Hello out there!!!
Let's get right to it. I have here something pretty special, I think, although I wish it was longer....
Remember Gary, Indiana? It was once a fairly flourishing working class town, just outside of Chicago, based around the steel industry. More recently, it has been named "the most miserable city in the US". But back when it was more or less thriving, Gary had a popular R & B Radio Station, WWCA, and WWCA had a popular DJ, Jesse Coopwood (although Wikipedia deems him to have been a jazz DJ).
Regardless, I have been lucky enough to come across, in my collection, two short recordings of Jesse Coopwood doing his thing. One is clearly from Fall of 1951, based on his comments about songs by Sylvia Robinson and by The Dominoes, among others, being recent or new. The other one does not have a date which is immediately apparent to me, but maybe someone else can figure it out.
Anyway, these are precious and rare, and very much worth sharing. Enjoy!
Download: Jesse Coopwood on WWCA, Gary, Indiana, Fall, 1951
Download: Jesse Coopwood on WWCA, Gary, Indiana
Now, from roughly the same time period, in this case, from November 30, 1952, and the place is the tiny town of Clever, Missouri. Here is a recording, mostly likely made in/at a church, of a man who is saying some fairly ridiculous and quickly disproven things about the wonders of the Christian Church and specifically its supposed role in causing virtually everything that is good and forward moving in the world.
I am a lifelong, active Christian, as you might have gathered from the piece about my mom a month ago, but I don't recognize that faith in what I hear from this guy. The number of "facts" that he spews here which are offensive and prejudicial in nature is staggering.
Download: A Man Extols the Wonders and Benefits of Christianity - Clever, Missouri, 11-30-52
The flip side of this tape contains a home recording - it's not terribly scintillating, I suppose, but it is a bit peculiar and may hold some entertainment value. It's a family, having a fairly loose discussion, while going about their day, regarding Savings Bonds, and particularly one which was bought on behalf of what sounds like a young adult son, some years back. This seems to come from roughly the same timeframe as the religious speech above.
Download: A Savings Bond Discussion, Circa 1952
Perhaps you need a palate cleanser after that church speech up there. If so, here is a nice audio letter from a father to his daughter Carole. And I think that's all that needs to be said!
Download: Audio Letter from a Dad to His Daughter Carole
And now, a real piece of history. On its surface, this may be among the least exiting sounds I've ever shared with all of you. But on the other hand.... I think this is now the oldest piece of playable tape in my collection.
I recently was fortunate enough to obtain six reels of Soundmirror Recording Tape, produced by the Brush Development Company. This was, I believe, the first commercially available reel to reel tape in this country, appearing not long after the introduction of the format in the US, which I also believe was from the same company. That was in 1946. All of these are paper reels, by the way.
I have not listened to all of the tapes yet, so there may well be something even older on one or more of them. But this is a recording from May of 1948, 75 years ago this month, and perhaps 18 months after the first reel to reel machines came onto the market in this country. So I felt like I ought to share its contents, even if they are more than a bit bland.
What the tape contains is an organist at a church in Florida playing a series of hymns and other music. The tape is just over 30 minutes long and the sound starts to fade in and out during the last five minutes. But this is the sort of thing that just excites me no end - not the contents so much as its very existence in my collection.
Download: Mrs. Gibbs Plays the Organ at the Rader Memorial Methodist Church, Little River, Florida, 5-6-48
And what does a Soundmirror tape box look like? Here is the box, front and back:
Now, let's move even a little further into the past, to nearly 80 years ago, and our Acetate of the Month. This is a little eight inch acetate, and while the voices are quite lighthearted, I'm sure it was made and was received with considerably more emotion than is given away by those voices. That's because this is almost certainly a mother sending her birthday wishes to her son who is in the armed forces, during a time of war.
Download: Birthday Greetings to Ensign Richard Nash from Mother, 10-6-43, Side One
Download: Birthday Greetings to Ensign Richard Nash from Mother, 10-6-43, Side Two
And now it's time for our Very Short Reel of the post. In fact, I have two, because the first is a ridiculously very, VERY short reel.
Here, for your dining and dancing pleasure is everything that was recorded on a standard, Seven inch, 1800 foot reel of tape that I scanned a few weeks ago:
Download: Hello, George
Since that was so ridiculously short, here's a more typical length "very short reel", this one being the remnants of what was probably once a longer recording. This was at the end of a tape on which was recorded some less than interesting records from the previous owner's collection.
Download: Testing the Machine and Asking Bobby to Come Here
On the second Jesse Coopwood tape, he does say, "This is Sunday, my good friends, September 9." That date was a Sunday in 1951. That first song is Ella Fitzgerald "Give a Little, Get a Little", released in 1951ReplyDelete
These pieces of obscure radio history are amazing; they should be in a museum.