Showing posts with label Sinatra. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sinatra. Show all posts

Friday, September 16, 2016

3 Chords & the Truth: It's crazy, pally!

Charley, this week's episode of the Big Show is a real gasser. Man, I am talkin' the livin' end!

There's some stuff on 3 Chords & the Truth this go around that's just crazy. Coo-coo!

It's a real clambake. Parts of the thing will just fracture you, pally! Good as a tomato waitin' for you in every gin joint.

MAN, IT IS anything but Endsville. I'm tellin' you, whoever's behind this thing must be a big-leaguer.

What a ring-a-ding show! You're startin' out real freaky like -- you know, trippy -- and then, next thing you know, you're at the Sands. Pally, this thing's a gas!

But if you listen to the Big Show much, you knew that already, right?

Three words: Wow-ee wow wow!

It's 3 Chords & the Truth, Charley. Be there. Aloha.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Eine kleine Nachtmusik

Late, late on a Sunday night -- Or is it early, early on a dreaded Monday morning? Whatever -- seems to me to be the right time for a little night music.

This day on the old Webcor, we have Frank Sinatra's classic 1966 LP, Strangers in the Night. The monophonic version, of course.

Is it just me amid a bout with melancholy, or is it these sounds of Sinatra from the era of Don Draper, Lucky Strikes and fedoras -- preserved on vinyl like a prehistoric insect in amber -- represent the recorded demise of a civilization unaware of its imminent doom? Confident, a little worn on the margins, upbeat . . . and terminal.

Ring-a-ding-ding, Pally! AAAAACK!

WE SAY we have a civilization today. That may be true, in some diminished fashion in this Kardashianized ruin of a Honey Boo Boo world, but it isn't the civilization my generation was born into. I know this because it's my generation that finished it off.

It had its warts. We wanted a brave new world -- which we got, careless as we were in our wishes. Reaching for the stars, we ended up with "sketti," sex tapes, and baby daddies but not husbands.

That and Sinatra as a salve for disaffected refugees from The Collapse, strangers in the night who wander lost in the ruins of White Trash America.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Come listen with me

This not only looks right, but it sounds right, too -- vintage Sinatra on a vintage hi-fi record changer.

I've probably entered the realm of irrational antique audiophile fandom, but there's something about these old LPs that just sounds a lot better on an old turntable. Technically, it probably has something to do with a slightly vintage cartridge that carries a bit more "pop" (as opposed to pop and crackle) than usual, as well as running with a bit more tracking pressure than a new, expensive cartridge could handle.

Or maybe it's just '50s magic.

But let me leave you with this: I really, really wish the microphone in the upper right-hand corner of the photo was Frank Sinatra's beloved "Telly," a Telefunken (Neumann) U-47.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

3 Chords & the Truth: Blue Spanish radios

I've been rummaging around in a box of old reel-to-reel tapes again, and I've found another radio classic from Uncle Favog.

And I suppose I have Woodstock -- or at least the soundtrack LP thereof -- to thank for this glimpse into Unk's foray into middle-of-the-road radio disc jockeying.

And it is this glimpse, preserved on Mylar-backed sound recording tape, that comprises this week's episode of the Big Show, otherwise known as 3 Chords & the Truth.

From what I gather from my uncle, who when this aircheck was recorded was going by J. Favog, he got this gig at one of Omaha's AM old-school giants just a week or two beforehand. And that was about a week after he got fired from KOWH-FM, then known as Radio Free Omaha and now known as defunct.

IT MUST have been the first week of May 1970 when Radio Free Omaha got an advance promotional copy of the Woodstock soundtrack album. Uncle Favog had been much into the seminal 1969 music festival at the time, and gave much attention to it on his overnight shows on KOWH-FM.

So one night when he was running a little late for his air shift, he figured he'd throw it on the turntable and let it track through while he gathered his other music for the overnight. In fact, being a big Country Joe and the Fish fan, he figured he'd start with that band's Woodstock set.

