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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Mister Announcer, Who Are You?

A tip of the hat to Dreamtime pal Scott Warmuth, he of the ever-intriguing sources of Dylan dispatches, who passed on the following tidbit...
"On one of the shows you'll remember Dylan using the "Mister announcer, who are you?...Tell me the station I'm listening to....How about telling the time to me?... And what's the weather gonna be?..." jingle."
The show Scott is referring to is "Radio" broadcast as the 17th show of Season 1 way back in August of Ought-Six. The full intro call and response between Dylan and a radio chorus is:

Chorus: Mister Announcer, who are you?

Our Host: Howdy everyone, this is Bob Dylan.

Chorus: Tell me the station I'm listening to?

OH: The XM network, satellite radio.

Chorus: How about telling a time to meet?

OH: It's time for Theme Time Radio Hour!

Chorus: And what's the weather going to be?

OH: It's cold and foggy and raining! It's going down to 30 degrees tonight. I don't know what it's it like where you are but that's what it's like here!

Scott goes on to write,
"That one floored me, because I used to play it on my show..." That jingle [comes from] an instructional album called You Be A Disc Jockey... One side of the album features a faux radio show with an announcer. The album is on Cameo, so all of the music is Chubby Checker, Dee Dee Sharp and other Cameo artists. The other side of the album has the same faux radio show, but without the announcer. It comes with a script, so the idea is that you read the script and practice sounding like the guy on Side One."
I can relate to the being floored, as that's the way I felt when TTRH played Frank Sinatra's commercial for Pete Epsteen Pontiac, an obscure cut I had first heard on a Dean Martin bootleg.

You can see the cover above of You Be a Disc Jockey, a title which makes me smile every time I think of it in relation to Theme Time Radio Hour and Our Host. The Philly deejay featured on the album is "Don Bruce," real name Bruce Fentesmacher, aka "Brother Brucie" who had a long and productive career in radio from the late `50s to the early `90s. He''s still with us, retired, and living in Pennsylvania, probably unaware that he has one weird connection with TTRH through an album he recorded in 19 and 62.

You Be a Disc Jockey seems to have been a favorite among teens in the early Sixties interested in a career spinning those licorice pizzas. I found several references on the Web by people who fondly remembered the album, at least one of whom became a jock himself and tracked down Don Bruce to acknowledge his influence.

As Scott mentions, UBADJ was a release from the Cameo label and featured Cameo artists, including Chubby Checker, Bobby Rydell, Dee Dee Sharp, Tootie & the Bouquets (I'm not making this up), the Tymes, the Dovells, the Orlons (I'm really not making this up), and The Rays. Home to many weird recordings probably best forgotten these days, Cameo's biggest success was likely Chubby Checker's mega-hit The Twist, a song that had originally been recorded by Hank ("not Jimmy, Tennessee") Ballard back in 19 and 59 and didn't do much at the time. Chubby's cover, in contrast, started one of the biggest dance crazes of all times. "It's like crushing out a cigarette butt," one of my instructors used to tell me as she vainly tried to get the ycleptic 9-year-old Fred to rotate his hips with only indifferent success.

But I digress, as Mr. D. would say.


James said...

Ah, Mr. Bals, you ought to know *much* better than to leave a juicy straight line like "...Fred to rotate his hips with only indifferent success."

Consider your "get out of jail free" card to have been played; next time, we won't be so restrained. ;-)

fhb said...

You have a filthy mind, Mr. M. :-)

James said...

No, Fred. It's just that I've actually seen you trying to rotate your hips. I was indifferent to it (as most observers are), though I must admit, it held a certain morbid fascination not unlike that of a go-kart in a NASCAR race.