Posts Tagged ‘ed sullivan’

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.

 

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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 5: “Vote” Public Service from “The Big Sound” series

2015/08/23

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This is another disc in the “Big Sound” series, which so far has included the “Spinning the Magic Circle” song introductions.  I have no idea what else was included in the the Big Sound package.  It’ll be just one surprise after another as I dig through these boxes, one record at a time.

This one is called “Vote” Public Service, with a code number of PS-6R-1.  Both sides include music artists (many whom we’ve heard already on the Magic Circle tracks) as well as other celebrities (Ed Sullivan & Jerry Lewis, f’rexample) telling you to get out and vote. There’s also some jingles with a man and woman singing increasingly lame rhymes about voting on Side A.  The idea being, I suppose, that voting is preferable to listening to them rhyme “issue” with “miss you” one more time.  Side B also includes some intros to reporting on voting results at local, state, and national levels, and voting analyses; there’s also an all-purpose “political bulletin” intro, the kind of thing that would come in handy in case one of the candidates started beating up civilians before the polls closed.

This disc is a time capsule, but in a different way from that of the song introductions.  You get a sense of the time period through a number of elements here.  For one, when’s the last time you heard a jingle on the radio that wasn’t trying to sell you something?  There’s a line on one of the tracks about voting “for men” who were running.  Lastly, and this is my favorite, one of the jingles urges voting as a bulwark against “the Red elation to crush our nation”.  What the hell does that mean, anyway?  Was it ever the case that, if the percentage of the populace that voted got too low, there would be no elected leaders?  Did not voting leave the door open for a Russian guy to just waltz up to the Capitol Building, say “I see that there was only a 30% voter turnout, hand me the keys, please”?  Or would whichever American politician did win look at the low turnout, think “well, nobody really cares” and just call up the Kremlin and tell them they won?  I may never understand the 60s.