Tuesday, January 22, 2019

A Family Tree, A Young Family, and Some Advertising Odds and Ends

First, I had a request to post all of the documentation from the Huntley-Brinkley tape from a couple of weeks ago, and I wanted to make sure that I mentioned that I have added the two other parts of the list to the previous post, here.


I've got another trio of tapes for you today! Starting with this one:

That box is from a tape which is, in certain ways fascinating, while at the same time, fairly tedious. Here's the story: On January 27, 1963, an elderly woman named Martha Hogan was interviewed by family members, primarily one of them, about her family tree. For just a hair under one hour, she answers with various aspects of the story, going back well into the 1800's.

That alone would usually make this gold for the archivist, the tape hound and the genealogist. And while there is material to intrigue and delight everyone who would expect to find that gold... well, unfortunately, the person interviewing her is far from an expert in such a task. I'm no expert either, but in my hearing of this material, I find that he frequently asks questions in boring ways, and gets fairly boring responses, asks the same things multiple times, and fails to follow up on more interesting side trips into the lives of the people who Martha Hogan knew and/or knew of. Far too much of this tape is simply a recitation of who was born when, was related to who, and died when. That's important stuff, but there is so much more I hoped to hear.

I'm thinking with the information on this tape box, and on the tape, it would be easily for someone to come up with more information about these people.

Anyway, it's still very much worth a listen for those who were with me by the end of the first paragraph up there. And here it is:

Download: Martha Hogan and Family - Martha Hogan's Family Tree - 1-27-63.mp3


And now, from the other end of the life cycle, here is a short (five minute), sweet little tape featuring a small child, named Paulie, heard enjoying a nursery rhyme with his mother, then offering up some family names. Then, in the last 75 seconds or so, daddy comes in and asks some even more detailed questions about who Paulie is. (And again, although it would be harder, I'm guessing it would not be terribly difficult to find out exactly who these people were/are, from this tape.)

Download: Paulie, Mommy and Daddy - Paulie with Mommy, then Daddy


And finally - and perhaps the most appealing to a good number of readers/listeners - I have a motley collection of various ads and attempts at ads, over half of which originated in Hawaii. I'm offering up this 17 minute hodgepodge exactly as it rolls off of the reel. First up, some weird promos attempting to promote local merchants by indicating their support for a local shipping strike, including a breakdown or two.

After about five minutes of this, we hear what was being erased by those recordings - some attempts, both successful and (mostly) not so successful, at recording some voice over ads for local Hawaiian businesses (specifically, O'ahu). That section ends suddenly, with an obscenity. This is followed by a brief excerpt of someone - sounding very much the amateur to me - attempting to get part of a newscast just right.

Perhaps best of all is the last six minutes, which do not appear to come from Hawaii. Instead, this sounds like a demo reel for an advertising company, with some delightful, old-fashioned 1960's style ads, in something of a medley. Locations advertised here are found in Alabama and Texas, among others. There's even a sales pitch near the end, followed by some perky jingles for WABI, a station which was in Bangor, Maine.

Presumably, the demo reel ended up in Hawaii at some point, and the first portion of it was reused and reused by multiple staff, leading to this wonderful hodgepodge.

Download: Various - A Collection of Ad Demos and Attempts at Recording Ads

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

A Compendium of Chet Huntley - David Brinkley Tag Stories


So here's a tape that is really something. For those who enjoy media recordings, in this case, specifically vintage news reporting, you will probably find this amazing. I know that there are others who will not listen at all, or who will bail out a few minutes into this two-hours-plus recording.

What I have here is someone's collection of the "tag" stories from the end of each night's broadcast of the legendary Huntley-Brinkley report. This was the NBC television news broadcast, from the mid-'50's through 1970, that first gave us the concept of the dual anchor newscast, and which was, along with CBS' Walter Cronkite broadcasts, where a large percentage of Americans got their nightly news during the 1960's.

Then, as now, most newscasts ended with a short "tag" story. With few exceptions, these were usually lighthearted, whimsical, odd or otherwise not as serious as the rest of the evening's news. Our mystery reel to reel enthusiast made it his or her job to record these stories - and only these stories - every night, for God knows how long (I'm guessing that this is not the only tape this person made - this particular tape is from 1962). There are a few other reporters filling in (on vacations and such) here and there, but mostly, the voices you will here, telling the stories and commenting, are those of Chet Huntley and David Brinkley.

I really wonder just how amazing this is - it seems to me at least possible that this material does not exist - at least to this level of completeness - anywhere else.

Download: Chet Huntley and David Brinkley - A Compendium of Huntley-Brinkley Tag Stories

Oh, and our intrepid documentarian also kept detailed written records of the shows he or she taped. Here is just one of THREE handwritten logs found inside this tape box.

UPDATE: I had a request to post all of the documentation from inside the box, and so there are now two scans and a picture, below, the picture being from the inside of the tape box, so it is a little less clear than the scans. There are more tape files after these pictures:


For those of you who like your sound clips shorter (32 minutes), and those who like Slide Show narrations, I have one of those narrations which is particularly unsuited to listening without the slides. Isn't that fun? This is a slide show meant to accompany a presentation of the winners of a photography contest! There's something I can't quite explain, that I enjoy about this tape - something in the detail that the narrator goes into, about the contest, the photographs and the photographers. I hope you enjoy it, too:

Download: Unknown - A Slide Show for a Photography Contest