The Adverts

The Adverts – Came and went with lightning speed, but did have Gaye Advert, First Female Punk Star.

The Adverts – In session for John Peel – August 23, 1977 – BBC Radio 1 –

The Adverts in session for John Peel tonight. Together only 3 years, but were the first Punk band to enjoy chart success and boasted bassist Gaye Advert as the First Female Punk Star (according to The Virgin Encyclopedia of 70s Music). Their first released single was Gary Gilmore’s Eyes, which was controversial and described by one paper as “the sickest and cleverest record to come out of the New Wave” – it was also designated by Mojo Magazine as “one of the best Punk Rock singles of all time”.

They also toured considerably and opened for a wide range of acts, from The Damned to Iggy Pop. Their debut album, Crossing The Red Sea has been widely regarded as one of the best Punk albums to come out of the 70s, and according to some reviews, compared it alongside the Clash and The Sex Pistols as one of the most memorable albums to come out during that period.

But things went south rather quickly. First involving lawsuits by former members and finally, by the accidental electrocution of the bands manager Michael Dempsey. It was that final incident that caused the band to dissolve, and with it, the future of The Adverts.

In retrospect, The Adverts legacy has continued – critic and Author Dave Thompson pointed out that “nobody would make music like The Adverts and nobody has since. In terms of lyric, committment, delivery and courage, they were and remain the finest British group of the late ’70s”.

So if you missed them the first time around, or only heard about them, but never actually heard them, here is the second session The Adverts did for John Peel, as it was recorded on August 23, 1977.

Remember, 40 years ago . . . .

Rudolf Barshai

Rudolf Barshai – noted for his interpretations of Shostakovich and Prokofiev.

Rudolf Barshai with Philip Fowke – Music Of Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky – March 1983 – BBC Radio 3 –

Another classic concert this week. This time featuring the celebrated Russian conductor Rudolf Barshai, leading his Bournemouth Symphony in music of Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky. He is joined by pianist Philip Fowke in Prokofiev’s Piano concerto Number 1.

Rudolf Barshai was a well-regarded and admired interpreter of the music of Shostakovich and Prokofiev. But he was also a highly talented Violist, who was a founding member of the legendary Borodin String Quartet in 1943 and stayed with the ensemble until 1953.

Barshai also founded the Moscow Chamber Orchestra and was with them until his defection to the West in 1977. It was during this time that his reputation as a conductor of considerable merit was discovered in the West. Prior to that, he was a well-kept secret by many collectors of Russian recordings, particularly those of the early Borodin String Quartet.

First becoming Artistic Director of the Israel Chamber Orchestra, Barshai then went to Canada where he became Chief Conductor of the Vancouver Symphony as well as Principle guest conductor of Orchestra National de France. In 1982 (a year before this concert was recorded), Barshai became Principle Conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony and enjoyed a 6 year run with the orchestra.

In addition to his many appearances as guest conductor, Rudolf Barshai also enjoyed a healthy recording career, with a sizable number of European recordings which went on to received considerable praise from critics and popularity with audiences alike.

His is joined by British pianist Philip Fowke who made his debut in Wigmore Hall in 1974. Like Barshai, he has been a frequent guest artist with Orchestras all over the world as well as a celebrated solo career. Fowke was a close associate of the noted Russian Pianist Shura Cherkassky and has frequently given lectures about Cherkassky’s playing and technique. With a sizable recorded output, Philip Fowke, like Rudolf Barshai, has enjoyed high praise from critics and awards for his many recordings.

The concert consists of – Prokofiev’s Symphony Number 1 – followed by Piano Concerto Number 1 and ending with Tchaikovsky’s Symphony Number 6 “Pathetique”.

All around highly recognizable Russian concert – still good to smooth out the jangled nerves. Trust me.

Mao Tse-Tung

Mao Tse-Tung and General Chu Teh – the elephants in the room.

Our Foreign Policy – Question of China – May 25, 1946 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

Post-war Far East. The long process of rebuilding and negotiating. The question in 1946 had much to do with China. Under attack and at war since 1937 – overrun by Japanese troops and losing Manchuria to Japan until the end of the war came, China was once again whole, but how long would this last. The disarray of the Kuomintang under Chiang Kai-Shek, the in-fighting and the growing threat of Communists under the leadership of Mao Tse-Tung, all brought into question what was the solution for China – how would this vast country be unified. How would Manchuria rebuild and what was the new China going to look like?

There was talk, and there were skirmishes between the forces of Shek and the forces of Mao. But the Chinese Communists were a rag-tag bunch of rebels many thought wouldn’t be around for much longer.

But the nagging question remained – what was going to happen to China, if their current state of government were going to last.

Truth was, nobody knew. Having another country falling into Communism, especially one so close to the Soviet Union and the not-so-thinly veiled threats coming from Communist countries during the formation of the United Nations. The notion of having yet another major nation enveloped by Communism didn’t set well with a number of observers.

But there was the prevailing notion that Mao was offering something the vast majority wanted which the long-standing Kuomintang couldn’t offer.

