Friday, May 31, 2024

Bob Hope's Murder, A 75 Year Old Mix Tape, A Lot More Jack Eigen, The Irish in America, 1970's Folkies, Cheesiness from a Night Club and "Whatever Happened"?

Okay. so I have a bit more time today to do a little housekeeping. 

First, I would like to direct you to the posting of the four hours of Gary Owens, where a commenter named Kyle has written a few comments in which he links to some interesting audio that he owns, on YouTube. 

Second, thanks to the anonymous poster who let me know I'd failed to upload the scan of the sheet from the Asian television recording. I attached it, and it's there now. Thanks to another anonymous poster regarding the same scan, who told me that the writing refers to a Japanese historical drama, Shishi no Jidai, which aired in 1980. That's almost certainly the part of the tape I didn't share, and which came after what was pretty clearly some sort of variety show. 

And finally, thanks to MackdaddyG for some kind words of great support, and to Eric Carlson, who wrote, regarding the short tape of Erskine Hawkins (in a couple of separate comments):

The beginning of the Erskine Hawkins tape is a talk with singer and pianist Joe Boatner who arranged the song Amour Secret with the Royal Ink Spots released on the Montreal based Rusticana label in 1961. When the Saints was the flip side of Amour Secret also arranged by Joe Boatner.

For only $5 per person you could "ring in the New Year" of 1962 at the Imperial Dining Room of the Thruway Motel in Albany, New York, with both Erskine Hawkins and His Orchestra and The Ink Spots with Joe Bottner as spelled in the advertisement in the December 17, 1961, Albany Times-Union.

Really, thanks to everyone who takes the time to listen and read, and extra thanks to those who comment. 

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Warning, rant ahead. Feel free to skip forward two paragraphs if you're not interested. I hope I don't aggravate those I just thanked...

But do you want to know a secret? I consider myself a connoisseur of comedy. I own hundreds and hundreds of comedy albums, I have written comedy pieces and performed both written and improvised comedy. I write funny songs. From about the age of eight or nine and until I left home and got married, I went to sleep every single night listening to one of several dozen of my favorite comedy albums playing on my turntable.  

I don't "get" Bob Hope. I seriously don't understand what there is to "get". I consider him one of many "anti-comedians", people who makes life less humorous by their presence, and in their failed attempts to be funny. I have been exposed to his "humor" for most of my nearly 64 years, and yet have never once having cracked a smile, let along laughed, at anything he ever said. I aggressively don't get it. I find myself constitutionally incapable of sharing a Bob Hope rarity without mentioning that. Not that you asked....

However, your mileage may very much vary, and even more regardless, many out there may really enjoy hearing the sort of cornball humor that passed for big budget TV special entertainment in the mid-1960's. And so, herewith I will share this recording of a TV special that Bob Hope and the folks at NBC produced in October of 1966, titled "Murder at NBC" and featuring, per IMDB, a veritable who's who of comedic talent of that era (of varying quality, to be sure), including Milton Berle, Don Adams, Red Buttons, Johnny Carson, Jack Carter, Bill Cosby, Jimmy Durante, Don Rickles, Rowan and Martin, Jonathan Winters and more. 

But is it funny? Not to me, anyway. Not for a second. This sort of show is exactly is why the 1970's versions of George Carlin and Richard Pryor had to happen. And why the Monty Python's Flying Circus really had to happen.  

Download: Bob Hope's "Murder At NBC" - 10-19-66

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This next 32 minute slice of reel to reel is more interesting for what it is than for what it contains. For this may be one of the earliest examples ever made of what's long since become known as the Mix Tape. This recording exists on a paper-backed reel, of the sort only produced from around 1947 until about 1951. What's more, it appears on a reel manufactured by what I've come to understand was the first brand to market reel tape to the general public, Soundmirror (by The Brush Development Company). What's more, this particular tape box is, I believe, that company's first design. So the tape itself is perhaps 77 years old or so. Here is the tape box: 

On the tape, a man provides someone with a series of musical performances, most from records (including a couple which have skips) and at least one from the radio. My guess is that this recording was made before 1950, meaning it is at least 75 years old. Maybe someone out there can identify the specific records heard and either confirm that is possible, based on their release dates, or rule it out. 

