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  • gilwilson 2:34 AM on April 11, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: chili rice, , country music, pretty paper, radio, texas, willie nelson   

    “Pretty Paper” By Willie Nelson 

    Pretty Paper29496566
    By: Willie Nelson w/ David Ritz
    Narrated by: W. Brown,
    Length: 5 hrs and 39 mins
    Unabridged Audiobook
    Release date: 10-25-16
    Language: English
    Publisher: Penguin Audio

    What seems like may be a Christmas story, is actually a heartwarming story about the man that Willie Nelson wrote the song Pretty Paper about. (Yes, I know Roy Orbison recorded it, but Willie wrote it.)

    The song is written about a man with no legs selling wrapping paper and ribbons outside a department story during the Christmas Season. That’s pretty much where the true story ends. Willie takes this beginning and creates a story about how Vernon Clay was a musician and lost it all and ended up hawking his wares in the snow, on a wheeled cart.
    In 2013, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram identified the real subject of the song as Frankie Brierton, of Santo, Texas. Brierton refused to use a wheelchair, choosing instead to crawl, as he learned to move while growing up after his legs were affected by a spinal disorder. Brierton sold pencils in Fort Worth, Dallas and Houston.  Brierton died in 1973 without ever knowing the song was written about him.  Also Brierton did not have the music career that Vernon Clay has in this book.

    The narrator W. Carl Brown delivers the book as if he lived in Texas at the time, his voice captures all the characters and emotions involved perfectly.

    Great emotional run on this one.   Don’t miss it.


    Publisher’s Summary
    Willie Nelson, country music’s quintessential musician, displays all the wit and warmth of his homespun style of storytelling in an inspiring holiday novel based on his classic Christmas song, “Pretty Paper”.

    More than 50 years ago, Willie Nelson’s beloved Christmas song, “Pretty Paper”, first hit the airwaves. And for all these years, Willie has wondered about the real-life Texas street vendor, selling wrappings and ribbons, who inspired his song. Who was this poor soul? What did his painful trials say about our loves, our hopes, our dreams in this holiday season – and in the rest of our lives?

    It’s the early ’60s, and Willie Nelson is down and out, barely eking out a living as a singer-songwriter. The week before Christmas, he spots a legless man on a cart, selling wares in front of Leonard’s Department Store in Fort Worth, Texas. The humble figure, by the name of Vernon Clay, piques Willie’s curiosity, but Vernon is stubbornly private and – despite Willie’s charming queries – has no interest in telling his story. Willie is tenacious, though, and he eventually learns that Vernon is a fellow musician, a fine guitarist and singer.

    When Vernon disappears, he leaves behind only a diary, which tells an epic tale of life-altering tragedies, broken hearts, and crooked record men, not to mention backroad honky-tonks, down-home cooking, and country songwriting genius. Deeply moved and spurred on by Vernon’s pages, Willie aims to give the man one last shot at redemption and a chance to embody the holiday spirit.

    ©2016 Willie Nelson (P)2016 Penguin Audio

  • gilwilson 9:09 PM on July 30, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , audio exclusive, , , , , , , , pirate radio, radio, , ,   

    “Doctor Who: Dead Air” by James Goss 

    “Doctor Who: Dead Air”
    by James Goss
    read by David Tennant
    Publisher: AudioGO (2010)
    1 hour and 12 minutes

    I was hitting a dry spell for a while in my audiobook listening, I just couldn’t find a book I liked, so I went back to something I knew would satisfy.  This also served the purpose of missing my favorite Doctor, the Tenth Doctor, portrayed by David Tennant.  Just recently on my local PBS station a Christmas special episode of Doctor Who aired featuring David Tennant, and reminded me of how awesome he was.  So I searched and found this audio exclusive story.

    It must have been meant to be, being a radio DJ, the tile “Dead Air” attracted me.  Dead Air is the worst thing to happen to a DJ and as it turns out is even worse when you have an alien weapon known as “The Hush” invading a 1960s pirate radio station.  So with My Doctor Who craving about to be filled and a story relating to my profession I was ready to hop in the TARDIS and join the 10th Doctor.

    This story is read by David Tennant the Tenth Doctor, himself, so all the quirks are performed perfectly.  I was pleasantly surprised to hear his vocalizations of the other character were well done.  Tennant provided each character their own voice to the point that it almost sounded like a multi-cast performance. David Tennant’s acting skills, I already knew about, but to find out he can perform some vocal gymnastics to make the story more fun, makes him that much more my favorite doctor.

