Space Age Ash Tray Radio #1

• April 9th, 2009

In 2005, I wrote an essay/comic/art book called SPACE AGE ASH TRAY and it was about the ‘Space Age’ era of the 50’s to the 70’s and how much I missed the party, i. e.: growing up only to watch all of that fade away.

Soon after the dust settled and the book was published, I realized I forgot a major piece of the Space Age puzzle: 1964/1965 New York World’s Fair! Even though the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair aped the Space Age tag quite well, the New York Fair permanently claimed the mantle, thanks to its size, ambition and press (both good & bad).

At first, I was disappointed with myself for not discussing it beyond the brief passing to this fair in the introduction piece. However, as this was more of a personal journal than historical document and, at the time, I didn’t have much NYWF information, all that worrying ended up as moot.

Still, it dogged me for awhile and soon I began to do my own research behind the fair and though about turning it into make a sequel of sorts.

…that was until I bumped into a series of recordings made by radio legend Jean Shepherd. During the time of the NYWF, Shepherd was doing his nightly monologue radio broadcasts from WOR in NYC and, much like everything else of life that usually passes before his mike, he talked quite a lot about the Fair.

These recordings was an eye opener. Shepherd took the Fair in a broad sense of the human condition and, when it opened, had some observational fun with and on the fair. He took all sides of the fair, good bad pro and con and honestly enjoyed himself. “(This is) probably the greatest most vulgar, gauche, wildly naive, in many ways, most uninhibited pop art work that’s ever been created!” he would happily boast when he took his portable mike to the fair.

These recording were an eye-opener as Jean’s personal reflection and humorous take pretty much was similar way I took on the rest of the Space Age. Hell, I would have been as giddy he was, only that he did a much better job conveying this “peculiar joy” than I ever could, thus I dropped this “sequel” jazz for good.

What you hear is Jean talking about the fair before it opened and, as you’ll see, Jean sizes up this and other World’s Fair in the scheme of human nature, Shepherd-style.

All copyright acknowledged. Another set of acknowledgments goes to Mr. Raymond Dasher who compiled a ton of his NYWF recordings in an aluminum disc

LINKS:

My Space Age book: (Updated and Improved version coming in late 2010!) 1964 NYWF: http://www.nywf64.com/ Raymond Dasher’s collection: http://nywf64.com/raydo01.html

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Kelly Groucutt 1945-2009

• February 20th, 2009

The name might not be very familiar, but for Electric Light Orchestra fans (like me, of course), he was the bassist and background vocalist during the band’s prime between 1974’s Face The Music and Secret Messages in 1983 with the worldwide tours and successes in between.

Other ELO-based sites will go into detail of Kelly’s days before and after ELO, so, instead, I’m presenting a short collage of Kelly moments: first is an oddball short excerpt of a Kelly and Jeff Lynne interview by radio legend Jim Ladd from the mid-70’s, followed by a single he recorded in 1982 for the Riva Record label for the US market.

Thanks for backing ELO up, Kelly! While I’m in New Orleans for Mardi Gras, I’ll drink a toast in your honor.

Don-O

InnerView excerpt © Jim Ladd ‘Am I A Dreamer’ © Estate Of Kelly Groucutt

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Mitch Vs. The Menace

• February 12th, 2009

Around 1999, my friend Mitch was in town and was crashing at a house I shared with two other bachelors in Manhattan Brach, Ca. One of my roommates told Mitch about a radio talk show on KABC-AM that took calls with no screeners; you could call up and ask a question or briefly talk about any subject you wanted or add to the conversation at hand.

Considering that the AM radio landscape was still 98% neo-con gab, this interested Mitch as he had something to get off his chest and it was on the head of George Lucas.

The background here was that he was an old school Star Wars fan and, even after a year since its release, he still had the foul taste of the Menace in his mouth. He needed vent it off outside of the usual fanboy circles.

So, he bravely picked up the phone and dialed the stations number. Next thing he knew, he was on the air!

NOTE: THIS WAS NOT A PRANK CALL! Mitch was freakin’ nervous and became overly elated when Mr. KABC agreed with him. Mr. K even used a section of this call for one of his promo spots.

Mitch has since moved to Tucson Arizona, I moved out of bachelorland, Lucas continues to make more money and Mr. K’s (now better know as Mark Germain) highly rated show was replaced by a low-rated neo-con nut job show from New York and is currently taking care of business with his TalkRadioOne.com.

Don-O

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SWEET DICK WHITTINGTON’S 1978 BIRTHDAY ROAST

• February 9th, 2009

More Sweet Dick Whittington for you to tolerate! This time, it’s a long audio piece that took place on the day before that 4th of July fireworks show I previously posted.

Not much is personally know about Whittington as he is a very private man. What IS generally known is that his birthday lands on July 3rd. What year? Well, that’s another level mystery….

Anyways, here’s a slice of the original broadcast from July 3rd 1978, just as the KGIL-AM staff surprises Dick with an on-the-air roast, which includes a very young Joe McDonald WAY before his ESPN days.

Later that day, Dick invites his listeners to call near the end of his show and tell him how much fun he had during his birthday broadcast….not only did I take up the challenge but I ended up on the air. Don’t think I’ll “podcast” THAT anytime soon…way TOO embarrassing….trust me….

Regardless, enjoy, Don-O

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Sweet Dick Whittington’s 4th Of July Spetacular (excerpt)

• February 1st, 2009

…and now for me first “podcast”….

To make a long story short, I quickly became a fan of LA disc jockey Sweet Dick Whittington soon after my arrival in the San Fernando Valley at the age of 14.

He was broadcasting from ‘Valley Radio’ KGIL-AM, which I would later find out too late that their studios was just a miles from where I lived. I became such a fan that I began to record some of his radio adventures on my Sears boom box in Nobility cassettes.

One of the longer pieces I manage to capture (and that survived) was this tail end of a 1978 (?) broadcast. After having a live broadcast from an Alphie’s restaurant (which was owned by Alpha Beta supermarket) and letting their news anchor do his report from a plane, Dick bragged everybody out to the stations parking lot and set off some fireworks….in broad daylight.

We now join Dick and the KGIL’ers as they finish off the last of the fireworks as he takes care of some last minute business.

I’ll make my official Podcast deal soon…after I find what audio program to use.

Don-O

BTW: I run an unofficial Sweet Dick Whittington web site at: www.geocities/oddlystupid/sweetdick.html.

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