a show she was in, making dresses, etc. He mentions the Broadview Theater in Cleveland at one point, giving us a location, if not a date (I've found that this theater no longer exists, but that's about it).

At the 16 minute mark, there is a skit about buying a dishwasher, and then a very difficult to understand (for me, anyway) interview with a little boy about his train set. There is a brief, badly played and out of tune piano solo at 20:50.

And then, the encore, perhaps making it all worthwhile, at 21:45, a couple re-enact an old, off color, double entendre bit about playing golf, seemingly straight off of one of those barely labeled party records you would have had to buy from under the counter. The reading of this skit, particularly by the male participant, borders on atrocious.

Here you go - enjoy this tape from perhaps as long as 65 years ago:

Download: From a Paper Reel: Early Recordings - Family Talk, Interviews with Children, Skits and Piano

Monday, August 3, 2015

McDonald's, State Farm, Stridex, Rodney Allen Rippy and More - A Dozen Ads from 1973!

ANNOUNCEMENT - 8/4/15 - the problems with the files on this post have been fixed. Please let me know if you have any further problems with any of these 12 files.

Howdy, everyone,

Thanks for the great response to this new site - glad to know so many of you came over from WFMU to have a look.

And as promised, I plan to offer up what readers/listeners ask for, if I have it. The very first request was for more ads, and I dug out a tape featuring a dozen ads which I'm fairly certain are from 1973, based on the presence of a Rodney Allen Rippy ad for Jack in the Box and an ad for something called "Help Fruit Drink". This tape came housed in a nondescript white box, so instead of reproducing that, here's a picture of Rodney Allen Rippy:

There is no indication on the box of who was behind these ads, but this was clearly a demonstration tape - the ads nearly run non-stop, one into the other, with no splicing or editing. These are all complete ads, except for # 9, which is a music bed without voice-over. Here, without further ado, are the twelve commercials:

Download: 1.) McDonald's

Download: 2.) State Farm

Download: 3.) Mutual of Omaha

Download: 4.) Jack in the Box

Download: 5.) HFC

Download: 6.) Franco American

Download: 7.) Pennington's Bread

Download: 8.) Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill Wine

Download: 9.) Music Bed

Download: 10.) Help Fruit Drink

Download: 11.) McDonalds II

Download: 12.) Stridex