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If this is your first visit, welcome to my blog of memories and observations. If you wish to be notified of new posts, enter an e-mail address above, and click on "Submit." As we move through a seventh year of this venture, I thank all who have made regular visits, as well as fellow bloggers who have found Stomp Off worth linking to. Doing this sort of thing is time-consuming, but I try to post fresh material at least once a week—let me know what you think. There is a Commentary option at the end of each post and a Guest Book can be reached by scrolling down and clicking on the quill image. I welcome your observations, reaction and/or suggestions in either spot—or both. As for blog content, the most current posts are on the home page, starting at the top. Earlier items are listed by month, year and title in the archive index. To zero in on a particular key word or subject, use the search option that is located directly beneath the blog's masthead. Most images can be enlarged with a mouse click, and there are links to some of my favorite blogs, etc. Since visitors have come from 150 countries, a translator with numerous languages is located below. You can at any time revert to English with a click at the top left of this page:

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8/19/10

Clifford Jordan Quartet @ WBAI, 1965




Here is another performance by Clifford Jordan, Ronnie Matthews, Eddie Kahn and J.C. Moses recorded in WBAI's tiny 30 East 39th Street studio during the station's first fun-raising marathon, July 1965. On the right is a New York Times editorial that appeared in the July 7, 1965 issue a few days after the marathon ended and we returned to normal programing. I wonder if the writer of that editorial is still around and how he would react to the station as it sounds today—not positively, I suspect. You can still hear good things at 99.5, but the station is currently run by people who lack the kind of integrity and intellect that made WBAI stand out. It is truly a shame and while you are probably tired of reading my observations regarding the decay of an extraordinary radio station, I hope you understand.

As I tune in and hear scam artists pushing their wares to an unsuspecting listenership, I am reminded of a fable written by the late Gene Lees for the pages of Stereo Review. It was many years ago and I wish I could bring it to you here, but I haven't a copy, so I will give you the gist of it, in my own words.

Gene's story was about a very fine restaurant, a singular establishment known for its exquisite cuisine. It was also about the new owners of that restaurant and how they gradually altered the menu until the sauce—which no longer contained that decisive dash of Chateau Beau-Sejour Becot—had a brand name. Poured on thick, it all but obliterated a chopped patty that now sat on plates once occupied by exquisite slices of choice Wagyu. Ah, that steak! It lingered in one's memory and the very thought still brought moisture to one's mouth.

The establishment had not changed its name, finding it advantageous to coast on its reputation, but as the cuisine morphed from the memorable to the mundane, so had the patronage and munchies for the masses had a nice ring to it at the cash register.

The story brought in much mail and while most readers wondered what it was doing in Stereo Review, others actually got it. This, they surmised, was a tale inspired by Columbia Records. Indeed, it was, and some people at Blackrock were none too pleased.

Here is Clifford Jordan with a sample of what brought us the pledges and money 45 years ago. Hearing original music played live by extraordinary performers conveyed the message: WBAI was no ordinary radio station. That said it all, and it was very real.There was no need to push fake cures or tabloid-type stories.   


5 comments:

  1. Just Amazing,
    I can't tell you how much I enjoy your site. Everyday (well when I get the chance to browse) my jaw drops at what I find on on this site.
    Wonderful music.

    ..And again,
    Thank you.

    K

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  2. K, comments such as yours keep me going, although I also welcome unfavorable observations :) I hope you find more items of interest in the blog's nooks and crannies.

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  3. what a treat! thank you Mr. Albertson.

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  4. Does anyone know if Dave Brubeck played live at WBAI possibly for the RadioActive series - sometime in the late 1960s early 1970s?

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    Replies
    1. That was after my time there, but there was still some jazz activity on WBAI's air, so it is possible that Brubeck made an appearance. I'll pose the question on a well-informed jazz list that I belong to.

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