What’s funny about the first clip is the
amount of prize money. Every time someone guessed the jackpot, the amount
was reset to a number related to the station’s location on the dial. Sixty-one
dollars and sixty-one cents seems like a paltry amount compared to nineties
Here is an overview of other clips:
( The following are from WPEN)
· WPEN theme (of stylistic interest)
· list of highway deaths (Chuck
· News with Frank Carter (still
active) includes: racial dispute, cost of living, minority employment,
fighting in Laos
· commercial from TV’s "Hazel" (Burst)
· music (theme from M.A.S.H.)
· Chuck Connors (heart fund)
When I graduated from grade school in 1969,
my parents gave me a stereo tape recorder that recorded at three speeds.
I often used the slowest speed to record TV sound tracks and radio shows.
Remember, this is before video cassette recorders even existed. A Beatles
fan, I recorded the soundtrack of the movie, "HELP!" I must have played
that tape hundreds of times. Me and my best friend knew every line and
it was our running joke for what seemed like years.
· NBC Saturday night at the movies
theme and intro to…
· "HELP" starring the Beatles
· music: sitar (From album. Will
be used for VO)
· music: HELP segues into… VO HELP
is slightly out of chronological sequence for artistic license. You’ll
hear why in a moment.
FIELD TRIP Our
grade school class took a field trip to New York City. I was too claustrophobic
to climb the narrow circular staircase to the top of the Statue of Liberty,
but I did make it to the ESB. I was a sound-hound from the age of three
and on that 96th floor, more important than the view, the useless trinkets
and the photo booth was a machine that made high-altitude 45 RPM recordings.
I convinced two friends, Jim Martin and Jerry Wesner
to join me.
On the record, I get slammed right away
for my lame intro, "We’re high atop the Empire State building…" Jim dedicates
a song to our home room teacher, Sister Anne Benedict. Compared to the
other nuns, "Benny," as we called her, was pretty cool. Not only did we
get to go on this field trip, but we also got to listen to, and analyze
the lyrics of the Beatles and Bob Dylan and the harmonies of the Beach
Boys. Jim and Jerry start slamming the rival gangs — Ma Brown’s, Ramblers,
Jeans and Wissinoming — which were named after nearby luncheonettes, parks
and greasy-spoon hang-outs. (The "cool" kids hung out on street corners.
My mom never let me "hang out.")
From the booth, my two partners spotted
Lou Dellucia — an obvious Italian — and this inspired them to burst into
the song, "Top Wop." The melody came from the Hanna-Barbera cartoon "Top
Cat." Forget Black and White, my grandparents were of grade school age
when they came to Philadelphia from Italy around 1906. My parents were
born in America. I was born in America. I can’t ever remember being told
that I was Italian. Sure, we ate spaghetti and meatballs a few times a
week, but there was never any ethnic slant — positive or negative — in
our house. My two brothers and I grew up in the "lily-white" Northeast,
a postwar, row-house community that was halfway between the suburbs and
"Center City." (Similar to the relationship of Queens to Manhattan and
South Philly is where my parents came from
and where my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins lived. Northeast Philly
was a good half-hour ride from there. Philadelphia had its neighborhoods
— Blacks in North and West Philly, Jews to the west of Roosevelt Boulevard
(route 1), Christians to the East. I went to a Catholic School filled with
American-born kids who were mostly of Irish decent. Somehow, the Irish
kids knew of my Italian heritage before I did. They called us "grease-ball,"
"dago," and "WOP." Kids have always been pretty rough on each other. That’s
why "HELP" is placed before the very scratchy recording made on the 96th
floor of the Empire State Building…. The closing song, "HAIR" (by the Cowsils
) helps to date the ESB recording.
The rest of the radio recording collage
will be under a voice over that introduces the last piece. It’s about discovering
someone on a recording made in high school that I didn’t meet until college.
Just before I made the switch from AM top forty to underground FM radio,
I became a Joey Reynolds groupie. He played a mix of top forty, R&B
and lots of MAD magazine-style humor… I recorded hours of his show.
JR had a club called "the royal order of
the night people." Lots of kids called, including this guy, Ron Barron.
I met Ron in college at Penn State’s Ogontz campus. Ron was even heavier
into audio recording than I was, but I didn’t make the connection that
he was a JR fan until twelve years later, when I started listening to my
tape collection (in the late-eighties).
In the early nineties I became a public
radio listener and eventually, a member. One show, Fresh Air, originated
from WHYY in Philly. It was at the end of the program, during the credits,
that I heard the name, "Ron Barron." I called and it was him! The guy from
college. I told him I had this radio recording from high school. I still
haven’t sent it…