    This production also features some incidental sound effects and some really neat auditory scene change triggers, and as always it is great to hear the opening and closing theme song to let you know you are going on an adventure.

    Before the story begins it sounds as if the listener is hearing a lost tape from a Pirate Radio station.   “Hello, I’m the Doctor. And, if you can hear this, then one of us is going to die.”  This opening line from the Doctor reminds me of my all time favorite episode of Doctor Who, “Blink,” and I was thinking, “Cool, there are going to be Weeping Angels,” but no angels.  No loss though, this story is perfect as is.

    This story begins as the Doctor has landed the TARDIS on a pirate radio station in the 1960s.  The station is on a boat off the shore of the UK. The station, Radio Bravo, is having some transmitter problems and is down for the moment.  The Doctor has travelled to Earth in search of the Hush, a terrible weapon that kills, silences and devours anything that makes noise.  The Hush has already killed some of the DJs but with the help of Layla, the Doctor tracks down the Hush but loses it when the ship’s generator shuts down and the power goes out.  Now going by sound only becomes difficult with a weapon that can intelligently imitate any person by voice.

    An excellent Doctor Who adventure that stays true to continuity and the essence of the Doctor himself.

  • gilwilson 9:21 PM on September 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: golde age of radio, , , , otr, radio, radio archives, , radioarchives.com, , the unexpected,   

    “The Unexpected: Volume 1” released by Radioarchives.com 

    “The Unexpected: Volume 1”
    released by Radioarchives.com
    Multi-cast Old time Radio Shows
    Approx 5 hours

    Being a 25+ year veteran of Radio Broadcasting I may be a little biased here, but I love old time radio, or as is commonly referred to as “otr.”  OTR has that classic theatre of the mind feel that is nearly forgotten.  Today’s radio is ruled by top 40 pop songs or talk radio and these lack the creativity that the early years of radio represented.  The stories were told on the air and the audience created the images in their mind.  Today I try to keep this up with every commercial I write or produce, when you feed off the audience’s imagination, you have an unlimited supply of material.

    Radio great, Stan Freeburg, once drained Lake Michigan and filled with hot cocoa, whip cream and had U.S. Air Force jets top it all off with a giant cherry.  He then said, I’d like to see you do that on television.  Sure now with CGI we could do it, but it would take hours and I could do that in a radio studio in just a few minutes, so still a win for radio.   The old time radio shows used to be the main source of entertainment and had to keep the audience coming back each week.  This was usually done through simple great entertainment, and sometimes cliffhangers that the listener had to come back next week to find out what happens next.

    Radioarchives.com has recently released a this series of “The Unexpected” radio programs
    that were originally aired in 1947.  Each time the audience would keep coming back with some great stories that would not end with the expected.  With this release you don’t have to wait a week for the next mystery.  Volume one contains 20 of the 15 minute episodes that have been restored from the original transcriptions from what were probably acetate pressings.  Radioarchives.com have restored these recordings to perfection, the sound quality is superb and equal to any modern audio production.

    Every episode begins with: “Who knows what drama may happen tomorrow…or an hour from now…or in just a moment? Who knows what destiny has in store for the lady down the street, the fellow at the next desk, or you yourself? Who knows?”  Each story is then presented  with superb acting from actors of radio/screen and stage of the time.  Some of the actors that rang familiar with me were; Barry Sullivan, Lyle Talbot, Marsha Hunt, & Jackie Cooper.  The story genres range from Mystery & Suspense, to Drama, and there’s even a bit of comedy thrown in.  And just when you get to the end of the story, a voice comes in and says, “You think the story is over, don’t you? But wait! Fate takes a hand. Wait…for the Unexpected!”  then the story continues with an ending that is unexpected.  Great title and great gimmick to be different in the golden age of radio.  For today’s listener this is a treat of nostalgia and original storytelling at it’s best.

    Some examples of  the stories include; a man convinced that an old prospecter has struck silver in a ghost town, a woman who embezzles money from her company to buy a fur coat, a boxer who throws a fight to make some quick cash, a woman whose horoscope warns her she will kill a man and many more, but they never end as you’d expect.

