Aluminium Pan Alley

I listen to the old time radio station here in Perth – oddly enough broadcast from a nearby suburb. Apart from the melodrama serial and the advertisements for used cars and dental implants, most of the rest of it is devoted to music from the 40’s to the 80’s.

Many of the singers are definitely dead, singing to listeners who are nearly so. The announcers hover halfway between the two. They are lovely people; volunteers all. They make enough basic broadcasting mistakes to give hope to all the rest of us.

When I’m listening to the pop song lyrics of the period, however, I can’t help but think that they have missed the boat somewhat. Of course most of the presentations are some form of love song – that was the style. Many are in Southern Fried accents – even if the singers have never been there in their lives. Again – the style. The thing becomes thickest in the afternoon cruising program that belts out rock and roll.

But the lyrics. They mostly rhyme, and if you hear enough of them you can predict what is coming by the word association. If there is a June, there will be a moon, and someone is likely to swoon. Love and doves are a given.

But what if the love doesn’t go to plan. Why not add in ” shove it ” if you are not going to love it? Or why not be frank about it if you have already sung about a heart that must part and just mention flatulence and be done with it.

Hit and bit are going to get me into trouble, but only if you have a mind like mine. Likewise Bird, word, and the successor to the British Crown after George II.

I say we take advantage of the ability to overdub and deep-fake things and put words into the mouths of all those rock and roll and country and western singers who died in drug crashes or plane overdoses. They can’t come back to complain and if we’re fast the Broadcasting Commission will miss it as it goes by.


Shopping For A War – Part Four – Sex

Are you in favour of sex?

Do you have one? Do you have several? Are any of them for sale? Do you give receipts?

The topic of sex, however it is raised, is bound to cause attention, ire, and desire to lecture on the part of nearly every reader. From those who refuse to consider the topic to those who refuse to stop talking about it, the entire social site circle is involved.

For the record, I am generally in favour of sex. I have never actually been able to set a record, however, but it is nice reading about those who have. The illustrated accounts are the most interesting…

If you write about THE TOPIC you must choose early whether you are going to be explicit, implicit, or illict. All three approaches work, but if you change you in the middle of a post people become confused. A Tut Tut turning into a Toot Toot never looks good. And please refrain from sending Toot Toot pics through the email system. You never know who isn’t looking.

Most sex readers will respond well to a few salacious words. This was the secret to success for the old British radio show ” I’m Sorry I’ll Read That Again ” when either Kenneth Horne or Kenneth Williams used words like ” nadger ”  and ” gruntfuttock “. They were innocent enough but sounded dirty and that was what we wanted. If you can develop words or phrases that eventually act as salacious triggers you’re well away. Nudge, Nudge, Wink, Wink. Know what I mean? Eh, eh?*

Say no more.

Final note: If you are a woman you can spark delight from other women with any posting that decries or belittles men, and get away with it scot-free. Today’s social media supports this entirely.

What is not realised is that there are places and sites on the internet that reverse this culture of scorn quite effectively and with a good deal of devastating humour…but the outraged and virtuous female social warriors are not granted access…

*  I have no idea what I mean.


The Radiant Personality On The Radio

Saw a radiant person on a speaking stage a few months ago and was most impressed at her ability to pull a polished performance out of a hat. On in a flash, fun and laughter, several good stories and a mild sort of plugging for her radio show, and off again. The audience had obviously tuned in to her for years as an early television presenter, so she capitalised upon this for several anecdotes. She even got a plug in for the current radio station she works at…and then was off and running to that gig.

I know another person, a model, dancer, and general intellectual who also sits at a radio microphone a number of times a week and also manages to make the thing bop along in a very amusing style. She’s a find for the local station that employs her as it also has a great deal of artistry and intellect involved in its programming. These presenters are a  blessed relief on the air – they don’t shoot low and they don’t assume we’re riding Shetlands.

Neither of these ladies is rude nor crude. They lift the spirit. They might spend their holidays throwing rocks at trains but they do not let it show at all in their professional presentation – that is as clean and friendly as a whistle.


Don’t Shoot The Wireless Broadcaster…

Because we aren’t playing the piano. We’re just the guys with the microphones and the transmitter.

