American Intelligence in 1947

Slipping intelligence – and we thought, almost 70 years later, 1947 was ‘the good old days’.

June 28, 1947 – World News Roundup With John Cameron Swayze – NBC Radio – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

News for June 28, 1947 had a lot to do with the labor issue. The pending Taft-Hartley bill was stirring up a hornet’s nest of controversy, with many in the Unions saying it was a “slave labor bill”. The issue of the moment was the Coal Miners Strike, and concerns whether or not the strike would be settled by the time the 4th of July holiday ends on July 8th. It was estimated that there was enough coal on hand in stockpiles to last some 32 days, in the case of some Steel mills, the supply would only last a matter of two weeks, and some railroads were also short. Of course, some coal would be mined even if some United Mine Workers Union members stay out. In Illinois, some 17,000 Progressive Mine Workers, independent Unionists, were planning on returning to work no matter what happens. In Kentucky, several hundred Mine workers weren’t even taking a vacation, instead staying on the job. Contract negotiations were continuing and if agreement was reached, the whole issue would be solved. It was only a matter of time.

A strike at the Baldwin Locomotive Works in Pennsylvania was averted, with company and union signing a day-to-day agreement to continue negotiations. Not so with the Shipyard strike – more than 41,000 dock workers were still on strike with an additional 100,000 slated to go the following week.

Labor was in turmoil, while in Europe the situation was reconstruction and aid to those countries most devastated by the War. The Paris Economic Conference, called to answer the Marshall proposals on European Aid (The Marshall Plan), reconvened at the French Foreign Office in Paris in a secret committee of the Big Three powers. Aside from mentioning the meeting, no details were given as to how Britain, France and Russia were going to approach the task. Speculation over the secret aspect of this meeting caused some to feel the meeting was called in order to assemble essential principles on which the proposed aid would be given. It appeared that such principles would chiefly affect the Russian delegation. Reports via Moscow stated that Molotov (the Russian Foreign Minister) wanted to know exactly how much cash the U.S. proposed to supply before going any further on any general European plan for economic recovery. Nonetheless, there was an air of optimism that the outcome would be positive.

Back home – it was disclosed by the New York Times, following a nationwide survey, that the School Teachers of America were going to get pay raises. That was the good news, as the bad news was Americans weren’t getting any smarter. According to The Population Bulletin, put out by the Population Reference Bureau in Washington, the report frankly stated that Americans in 1947 were getting a little less intelligent all the time.

And that’s a small slice of what went on this June 28, 1947 as reported by John Cameron Swayze and the World News Roundup.

Cabaret Voltaire

Cabaret Voltaire – when Punk took a shine for the experimental.

Cabaret Voltaire – live at Amsterdam Paradiso – 1980 – VPRO/3VOOR12 – The Netherlands –

Cabaret Voltaire to start things off this week. Apologies to those who have been looking around for us the past week or so – it’s been a case of moving and things getting complicated. But we’re here for now (and still fiddling with the size of files we can upload – I swear, we’ll get to those 3 hour concerts up soon!)

Although they came to larger audience popularity during the post-Punk period, they actually had their roots back much further. Having started in 1973, they were more akin to the experimental/electronic bands becoming popular in Europe. Taking their name from a nightclub in Zurich, Switzerland which became one of the primary gathering places of the Dada/Surrealist movement. It was during the initial days of Punk that Cabaret Voltaire found an accepting audience for their highly innovative experimentation and it was this wave of acceptance that made them highly popular in the underground dance scene at the time.

Breaking up in 1994, but reuniting in 2014, Cabaret Voltaire continue to be uncompromising in their approach. It would be very safe to say that much of their work has been highly influential over the years – their work in performance Art and electronica have been the basis for a number of bands over the years.

Because of their prodigious output, their music and their evolution as a musical entity have been well recorded and preserved, and a number of compilations have been available over the years.

This concert, comes just as the band were getting a good deal of exposure via the underground club scene throughout Europe. It comes a little less than a year of their first John Peel sessions and the wave of popularity that ensued. It was recorded at the venerable Paradiso in Amsterdam and recorded for posterity by the VPRO Radio outlet in The Netherlands.

This was experimental dance music in 1980 – this was a precursor to EDM – a lot of experimenting based on the technical limitations of the day (digital was a few years off – as was sampling – as was the current ease of creating electronica). Analog tapes, loops, synthesizers and modulators – it was a whole different scene then. But it was potent.

Enjoy.

World Trade Center Bombing of 1993 - Gathering suspects while the terror was still fresh.

World Trade Center Bombing of 1993 – Gathering suspects while the terror was still fresh.

June 27, 1993 – ABC World News This Week – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

June 27, 1993 was a reminder that the events of only a few months earlier were still fresh in peoples minds. In February of that year, bombings of The World Trade Center made it abundantly clear terrorism was no longer a concept considered the sole property of Europe or any other country but the U.S. – we could be victims too.