And so the subject over what to do with China was the topic for discussion on this episode of the NBC weekend Radio program Our Foreign Policy, airing on May 25, 1946 – exactly 70 years ago today.

China has changed considerably over the years – having become more of a Capitalist society than a starkly Communist one. To get a better idea of how things were evolving during that pivotal period of time, and how the feelings of the average Chinese worker and farmer, whose lands and cities were decimated by the invading Japanese were turning more questionable over the weeks and months. That rebuilding was coming slow, and in the meantime, people were starving and the rebel armies were gaining strength.

Here is that episode of Our Foreign Policy, as it aired on May 25, 1946.

Hands Across America - May 25, 1986

Hands Across America – May 25th 1986 – Getting into the “feel good moment” of the thing.

May 25, 1986 – CBS Radio Hourly News – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

May 25, 1986 – Thirty years to the day, America held hands with each other in the name of poverty and hunger and it became a huge media lovefest. Hands Across America was the brainchild of Ken Kragen; Film and TV producer and Music Manager. The Event was well publicized, eclipsing another event; Sport Aid, a benefit by sports figures to fight famine and provide relief for African nations. Hands Across America was designed to provide aid for hunger and homelessness in America as well as Africa. Some 6.5 million people formed a human chain across the 48 contiguous states (with Hawaii staging their own Hands Across Hawaii for the same time). Amid much hype and ballyhoo, the event went off on schedule and fundraisers claimed the event raised some $34 million – however, later estimates drove the figure down to $15 million actually distributed to the appropriate hands.

Despite reality, it was one of those “feel-good” moments which defined the 80s. Notables and volunteers donned Hands Across America t-shirts, opened checkbooks and reveled in face-time on local news channels. It was for a good cause, and the 80s were a decade loaded with good causes. Live Aid, Farm Aid, USA For Africa – there were many, and seemingly more every day.

But there was other news on this May 25 – the Indianapolis 500 was delayed starting owing to rain. It was scheduled to begin the following day.

In Lebanon, rumors that some of the hostages held by extremist groups could possibly be released soon. Two Lebanese newspapers were quoted as saying as many as 8 French kidnap victims could be released in a week or so. And another report claimed some American hostages would also possibly be released. The State Department was said to be checking into it. And CBS News revealed that French Diplomats claimed they have information pointing to Iran as being the key to the hostages release.

And British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres to talk about the situation in the Middle East. Thatcher was visiting Jerusalem in the hopes of restarting the peace talks.

And that’s just a little of what went on, this May 25, 1986 as reported by CBS Radio Hourly news.

Francoise Hardy

Francoise Hardy – Made such an impression that even Dylan mentioned her in a poem.

Francoise Hardy – Radio Performance from l’Olympia – August 1, 1965 – ORTF, Paris – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

The only problem with the British Invasion of the mid-1960s was that it overshadowed just about everything else that going on musically in the world. In the early 1960s, the French were undergoing something of a mania themselves; Yé-Yé was a genre, a form of French Pop singing made famous by teenage girls – many of whom went on to became prominent artists and songwriters in the decades after. One of the most famous, in fact most recognizable of that genre was Francoise Hardy. A singer who became an icon on many levels – not the least in the world of Fashion, where her stunning looks made her a sought after figure in the world of haute couture. Coupled with her musical talents, a gift for songwriting – a recognizable (though admittedly not strong) voice and a gift to be seen in the right places at the right times, Francoise Hardy became an international star. Well . . .mostly. America was slow to respond. And her music, because it was in French (with the exception of one album in English) created a problem with audiences not used to hearing anything but English sung. But America did recognize Hardy as a Pop Star (she was pictured with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards), fashion icon (all the Vogue Magazine covers) and film personality (she appeared in Le Mans, a huge hit at the time). Her music took a detour, with only a small portion of her albums issued here.

If you wanted to know about Francoise Hardy, you had to ask people across the Atlantic – and her fans were legion.

She recorded a prodigious amount – and still records to this day. But her live performances from the early days of her career are not that common. Particularly her radio appearances which, for whatever reason, have not been easily available over the years, even via the French Culture site INA. So it was difficult to get an idea of what Francoise Hardy sounded like in concert, rather than relying on her studio albums, to get an idea of what audiences were responding so well to.

So I ran across this series of radio appearances, which are excerpts of longer concerts that she performed at l’Olympia in Paris between 1963 and 1965. So far, there are about 4 of them – it would be wonderful if there were more. And from the sounds of it, these were recorded by someone who was a fan who recorded them off the radio (sadly, not FM). One wonders where the original tapes are, if they have indeed survived. Whatever technical drawbacks there are, they offer a tantalizing glimpse into an artist before an audience, responding to that audience; giving a no-safety-net performance – and doing it wonderfully well.

This excerpt comes from an appearance at l’Olympia on August 1, 1965 – a busy year for music on a lot of levels, and Francoise Hardy has made a name for herself on both sides of the English Channel – as well as gathering a huge number of fans, including peers. Bob Dylan wrote a poem where she is mentioned “Some Other Kinds Of Songs” appears on the cover of Another Side Of Bob Dylan from 1964. Francoise Hardy epitomized the state of French Pop Music in the 1960s – her contributions are still being discovered and her albums are still in print.

