The Suites were milestones.
Click on the link here for Audio Player – Duke Ellington in concert at the Ravinia Festival – July 1, 1957 – CBS Radio Network – Gordon Skene Sound Collection
The legendary Duke Ellington this weekend. The Radio premier of his Such Sweet Thunder, Suite on characters from Shakespeare as performed during the Ravinia Festival on July 1, 1957.
The Suites of Duke Ellington were milestones – they took Jazz to a whole new level, further expanding on the idiom, taking it to that place where Jazz and Classical rubbed elbows and became best friends. Considering how revolutionary Jazz had become during this period, it was the next logical step and it took someone with the imagination and foresight to bring all those elements together. Duke Ellington was the one.
Unfortunately, this premier isn’t complete. Most likely, a complete recording of this was made at the time, but this was network radio. CBS Radio had time constraints, and there was only 30 minutes available to make the case. So the frustration, knowing there was a ways more to go, and the CBS announcer breaking in and closing the broadcast, is palpable.
But this is history. And as I always say – sometimes history isn’t available under the best possible conditions. But this is a historic performance, and if you haven’t heard it before, or are only now becoming aware of Duke Ellington, here is good place to check it out.
And the weekend rolls on.
Where more than a few sentiments were cringe-worthy.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: CBS-TV audio coverage of 1964 Republican Convention – July 15, 1964 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection
News for this day, at least in the U.S., had primarily to do with the Republican Convention and the selection of Barry Goldwater as Presidential Candidate.
Long thought to be the turning point in the Republican Party, it actually began somewhere shortly after the 1954 off-year election and with the 1962 off-year elections making the move to the extreme right more visible. By 1964, what was considered to be the radical minority wing of the Party had taken over and swept Barry Goldwater to the forefront as the standard bearer for the Republicans, and a stunning repudiation of the moderate and liberal wings of the party.
During this last hour of the nomination process, a lot of commentary passed over the airwaves over what this new direction of the Party was to potentially mean and how it was reacted to by the Republican establishment.
It’s interesting to note that, in 1964 the majority of newspapers in this country were considered to be Republican dominated (contrary to the Liberal Press as it is often bandied about), and how the press itself saw this new change as something ominous for the future of the country. Now that the moderate and liberal wings of the Party were tossed aside, this new breed was viewed as something potentially dangerous. And how this was going to bode with voters in November was cause for a lot of speculation.
But on this night in 1964, all eyes were on Arizona and the Favorite Son who made good.
July 15, 1964 as reported by Walter Cronkite, Eric Sevareid, and a host of others – along with Civil Rights demonstrations outside the Cow Palace in San Francisco.
And we thought this all happened yesterday . . . . .
Oh, the love. . .
Click on the link here for Audio Player: [audio https://pastdaily.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/radio-beat-what-happened-in-south-america-may-15-1958.mp3]
News on this day in 1958 had to do with the aftermath of the disastrous visit by vice-President Nixon to South America. In each of the stops on this State visit, the Nixon party was greeted with bottles, rocks and violent Anti-American demonstrations.
As in everything that smacked of Anti-American sentiment during this period, the South American fiasco was blamed squarely on Communists gaining a foothold in the region. Not having anything to do with our failing Foreign Policy in the region, or our support of Military juntas. No, it was all the Communists fault.
So rather than being pelted with roses, the Nixon party was pelted with rocks and we were left trying to figure out why.
As the result, much time was devoted by the media in the U.S. pondering that question. And this special edition of the weekly broadcast Radio Beat from CBS, devoted an hour to searching for answers.
Yes, our Foreign Policy was in a shambles, and it would only get worse as time went on. Bear in mind, Cuba would go through a dramatic upheaval less than a year later, ousting the Bautista regime in favor of Fidel Castro.
Here is that discussion, as broadcast on the night of May 16, 1958.
And the Cold War muddled on.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: [audio https://pastdaily.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/shostakovich-string-quartet-nr-2-u-s-premier-1945.mp3]
Back to premiers this weekend. This one; the Western Hemisphere First Performance of the 2nd String Quartet of Dmitri Shostakovich. Regarded as one of the most important Modern Composers of the mid-twentieth century, NBC Radio devoted several broadcasts premiering Shostakovich’s small ensemble works. This premier of the 2nd String Quartet took place on March 17, 1945 featured the somewhat fictitious NBC Symphony String Quartet, which consisted of first chair members of the String Section of the Symphony, but who were also members of other prestigious groups. Mischa Mishikoff and Daniel Guilet, violins – Carlton Cooley, viola and Benar Heifetz, cello.
It’s interesting that a commercial network, like NBC would devote much time to the cause of performing arts. But then, it wasn’t at all unusual at the time, and a point of pride, that mainstream media was concerned with the cultural well-being of its audience. NBC was only one who devoted numerous hours in the course of a week to the cause of stimulating brains. CBS and the fledgling ABC (offshoot network of NBC in 1945) were very much doing the same thing. Can’t exactly say that would happen now, under any circumstances.
But not in 1945 and certainly not with Dmitri Shostakovich.
Here is the Western Hemisphere Premier of the 2nd String Quartet of Dmitri Shostakovich as performed by the NBC Symphony String Quartet, on March 17, 1945.
Bargaining chips and secret deals.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: News for October 22, 1980
News for this October 22nd in 1980, in addition to feverish campaigning on the parts of the Carter and Reagan camps, was word that a possible breakthrough in negotiations for the 50 Americans held hostage at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran was taking place.