And so on June 24th, the Justice Department announced a sweep of suspected terrorist groups which netted bomb-making factories, accomplices and proof we had joined a very uneasy club of countries now becoming the targets of plots and threats from radical fundamentalists.

Reactions were quick, and the list of alleged targets was extensive – New York Governor Mario Cuomo blamed our lax system of doling out Refugee status and the lengthy process of determining who really were refugees and who were taking advantage of the loopholes to gain a foothold in the country to be the culprits. But the fact that we were still reeling from the affects of the February 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center gave us one more ingredient to sleepless nights.

There was other news, for the week ending on this June 27th – Letter bombs, mailed to Universities and high-tech companies, which began in 1978, were springing up again. The latest rash of bombings had many baffled as they didn’t appear to have a motive or common thread, but investigators were certain they were all from the same bomber.

On Capitol Hill – Bill HR 2264, President Clinton’s Budget Bill squeaked by the Senate with a 49-49 vote – the tie breaker coming by way of vice-President Gore, who cast his vote for the affirmative and the bill passed after a marathon 18 hour session.

And the prospects of Billboards in Space drew a quick rebuke from legislators. The notion that ads for Coke and Ford would permeate the horizon, beaming down on Earth were condemned as outrageous, turning the morning and evening sky into the equivalent of the side of a bus.

And that’s just a small slice of what went on this week ending June 27, 1993 – as presented by ABC Radio’s World News This Week.

Nobody said moving and re-arranging was going to be neat and tidy.

Nobody said moving and re-arranging was going to be neat and tidy.

I know what you’re thinking – “What happened to Past Daily?” – “They vanished without a trace” – “Somebody hacked them and stole everything” – No. I’m afraid not. We’re just in the process of moving our servers and updating the site in general. It’s taking a little longer than we anticipated, it’s a mess right now, but we’re getting it right this time.

Seems Past Daily has grown and we didn’t really notice it. Moving over 5,000 posts from one host to another is, well, arduous and it all takes time. You can’t just snap your fingers and everything magically appears moved and ready to go. Nope – takes time.

And then there’s that thing about having a site that’s been up for a few years. The site itself was creaky – things didn’t load right. People were contacting me saying they couldn’t find us on their mobile devices – pictures wouldn’t load – the sound wouldn’t load; all those things that drive you nuts when all you’re trying to do is put up cool and interesting pieces of history for everyone to enjoy.

There was also that problem with hosts – not going to name names, but suffice to say, there are some highly-visible companies who are actively courting your business who make big-big promises and then either forget or stock their help lines with less-than-competent techs. Every phone call was an odyssey and every conversation was a guided tour of downtown Jabberwocky where one tech would contradict the other tech and no one seemed to know the answer and everyone took massive advantage of the Hold button (and if I ever hear “Girl From Ipanema” again . . . . .).

Well . . . they said the Internet was the Wild-West anyway – they just didn’t mention no one had any working maps.

But – things are coming together. They’re coming together slowly, but they’re coming together right – next step is to get the new design underway. But first things first – getting back up and online is the most important thing right now. We don’t want to lose your support and we don’t want you to take Past Daily out of your Bookmarks. We’re still here and we’re working 24/7 to get back up and better than ever.

So like I said, ‘scuse the dust – we’ll be back shortly. Stay tuned.

Gordon

South Africa Protests

South Africa – A state of siege – a glimpse of possibilities.

June 14, 1986 – CBS World News Roundup – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

A state of emergency was declared in minority-ruled South Africa, this June 14, 1986. Amid a worldwide outcry, the South African government imposed a harsh state of Emergency nationwide, hoping to counter violence as the ten-year anniversary of the bloody Soweto Uprising was approaching. The UN Security Council joined individual governments in condemning the declaration. Britain and the U.S. joined in the criticism, but the U.S. was upset about the Soviet’s refusal to allow any reference to a peaceful solution in the resolution. In South Africa, local and Foreign press were hit by South Africa’s state of Emergency with the expulsion of most news gathering crews, ordering them to leave the country within 48 hours. No reasons for the order were given. Some news crews, including those for ABC and CBS News were held by police while attempting to interview passersby on downtown Johannesburg streets. No reason for the detention. One member of a team for ITN in Britain was killed while covering the violence in Soweto earlier in the day – differing reports as to the cause of death were given, but many reported it was at the hands of a vigilante group closely associated with the South African Police.

Meanwhile, reports from New York told of the passing of a musical giant earlier in the day. The King Of Swing, Benny Goodman died of a heart attack at the age of 77. Goodman was widely acknowledged as the innovator and pioneer of the offshoot of Jazz known as Swing – it touched off a mania which gripped the country and the world from the 1930s on. Tributes poured in from all parts of the musical world. Goodman was a major influence to countless musicians who followed in his footsteps.

