Sweet and Lovely and First Generation

A few days ago, iTunes was featuring old time radio broadcasts as free podcasts from Humphrey/Camardella Productions. In fact, they still are; I just wandered over to the iTunes store and sure enough, the huge old-time-radio button is still on the podcast page.

Humphrey/Camardella Productions are the people who bring you Boxcars 711 old time radio (it’s also free) and they can be found in my list of “great listening sites” in the sidebar at right. I’ve loved the free programs I’ve listened to at the Radio 711 site, so I subscribed but the podcasts through iTunes were of disappointing quality – muffled, indistinct… you know that sound, like listening through a wet sponge. I unsubscribed quickly. Don’t know what the issue is – theoretically the exact same feed – but I’m going to stick to the Radio 711 site.

The problem, of course, is that as listeners, we wind up hearing somebody’s copy of some other person’s copy of another person’s copy of the copy of a copy that was originally made from… well, who knows? It might have been recorded off the radio by a home enthusiast, and if that’s all that’s available, we should consider ourselves lucky to have anything.

However – Radio Archives is an outfit that deserves your attention and patronage. Yes, it’s on CDs, and yes, it costs, but even in this day and age of free old time radio on the internet, these CDs are worth every penny.

For their Premier Collection, they only will work directly from original transcription discs, and their release from last month, The Coconut Grove Ambassadors, sounds stunning. I don’t have it yet, but plan on ordering it, based on previous purchases from these folks, and based on the clip you can hear on the page linked above, which has to be the most incredible sounding band remote from this era I’ve ever heard, even in its internet sample.

They have other great first generation recordings and are definitely worth a visit.

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