Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Don't Hand Me That Jive!

Another trio of offerings today, dominated (in length, anyway) by the first of the three.

This 29 minute episode of an odd, well-written and -produced radio show, appears to have come out as part of a series called "The King's English", very likely from the 1950's, and I think it better if you discover its charms without me blabbing them all away. The episode is focused on the question that's been on everyone's lips, minds and souls for the last half-century, "Does 'Jive' Belong in the Dictionary".


Download: The King's English - Does "Jive" Belong in the Dictionary

And now, a public service announcement, which appears to have been tied into the John F. Kennedy Administration. GET EXERCISING - LIKE THOSE DAMN ROOSKEES!!!

Download:  Unknown - The Flabby American

And finally, if you're going to visiting 1950's France (or perhaps it was Quebec), near Christmastime, some time soon, you may very well hear these wonderful General Electric Ads. And if anyone who speaks fluent French would like to offer up a translation (no need to translate the words "General Electric"), I'd be much obliged.

(Please be sure to listen all the way to the end, as 17 seconds of an unrelated performance of some new lyrics to a well known song, survived on the closing feet of this tape.)

Download: Two French G.E. Commercials (Plus)


  1. They're all three good! Thanks for posting them. That middle one is begging for re-interpretation!

  2. The last clip probably originated in Canada rather than France. A couple of clues:
    1) The voice-over man pronounces "General Electric" in a North American accent. I suspect if the commercial were made in France, he'd have a British accent.
    2) Canadians of my generation would have immediately recognized the English language commercial as being for "Labatt's 50 Ale", which used the "enjoy yourself" jingle until, at least, the early 1970s.

    My French isn't good enough to understand the lyrics but I know someone who is bilingual and I'll see if I can get them to translate.

  3. Regarding the second clip, one of the results of a Google search on "The Flabby American" brings up:


    which suggests that this may have been an episode of an ABC TV show called "Focus". IMDb lists several TV series called "Focus"; the only one that appears to be produced in the USA in (roughly) the correct timeframe is this one:


    but there's no information other than the broadcast years (1952-1957).

    However, the reference to Bell & Howell being a sponsor suggests another TV series, "ABC Close-Up!" (also known as "Bell & Howell Close-Up!"), which ran from 1960-1963 and 1984-1985:


    Although no episode called "The Flabby American" is listed, the database may be incomplete. The titles that are shown (e.g."90 Miles to Communism", "Meet Comrade Student") suggest an anti-communist viewpoint at the height of the Cold War (similar to the clip).

  4. Here are the translations for the French language commercials:

    Recording engineer: G.E. Christmas lightbulbs number 1

    Vocalist: Christmas brings to all households,
    Joy and happiness.

    All Christmas trees are prettier,
    With G.E. light bulbs.

    Sparks of happiness,
    Burst in your heart.

    All Christmas trees are prettier,
    With G.E.light bulbs.

    Voice-over: One of the nicest ways to wish Merry Christmas to your friends and neighbours is to decorate your home with General Electric light bulbs. This Christmas the choice of G.E. light bulbs is greater than ever. G.E. offers "brilliant" (clear?) and "matte" (frosted?) garlands and "projectors" (spotlights?). For Christmas and every other day, General Electric guarantees you the best quality of lighting.

    Vocal: All Christmas trees are prettier,
    With G.E. light bulbs.
    Recording engineer: G.E. Christmas light bulbs number 2

    Vocals: [as in previous take]

    Voice-over: The prettiest light bulbs from G.E. are now in stores. For example, the icicle light bulbs glitter like precious gemstones, the snow ball glitters with thousands of sparkles. G.E. offers lights and garlands of all sizes for exterior and interior. For Christmas and always, General Electric guarantees you the best quality of lighting.

  5. Thank you, Bob, and Tony, for your translations :)