11 August 2008

Emeril wasn't the first one to go "Bam!"


"Sprite ... Sip the light fantastic."


Right now I'm transferring an old 1970-vintage cassette to CD (I never knew Bell & Howell ever sold their own brand of recording tape, but anyway....). It's a 30-minute aircheck of "The Big Bam", WBAM/Montgomery, which an acquaintance of mine from Birmingham sent me -- a pleasant surprise in our mailbox today. It's dated September 1970, when he was "teen DJ of the week." He found it amidst long-lost clutter and asked me to bump him a CD copy of it. (And, yes, I'm making myself one - don't act so surprised) The cassette, for being 38 years old, was remarkably free of glitches.

We're talking the glory days of AM radio here. And the commercials ... wow! WBAM was spotlighting their "Big Bam Fall Spectacular" -- their quarterly super concerts featuring a gigantic bill of talent. And a diverse one, at that. The Carpenters and Iron Butterfly on the same show!!. Even ex-Monkee Michael "Wool Hat" Nesmith showed up to perform his 1970 hit record, a beautiful, tender, sweet and heart-warming ballad called "Joanne."

There's a promo for a Stevie Wonder concert ... at The University Formerly Known As Troy State.

(My wife just said, "If he only knew...")

Have to say that was impressive; Stevie wasn't exactly B-list material in 1970. Maybe somebody at TSU at the time cashed in a few owed favors. I'm sure that day Stevie Wonder was grateful not to have sight.

Also on the tape is a political spot for Jere Beasley, who was running for Lieutenant Governor (and went on to serving two terms; today Beasley is a high-flight trial lawyer).

In closing, the Bell & Howell cassette has the letters HD on it. Obviously their "line" of tape, i.e. TDK SA, Maxell XL-II, etc. So there you have it. High-definition audio did exist in 1970.

Put that in your "Sprite" bottle and start sipping.

Ciao for niao.

--Talmadge "In-A-Gadda-Da-Close-To-You" Gleck

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