Anyway, since 78s and Acetates generally could only fit about 4-5 minutes of material to a side, and since wire recorders were a brief niche method of recording, I have to guess that this is one of the earliest "mix tapes" you're ever going to hear. Enjoy!

Download: A 75 Year Old Mix Tape

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And here's the lineup, from the back of the box: 

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I had a request for more Jack Eigen, and as I have literally dozens of hours of the man's work, I am happy to oblige. I wrote about him at length in this post. If you want to hear more, than simply click on his name in the labels at the bottom of this post (or put "Jack Eigen" in the search bar at upper left (this will not work on a cell phone)). Either way will bring up all of the previous Eigen posts. 

Download: Jack Eigen - The Jack Eigen Show, Volume Five

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I have a ton of recordings from various television productions, many of which I've shared over the years, including some featuring Howard K. Smith, as this one does. And on the box, it specifies that this was a "Rangertone Sync" interview. I guess the "Rangertone Sync" is a method by which a reel to reel recording is automatically synchronized with the film/video being made at the same time. Here he is speaking with Mr. Farley about the Irish in America

Download: Howard K Smith - Rangertone Sync - Interview About Irish in America with Mr. Farley

Play:

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The next tape is nothing more or less than a few people singing together, performing songs that I researched a bit and found were recorded, respectively, by Dan Fogelberg and Linda Ronstadt. 

Download: Unknown Folkies Sing Dan Fogelberg and Linda Ronstadt Songs 

Play:

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Back when I was posting at WFMU, I shared a few tapes feature a Chicago musician named Larry Taylor. This link will take you to the second of those posts, which itself contains a link to the first one, In my final post at WFMU, I shared some amazing excerpts from Larry Taylor's work with everyone's
favorite Solo Cup Magnate's wife (and notable person of limited singing talent), Dora Hall. 

The dozens of Larry Taylor tapes that I acquired in the late 1980's also contained multiple tapes featuring a local nightclub entertainer named Rocco Greco, who presumably was a friend of Mr. Taylor. These are uniformly cheesy and interminable, at least to my ears. I once even found a locally produced 45 RPM single, complete with cheesy picture sleeve, released by Mr. Greco. 

I recently came across a tape which seemed to be separate in my collection from the Larry Taylor tapes, but I'm almost certain it started out in that batch, and that the performer heard for most of this recording is, indeed, Rocco Greco. 

Oh, and here is his obituary, which curiously does not mention his work (although the memorial comments do). 

Download: Some 1962 Night Club Type Entertainment, Possibly Featuring Rocco Greco

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And finally, our "Very Short Reel". Here is someone named "Malcolm Dodds", with what was almost certainly a demo reel of one of his performances, a song called "Whatever Happened". 

Download: Malcolm Dodds - Whatever Happened

Play:

4 comments:

  1. Hello bob this is Khyle the person who you talked about thanks for talking about the recordings I shared. Here is a website containing ventage telephone Phreak recordings from the 1960s and 1970s early 1980s if you have any other telephone releated recordings that you have nott all ready posted please post more of them For more info read the book "exploding the phone". the link is http://www.wideweb.com/phonetrips/

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  2. Hello thi is s Kyle again I have found a web site that has alot of odd audio recordings such as psas and early disc recordings the link is https://finnley.audio/
    Please enjoy.

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  3. Hello once again this is Kyle here is rare audio treat anserphone message from around 1960 in Britan from a yarn making facgtory. please enjoy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aibb5nddVQ8

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  4. the Malcolm Dodds you are talking about is Malcolm Dodds, a singer in the 50s who had a group called The Tunedrops. His real name was Malcolm Williams, and he was a vocal music teacher in the early 50s. I can't find much on him, so people should feel free to chime in if they know more
    Interestingly, I think the address leads to apartments now

    ReplyDelete