And that was a small slice of what went on, this June 14, 1986 as reported by Christopher Glenn and The CBS World News Roundup.

Hinds

Hinds – The girls from Madrid America can’t seem to get enough of. (photo: Mike Massaro)

Hinds – Live At Pitchfork Festival 2015 (excerpt) – Oct. 31, 2015 – Radio France FIP –

Hinds, the 4-piece quasi-Garage/neo-Punk/raucous Girl-Group from Madrid has America in the palm of their hands. Since they started getting noticed all over Europe a few years ago, they’ve made stabs at the U.S. and the U.S. has responded in kind with raves and has taken this Band of Spanish Lo-Fi very much to their collective hearts.

Previously known as The Deers, they changed their name early in 2015 and it’s been a blast every since. Tonights Soundbooth, a 9 minute excerpt from the complete concert at the PitchFork Festival in Paris, comes just prior to the release of their debut album “Leave Me Alone”, which would come out this past January.

Since then it’s been nonstop touring – and from the looks of their website, the non-stop touring is continuing, at least until September. Hitting most of the festivals in Europe starting in late June, they are finishing up a swing through the U.S. as well as appearing at the Foro Indie Rocks festival in Mexico City on the 16th and Levitation Vancouver on the 18th and on the 29th play Roskilde in Denmark.

Busy schedule, all pointing to a very successful introduction to a band from Spain. Further evidence the playing field is world-wide and has been that way for a few years now. Lucky us, at last.

Thank the internet, thank streaming radio carrying live concerts, thank wall-to-wall video coverage of festivals and thank festivals for booking diverse and interesting acts that are making discoveries an instant and accessible thing – something that never would have happened even 5 years ago.

For all that some people complain about the current state of Pop music – the complaints, I suspect, are directed at the Mainstream, which most people realize, has stopped being relevant and no longer a place where new music is discovered (if we ever were), the fact that we’re plugged into bands gigging around Europe, streaming soundboard appearances and getting their own messages across points up to a pretty exciting time for new music in general. We are now in a place where the floodgates have opened and we’re no longer content to hear the restrictions imposed by top 10 or 20 bands from your own country and no place else (we’re talking about the U.S. here – Europe has been all over the map for decades). You are also able to follow a band through their beginnings (as we did when we first heard The Deers in 2011) and hear for yourself the progressions and the direction changes.

However you feel about Hinds (and there are a lot more people who love them than don’t), the fact that we get to hear them at the same time as everyone else, and hear them in a context we simply weren’t able to before is huge and exciting.

And the Summer Festival season is just getting started – Yay us! Stay tuned and keep an open mind.

Nicaragua 1979

And on top of everything else – a Latin-American hotspot.

June 13, 1979 – CBS World News Roundup – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

June 13, 1979 – a busy day in the world, a busier one if you were President. On this day President Carter suffered another Foreign Policy setback regarding the situation in Zimbabwe/Rhodesia. The Senate voted to repudiate the President over his sanctions on Rhodesia which would have preserved an embargo on Rhodesia for an additional six months. It left intact a controversial amendment which the White House was resisting and which called for removing sanctions in the immediate future. The vote was 52-41. The Rhodesian issue would eventually make it to the House, where the outcome was uncertain. The Sanction battle had just begun.

In addition, the new treaty on limitation of Strategic Nuclear Arms came under resounding attack from Senator Henry Jackson, who was the most influential Senator in the ratification process. Jackson expressed reservations over the treaty before, but this attack was the harshest yet. Jackson’s argument said the treaty as it stood left the U.S. in an inferior position and that the Carter position on the Nuclear issue was tantamount to Neville Chamberlain’s infamous “appeasement” of Hitler just before World War 2.

Meanwhile, President Carter was in the midst of intense preparations for the Vienna summit with Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev; his first-ever meeting with the Russian leader.

And on the political front and the 1980 election, President Carter was quoted as saying, with reference to a possible challenge by Senator Ted Kennedy, he would “whip Kennedy’s ass” if Kennedy were to run against him in 1980. The quote was widely reported and was witnessed by several members of the House during a White House dinner. White House spokesmen were said to have no recollection of the incident.

And Nicaragua was becoming a hotspot with a concerted effort by the Sandinistas to overthrow the regime of Anastasio Somoza, with clashes between Sandinista soldiers and Nicaraguan National Guard forces heating up in the capitol city of Managua. Reports of a defection by a Nicaraguan National Guard Pilot and his military plane. But the official who reported the defection said it was an isolated incident and in no way reflected support for Somoza among members of the National Guard.

All that, and reports of two days of riots in Panama over a 28 percent increase in gas prices. At last report, one woman was killed. Just another small slice of events for June 13, 1979 – as reported by Dallas Townsend and The CBS World News Roundup.

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