“Star-Spangled Banner” films were a regular fixture of local TV stations, before infomercials gave them an excuse to broadcast 24-7. The ones I see on YouTube seem all recorded from the sign-off at the end of the day, but my strongest memory of them is from one that was played as a morning sign-on.
The video below is a sign-off from New York City, and I’m reasonably sure this is the same video we had in my corner of the Midwest when one of the local stations signed on at 6:00 in the morning on the Saturdays when I was up. The close-in on the flag at the end with that exciting high note (sounded like a pipe organ from a little TV speaker), followed by a whooshing rocket-into-space noise is the part I’ve always remembered.
But wait, there’s more. Notice that the entire video is a series of still photos with zooms and pans and fancy edits. This style is the true essence of the late ’70s and early ’80s, and it was everywhere. I’m continually amazed that anyone associates it so much with Ken Burns documentaries–remember the opening credits of The Rockford Files, Days of Heaven, anything on public television back then?
I’ve been away from the blog for too long, so I’ll get everything up to speed:
–Belatedly . . . Happy Easter!
–A big congratulations to this year’s Rondo Award winners, announced just this past Sunday night. My book I Cannot, Yet I Must did not win in its category but I honestly did not expect that it would. The competition was stiff indeed, and the winner and runners-up are absolutely deserving. Myself, I’m still just tickled to be a nominee and that I can forever call myself a Rondo-nominated author.
–With Easter recently celebrated and springtime here, it’s time to post some exuberant music. And I can’t imagine anything more exuberant than this thundering, brain-melting, blistering performance by Simple Minds from Newcastle, England in 1982. Enjoy!
And yesterday’s Bach through the filter of jazz leads to Bach through a solo piano lens. This is the introduction to Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, a few days late, I regret to say. (But, nonetheless, Happy Easter!) Mr. Harry Volker does the honors, very nicely: