Posts Tagged ‘radio programming elements’

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 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 12: Produced Commercial Intros from “The Big Sound” series PCI-1R

2015/10/11

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What we have here is a disc of pre-recorded intros to types of commercials for local businesses.  Here’s how I assume these were used: the radio DJ would play one of these and then personally talk about a local business’s sale or products.  You’ve got introductions for car dealerships, furniture stores, realtors; some generically announce a sale, or admonish the listeners to “bring the whole family”.

Keep in mind I have to listen to these all at once when I digitize them.  In aggregate, these come across like a royalty-free version of Wak’s monologue from the Joe Dante film Explorers (1985).

 

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.

Dumpster Vinyl Volume 6: “Civil Defense” Public Service from “The Big Sound” series

2015/08/30

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I’m basically just doing these in the order I’m taking them out of the boxes they’re in, so here’s another from the “Big Sound” series. I suppose we’ll eventually hear from Captain Happy again  This disc has some of the same artists as previous entries in this series, which makes sense.  I guess if you’ve already got Johnny Cash in the studio introducing his songs, you might as well get him to talk about civil defense. Here, we have got a bunch of celebrities telling people that “civil defense is common sense” and to look to a couple of radio frequencies for updates from CONELRAD.  Yes, that’s right, what more comforting word could there be than CONELRAD?

This is one of those times in my life where I finally encounter the source material that spawned endless variations, parodies, and subversions.  That’s not to say that this disc is what everyone heard, and that it was precisely what, say, Hawkwind were referencing in “Sonic Attack”.  Rather, let this disc stand for every bit of polished 1960s media kindly telling people to be scared of what the Russians were going to do to us, but the government is here to protect you. CONELRAD will tell you which foods are safe to eat.

P.S. Was Huckleberry Hound meant to sound like Pat Boone?

P.P.S. Doesn’t the music make you think of Dragnet?

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.

Dumpster Vinyl Volume 4: Who’s in the Magic Circle Now? from “The Big Sound” series

2015/08/16

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Spinning, spinning, spinning the magic circle of all-time favorites! Who’s in the magic circle now?

Another disc (this one’s RAM-3-R, so I guess I’m doing them in order now), another mix of singers. Again, some I know, some I’ve never heard of.

The ones I knew, or have at least heard of: Henry Mancini (he refers to himself as “Hank”!), Debbie Reynolds, Johnny Cash, Bobby Rydell, Les Baxter.

No idea about these people: Mary Kaye Trio, Bob Crosby, Sue Raney (jeez, those three just sound like store-brand knock-offs, 50-odd years later), Billy Eckstine, Kay Starr, Bud & Travis, Stan Kenton.

Also, starting with this disc, they start introducing a little variation into the production tracks (the part with the announcer that precedes each of the artists). On some of them, instead of saying the standard “Who’s in the magic circle now?”, he lowers his voice and booms “Who’s there now?” It makes it sound like somebody real important’s about to show up; it works on the Johnny Cash track; less so for Stan Kenton.

Maybe I wasn’t paying attention before, but a few of these artists mention the “magic circle of all-time favorites” title on this disc.

Overall, it’s getting kind of weird listening to these in isolation from the music of these singers & artists. Some of the artists refer to the upcoming song as “one of [their] favorites”, but did they even know which songs would be introduced?

P.S. My favorite part is when one of the Mary Kaye Trio starts talking when he’s not supposed to.