But like much of the situation taking place in that region, there was a ball of confusion attached to it. According to the Kyodo News Agency in Japan, a high ranking official in Tehran claimed the hostages were no longer an important issue in Iran, having served their purpose. It gave hope to the U.S. the hostages would be released soon, at least for a little while, as the story changed a few hours later, and kept bouncing back and forth between denials. Even so, it was announced in Tehran that, if the U.S. met some of the negotiation points, it could be as soon as the following week that the hostages could be released. Diplomatic circles were heard to remark they had been on that yo-yo string before and were taking a wait-and-see attitude. Carter Administration officials poo-pooed the idea that Reagan claimed to have “a plan” to get the hostages released. Carter maintained a thin lead over Reagan in the midst of what was being considered a lackluster election season.
All that, and a lot more for this October 22, 1980 via CBS Hourly news and The World Tonight with Douglas Edwards.
Wall Street – October 19, 1987 – the doom was palpable.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: News for October 19, 1987
“Not since Black Friday in 1929”, “The worst single-day drop in history”, “the bottom has fallen out”. That’s what this day in 1987 sounded like, or at least most of it. A 500-point drop in the Stock Market signaled widespread panic all around the world, as financial institutions and investors scrambled to recover plunging losses.
President Reagan, like Candidate John McCain in 2008 remarked there was no reason for the drop, that all indications were the economy was healthy. Clearly, a lot of questions were being asked to go along with the hang-wringing.
Here are hourly news reports starting with the CBS 1:00 pm news, and a re-cap from American Public Radio.
Until 2008, this was the worst day on record.
Perhaps you remember it?
Wendell Wilkie – Acceptance speech – short and to the point.
Click on the link here for audio player: Wilkie Acceptance Speech – 1940
No frills, no send-ups, no films, no slide-shows. Wendell Wilkie accepted the nomination as Presidential candidate for the Republican party in the 1940 election.
His speech lasted just a little over six minutes – the demonstration lasted a bit longer. All business and no bullshit.
Here is that address as broadcast by CBS Radio on the closing night of the 1940 Republican convention.
Going through formalities.
Click on the link here for audio player: 1956 Republican Convention – Day 1
A reminder of just how much has changed in the race for the Presidency.
For example – this short address by Utah Senator Wallace Bennett:
Sen. Wallace Bennett (R-Utah): “Our country has always recognized that people grow old. It’s part of the divine plan. And we’ve always gone out of our way to provide for those people. Never has that been more vigorously demonstrated than during the present Administration. More than ten million more Americans were made eligible for Social Security payments. Payments were raised for seven million more, who were already eligible. When the Republican Congress replaced the Democrat Congress in 1953, only 47% of our aged were eligible for Social Security benefits. Under Republican legislation 75% are covered. Social Security coverage was extended to Farmers by a Republican Congress. It was extended to 200 thousand Domestic workers by a Republican Congress. It was extended to 250 thousand Ministers by a Republican Congress. To a hundred thousand home workers – to over 3 million state and local Government employees, to fifty thousand Federal employees – all by a Republican Congress. The same Republican Congress that created the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. But the job is not finished, the program should be broadened, and it will be by a Republican Congress.”
Here is a one hour extract from the days activities for August 20, 1956 as reported by CBS Radio and their continuing gavel-to-gavel coverage of the 1956 Democratic and Republican Conventions.
July 1965. Described by many as the turning point.
Click on the Link: News for July 19, 1965
In what was described by commanders in the field as the worst fighting since The Korean War, the war in Vietnam took a new and deadly turn, this day in July, 1965. Despite attempts by The Pentagon to downplay the severity of the situation, the writing was on the wall that our role in Vietnam was going to be long and protracted one. With that in mind, Congress voted to increase Military Pay, asking for considerably more than President Johnson requested.
In other news – reports from Cape Kennedy indicated the flight of Gemini 5 was on schedule and ready for its planned August launch. Since July 19th came on a Monday in 1965, it was also reported that the Maritime Strike had now entered its sixth week and concerns were voiced that this would have a direct effect on the shipping of Military supplies to Vietnam.
Meanwhile, word came that former South Korean President Singman Rhee had passed away at the age of 90. From Athens came word of a power struggle developing in the Greek government and that violence was threatened. On Capitol Hill, hearings were underway regarding the recently contained situation in the Dominican Republic.
A dispute was developing in diplomatic relations between the U.S. and France over alleged spy plane activity over French Nuclear facilities.The Indian government expressed fear that a wave of Communist influence was spreading throughout India as the result of recent economic troubles in that country.
And private funeral services were held in Bloomington Illinois for Adlai Stevenson, while memorial tributes were underway at the United Nations in New York.
So went this July 19th, 1965 as reported on The CBS World News Roundup with Dallas Townsend.
John Ehrlichman and Boss – Before the detritus hit the winnow.
Click the link: News for July 13, 1974
This day in 1974 came at the end of a week that saw the Watergate scandal come to a rolling boil. In the latest wave of setbacks for the Nixon White house, former Nixon aide John Ehrlichman was found guilty for his role in the Daniel Ellsberg break-in case. Ehrlichman’s lawyers said they would appeal. Another Nixon Aid, Charles Colson was heading to jail. The infamous “19-minute gap” in crucial Nixon tapes was given over to intense scrutiny and was heading to the Supreme Court for sorting out. And to top it all off, the long-awaited Watergate Report, clocking in at 3 volumes and 2200 pages, was released and pored over by a shell-shocked press corps.
And with all that came the news that former Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren had died. His memorial and burial finished up the week.
All that and more, but hardly anyone noticed, via The Washington Week with Neil Strawser from CBS Radio on July 13, 1974.