The best of us plug the set in, turn it on, and stand back as the world makes its own noise. We pause every now and then to sell soap flakes or water pumps but even these are pre-made lies supplied to us by advertising agencies. We don’t add anything ourselves.

Of course the worst of us try to be the power behind the throne…to tell you who to vote for and scold you if you didn’t obey us. We’ve got a great deal of scolding power, as we are the ones with the microphones and the transmitters…as mentioned before.

But have a little sympathy here – The space behind the throne is rather crowded – we’re elbowing away university professors, multi-billionaires, and dubious reverend activists. Some of them have brought their followers with them and the sight is not pretty…neither are many of the followers. We are constantly bombarded with offers to buy our good opinion, but no-one seems to offer cash.

At least we have the Freedom Of The Press to protect us from the Freedom To Suppress . This latter freedom is most often exercised in Asian, African, and latin countries, as well as Eastern Europe and the Middle East, and it is exercised by the people who are in power there.

Some say it makes a broadcaster’s job harder, but we find it can be soothing in many cases. It’s a lot easier to read a daily bulletin from The Ministry in a clean studio than to go out and ask awkward questions in a dirty street. Around about election/coup/succession time it can get a little iffy when you have to guess who will be holding the keys to the manacles for the next few years, but we find canned music and talk shows about preserving jams to be a great filler during the interim. ” A Walk In The Black Forest ” is a great tune to play at this time.

We have also been asked when we are going to bring back the good old serials to the air – those multi-part thrillers that depended upon great acting and superb sound effects to rivet the listener to the wireless at the same time each day for months. Actually we have been doing this for years, but disguising the things as news broadcasts. You thought those politicians you love or hate were real? Ha ha.

Old Time Radio

Do not laugh at Old Time Radio. Or Old Time Wireless if you insist on being British. One day you will be listening to it – if you are fortunate. The songs of your youth will buoy your spirits as they depress those of the other people around you. You can increase the irritation that the hit parade of 1959 will cause by singing along to the songs. And you need not be singing the lyrics of the music that is being played at the time…

We have a senior’s radio station here in Perth that broadcasts from a local studio. I keep my radios tuned to it for several reasons:

a. The irritation it causes as noted above. I can cause eye-rolls at 500 yards with my rendition of a Tina Turner song. 1000 yards if it’s ” Nutbush City Limits ” and the wind is right.

b. The advertisements are a hoot – dental implants, soft food sources, and retirement homes are the current favourites. All three of these advertisers are selling extremely expensive products so I suspect that they regard their target audience as suckers. This is a foolish assumption – old folks are likely to be tight-fisted. We may not be able to grip your hand strongly but wait’ll you see what we can do when we’re holding a dollar bill…

c. The music has melody and rhythm. Few of the songs celebrate killing police. We are not asked to hear about bitches, hoes, or people of African-American ethnic origin referred to in disparaging historic terms. In the case of most of the local audience, the N word is North Melbourne…Yo Ho is a sailor’s cry….

d. We can remember the songs and the lyrics of 50 years ago…inasmuch as we remember anything at all. Remembering where we left the car keys or what we had for dinner is another matter and some of us have come to the conclusion that there are things that man was never meant to know.

e. There is an episode of a melodramatic radio serial played daily. This generally has a trite hero, dastardly villains, and enough dated sexist and racist references to drive a millenial mad. It is one of the most endearing things about it.

They could dominate the airwaves by replaying old quiz shows, radio programs from the 30’s and 40’s, and bluegrass shows.

f. None of the names of the bands and singers are embarrassing to hear. No-one is called ” The Regurgitated Lunch ”  or ” The Infected Scar “.

g. Most of the music selections finish in under 5 minutes.  The back announcement go on for so long we can go to the toilet between songs. A valuable thing in cold weather.

h. No-one is very political, with the exception of the fake news that comes on every two hours from the volunteers of the leftist university media courses. And they are so blatant as to remove all power to enrage…It’s sad to hear professors trying it on for next year’s budget.

i. Between 11:00 PM and 6:00 AM we get an automated cartridge playout that can fill insomniac hours.

j. The public service announcements are comfortingly amateur. We can go to bingo, morning teas, or afternoon dances. We can go to CWA talks. We can go to the Sally Ann shop for old clothes. It might be small stuff but a lot of us are small people.