Cool. Live version of "I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die Rag," preceded by something called The "Fish" Cheer. Must have been "Country" Joe McDonald's humorous commentary on it was raining so much, Max Yasgur's farm was only fit for trout.

Or something.

Uncle Favog never did get to finish that air shift. He was bummed for a while, but got the overnight MOR job by promising to cut his hair and wear a tie to work.

The station didn't have a copy of the Woodstock LP, alas. Where Unk was concerned, that was probably a good thing.

SO LISTEN UP, and listen in, to my old uncle shoehorning his hippie-dippy self into a Frank Sinatra and Jerry Vale world on this vintage recording.

You know, I think "J. Favog" really came to love that gig. He found it counter cultural, in a weird sort of way.

It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

My hit parade

This is our iPod. It has vacuum tubes, and you can't stick it in your pocket.

But it does get nice and warm, and the hot tubes in the guts of the 1956 Zenith hi-fi console smell like the magic dust of a long-lost childhood.

There apparently is something out there called "the slow-media movement." This, in our living room, is the "slow-music movement."

Tonight, Mrs. Favog and I were listening to a stash of 1940s home recordings, from back when home recording meant putting a cutting stylus to a blank transcription disc, then carefully brushing away the shavings as the music made its way out of the radio and into the acetate.

I WONDER whether that long-ago Omaha recording enthusiast imagined -- as he (or she) plucked favored songs out of the ether and hid them away in homemade records -- that someday, someone in Future Omaha would listen to those recordings and, however briefly . . . however tenuously, rend the veil between our worlds.

I wonder whether they could grasp that, amazingly, Your Hit Parade would live on -- that the world the recorder knew in 1944 would again emerge, not from the ether but from a homemade record to touch a future world of atom bombs and television and space stations and a computer in every . . . lap.

DID THEY imagine that the youthful Frank Sinatra -- the star of the show who drove legions of bobby-soxers to squeals of ecstasy more than a decade before Elvis got in on the act -- someday would be the long-dead Chairman of the Board . . . and that those frenzied young girls would be great-grandmas?

Someone in 1944 put a heavy stylus down on an acetate-covered aluminum disc rotating at 33 1/3 revolutions per minute. The stylus cut tiny grooves into the acetate blank. Message met bottle, and that union was cast into the currents of time.

Ah, but I have a time machine. It's a 1956 Zenith.

It's April 2010. It's December 1944. Ol' Blue Eyes is dead; long live Ol' Blue Eyes.

The slow-music movement can zip you across time and space in just the time it takes needle to meet record.

Listen! Sinatra's singing the No. 1 song on Your Hit Parade. Oh my God, you barely can hear "The Trolley Song" through the screams of the bobby-soxers!

L.S./M.F.T! L.S./M.F.T! Lucky Strike means fine tobacco . . . and lung cancer just in time for the Space Age. This is the Columbia Broadcasting System.

Well, 1944, it was good to make your acquaintance. So long . . .
for a while.

Friday, August 15, 2008

3 Chords & the Truth: Diversity and all that jazz

When I was in college, LSU's campus radio station, then called WPRG, had what I considered a great format -- pretty much the full spectrum of album rock and college-y alternative fare, plus a minimum of one jazz cut an hour.

SOME DJs BALKED at the jazz thing, but I thought it was brilliant, and it made WPRG sound a sophisticated cut above your average college-radio fare. And isn't it funny that -- almost three decades later, during this age of "diversity" -- most areas of our lives aren't very "diverse" at all?

What we have is an age of Balkanization, not "diversity." Focus groups of the pathologically self-segregated.

Minds closing shut all across the land.

ME, I'VE ALWAYS been a freak. I even grew to like a lot of my parents' music, back during a time when there was a wide gulf between "our" music and "theirs."

I like rock. I like alt. I like country.

And I like jazz.

So, today's show is a little like that old WPRG college-radio format. Only more so.

If you like real diversity, you'll find it here. And here. And even at the top of this page, in the player window.

It's 3 Chords & the Truth. Be there. Aloha.