Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Few Days With a Tape Recorder--October 1975

Here's an interesting snapshot of my interests of nearly 35 years ago. Perhaps surprisingly they weren't that different from my current ones. I took a cassette tape recorder and taped some items from radio, then a bunch of TV themes. It's been dubbed and redubbed over the years to preserve it but it makes it a little rough to actually listen to. I did though and here are the details of what I recorded on the tape:

1-The first item is a radio commercial for THE BEATLES--A WAY WITH WORDS, a raely recalled multimedia stage presentation similar to the alre
ady popular BEATLEMANIA. I was reading a book on the Beatles earlier today.

2-JUNIOR'S FARM by Wings. WSAI in Cincinnati had announced all day they were going to debut a new McCartney record at a certain time so I was all set with my tape running. I caught the now-forgotten DJ intro-ing the song and saying it would be form a forthcoming new album (it wasn't) and that it was JUST credited to Paul McCartney--not Wings. "Wings, it looks like..., " he said, " a foregone, past conclusion!" Ummm...not for another five years.

3-ALL I KNOW-Art Garfunkel. Long a favorite with Paul Simon, I particular
ly enjoyed Artie's first few solo singles. Haven't heard much about him since his pot bust a few years back.

4-Dr. Demento--I taped two songs here from an episode of DR DEMENTO--Benny Bell's SHAVING CREAM and Napoleon XIV's THEY'RE COMING TO TAKE ME AWAY (HA, HA), complete with introductions by the Doctor who just a couple weeks back I
had the great pleasure, after all these years, of interacting with on Stu Shostak's Internet radio show!

5-THE GIRL FROM U.N.C.L.E.--In 1972, the first autograph I ever got was from Stefanie Powers who was then appearing in summer stock in Dayton. I had loved her as April Dancer and in a million TV movies so when GIRL FROM U.N.C.L.E. reruns tur
ned up on Saturday nights at 1 AM (after STAR TREK), of course I stayed up, Rarely got though an episode, mind you...

6-MAKE A WISH--Tom Chapin's wonderful Saturday morning (actually I think it was on at Noon) TV series theme, previously
posted from YouTube elsewhere on my blog.

7-FIVE WEEKS IN A BALLOON--Irwin Allen's fun 1962 Jules Verne flick with Peter Lorre and Barbara Eden had a great theme song and I knew that as I'd seen it before so I tuned in to tape it.

8-M*A*S*H*--It doesn't hold up at all for me anymore. I find it very hard to watch. Too much seventies slipped into the fifties settings. At the time it was my favorite series, though, and it's great instrumental version of the movie's SUICIDE IS PAINLESS is still one of THE best TV themes ever!

9-THE NBC MYSTERY MOVIE--I loved many of the Mystery Movie segments--McCLOUD, COLUMBO, MCMILLAN AND WIFE, HEC RAMSEY, BANACEK....heck, even McCOY AND AMY PRENTISS were pretty good! In fact, I've re-watched the whole runs of three of them just in the past year!

10-MANNIX--Mike Conners long-running solo detective series may not be rerun as often as many other shows
but it, too, had a memorable theme song, in this case by Lalo Schifrin who wrote the great themes fro MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE and ENTER THE DRAGON amongst many others.

11-JUDD FOR THE DEFENSE--I heard Paul Peterson speak very highly of this forgotten show's star Carl Betz (his former TV father on THE DONNA REED SHOW) the other day, also on STU'S SHOW.
( It had powerful theme music and and won an Emmy for its star AFTER its cancellation.

12-POPEYE--You hadn't seen POPEYE around here for ages at that point so I taped the familiar theme on one of the first times I had heard it since I was a kid.

13-I DREAM OF JEANNIE--the slower, first season theme
14-NANNY AND THE PROFESSOR--An updated TV version of MARY POPPINS with Juliet Mills, this was never a major hit but a favorite of mine both as a series and as a theme song.

15-DIRTY SALLY--A lighthearted western spun off from GUNSMOKE, it starred Dack Rambo who went on to be an early AIDS victim and, in the title role, the beautiful and brilliant (and clearly ego-free) Jeannette Nolan---whom I found out later was one of THE great radio actresses--as the toothless, white haired hag of the title. Haven't seen an episode of it since 1975!

16-THE WALTONS--Earl Hamner, Jr's family drama got picked on at the time and still does (in current Geicko ads) but was often the best-written and acted program on television in its day...and with yet another great instrumental theme.

17-CADE'S COUNTY--A little-remembered but briefly popular modern western that starred Glenn Ford. I can't understand why this isn't on the Western Channel today.

18-THE MAGICIAN--Peppy doesn't begin to describe the theme from Bill Bixby's brief but fun slight of hand detective series. Was watching some episodes just recently from eighties reruns on cable.

19-HERE'S LUCY--I loved Lucy (who didn't) but I bought the box set of this series a few years back and it is WAY too stagey! Other than some cool guest stars, I'd have to say it was the worst of her various Lucy shows but, at the time, it was the most popular thing on Monday nights!

20-THE ODD COUPLE--Another set-bound sitcom that looked better at the time than it does now but no one can question that classic theme music!

21-Finally, the more folksy first season GILLIGAN'S ISLAND theme song by the Wellingtons. I once said that GILLIGAN'S ISLAND was on on some channel at any given time. Up until ten years ago, it was but I haven't seen an episode in ages. They did do a XXX parody version recently and an all-new feature film has been announced.

So that's what I was into in the Fall of 1975. Not that much different really.

(Special thanx to Lisa M for help with the Beatles scan)

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3:59 PM

    I use to do that also. I still have all of my tapes. I think I started around 1976 or so.