The contents of the tape are as marvelous as that sort of haphazard capturing of it might indicate. Because here we have nearly an entire broadcast of a short lived show titled "The Saturday Night Revue" which ran in 1953 and 1954. Fans of Hoagy Carmichael will particularly love this tape, as he hosts the show and performs several of his best known songs.
These are interspersed with a few very draggy and fairly unfunny comedic sketches and other material. I find it interesting that they chose to do what to modern ears will be a very offensive Asian caricature introduction at one point, yet Carmichael seemingly knew well enough to change the words to one of his songs, a moment later, which contained a far less offensive (in 1953) word, singing that the Hong Kong Blues was about an unfortunate "southern" man.
Incidentally, it's clear that the note above was written decades after this program was recorded - just have a look at the zip code, area codes and fax number at the bottom of the page. The writer also identified the Asian bit as "racist".
The show is not complete - or perhaps this is parts of more than one episode - anyway, the tape ran out during a comedy sketch. And the sound/tape quality is fairly bad at some points. But what's here is a pretty good snapshot of a variety show in the early Eisenhower years.
Download: The Saturday Night Revue, Circa 1953
The flip side of the tape is a different animal entirely. I suspect it's from the same time period, although I really don't know. Our note-taker has offered up a few comments on the flipside of the page (see below), mostly saying that "Grandma is Crazy", and indicating that there is later a phone call in which we mostly only hear our end.
I went back and forth about whether to include this 30 minute recording, and finally decided it was worth preserving for its acute level of real "around the house" feel. Anyone who has dealt with a relative with dementia will find the "Grandma" section familiar and probably a difficult listen, and that's all I'll say. And the phone call is entertaining enough, if you like such things - it would be easy enough with sound software to get a good portion of the other person's conversation, too.
Here's that tape.
And here's the flip side of that piece of paper: