Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Return of Bob Hopp - The Retired Mailman - And His Audio Diary (Plus: An Odd Demonstration)

Ten months ago, I presented a fairly fascinating and esoteric reel of tape, recorded by a retired mailman. I speculated at his name, based on what he said, but had no definitive answer to that, as there was nothing written on the tape or box.

Last weekend, though, while rearranging some of my thousands of un-listened to tapes, I came across one which had the name "Bob Hopp" on it, as well as some extraneous information (above). Sure enough, it contained another in what may be a series of audio diaries (I did not find any others yet).

In this case, the tape dates from December, 1975 through May, 1977, and the contents are more varied than the first, giving a better picture of this Aurora man's life.

As to those variations: For one thing, there are multiple moments, during the holiday sections of the tape, where he is joined by his grandchildren, and he seems to enjoy them mightily. There are also some religious thoughts, points of view on life, and, near the beginning, some music recorded off the radio (All in the first portion of the tape).

I think I would have liked to have met Bob Hopp.

Download: Bob Hopp - Bob Hopp's Audio Diary, 1975-1977

And now, to something nearly undefinable. The following little snippet of tape - less than four minutes long - came housed on a large reel in a box full of tapes which (mostly) involved some branch(es) of the telephone company, way back when. I've shared parts of this collection before, including the training tape of handling difficult calls.

This tape is labeled "TASI Demonstration", and I'm guessing it has something to do with this definition of "TASI" You will hear two phone calls, twice each, first with both ends of the call, then one of the speakers, isolated. After those four items, there is a fifth call, which I'll let you experience without further comment.

THEN, for the last 45 seconds, there is an even odder little montage of sound, which I'll also let you experience without further comment.

Download: Unknown - TASI Demonstration

Here are two images for this tape, one of the label on the tape, and the other of the list inside the container:

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

WDAF-AM, Kansas City, Very Early 1970 (And an Added Bonus)

Today I have a prime slab of MOR-leaning Top 40 radio, from right near the beginning of 1970. The station is WDAF-AM in Kansas City (now known as KCSP).

This is, admittedly, not the most scintillating tape of music radio that you're ever going to hear. The person recording it focused on the music, so there is not a ton of between song chatter/phone calls/jingles/ads/news and weather, etc. But there are moments of that stuff, which is the gold of such a tape, and enough of it that I decided to share the material. I hope you agree that it was worth it.

In addition, the tape captures an era in radio that is utterly gone, and which has been since at least the mid-'80's, an era where pop, rock, jazz, funk (although I suppose the jazzy tune, and the ten seconds of Sly and the Family Stone could be from another channel), country, show tunes and novelty records all existed within the same bandwidth.

The date of this recording is fairly well nailed down by the presence of what is described as a brand new hit, the thoroughly awful and indefensible "Welfare Cadillac" by Guy Drake. The juxtaposition of this song, at one point, with "Blowing in the Wind" is particularly jarring.

Whoever made these recordings was quite taken with Guy Drake's spoken word record - I never understand the multiple recordings of a song, when I come across it, but in the course of recording just over an hour's worth of songs off of this station (and maybe a bit from others), he or she taped "Welfare Cadillac" four times within this hour of tape. Even leaving out the hideousness of this particular track, one would think that once one has taped something, one doesn't need another copy. Other songs, including a truly ridiculous novelty record about a chicken, are also taped multiple times.

Download: Various Artists - WDAF-AM, Kansas City, Very Early 1970

And here, for those with a voyeuristic bent, is a short phone call from a very excited young college woman, to her parents - specifically, her mom. She seemingly has no interest in telling her dad her big news.

Download: Unknown - Art Contest Phone Call