Wednesday, January 31, 2018

A Purdue Glee Club Talent Show (And More!)

First, I want to thank the commenters who chimed in on a couple of recent posts. Tony suggested that the DJ reading about Paul McCartney might be Dick Clark, which seems at least possible, and Eric offered more information about the "Truman Capote" - Kennedy piece. Have a look at that posts' comments for more information.

And an anonymous correspondent explained that what I had labeled a conversation using walkie-talkies, in my last post, is actually a Ham Radio conversation. That explanation can also be found in the comments. Thanks, everyone!


Here's an interesting reel of tape, featuring, as advertised above, a Glee Club Talent Show recorded at Purdue University, and featuring students of that institution.

I think the tape (which is just over a half-hour long) largely speaks for itself, but I do want to make mention of the degree to which the emcee seems obsessed with where the various performers (and members of groups that perform) are from, and other ethnic and personal aspects to their existence. To my ears, it goes way beyond weird, and into something approaching obsession. Perhaps that was typical of the day and age, and perhaps they were touting something along the lines of equal opportunity, for those days. Absent some explanation, I find it creepy.

Download: Various Artists - A Purdue Glee Club Talent Show

And here, as an extra, is the contents of one of those tiny, 3 inch reels of tape. In this case, I think what we have is two separate recordings, one partly erased.

I have discovered, over the years, that sometimes people who exchanged audio letters would simply record over the letter they'd received, after listening to it, and send back their own audio letters back to the person who sent the tape.

So what I have here is a tape from a little girl named Marcia, recording an audio letter to her Aunt, with her dad, apparently at her request. They only used the first side of the tape, and the father indicates at just before the four minute mark. So then, the flip side is side two of a previous letter, presumably one from the Aunt in question, and apparently responding to an even earlier tape. The whole thing is really nice, and very sweet at times.

Download: Marcia and Her Family - Audio Letter

Monday, January 15, 2018

Life and Death - Conspiracy Theories of the 1960's!

Happy New Year, everyone,

First, I want to thank everyone who wrote with nice thoughts and positive feedback about my postings. I really appreciate it.

I want to address one comment to a poster named Bill, whose post did not contain a return e-mail address, and who asked a question about his potentially sharing with me selections from his own collection of reel tapes. Yes, Bill, I would love that. I don't like to share my e-mail address here, as it seems to end up causing me to receive an influx of spam, but you can find it at the end of this post, which I wrote about 15 years ago.


Today, I have two recordings having to do with rumors - one about a man who was quite clearly dead being alive, and one about a man who was quite clearly alive being dead. (I also have a bonus clip, since the first two are so short.)

First up is a remarkable - and remarkably tasteless - recording from either radio or TV, I can't tell which. In it, a man who sounds a lot like Mike Wallace to these ears reads a short piece which had apparently started circulating at the time, regarding the various clues indicating that John F. Kennedy was not dead. You have to hear this thing to believe it - it is seriously obnoxious, or, as Capote described it in denying its authorship, "Grotesque".

Download: Possibly Mike Wallace - "Dead or Alive", Possibly by Truman Capote

Next up, an inane little 95 seconds out of the middle of a badly (choppy) recorded set of Top 40 radio recordings. In this short clip, we hear a unique take on Paul' McCartney's mid-'60's accident, leading to another possible reason why The Beatles might have added clues to Paul's supposed "death". Sheesh.

Download: DJ Speculates on the Paul McCartney Story

And here, on an unrelated note, for those who might enjoy it, and without any real comment, is a recording someone, somewhere, on some date, made, of an 11-minute conversation between two people via walkie-talkies.

Download: Unknown - Walkie Talkie Conversation