Posts Tagged ‘radio’

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 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 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?