As I said on Monday: he reason for my absence can be found in all the banners for the week. It's all there. In fact it's been there for a few weeks now.

As is the rule for Friday Hiatal Bleats, we go back to the audio vaults and play the sounds of yesteryear radio. Everything here has an echo, as befits the sound of AM radio at the time.

1970: The Smells of Summer . . .

  . . . by a fellow who, at the time, was widely known for holding an oversized flower.

People who heard the ad saw the flower in their minds, too, thanks to Laugh-In.

Gibson would emerge from behind a stage flat, wearing a Nehru jacket and "hippie" beads and holding an outlandishly large artificial flower. He would bow stiffly from the waist, state "[Title of poem] — by Henry Gibson" in an ironic Southern U.S. accent, again bow stiffly from the waist, recite his poem and return behind the flat.

Gibson's routine was so memorable that John Wayne actually performed it once in his own inimitable style: "The Sky — by John Wayne. The Sky is blue/The Grass is green/Get off your butt/And join the Marine(s)!", whereupon Wayne left the scene by smashing through the flat.

Good for him.

1970: Pontiac! It's like every car commercial of the era. Does anything set it apart?

  The up-up-and-away style was meant for whom?

Maybe it's for Dads who don't want to think they're past their sell date.

Do you know what it stands for?

  1970: STP. The public awareness for STP was, I believe, out of proportion to the role it played in the lives of most Americans.

This was intentional.

The name was derived from “Scientifically Treated Petroleum”. In 1961, the company was acquired by the Studebaker-Packard Corporation.

Studebaker briefly tied STP into its advertising as an abbreviation for “Studebaker Tested Products”. However, Studebaker-Packard CEO Sherwood Egbert felt that STP could one day outpace its parent company and recruited Andy Granatelli as the CEO of STP to help raise the product’s image.

When Studebaker abandoned auto manufacturing in 1966 to become Studebaker-Worthington, STP sales continued to climb to the point where it was spun off into a publicly traded company in 1969.

In that year, or the next, I went to White Earth Lutheran Bible Camp with a stack of STP stickers my dad got from a local distributor. I was very popular; all the guys wanted one.

A curious swerve into yee-haw territory for the brand. Surely it piggybacked on a TV commercial campaign that emphasized Good Old American Values and such.

  1970 McDonald’s

All you needed to know, in one place:

  We had a set!

At the top of the hour, the sound that said news - and a new interesting audio landscape.

  This is the sound I associate with starting to pay attention to the rest of the world.





Let's step back from 1970 now to earlier eras. Now and then the popular singers of the day would ask you to give money to Uncle Sam so he could keep pouring hot death on the heads of the fascist regimes.

The enemy is reeling, and his morale is low

  "Back the attack again" suggests it's after the 1943 3rd Drive.

To remind you who's doing the fighting and dying:

  Ah, it's the 5th.

Proof that a certain term persisted into the Forties:

  Which word sticks out?

Not a name you associate with gargle, is it?

But it's a name we do remember.

I do not, however, remember these guys.


And let's end with some Kresge Shopping Muzak, played over the speakers set in the ceiling, making everyone's day more interesting, or exciting, or romantic.

  Name that tune!




Now two ways to chip in!

Back on Monday with a grand story!



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