I’d say this will sound like a broken record, but given the heat, it’s more likely to be warped. And there’s a thing we no longer worry about: having the sound of the music go up and down in an unnerving, drunken, disorienting fashion. I remember working at the Valli, and they stocked the jukebox with new hits. One of them was “Upside Down” by Diana Ross, and it came pre-warped for your satisfaction. Everyone listens to it and thought it was unusual. Something about the original unwrapped sound lent it to the warpage, though; it didn’t sound completely unintentional.

I wodner if I’m the only person who remembers that. Ever think of such things? What little moment goes away for good with you? I’m full of trivial recollections I can tease into more important things, if I really stretch it. For example. For years, I would make three soft clucks with my tongue, inaudible to anyone else. I knew there was a source for the sound, but I couldn’t place it - until one day, ah-hah, I experienced the sound elsewhere, and knew what it was. The sound of the arm of the security gate at Tower Records. You pushed it aside, and it made three little clicks. I had come to anticipate it when I went there, and sometimes even sing along.

The Tower Records was in 2000 Penn, with Tower Video at the other end. It was a boon to have in your office building, especially since they also stocked every pop-culture periodical you’d want. You really felt Part of the Zeitgeist. I had a special collection of CDs for work, mostly the Sony Classical reissues that had covers painted by Prince Charles. Really. 

If we'd been asked if we would give up record stores for ubiquitous access to all songs at all times anywhere, I'm sure we would've said Heck Yes. It was frustrating to go the store and not find what you wanted. You'd have to order it. The idea that the stores were much more than we realized wouldn't have occured to us, or at least seemed important. The idea that you'd be in your car on the highway, and you could push a button and use your voice to request what you wanted - well, that's Star Trek! I'll take it.

I stream everything, but I have copies of everything I like. In the garage there's a plastic bin with all my CDs. Even the ones with Prince Charles covers. For that matter, I have all the CDs I used for bumper music on the radio in the corner of the Closet of Wondrous Things.

  That's an Elvis special LP for a song I don't like too much. And of course Prof. Frink. Also a 50s lighter, a Pepsi lighter from the USSR, a Reddy pin, a StarTribune coin bank, and so on.
  I'd write the segment and the tracks for my producer to consult. This must be from the waning days of the Saturday three-hour Diner.

These were from the Capitol Ultra-Lounge series, part of the brief craze for big-band / swing / swank / grown-up MOR now seen through the lends of camp and kitsch. It was, shall we say, my time to shine. Of course, the fad passed, but for a while it was hip to like grown-up music again, silly as it might seem in retrospect.

Every Friday night, this was the last bumper before I handed it over to Art Bell and the weekend began. And if you think I played this loud in the car speeding home at midnight, you are absolutely correct.

I hope some people who listened to the show heard this stuff for the first time, and felt the pull. The tug on your shirt that turns you around and shows you an endless number of doors, waiting to be opened.

Okay, today we have a lot. The entrance of the Northstar Hotel is now completely removed.

They appear to be breaking ground on the Firehouse apartment complex. Many stories tall. Boring now! But we have to set the stage.

Aren't you thrilled? Okay, how about this:

I mentioned that this venerable old building was being rehabbed - residential, I thought, but it says "Space for Rent." Sounds commercial. Fine old terra-cotta facade, suffering neglect.


It's as if I should start praying. Some pictures in the windows show the whole block, and the building that once held down the corner.

Except . . . the building in the middle is not the one they're rehabbing. It's a story short. The terra-cotta fronted tower wouldn't have so many windows on the side if the big building at the end was still standing.

So now I have a mystery.

UPDATE: I found it. Now I have to figure out when it went down.

Glen . . . or Glenda?

And maybe he is! Say, I'll bet he is. Solution is here.



Since it's Dragnet week - and no, it's really not - here's the rarest of rarities: the radio version of Joe Friday referencing something that exists in the real world.

  I think they reference it twice in the run of the series. Webb must have liked to eat there.


This year we're counting down the top hits . . . of 1922. Why not?

Ted Lewis again: "Everybody Step." It's #26 on my list of top 50, but others put it at #3. I don't think it was an exact science.


It's an Irving Berlin  number.


Meals that make you turn into harmonizing wordless crooners:


Ooh! Aah!



There: that should do. I think we wrap up the Gallery additions today. Thanks for your visit, and we'll pick it up again on Monday.




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