Saturday, June 30, 2018

Life Under Castro, A Leadership Slide Show, and An Odd Tape

First, thanks to the good folks at Blogger, the problem with pop-up ads has, I'm told, been addressed. Please let me know if that's the case, or, especially, if that's NOT the case. 

I have another triple feature today, leading off with the tape whose box looks like this:


A large purchase of tapes many years ago contained several reels of Howard K. Smith interviews, most of them raw tapes meant to be edited down later. This is from that collection, and interview with a former resident of Cuba, Ernesto Aguiar (the name on the box is likely a misspelling), talking about life under Castro's regime on January 30, 1963 (the date is elsewhere on the box. I'll let the tape speak for itself:

Download: Howard K. Smith and Ernesto Aguiar: Life Under Castro
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Next up, here's a slide show for your mind - picture the images that were being shown to schoolchildren while the following tape - undated, but labeled "Leading and Following" - was being heard:

Download: Unknown - Leading and Following
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Finally, here is a tape, heard in its entirety, which simply baffles me. I'd welcome comments from anyone who thinks he or she knows what it might have been made for. The 13 minute tape starts with some slow, atmospheric music on a flute-type instrument, for the first 6 1/2 minutes, but the meat of the weirdness comes in the 6 1/2 minutes that make up the second half. None of the things record are odd in and of themselves, but their placement together seems random, and may have been so. But then again, maybe not.

Download: Weird Compendium of Music, Talking and Sounds
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Sunday, June 17, 2018

The Supremely Irritating Jack Eigen

First and foremost, Happy Father's Day to all of you fathers out there, and to the fathers of everyone reading this!

It occurred to me a short time ago that I've neglected to post any of the tapes I have of Jack Eigen. This is a real oversight, because I know there are multiple people who visit this site who are particularly interested in radio recordings, and because I have a LOT of Jack Eigen.

The main reason it didn't occur to me is that I actually sold the reels on which these recordings were housed, several years ago. But before I did so, I made copies of all of them. And there were a lot of them.

Jack Eigen was an enormously popular late night radio talk show host on Chicago station WCFL for 20 years, 1951 to 1971. I'm actually not sure I understand why - I find him abrasive and, as indicated, supremely irritating. This is not based - as it would undoubtedly be today - on a political point of view or deliberate crassness. No, I just find his personality aggressively unappealing. When I first got these tapes, more than 20 years ago, I remember asking my mom about him, and she said that they would listen to him "all the time", and adding that his annoying qualities were one reason that people listened. It was a feature, not a bug.

You can read a few bits about Jack Eigen here and here.

Regardless, these tapes are fascinating in that they present a world of show business, talk show style and radio presentation which all ceased to exist a long time ago.

This is a LONG tape, containing excerpts from several of Eigen's broadcasts - I have not re-listened to this whole tape, this time around, or even 1/10th of it. I'm guessing that buried within are references that will tell you when it is from. Like most of the tapes I can share from the Eigen collection, this is well over three hours long. I've labeled this one "volume one", simply because it's the first one I prepared for posting here - I have no idea what order they truly belong in.

I'm going to guess that there are those of you who want to hear more of this, and if so, by all means, ask - let me know. I have upwards of 25 of these tapes, or if you prefer, somewhere in the neighborhood of 75 hours plus of Jack Eigen. Some of them are interspersed with latter day episodes of the Arthur Godfrey show (of the same vintage) and also episodes of "Theatre Five", which was an afternoon half-hour radio drama in the mid '60's, but most of them are pure Eigen - and yes, that means I have 75 plus hours of this stuff....

Download: Jack Eigen - The Jack Eigen Show, Volume One
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