Further evidence; when you do something well, you are appreciated forever.

Enjoy – play loud and stay tuned for more.

President Truman

President Truman – Looking for solidarity in an off-year election.

Harry S. Truman – Address In Chicago – May 15, 1950 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

1950 was an off-year election. But following the legendary “do-nothing 80th Congress”, the 81st Congress was a step in the right direction, and it was up to The President to make sure it continued that way. So, during the Jefferson Jubilee, celebrated in Chicago at the Democratic Conference, President Harry S. Truman called for a “rally of the troops” as it were, and gave an upbeat assessment of country:

President Truman: “You often hear it said that the Democratic Party is unfair to business, is taxing it to death, and has taken all incentives away from private enterprise. A great deal of propaganda is issued to try to make you believe that private initiative and private profit are on the last mile to extinction. But what are the facts ?

In 1949 corporate profits, after taxes, were double what they were 10 years ago. In 1949 industrial production was 60 percent more than it was in 1939. In 1949 new investment in plant and equipment for business purposes was more than double what it was 10 years ago. These increases are in terms of real income, not just dollars. If it was in dollars it would be a lot bigger.

Business was never so productive, vital, and energetic as it is today. All this talk about weakening private enterprise is sheer political bunk.

One of the reasons why business is strong and prosperous is that the income of the average American family has greatly increased in recent years. Since 1939 the real income of the typical wage earner’s family has gone up 50 percent.

The same kind of progress has been made by farm families. Their real incomes have risen as much as those of the wage earners.

All groups in the economy have made progress together: businessmen, wage earners, and farmers have been moving steadily forward. We have all shared in the economic progress of the Nation. Why, they even raised the salary of the President!

The Democratic Party knows that the prosperity of all groups within the country is interwoven: the prosperity of business is linked with the prosperity of the white collar workers, and farmers, and industrial workers, And we believe that the Government must work with all these groups and plan for the future.

It is not enough simply to stand still-merely to hold our own. In this great Nation of ours, with its vast wealth of resources, we can have–and we should have–a constantly improving standard of living for everybody.

Now, the Democratic Party is planning ahead to achieve that goal. We have a program–a definite, positive program–for increasing our national welfare. We propose to build upon the experience of the last 17 years and strengthen the measures that have so thoroughly proved their worth during that period.

Our program is founded firmly upon the proposition that it is the duty of the Government to serve all the people–not just the privileged few.

Our program is set out in the 1948 platform of the Democratic Party. That was the program on which I was elected to office, and I have been Working to carry it out. And I am going to keep right on working to carry it out.

In trying to get this program through the Congress, we have met strong opposition from various oddly assorted groups. In many cases we have successfully overcome this opposition. In others, we have not overcome it–at least, not yet. But we will keep up the fight, and I think we will be successful before long.”

That’s what it was looking like in May of 1950. The names and the situations change – the politics, not so much. Ironically, we would be plunged into the Korean War a little over a month later, on June 25th of 1950.

Here is that address, as it was given by President Harry S. Truman on the night of May 15, 1950 and carried nationwide via Radio.

Jimmy Carter campaigning

Jimmy Carter campaigning in Primary season – amid the hoopla; votes.

May 24, 1976 – CBS World News Roundup – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

It was Primary season then, 40 years ago. On May 24, 1976 the race was tightening and heading to the big prize of California on June 8. On this day it was the Oregon Primary and the following day it was six more, all hotly contested. President Ford was campaigning in Nevada on this day. It was one of the states slated to cast votes in the coming day. The campaigning there was expected to last a total of 3 hours. Ford and his aides thought victory in Nevada was unlikely, and so very little time was budgeted. Ford opted instead to come back to California where the stakes were much higher and the delegate count considerably larger, and where Reagan was ahead as of this day. Aides felt a Ford victory in California would assure a Ford nomination on the first ballot, come convention-time.

The once-decidedly chilly relations between the U.S. and Sweden were warming a bit on this day. Secretary of State Kissinger met with Sweden’s Prime Minister Olaf Palme. The get-together symbolized burying of the hatchet between the U.S. and Sweden. A return to normalcy in relations following the sharp strain that had developed at the time of the 1972 Christmas Bombings of North Vietnam. Palme denounced the U.S. for the B-52 raids and then-President Nixon shot back by recalling the U.S. Ambassador to Sweden. But things had since eased between Washington and Stockholm. Kissinger officially arrived the previous night – greeted by a crowd estimated at some 10,000 who were protesting his visit.

Meanwhile in Beirut, the PlO joined the Lebanese leftists in rejecting the French offer of peacekeeping troops and the fighting once again escalated in the Capitol and the countryside. Police reported some 71 persons killed overnight.

In Tokyo – right-wingers broke through police lines and smashed several windows of the Japanese Parliament. But they failed to halt the ratification of the Nuclear non-proliferation treaty. Japan, the only nation to suffer a nuclear attack, became the n96th nation to ratify.

And that’s a small slice of what went on this May 24, 1976, as reported by the CBS World News Roundup.