I'm back from COVID and ready to share more of my enormous collection! But first, a follow up to my last post.
For what I'm sure is more than the dozenth time, thanks to Eric Paddon for identifying that the brief clip of Tic Tac Dough that I shared last time comes from February 13th, 1959, and that, while the show had already gone through it's period of being "crooked" by that point, the winner of that show came by his successes honestly. And he won the equivalent of $1.5 million during his run on the show. All of this information is better explained in a couple of comments Eric made on the post linked above.
Thanks to everyone else who has commented, as well. In answer to a couple of those comments, I will continue to make a priority of listening to and sharing DJ airchecks which are in my collection.
To start, something a little different. Many years ago, I bought a batch of tapes which had belongs to a "tape club", a batch of mostly old time radio recordings, which a circle of people who would exchange with each other, each of them labeled - usually with up to six hours of recordings of episodes of one show - Jack Benny, Bob and Ray, Mr. Keen... whatever. I'm sure these tapes became available to me because of the dying out of the reel to reel format and particularly, the growth of the internet - for the most part, nowadays, the contents of most these tapes can be found online, either for free or for sale on multiple websites. I've listened to some of these tapes over the years and some remain unexplored, so far, in my basement.
But one of these tapes, labeled "Worthington", contains recordings of a BBC program which, as far as I've been able to discover, don't appear to be easily found online - I've found references to them, but nothing else. Technically, the show is not "Worthington", that's just the name of the lead character - a dog - in two out of every five stories. The shows are actually 15 minute stories, read by a man named Antony Bilbow, and written, for the most part, by Mr. Bilbow and his wife. I believe this fellow, 95 years old as I write this, is the same person as you'll hear on this tape. The stories are quite wonderful, in my opinion, and British through and through. They would apparently run in the morning on English radio five days a week, with Monday and Friday's shows featuring stories about Worthington the dog.
Anyway, the tape is recorded in quarter track mono, six stories to a track, which means I have 24 of them, lasting a total of six hours. Here is the first side, left channel of the tape. If anyone would like to hear more of these, just let me know.
Here is the part of the tape box which lists the stories on the first side, left channel, as heard above:
Next up, in two segments containing at least three different recordings, we have someone named Mike Starr. He was, if this tape is to be believed, a news man and general voice-over/commercial announcer at a station called WHBM (named after its owner's initials) in Xenia, Ohio. You can read about the station's history and current status here. I say "If this tape is to be believed" because elements of this tape are so amateurish as to make me wonder if this isn't a demo tape submitted to the station. Primarily, I'm referring to the comical level of reverb heard throughout, and the way that reverb gets turned up to a distracting point during the latter parts of this tape.
Anyway, part one of this offering - by far the longer of the two - features Mike Starr giving a lengthy newscast which, based on a couple of the stories involved, appears to date from January 7, 1967. This is followed, in this same segment by several commercials, the first of which is Christmas related, so cannot be from the same date as the newscast. A couple of the commercials don't even sound like the same announcer to me. And it is during these commercials that the reverb gets cranked up, seemingly at random, a few times. But maybe it's real. What do you think?
Download: WHBM News and Ads with Mike Starr
Sorry about the clicking throughout - I digitized this five years ago, and I believe that those noises are on the original tape. If I track down the tape at some point, I will double check and replace these files.
Anyway, after several unrecorded minutes on that same tape, the following short bit of goofiness featuring a man who I believe is still Mike Starr, interacting with his dog.
Download: Mike Starr at Home with His Dog
Looking backwards into the previous decade, and for those of you who enjoy Big Band music, here is half of an hour long program featuring Harry James, fronting his band on something called "Palladium Dance Time" on July 27, 1954 - presumably, these particular performances of these tunes have not been heard since this broadcast. The reel of tape this was recorded on only allowed a little more than 30 minutes to a side, at 7 1/2 IPS, so that's where the recording ends.
And now for the polar opposite to the above. Instead of a half hour of master musicianship, we have a very different half hour.... Yes, it's another recording of someone who absolutely cannot sing, and who recorded himself singing along with various records by Elvis, and a few others, apparently some time in 1959. If you can stand listening long enough, you will hear the same fellow demonstrating that his talent as a vocalist was roughly equal to his talent as a guitarist.
I don't know why, but I am absolutely fascinated by these sorts of tapes - I have at least three which I believe feature this same guy, but I have others, as well - and I sit and listen to them with amazement, wondering 1.) why anyone, even an excellent singer, would record him or herself singing along with a series of records, and 2.) if this guy had any insight, at least after listening to these tapes, that he was tone deaf.
I completely understand if this is not of interest, but as I said, it holds a peculiar hold over me.
And now for our "Acetate of the Month". I think this one is fairly self-explanatory: