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Old 04-16-2011, 11:49 PM
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bgadow bgadow is offline
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Radio Broadcasts on Record

I thought I would share one of my interests, which doesn't appear to be extremely common. I'll start with some background:
Growing up in the 80s, I loved radio & listened regularly to a variety of syndicated programs. My assumption at the time was that these were all sent out via satellite to the local stations, perhaps recorded for replay as convenient. I never thought it any different, until....

In the 90s I started building a collection of records, almost all of them comedy albums. Whenever I went to the flea market or a thrift store I would dig through the piles and grab anything in the category, along with some spoken word albums and other oddities that caught my eye. One day I came across a box set that floored me: it was the weekly broadcast of American Country Countdown from a week in 1981, a complete show (less commercials) on 3 LP records. Well.

Eventually I discovered that many of these shows are readily available via ebay, among other places. In recent years I have built up a collection of shows. Some of these (like ACC) are pretty well known and documented; others are rather obscure. So, I thought I would use this forum to tell you what I know about them, and solicit any information that others can offer. I should state, I have never worked in radio (not that I haven't thought about it a time or two) and some of what I say is only speculation.

Before I get into talking about the programs-from what I've seen, records were heavily used in the 70s and 80s. 1992 seems to be the year that the switch was made to CD, and many shows are still distributed that way from what I can tell. (I don't have any shows that new) In some cases shows were available via satellite if the station had the capability. All of these records were supposed to be either returned to the syndicator or otherwise destroyed after airplay, but in practice many of them got saved by DJs or given away. (some stations would use them as prizes. One stack of shows I picked up are labled with the winners names-the ones I got were for people who never showed up to claim them)
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Old 04-17-2011, 12:16 AM
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The Comedy Show

One of the most important shows I ever listened to was The Comedy Show with Jack Carney. The popular St. Louis disc jockey did a show each Saturday morning playing all comedy bits, and a version of it ended up as a nationally syndicated show. Running 2 hours weekly, it was sent out on 2 LP records which included commercials. I believe (and please correct me if I'm wrong) that stations did not have to pay for these shows, they only needed to sign a form stating that the show (and it's advertisements) had been played. Each week Jack would cover a different topic. It could be seasonal /topical (Christmas, spring cleaning, football, Labor Day) or could cover something like marriage, the military, animals, etc. There might be a year in review around New Year's. The material would come from a variety of sources including comedy albums, old time radio, some TV shows, etc. It was this program which first introduced me to old time radio. He played a lot of Jack Benny and listening to some of those bits had me hooked. I guess I was around 10 or 12 when I first heard the show, and soon I had found a place selling tapes of various programs. This opened up a whole new world for me; my collecting of old radios started at the same time.

In 1984, Jack Carney passed away unexpectedly. Initially his son John Carney took over the mic; I remember at least a couple of those first shows where the topic was simply "Comedy Greats". After a time, Dick Cavett was brought in as the new host. He seemed a natural, as he really sounded like he enjoyed what he was doing. The format stayed the same, with some tweaks over time. They added The Comedy Spot, which was a 5 minute daily program for stations to play somewhere on the schedule. This generally consisted of an introduction by Cavett, a couple commercials, then a short comedy routine (often edited down). These were fit onto the same 2 record set along with the weekly show. On some shows Cavett would have interviews with different people. (a man with a talent for making funny noises; Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin brothers) They began adding a "Funny Bone Favorite" towards the end of the show, featuring a comedian doing his/her bit from a comedy club. This didn't usually have anything to do with the topic of the show.

Eventually, later in the 80s, Cavett left the show. It was around this time that he started a syndicated, live talk show each weeknight and I suppose he couldn't do both. His replacement was Roy Firestone. I never quite warmed to Roy as host, though there was another issue that kept me away. I had a lot of trouble finding a station that carried The Comedy Show. Initially I had listened to it on WBZ Boston, and later WCBM Baltimore. At one point WCBM went bankrupt and off the air, and after that I was never able to find a reliable place to hear it. I believe WCAU Philadelphia carried it but they never came in very clear here. (too far away for line of sight, too close for skip?) I am not certain when the last show aired. I have never seen one of Firestone's shows on record, but have a number of the Cavett series and some of the Carney's. I also have a few shows that I recorded on cassette when I was kid, but they are very poor recordings. It's great to actually own those shows now, and be able to hear them loud and clear for the first time.

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Old 04-17-2011, 10:48 AM
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I wish I knew this about a year and a half ago.I had some of those countdown record sets I let go in sale to a guy from Virginia that sold used records at the flea market when I had a great record purging around that time. I had spent the entire spring and summer sampling a lot of them and deciding that the records I was selling were ether records I would probably never have time or want to listen to again or lesser copies of of records I had other copies of. I would have given the radioshows to you.

I practically gave them away anyway. 5,000 records for $600. getting rid of 5,000 records sure clears a lot of space real quick though.If I find any more I'll think of you. If you happen to find any Nancy Sinatra records I don't have I'd be real happy to take them off your hands in trade also I came across her greatest hits album and have been playing it over and over.

She might not be the greatest singer in the world but darn it despite what naysayers may say she "could sing" and didn't make it because of her daddy or her looks.She was a hottie back then too.




Quote:
Originally Posted by bgadow View Post
I thought I would share one of my interests, which doesn't appear to be extremely common. I'll start with some background:
Growing up in the 80s, I loved radio & listened regularly to a variety of syndicated programs. My assumption at the time was that these were all sent out via satellite to the local stations, perhaps recorded for replay as convenient. I never thought it any different, until....

In the 90s I started building a collection of records, almost all of them comedy albums. Whenever I went to the flea market or a thrift store I would dig through the piles and grab anything in the category, along with some spoken word albums and other oddities that caught my eye. One day I came across a box set that floored me: it was the weekly broadcast of American Country Countdown from a week in 1981, a complete show (less commercials) on 3 LP records. Well.

Eventually I discovered that many of these shows are readily available via ebay, among other places. In recent years I have built up a collection of shows. Some of these (like ACC) are pretty well known and documented; others are rather obscure. So, I thought I would use this forum to tell you what I know about them, and solicit any information that others can offer. I should state, I have never worked in radio (not that I haven't thought about it a time or two) and some of what I say is only speculation.

Before I get into talking about the programs-from what I've seen, records were heavily used in the 70s and 80s. 1992 seems to be the year that the switch was made to CD, and many shows are still distributed that way from what I can tell. (I don't have any shows that new) In some cases shows were available via satellite if the station had the capability. All of these records were supposed to be either returned to the syndicator or otherwise destroyed after airplay, but in practice many of them got saved by DJs or given away. (some stations would use them as prizes. One stack of shows I picked up are labled with the winners names-the ones I got were for people who never showed up to claim them)
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Old 04-17-2011, 10:53 AM
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When I was at a radio station in '93-'94 I remember most all paid programming (for weekend broadcast) arrived via mail on cassette. There was one program still arriving on two 33rpm LPs, in a white cardboard sleeve...can't remember what it was. It was not music or comedy though. Most weekend programs were still done live by various individuals/groups.

I don't doubt that big network syndicated shows were going to CD by then. Although we were Mutual/NBC, we used the satellite feed (and the networks) solely for news.
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Old 04-17-2011, 02:15 PM
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I have an episode of "Rock Around the World" a standard-sized lp from 1977, I think. The show sums up all of the music news for the week, and then gets into the main event: an interview with Iggy Pop with several live tracks from his shows with David Bowie. The show features commercials, and a time sheet is included so you can cut in your own local ads as well.

I have seen several other episodes of Rock Around the World come up for sale, so I guess it was common for DJs to take these things home.
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Old 04-18-2011, 12:08 AM
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JC, guess I should run my mouth more often! I'll have to keep an eye out for Nancy on my travels. Yesterday I went to an estate sale where they had a lot of records, mostly 70s pop/rock, but I didn't bother looking.

Probably my favorite show is another one that barely gets mentioned on the net. So, here goes: Lee Arnold On a Country Road. I will now bore you with what I know about it!

In the early 80s there was a resurgence of sorts of the Mutual Radio Network. Dick Clark was signed to do a weekly rock show and they elected to do a country show as well. For the host they chose Lee Arnold, a longtime NJ/NY DJ who was then working at NYC's WHN, a country station at the time. "Uncle" Lee proved to be a great choice. His friendly demeaner, knowledge of the music/musicians, and good interviewing skills, all contributed to a good show each week. The program changed gradually over the years, but the general format was: 3 hours of current country hits mixed with "classics" from the 50s-70s. There was a "stargazing" report which reported on the latest country music gossip. This varied some over the years; sometimes Lee did the report; for most of the run WSIX-Nashville personality Katey B (sp?) did it, and for a time there was a woman from an LA station giving a similiar report. Generally there was one report per hour, lasting a couple minutes each. There would be a spotlight of a new album; also an album review in which Lee spun samples of many songs from a new album and then gave his opinion. I liked these because he was honest about it. Sometimes he would predict a song to be a hit, and it never charted. Often the album would be rated on a scale of 1-10; I have heard him give as low as a 5 or 6, which I thought was rather brutal considering how warm Lee is!

Early in the run there would be a "concert" in the third hour. This was generally a live recording done just for the show, featuring a current hitmaker. This got phased out by the mid-80s. At the end of the second hour a trivia question would be asked (usually pretty easy) and the answer would be given at the top of the next hour, followed by a song from that performer. At the end of the show they would play a song that had hit #1 that week sometime in the past. (10 years ago, etc) This would be followed by the #1 song that week. Mixed in were interviews with 2 or 3 stars; many of these are quite good. During events like Nashville Fan Fair or the Country Music Awards Lee would often record live interviews with many of the musicians who were in town.

The shows were always on 3 LP records and always included the national commercial spots. I am not sure when exactly the run started; I think the earliest shows I have are from '82, and it seems to have run up until '92. Later in the series a slight formatting change was made, which I found clever. Each hour was made to start with a segment featuring a brief introduction by Lee and 2 songs, followed by the formal opening of the program. This allowed the show to be easily played by stations that ran the news at the top of the hour, while still accomadating "non-news" stations. I don't recall seeing this arrangement on other similiar shows.

There were occasional specials-I have one where the whole show is dedicated to Elvis. Mutual also offered some other specials from time to time, and some of these featuring Lee as well. One I have is a year end countdown in which Arnold co-hosts with Eddie Rabbit. (the two were close, as Eddie had grown up in NJ and frequently visited Lee as a teen) At least later in the run the show was available via satellite. It saw pretty wide circulation; on one of the later shows Lee mentions they were being carried on over 400 stations. I typically would listen to it on either WCAO-Baltimore or WCTD-Federalsburg. (the former is now a black gospel music station; the latter is now WTDK, an oldies station) One of the neat features of some of these shows is that they will mention, at least once an hour, several of the stations around the country/world carrying it. It really brought a smile to my face to hear him mention old WCTD!

I will post some album covers when I get a chance. I will mention, in finishing, that Lee is still on the air; the last I heard he is hosting a classic country program for one of the satellite radio providers.
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Old 04-18-2011, 11:31 AM
JCFitz JCFitz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgadow View Post
JC, guess I should run my mouth more often! I'll have to keep an eye out for Nancy on my travels. Yesterday I went to an estate sale where they had a lot of records, mostly 70s pop/rock, but I didn't bother looking.
LOL.You probably had no idea I was a record collector and had a massive collection which besides the records in the house nearly completely filled that 16' by 12' shed I had just bought that you got the tvs out of by the time I got them all out of storage,some from a dirt floor shed. Lost 3 cardboard boxes full of minty records to termites from that shed. They even ate the labels off the records themselves and their waste on the vinyl was so bad I didn't even try to save them. Just chunked them in the landfill.
Not having adequate in house space for a record collection really sucks.If only I had the money to build a record room with the walls lined with shelves for them but wait I don't even own this place,I rent.Sucks to be poor.
Doing the purge at least allows me a little moving around room in the shed. Even if I had mentioned the jukeboxes back then(I think I did) jukeboxes use 45s and 78s so you pobably wouldn't think I had radio shows on LPs.
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Old 04-18-2011, 06:57 PM
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I have a few radio station programs on LP. I have several records of "The British Wax Museum" from the late '80's. These records contain several short spots that spotlight a song by a British artist/group. They give a little history about the song/band and then they play the song.

I also have some record sets of "Solid Gold Scrapbook" from '90-'91. As you might expect, this is an oldies show that features music from the '50's, '60's, and '70's.

I have some Air Force promotional LP's from the '70's. These contain current rock hits of the day and they were designed to promote the US Air Force. Some of the records have Wolfman Jack on them.

The newest radio programs on LP that I've seen were from '92-'93. I forgot the name of them; but, they were from a local "hole in the wall" black gospel AM station and the records contained black gospel music (as you would probably expect). I think this station was the last in our market to still play records over the air. As recent as '05-'06, they still had one old beat up QRK turntable in the studio. I eventually ended up trading him a manually operated Technics home turntable and I think they still use it from time to time.

A DJ friend of mine told me that 1990 was the year that record companies stopped sending out LP's and 45's and started sending everything out on CD. After 1990, he said the only vinyl that was played on the air was older material.
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Old 04-18-2011, 07:55 PM
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I have an episode of Queen for a Day on an Acetate from 1951.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3LslByuWIk

And a short recording of WJR in Detroit circa 1954.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Vintaget...51/M78aS3LOpmU
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:45 PM
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I have one 78rpm disc of some program of the National Council of Jewish Women from WJZ New York 1937. I also have a set of 78's that's an audio transcript of an Easter passion play performed live on WDSU television in the early 1950's. Somewhere I have an 8-track that needs fixing which is a tape of WBYU-FM in 1980, running the Schulke format...but that was taped by a family member...
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Old 04-19-2011, 01:23 AM
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I forgot to mention that I have a few beat up 16" transcription disc of radio programs from the '50's. Most of them are Air Force and Navy promo shows.
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Old 04-19-2011, 11:40 PM
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The only "old" one I have is a Coca-Cola show with Eddie Fisher. I don't have anything to play it on, though, so I just hung it on the wall. Most of my collection consists of On a Country Road, American Country Countdown & the Weekly Country Music Countdown but I have some Dick Clark countdown shows, some Country Cookin' (Army Reserve shows from the 70s hosted by Lee Arnold) and a few other things. Somewhere in the back of the closet I have a nice set of reel-to-reels of Chicken Man. May be a complete set? Not sure how many episodes there were. Rescued from destruction at a radio station yard sale, along with oodles of other tapes. (stacks of programming service tapes from the 70s and 80s with the new hits of the week; "music of your life" stuff on big reels, which sold very nicely on ebay-paid my fuel bill for one winter! And some interesting carts (cartridges) as well)
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Old 04-21-2011, 12:46 AM
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I've got a Motorola "Message to Shareholders" 45RPM Disc. It's Bob Galvin talking about the state of the Motorola Company in, I believe, 1973. I've owned a similar record from Chrysler where the person speaking (Iacocca?) was talking about the Jeep acquisition. Real fancy leatherette folder for that one. I let it go to a "Jeep" girl I know.

I've also seen medical lectures on LP's - saw those in the University Library Reference section. Lots of em, all arranged in volumes by subject.

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Old 05-06-2011, 12:49 PM
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I have an interesting LP from A&M ...a 'Radio Sampler' album from the band Styx, I believe from 1983. Half of it are the standard studio versions of thier hit songs, the other half are the band members answering questions about this and that, especially about Kilroy, which was just coming out. The questions to be asked by the DJ were included on an insert with the LP. I also have a reel-to-reel tape from one of Coca-Cola's advertising agencies with different versions of their early 70's radio spots 'Look up America'.

Jeff
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Old 05-06-2011, 10:24 PM
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There is a certain cheesy pleasure listening to a DJ doing one of those interviews-like an afternoon jockey at a small-market AM daytimer could just ring up Styx on the line one day for a nice chat...I haven't picked up such an album myself.

One curio I have is a mid-70s LP put out by a radio trade association (National Association of Broadcasters?) featuring a campaign based on the Ray Stevens song "Everything is Beautiful." In their version it is "Radio is Beautiful." The record includes one or two full-length versions of the song and shorter snippets, plus lots of humorous bits, sound effects and things for stations to play. There is one part where an announcer says the words, "Over 7,000 radio stations bring you news, entertainment" etc (I may have the number off) and every time I hear that it gives me a chill, just something about the number of stations in the US.
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