Tuesday, May 31, 2016

"How About My Manufacturers Hanover Master Charge?"

Ah, what absolute tedium there is in shooting a movie or a TV show. I can't say I gave this a lot of thought for most of my life, actually. But that was before I delved into a stack of tapes I bought several years ago, most of which featured source tapes for a variety of TV and movie recordings, many of which involved the CBS TV network. I've shared a few of these before, including a sound effects reel and a Howard K. Smith interview.

Those, at least, had some sort of indication of what they were, and the sounds on those tapes were continually interesting throughout.

This tape, however, sort of amazes me. Those involved are clearly filming a TV show or movie (my guess is the former), but I can't believe the amount of sheer repetition the performers are made to go through here. Much of the tape is made up of multiple takes of an excited couple trying to get a marriage license, a scene which seemingly ends with the prospective groom running away. This is performed over and over and over again, with minimal differences between the takes - I can't believe that one of, say, the first ten attempts weren't good enough. We then move onto another scene which is repeated excessively, before returning to retakes of moments from within the first scene.

That scene does not appear to have been more than 40 seconds long, and I can't fathom how long it took to make a 30 minute show, let alone a 90 minute movie, if they spent that much time (including whatever time was not recorded, between takes) on a single conversation. Wow.

Maybe some sleuth out there can figure out what movie/show this recording was for, and perhaps we can all enjoy seeing the final cut of this masterwork.

Download: Unknown - Repeatedly Filming a Few Scenes

Now, if THAT wasn't enough torture, here is a glimpse into a very different life indeed. Here are my thoughts: if you're feeling inspired to record your phonograph record of Johnny Cash and June Carter singing "Jackson", while you are singing along with the record - DON'T. And if don't know all the words that well - REALLY, DON'T. And if you can't sing - SERIOUSLY, DON'T.

I have no idea what the purpose of this recording would have been. This is an excerpt from a much longer tape - the person involved recorded himself singing extremely badly along with about a half hour of country hits. Was he going to enjoy this later? Send it to someone as torture?

If you want to hear the entire tape, let me know, and I'll post it, otherwise, just enjoy this lovely sample.

Download: Unknown - Singing Along with "Jackson"

Thursday, May 12, 2016


With the Chicago Cubs currently leading all of baseball, posting the best record seen by any team in 32 years, and the best Cubs start in 109 years, what better time for a bit of radio and baseball history, involving the Cubs.

Today's tape was generously donated to this site by my best pal Stu Shea, who has written several books, including several on baseball and music, among other things, and who also often offers up comments on this site and my other blog. THANK YOU, STU!!!

Here's what Stu has to say about this tape:

This is a recording of the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers on WGN radio, Chicago, from April 22, 1958. This is the first season that the Dodgers were in LA after having moved from Brooklyn.

Included is a pregame interview between Cubs broadcaster Lou Boudreau and Dodgers shortstop Pee Wee Reese--then 39 and in his last year as an active player--and some of the game's action.

There are not many tapes in existence of Jack Quinlan, the Cubs' play-by-play radio announcer, from his time in Chicago. He was a very highly regarded baseball voice who died in a car accident during 1965 spring training. He was just 38.

Bob now writing again, with a couple of things to add. This was the very first time the Cubs or their announcers were seeing the L.A. Coliseum as it was in those days reconfigured for baseball. It was, as I've read, perhaps the least appropriate venue for major league baseball in history, and much of the discussion in these segments concerns the various aspects of the park.

I've divided the tape into the pregame interview and lead-up to the game, followed by the play-by-play of the first inning (which is all that's on the tape of the actual game). Also worth noting is the lack of a commercial break at either the half-inning point or after the first inning, and, in a bit of sad irony, Quinlan makes note of a noted basketball coach who had died that day in a car crash, just as Quinlan himself would, seven years later.

Download: Lou Boudreau and Jack Quinlan - Pregame Show with Pee Wee Reese and Comments Before the Game


Download: Jack Quinlan and Lou Boudreau - Cubs Vs. Dodgers, First Inning

As the tape spooled down to its last few minutes, whoever recorded the Cubs broadcast switched over to a faintly received St. Louis station, and captured just a few minutes of a Cardinals broadcast, featuring two already well-known men, both of whom would become even more famous broadcasters in the coming years, Harry Carey and Joe Garagiola. And even here, the oddities about baseball at the L.A. Coliseum end up being discussed! Here is that brief segment:

Download: Harry Carey and Joe Garagiola - Cardinals Broadcast:

And in case you've never seen one, here is a picture of the L.A. Coliseum, as it was configured for baseball: