Archive for the ‘Dumpster Vinyl’ Category

Dumpster Vinyl Volume 17: Miss EBS (Emergency Broadcast System) from “The Big Sound” Series PS-5R-1

2016/03/06

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I was planning on rolling out another set of Dumpster Vinyl posts this summer or fall, but this one’s just too good to sit on that long. Plus it involves me trying to sell you something, but we’ll get to that.

I wasn’t around for the original Cold War, and chances are you weren’t either.  Long story short, USA and Russia weren’t friends, there was a lot of posturing and pissing-contest kind of stuff going on with building up stockpiles of nuclear arms.  The good: all of this got man to the moon much sooner than it would have happened otherwise.  The bad: living in fear of nuclear weapons.  You probably are familiar with the 1951 cartoon “Duck and Cover” (or the South Park spoof of it).  I can’t really say if there was still lingering fear of nuclear war by 1963, but I’m sure the previous year’s Cuban Missile Crisis didn’t help things.

At any rate, President Kennedy was worried enough about it to want a better way to get the word to everyone quickly if bombs were about to drop.  So the CONELRAD system (which we’ve heard about before) was replaced by the Emergency Broadcast System, which I basically remember as being the least offensive thing that ever interrupted what I was watching on TV.

I can only imagine the tough task that these “Big Sound” writers had before them.  Not only did they have to convey to listeners that there was a new Emergency Broadcast System, but also that it replaced the old CONELRAD system and they would have to retrain their radio-dialing-fingers to stop tuning in to 640 or 1240. Not only that, but they’d need to somehow obscure the “emergency” part of the whole deal.  You don’t really want to make listeners face their own mortality between ads for used cars and “My Boyfriend’s Back”.  So what did they come up with? Sex!

That’s right! Let’s personify the new system as a silken-voiced vixen!  This is why I’m doing this series, folks: for hokey stuff like this that was once someone’s good idea.  This edition of Dumpster Vinyl is probably my favorite so far–it even tops Tony Bennett telling you the temperature.  Without further ado, I present to you… Miss EBS!

 

Oh, also, there’s also some celebrities saying their names. They probably didn’t even know it was being used for this.

And, regarding that YouTube video there: I did whip up some artwork of Miss EBS.

missebsfixed

It looks awful here, because I’m using a free WordPress template that thinks nobody every wants to enlarge images. But it looks great, scout’s honor! If you want to buy a poster, you can buy a poster!  You can buy a poster at Society 6 by clicking on this link hereBuy a poster.

(Do it now before Secret Service guys come tell me about copyright law in morse code, with their fists, on my torso. But honestly,

(Also, I’ve never sold a poster before, but I would recommend the smaller sizes to get nice, crisp art. Also, let me know if the prices are too high, or if you can recommend a different site to sell through. Also, buy a poster.)

 

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Dumpster Vinyl Volume 16: July 4th “Safety” Public Service from “The Big Sound” series PS-4-R

2015/11/08

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Last week was pleas for volunteers for the Red Cross; this week the National Safety Council is here to tell you how to be safe on July 4th.

Nah, just kidding, they’re mostly here to scare you into driving safely (and not drinking while doing it) so that you don’t end up “a statistic”.  I never understood that turn of phrase.  For every recorded statistic, there is its silent statistical counterpart.  Oh, X% of fatal accidents on July 4th involved at least one drinking driver? Then that means that 100-X% of fatal accidents didn’t. And then some Y percent of drivers didn’t have accidents at all.  And then some Z percent of Americans celebrate at home on the 4th.  There is absolutely no way to not be a statistic.  Wouldn’t it be simpler to just say “don’t end up a dead guy”?

P.S. Don’t miss Jack Lemmon’s delightful little limerick about a kid losing an eye.

P.P.S. Very disappointed that Stan Freberg’s track about not drinking and driving did not include sound effects. Missed opportunity there, Stan.

 

Dumpster Vinyl Volume 15: Red Cross Public Service from “The Big Sound” series PS-3-R

2015/11/01

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Not much to say here, just a bunch of celebrities asking people to volunteer with the Red Cross.  I guess I could make a joke about how Boris Karloff’s trying to scare people into learning first aid, because horror movies, or something. Or a joke about how badly Johnny Cash fails at making volunteering sound fun.  But it’s sort of hard to work myself up to making jokes about the Red Cross.  So here you go, this is another disc.

 

Dumpster Vinyl Volume 14: Produced Commercial Intros from “The Big Sound” series PCI-3R

2015/10/25

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I think this is the last of the “produced commercial intros”, and this disc differs from the other two in one major respect: the music is much, much longer.  This allowed the radio DJ to play music underneath their announcements for local businesses’ sales.  The first side does have more generic dialogue mentioning sales; the second side is the music on its own.

Dumpster Vinyl Volume 13: Produced Commercial Intros from “The Big Sound” series PCI-2R

2015/10/18

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Here’s more commercial intros that radio DJs could use in front of spots for local businesses. Not much to add here, really, other than some of these “intros” sound more like “outros”. A lot of the music makes me think of old Hanna-Barbera cartoon end credits.

Enjoy!

Dumpster Vinyl Volume 11: Produced News Intros from “The Big Sound” series

2015/10/04

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And now, here’s the most boring one of these I’ve shared with you yet!  This disc is titled “Produced News Intros”.  And it sounds about like what you’d expect: a very early version of what I heard growing up (instead of the “deet-d-deet-deet” telegraph noises, you get “deet-deet-deet-deet” sonar noises).  There’s a bunch of different versions, though, each with soundbytes of earlier news stories. I can’t identify even half of these, other than a few World War II-era things, but I’m sure radio audiences in 1963 recognized them. The point of including these soundbytes seemed to be two-fold: to let you know you were about to listen to the news, in case them telling you “here comes the news” wasn’t enough; and also the unspoken promise that maybe, just maybe, the next news item would be of the same great import as the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

 

Dumpster Vinyl Volume 10: Thought for the Day (serious) from “The Big Sound” series

2015/09/27

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This is a disc full of platitudes from celebrities. Making jokes about empty platitudes is just too easy, and as pointless as the platitudes themselves.  I will say I was happy to hear Cesar Romero on here!

This disc is more interesting, though, in terms of what someone at radio station wrote on it.  For one, it indicates that this actually was used on the air.  Side 1 has a few notes written on the label.  For track 3, which was Jayne Mansfield, someone has circled her name and written “NO” out beside it.  We established before that the latest that some of these discs could have been recorded was Feb. 1963, based on Fabian saying he was still a teenager.  Given that Jayne Mansfield appeared topless in the film “Promises! Promises!” in August 1963  (stills from which appeared in Playboy a few months earlier), my guess is that the ensuing scandal (Hugh Hefner was arrested on obscenity charges; the film was banned in some cities) led this Georgian radio station employee to nix playing Mansfield’s “thought for the day” about unrealized potentialities.

Another couple of marks on the label – there are question marks beside the tracks for both Lionel Hampton and Lorne Greene.  Again, this was a radio station in Georgia, in 1963, and I have to imagine that Lionel Hampton must have sounded “too black” for somebody.  And here’s Lorne Greene’s thought:

“This is Lorne Greene with a thought for today: there never has been, there isn’t now, and there never will be any race of people on the Earth fit to serve as masters over their fellow men.”

Again: Georgia.  Again: 1963. You figure it out.

It’s one thing to have found anti-communist rhetoric in the recordings themselves, another entirely to see the moralizing and racism pervasive in a specific time and place.

