Saturday, December 01, 2018

Country Music?

Tonight begins a new series here at the blog.  Over the years I've shared with you a large selection of Christmas music put out by the various branches of the US armed forces.  They're always a favorite of mine to find and to share, and this year I've got a big double handful of new ones to begin sharing with you, as well as some remasters of older ones, and lots of plain old reshares of things you may have missed over the years.  I'm sure there will be something in these that will find a place under your Christmas tree.  I'm beginning with what I think is the first in a series of Air Force radio albums that slowly worked it's way through a number of guest spots by popular musicians of the day, though this one has a couple of pretty obscure stars.  Side one features Les Tremayne, and the flip side is Bill Neal (love his rhyming!).  No, I'd never heard of them either, but they both do a great job alongside the usual cast of characters, The Airmen Of Note, The Symphony In Blue, The Singing Sergeants, The Strolling Strings, etc.  Give it a download and you'll see what I mean.  And as I've done frequently in the past, you have a couple of download options.  You can download the 'Uncut' version, which is the two sides complete as presented on the record so you listen to it like a full radio show.  Or you can download the 'Tracks' version where I've tried to cut the songs and patter into discrete bits so you can listen to whichever song you like.  The choice is yours!  This is The United States Air Force Band-Christmas Music (The United States Air Force Public Service Program GXSV 108139/40, Stereo, 1965).  And skip down below for a bit of a mystery that I could use your help in solving!

Side 1-A Musical Flight To The Holy Land
Side 2-A Musical Christmas Card

MEGA (Uncut)
MEGA (Tracks)
As I was recording the record above, I noticed what looked like white-out on the label. It's there on both sides, somewhat sloppily applied.  I had bough this album off eBay a week or so earlier, and I thought about sending the seller a nasty note about not mentioning that.  I wondered if I'd be able to fix it in Photoshop, as well as what might be underneath.  As luck would have it, in a stack of other records I'd bought off eBay a week earlier, I noticed a similar label, shown below, with no white-out.
Looking closer, I realized they seemed to be the same, only there was no white-out and it didn't say it was in stereo.  Now my curiosity was piqued. I recorded the second LP, and it turns out to be pretty much the same thing, only with minor differences in the script regarding stereo recording, and it's mixed a little differently.  It's also processed to be much louder in general, with less of a difference between the quiet and loud parts.  Compressed may be the word I'm looking for.  Where the white-out was on the stereo copy, this one said Country Music Time.  (The mono one came in a plain white sleeve as seen below, with a handwritten, yet crossed out, note dating it to 1965.  I was able to confirm that with a 1965 newspaper article mentioning it being played on the radio.)  So, my question is, was this originally sent out as an episode of Country Music Time, then later repurposed as a different public service recording that then morphed into those great late-60s radio programs?  Or is it something else?  Anyone have any clue?  Did I lose you way back?  Sorry.  This is The United States Air Force Band-Country Music Time-Christmas Program (The United States Air Force Public Service Program GXTV 108137/8, Mono, 1965).  I didn't cut this version into tracks, I didn't figure it would be very popular, being mono only.

Side 1-A Musical Flight To The Holy Land
Side 2-A Musical Christmas Card



barba said...

maybe it's just some dried cotton candy that some slob stuck there without any hidden agendas or ulterior motives. it's white enough. i used to get sticky stuff on everything when i was a kid. now it's more like red wine stains. in the old days, i'd have told you to run your moistened finger across it and give it a taste. but i suppose now that can't be done. there might be e-coli or gluten or asbestos or something in it. or you might get accused of double dipping or releasing saliva into the air and giving someone the flu. (nobody ever gets sick anymore. somebody else always gives you a disease.)

silly me, i was anticipating the next installment of "around the world in 80 albums" when i saw your headline "country music?". and i'm thinking "all right, fine... which country?" much to my surprise, it was the american armed forces. the voice of america used to play these groups on short wave radio back in my hard-travelling days. the other station i could pick up was english-language radio albania. constant yucks. boy, back then those guys didn't like ANYBODY! i think i'm turning into an albanian in my old age.

Buster said...

Ernie probably has a Christmas in Albania LP for you.

I think the label was a printer's error. So they globbed white-out on it to cover it up.

Les Tremayne was a well-known announcer of the period, also an actor. He was on TV a lot, but maybe before your time. You might recognize him:

Signore Glorioso said...

i am way too intoxicated to understand what's going on here. i'll download everything and sort through it tomorrow. oof.

barba said...

@Signore Glorioso my kind of man.

Kwork said...

Can't answer any questions, but thanks for the music!