Sunday, July 12, 2020
Me and Tex.
A long time ago, when I was going to college and for a while afterward, I worked at a radio station. I was the morning disc jockey and I played country music.
“Pop” country was all the rage at the time, so I spun a lot of songs by singers like Olivia Newton-John, Charlie Rich, Donna Fargo, John Denver, and so on. But I also played a lot of what we called “pure” country, as well as oldies. Now and then, I would slip in an old cowboy song.
Hang on for a little explanation for the younger set.
Most of the music we played was on “records” called “singles”; vinyl discs that were about seven inches across with a big hole in the middle, with one song on each side, that played on a turntable at 45 revolutions per minute. Sometimes we would play album cuts, from discs that were about twelve inches across, with a little hole in the middle, containing several songs, that played at 33 revolutions per minute.
You can imagine the bizarre sound if you played a record at the wrong speed, say a 45 rpm record at 33 rpm, which could and did happen on occasion.
Back to the story.
Sometimes, just for fun, I would play an old Tex Ritter song titled “Blood in the Saddle.” I liked playing it because, inevitably, someone—or several someones—would call the idiot at the radio station and tell him he was playing the record at the wrong speed.
If you’re not familiar with Tex Ritter’s “Blood in the Saddle” give it a listen (the link will take you to it).
And, no, it is not playing at the wrong speed. Not then. Not now.