 

 

Dumpster Vinyl Volume 9: Celebrity Degrees from “The Big Sound” series

2015/09/20

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Oh man.  This is the kind of treasure that I was hoping would be buried in all these boxes of LPs my uncle saved from the junkheap.  This is a disc full of 10-second spots of celebrities telling you what the temperature is, backed by the most early-60s swingin’ kinda big band music you’ve ever heard. Plus a lot of them relay the temperature in rhyme! And Spike Jones gets to use cartoon sound effects!

Unlike the public service messages, this is a good backdrop against which the celebrities can make some light-hearted jokes about how hot it’s gotten. I love this kooky stuff! If you ever wanted to hear Tony Curtis tell you it’s 88 degrees, your dream is now fulfilled and you can die happy. Please leave me in your will.

I hope you all enjoy this as much as I did!

P.S. Disc MF-7 R in “The Big Sound” series; all the celebrities participating are in the tags for this post.

P.P.S. They had a lot of Connies back then, didn’t they?

P.P.P.S. Fabian’s track sounded like he was in a bathroom stall until halfway through, when I assume someone adjusted his mic or some levels or whatever.  And one of Steve Allen’s deliveries is really weak. Makes me wonder how many takes some of these celebrities got.

Dumpster Vinyl Volume 8: “Go to Church” Public Service from “The Big Sound” series

2015/09/13

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I sure hope you all like being told what to do, because here’s another public service disc from “The Big Sound” series.  This time, the celebrities try to scare you with the idea of hell in the mildest way possible.  And despite the fact that some of them urge you to attend “the church of your choice”, there’s church bells at the end of the tracks.  I kind of don’t think they use church bells at mosques.

Various things I noted:

  • Fabian mentions that he’s a teenager; assuming he’s telling the truth, this recording was made no later than February 5, 1963
  • Fabian is the one celebrity not to have church bells on his track.  I picture his agent screaming over the phone at the Big Sound people: “Church bells would ruin his image! He’s a teenager, f’chrissake!”
  • Henry Mancini doesn’t call himself “Hank” this time, I assume because going to church is important
  • None of the celebrities mentions God specifically.  I’m always interested to see media from this long ago that include proto-PC content
  • I’m not super-familiar with his work, but I’ve always assumed that Milton Berle worked blue sometimes. I wonder what “church” thought of that?

P.S. For those of you playing along at home, this disc is numbered PS-7-R.

Dumpster Vinyl Volume 7: “Stay in School” Public Service

2015/09/06

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Looks like it might be public service announcements for awhile.  This week, we’re dispensing with the spectre of Mother Russia and her many bombs, but we are keeping the “keep the populace in line” angle. That’s right, everybody, Boris Karloff is here to tell those teens to stay in school!

Last week reminded me of Hawkwind “Sonic Attack”; this week’s entry reminds me of the Firesign Theatre.  Namely, their third album, “Don’t Crush that Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers”, one of the major story arcs of which was the 1940s/50s teenage movie featuring Porgie and Mudhead.  I’ve loved the Firesign Theatre for years even with only a glancing, rudimentary knowledge of the media they were spoofing. But every now and then I turn up the types of source material they grew up on and I appreciate them just a little bit more.  Principal Poop’s messages to the students of Morse Science High have definite echoes of the verbiage utilized on this disc.

And this disc gets us one step closer to dating the “Big Sound” series, because Bob Denver’s on here, doing penance for corrupting the youth of America with his stint as Maynard G. Krebs on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, which ran from 1959 to 1963.  Gilligan’s Island started in September of 1964.  So I’m going to put this series of programming elements at early 1964 at the absolute latest.  Sure, there’s an LP auction aggregator website listing discs from this series as being from 1963, but I am a librarian and I know that media objects are the primary source of information about themselves.  So I’m going to just say that we’ve narrowed our range for The Big Sound to 1960-1964.  That’s pretty good for only 6 discs in and being too lazy to triangulate the careers of all these celebrities!

And if any of you goddam teens are reading this, STAY THE FUCK IN SCHOOL, YOU LITTLE SHITS.