    At this point I feel I need to point out or re-emphasize that these are restored directly from the original transcriptions.  The shows were originally meant to be sent out to radio stations and the radio stations would insert commercials in the allowed sections.  This is a good and bad feature.   Good in that you don’t get the commercials, unless you are a fan of the old time commercials.   The bad is that you get a minute or two of dramatic organ music in the place where the commercials would have gone.  At first I loved the old dramatic organ that helped push the story, but after a while I found myself fast forwarding through the  commercial insert areas, glad to have had that luxury.

    This collection is perfect for any fan of mystery, thrillers, suspense and old time radio.  If you are just plain curious, check them out they are a lot of fun, especially because the end of each story is Unexpected.

    Just to help out here are the titles and the lead actors of each episode  in Volume 1:

    #100 Mercy Killing
    starring Barry Sullivan

    #101 Birthday Present
    starring Marsha Hunt

    #102 Solid Citizen
    starring Tom Neal

    #103 Finale
    starring Lurene Tuttle

    #104 Cargo Unknown
    starring Lyle Talbot

    #105 Find the Man
    starring Binnie Barnes

    #106 Revenge
    starring Barry Sullivan

    #107 The Cripple
    starring Marjorie Riordan

    #108 Fool’s Silver
    starring Barry Sullivan

    #109 Horoscope
    starring Marjorie Riordan

    #110 Eavesdropper
    starring Barry Sullivan

    #111 Legacy
    starring Lurene Tuttle

    #112 Museum
    starring Jackie Cooper

    #113 Understudy
    starring Lurene Tuttle

    #114 King Champion
    starring Jack Holt

    #115 The Mink Coat
    starring Lurene Tuttle

    #116 Easy Money
    starring Steve Cochran

    #117 Free Passage
    starring Lurene Tuttle

    #118 Re-Match
    starring Jackie Cooper

    #119 Sweet Sixteen
    starring Lurene Tuttle

  • gilwilson 10:21 PM on September 13, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , avid, radio   

    Field Report: Avid Mbox Mini 






    Field Report: Avid Mbox Mini.

  • gilwilson 1:35 AM on May 1, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , fantastic four, , radio, , ,   

    Spiderman: The Amazing Spiderman (BBC Radio Collection) Story Adaptation by Dirk Maggs 

    Spiderman: The Amazing Spiderman (BBC Radio Collection)
    Story Adaptation by Dirk Maggs
    Multi-cast performance
    Produced by BBC Audiobooks Ltd (2002)
    Approx 2 hours

    I have always been a Spider-Man fan, I’m pretty sure I came out of the womb reading the comics, so when I found this gem I had to give it a listen.  In 1995, BBC Radio commissioned a Spider-Man audio book which aired on BBC Radio 1 over 50 episodes on week days between January 15, 1996 and March 24, 1996. The performance was co-produced by Brian May who also contributed to the musical arrangement and wrote and performed the theme tune.  Yes, the same Brian May that plays lead guitar for Queen.  BBC Audiobooks has taken this production and no made it available as a CD audiobook, I haven’t looked yet for any download versions.

    The run of the production includes a number of familiar characters from the Spider-Man comic books as well as key figures from the Marvel “Heroes” universe such as Fantastic Four, Namor the Submariner, and Doctor Doom.  This is a re-telling of the origin of Spider-Man, not exactly as Stan Lee originally wrote it, but pretty darn close.  In this version rather than Peter Parker going to a demonstration of Atomic energy (pretty dated sounding, right), he is conducting an experiment at the high school using low level radiation, but a spider gets in the mix and bites our hero.  Very similar to the origin the story continues with Peter Parker calling Reed Richards, Mr. Fantastic, of the Fantastic 4 to ask for help, after all he thinks he’s turning into a spider.

    After finding out the Fantastic 4 are out of office he decides he needs to make some money and goes on the TV circuit performing feats of spider-like ability.  After a criminal kills his Uncle Ben, Peter then takes up the crime-fighting mantle.  The play then brings on such villains as; the Green Goblin, Dr. Octopus, the Sandman, Prince Namor (hero/villain) and Dr. Doom.

    My only complaint is that not once in the performance does Peter Parker/Spider-Man’s line that is his raison d’etre come out.  You know the one, “With great power, comes great responsibility.”  Stan Lee has been known to say that when he first came up with the phrase for Spidey, it sounded cheesy, but, it is a great life-lesson.  But the Brits decided to leave it out of the production.  I won’t fault them too much because this was fun to hear.

    The role of Spider-Man was performed by William Dufries. Also included in the cast list was EastEnders star Anita Dobson.  The entire cast and the production meld to make a great comic book to audio book adaptation.

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