That's it for the week folks!
Get out there with those who matter to you and don't spare the stuffing..
Written by ted on November 27th, 2013
Tagged with commentary, thanksgiving, turkey
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It seems like I remember a movie titled "FM" when I was younger, that was sort of a take off on WKRP in the late 70's. Does anyone remember that?
2 Dec 13 at 6:28 pm
Rick, I remember that was a movie to forget. Kind of like Frank Zappa's 200 Motels.
2 Dec 13 at 9:01 pm
I think it was mostly notable for the catch phrase "No static at all" (remember FM was still somewhat exotic at the time) and the Steely Dan title song (which included that phrase) from the soundtrack.
2 Dec 13 at 11:33 pm
When I started listening to FM in the early 70's I thought I had died and gone to heaven! It was still pretty much a wasteland of elevator music and such until WNOK, WZLD and the like came along with the rock n roll. Yeah, WNOK did play R&R at one time and not this cheesy pop and hip-hop crap they do today. But after years of listening to WNOK and WCOS AM it was a breath of fresh air. The first thing I did was buy an FM converter for my car radio (remember those). For years, I never got to hear the top three on Casey Kasem's Top 40 because the AM stations would dial down the transmitter power to let the mega stations like WOWO, WLS and the like take over the airwaves. I honed my early R&R tastes by listening to WOWO out of Fort Wayne, IN late nights. They played stuff that you never heard here.
3 Dec 13 at 1:18 am
Speaking of the FM Soundtrack, it is very good. Not Heavy Metal Soundtrack good, but good. Been on a vinyl kick and that is a good one to take you back. Of course, you could build your own, but that loses some, if not all, of the value.
3 Dec 13 at 8:26 am
Back in February of 1971, during a routine test of an EBS transmission on a Saturday, WOWO wound up getting a tape indicating it was a genuine emergency that is chronicled http://youtu.be/Yu4r79l8P8I and it makes me contemplate the possibility that Homer might remember some of the folks on the tape...
anyone wanting to listen to a test of the Emergency Broadcast System, there are several others on YouTube (but none from the Columbia area) from different parts of the country...
3 Dec 13 at 11:41 am
Homer, I was right there with you. WCOS-FM went free format rock around '70 0r '71 for a short while before changing over to country music.
Like you, we lived away from town and the local AM stations would not reach the house after they powered down for the evening. I fashioned an extended radio antenna by soldering a strand of wire to the radio's internal antenna and attaching the other end to the metal screen in my bedroom window with an alligator clip. WLS and WABC out of NY with Wolfman Jack came in mostly scratchy-clear, sometimes only on the skip, depending upon atmospheric conditions. My ears got pretty good at cancelling out the hiss.
You are right about hearing different types of music on the northern stations. A lot of regional bands got airplay back then.
Homer, I was in the car stereo business from the mid 70's through the late 80's and I remember those FM Converters well. I must have installed hundreds of them, and they were easy to install if you could get to, and unplug the antenna cable from the back of your am radio, then it was just a matter of a 12v power supply and ground wire.
3 Dec 13 at 1:22 pm
@Rick, in that case I'll bet you remember the Mind Blower speaker system (the ones with the amps on the backs of the speakers). I can't remember who made them but a buddy of mine in high school had a set of 6x9's in the back of his '68 Charger. They were the first auto speakers that I can remember that had a solid punch of bass because most everything in car stereo sounded like crap back then. He gave them to me when he got rid of the car. Lo and behold I found them a couple of months ago in a box in the back corner of our storage shed. The still look like they are in pretty good shape but I wouldn't have a clue how they were wired into your stereo.
4 Dec 13 at 12:08 am
Haa ha. Homer, off course I remember Mind Blowers. I have not thought about, or heard anyone mention the name in many years. They were quite extraordinary for their time, after seperate amplifiers became available, we would laugh at the guys who came in wanting to purchase Mind Blowers. But as you said, they were better than the junk that came from the factory. They very well could be worth some hard cash now. If you knew they worked, I'd put them on e-bay for $$ and see what happens. Thanks for the memory.
4 Dec 13 at 11:04 am
I guess it's a long ways off from the days Jensen Triaxels were da bomb.
4 Dec 13 at 12:33 pm
You guys are killing me, Jensen Triaxels were so well known everybody had or wanted a pair. The thought was good but the speaker itself was not that efficient. At first they only came in 6X9's, made for the rear deck of cars in most applications. This is part of what made them a poor choice. The Mid-Range speaker and Tweeter were mounted on a bracket above the "Woofer" portion of the speaker, and the combination almost completely covered the woofer.
Next, in a car, the tweeter needs to be mounted as close to the optimum listening position as possible, which is the front seat. Highs are hard, or where hard to here in cars back then due to poor insulation and road noise. The same holds true for mid-range but not to the same extent. And last, spending money on speakers (Mid and tweeter) that most could not hear ? I don't think was a good investment.
4 Dec 13 at 2:07 pm
^In the early/mid eighties, they were teh bada$$.
4 Dec 13 at 3:23 pm
That's why you cranked them up, until you heard what you wanted. I recall a pair of Bass 48s sounding good with an 8-track unit.
4 Dec 13 at 4:00 pm
Terry, Damn there you go. When I was only 15 years old I bought a "Mini 8" under dash, 8 track tape player and a pair of Bass 48 rear deck speakers from K-Mart on Jackson Blvd. The Bass 48's were a plastic box with a 4 inch speaker in each that mounted to the rear deck of a car that I put in my 1972 Mustang. Man, I thought I was cool. I agree, I thought my system sounded awesome. I would take my girl friend out, we would listen to Bread, you remember Bread. Baby I'm a want you, Baby I'm a need you. Oh man what good times.
4 Dec 13 at 6:34 pm
If anyone cares, I still have a Realistic 8-track home player that works...hahaha!!!!! I've also got a Fisher system that has a 8-track recorder. Last time I plugged it in it worked as well.
4 Dec 13 at 9:25 pm
I still have 8 Track tapes that I have no idea what to do with except save them for the year 2050. THEN I'm gonna be rich. Wait, I'm 56 years old... Damn. Do'h.
5 Dec 13 at 5:53 pm
I still recall the first two 8-track tapes I bought. Up until then everything I had was vinyl. Black Sabbath's Paranoid and the Doobie Bothers' What Once Were Vices Are Now Habits. I actually had a Realistic cassette deck in my car before the 8-track. It was a total piece of junk that ate tapes right and left and ejected taped every time I hit a bump in the road.
5 Dec 13 at 10:23 pm
I think my first two 8 track tapes were James Gang Rides Again and the red Grand Funk album. I was constantly experimenting and replacing speakers looking for that ultimate sound. Not to mention wedging match sticks into the side of the cartridge itself to eliminate drag or cross talk.
6 Dec 13 at 4:05 pm
@Terry - I used to keep matchbooks and clothespin halves in the console for wedging purposes. Some of the crappy old bootleg tapes I used to buy require two or three to get them to track properly.
7 Dec 13 at 2:19 am
GEX had this great $.99 bargain bin for 8 tracks and a lot of those caused listening problems. Do you remember while cruising you would always see an 8 track cartridge along the road with several feet of tape blowing in the breeze? Totally driver frustration.
7 Dec 13 at 3:34 am
Homer, it is funny you should mention Paranoid because I was just transferring the vinyl version to itunes on an Ion turntable. Now I can rest that album again.
7 Dec 13 at 3:38 am
@Terry - I shopped the bargain bin at GEX a lot. After they closed and the 'flea market' opened up there I would browse through the bootleg tapes that someone always had in there. And, yes, they tracked terribly!! I've seen my share of cassettes along the side of the road as well.
I've got over 1000 albums in my collection so there is no way I can transfer all of them, not that I would want to get rid of some of them anyway. I went as far as buying a DJ quality Stanton turntable not to long ago so I would have a nice unit to play them on and since this turntable should last me forever!!!!
7 Dec 13 at 6:33 pm
I remember a friend of mine bought a cassette player for the house about the same time I bought a 8 track. I thought he was stupid, But cassettes turned out to be better than 8 tracks, at the time.
7 Dec 13 at 7:56 pm
1,000 albums! That is some stacks o' wax. Did you build a nice shelving unit for them? I have seen some guys on You Tube with some very nice looking collections. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0aONGI8QupY
7 Dec 13 at 8:11 pm
@Rick - I bought the cassette deck for my car just to be different. Everything I had to play were mix tapes that I made by patch cords between my all-in one stereo and a portable cassette deck. Talk about hi-tech. Didn't take me too long to 'follow the crowd'.
7 Dec 13 at 10:13 pm
@Terry - nothing like that. They reside in and old book case that I have had for years. One day I need to take a new inventory. I don't even remember some of the obscure things I have in the collection. Pretty sad, ain't it????
7 Dec 13 at 10:25 pm
Not sad at all. They got their use way back when. My collection is probably 1/2 what yours is and after transferring my favorite songs from them onto cassette tapes during the 70s and then onto CDs in the 80s I told myself 'that is it'. They will collect dust from here on out.
But now MP3s are the medium dujour and darned if I am not blowing the dust off the covers and listening to them again. As the dynamics of music evolve I may yet again use another storage device if I live long enough. It is incredible today that my ipod the size of a postage stamp has over 900 songs stored on it with available memory for more. Afterall, a TDK or Maxell 90 could hold 20-25 tunes.
Andrew, can you relate to any of this? You seem to be one of the Millennials and this thread has been hijacked by Boomers.
8 Dec 13 at 2:30 am
I have 500+ VHS tapes to either throw out or convert to DVD...
Or not, since everything is on YouTube or Hulu.....
9 Dec 13 at 7:35 am
My aunt gave me all her 8-tracks (2 carry cases...maybe 48?) with the proviso that I dupe the best stuff onto cassette for her. This was back in 1998 or so, when I still had a flea market 8-track player jacked into my Realistic $69 at RadioShack stereo.
9 Dec 13 at 7:40 am
For those looking at a nice storage unit for vinyl, I recommend an Ikea Expedit. While you're there, you can eat some meatballs. Or not. Actually, they are quite tasty.
9 Dec 13 at 10:58 am
I've only got about 10-15 VHS tape that I can't replace because they are out of print. If I can't stumble across them on torrent sites, I'll have to transfer them to DVD. It's just so time consuming. I've only got one working VCR so I want to take care of it as long as I can.
9 Dec 13 at 10:42 pm
I still miss my 'unit' made of 1x12's, cement blocks and milk crates....:^)
9 Dec 13 at 11:12 pm
I picked up a VHS player + universal remote for $6 at the thrift shop in the old Spring Valley Ace Hardware. They had a whole shelf of them.
9 Dec 13 at 11:21 pm
Thanks Ted. I'll have to write that down.
10 Dec 13 at 12:51 am
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