Welcome to the Nostalgic Ramber

Hans Jeff Borger is heard on WRGE 97.9 FM in Ocala, FL featuring Christian programming.

"The Nostalgic Rambler" radio show previously heard on Gene Martin & Friends has been suspended due to my commitments at WRGE.

Why a blog? I wrote a book "The Little Grownup: a nostalgic Michigan boyhood" which should appeal to most baby boomers. A mass market book? Well, not yet...but the potential is there! (Be sure to buy it at "finer on line bookstores" everywhere!)

The comments presented in "The Nostalgic Rambler" probably won't be of interest to the masses...anymore. If grandma and grandpa and their friends were still alive, then it would be a different story.

I live in the past. My time warp is a comfortable cocoon even if it sometimes drives my wife crazy. The music of the 1940s and 50s, the stars of those days were big stuff in their day, but are now almost forgotten. Oddly enough, I was born in '64 so those iconic years were for the most part over by that time.

Through "The Nostalgic Rambler" I maybe can help share my love and knowledge for those times and things...all at one time important pieces of Americana but now a bit faded in memory.

The woman who did the blog about cooking all of Julia Childs' French Cuisine Cookbook in a year got a sweet movie deal out of her blog experience. I wouldn't mind that but would be happy to know that you are reading this....and maybe enjoying my time warp, too.

Hans Jeff Borger

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas in Zitherland

Unlike some neighbors in the area, we are not already putting up Christmas lights and decorations on November 28th. From what I understand in the old days Christmas trees were actually put up Christmas Eve!

The reason for this pre-Christmas blog however is to alert you to my all time favorite Christmas album "Christmas in Zitherland" by Ruth Welcome. Miss Welcome recorded many albums for the famed Capitol Records label. Unfortunately as far as I know none of them have ever been re-released on cd. There was a budget cassette several years ago with a few of the "Christmas in Zitherland" cuts on it, but it had so much tape hiss in it, it was almost unlistenable.

What can you do if you want to hear this great album? Well, that's why I'm giving you plenty of time! There are currently several copies available on ebay. So get out your record players and start bidding here or here for instance.

If you are computer savvy and can understand how file sharing works (I don't really get it, so if you do maybe you can explain it to me) you can apparently get your Ruth Welcome Zither fix that way. Here is a link to someone else's blog who also has the album for your listening pleasure. Click here.

The music is hauntingly beautiful and definitely nostalgically different. Sorry folks, but "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" isn't featured here. Instead you get the tried and true Christmas classics that have withstood the test of zither time. Merry CHRISTmas in Zitherland or wherever you might be!

pics above of the "Christmas in Zitherland" album, Miss Welcome, and the Capitol Records building in Hollywood with Christmas tree on the roof.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thanksgiving Nostalgia

On Thursday it is Thanksgiving Day in America. This is a perfect holiday to get a bit nostalgic over, so I thought I would share with you an excerpt from my book "The Little Grownup: a nostalgic Michigan boyhood." Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

"Thanksgiving Day was always very traditional with the turkey and stuffing and trimmings. The turkey was usually purchased at a special turkey farm in Novi, Michigan. When we visited the farm, the turkeys were still alive and you could pick the one you wanted. I'm not sure if anyone could actually prove that the one you picked from the pen was the actual one you eventually bought ready for the oven.

We usually watched the Hudson's Thanksgiving Day Parade from downtown Detroit on television while the bird roasted in the oven. That parade featured the biggest United States flag in the world hanging from the downtown Hudson's store."

"The Little Grownup: a nostalgic Michigan boyhood by yours truly is available by clicking here or here.

pics above of adorable little me at my grandparent's house on Thanksgiving and of my grandma and mom taken over 46 years ago. We will use that same turkey platter again this year! Also featured are some pics of the Detroit's famed J.L. Hudson's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Singer's Singer Jo Stafford

If I had to choose my all time favorite American lady singer, it would be Jo Stafford. This talented lady had a career which included a stint with the big bands including Tommy Dorsey where she sang with Frank Sinatra. According to one of her album liner notes, between 1945 and 1955 she had more hits than any other female singer.

In the 50s she moved to a solo career and had million sellers galore with such songs as No Other Love, Shrimpboats, Jambalaya, You Belong To Me, and Make Love To Me. She had her own radio and television shows and was a household name as much as any of today's pop stars are. She sold over 40 million records.

After recording for Capitol records, she later moved to Columbia where her talented musician/orchestra leader husband Paul Weston was often heard accompanying her.

With her smooth voice, perfect pitch and diction, Jo's voice is soothing and charming to listen to. Here is a beautiful rendition of "Suddenly There's A Valley" (click on the title) including some nice pics of Jo. Listen and watch and see if you are not moved by this great voice.

Say what you want about the music of today, but you will never hear anything as romantic as Jo's rendition of "You Belong to Me".

Here's the nostalgic song "Try To Remember" which is quite nice, too.

Jo Stafford was wise enough to somehow gain the rights back to her recordings. Although she passed away, her family is maintaining her legacy. This is her webpage where her recordings can be purchased.

Pics of Jo above include one with her husband Paul Weston

PS: My good friends Herb & Judy are fans of Jo as well....I hope they enjoyed this tribute!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Hey There Georgy Girl!

Almost any American who recalls the hits of the 1960s can probably sing some of the lyrics to the song "Georgy Girl"....(Hey There, Georgy Girl, Swingin down the street so fancy free...")

The voices behind the group that sang that hit were an Australian Quartet known as "The Seekers." They left the top of the music charts by choice when the wonderful lady singer of the group decided she would retire from pop singing and sing jazz instead as a solo artist.

Judith Durham gave the group its unique sound. She has been one of my favorite singers for years. A decade ago (hard to believe it's been that long) I flew to Scotland as the Seekers reunited for a rare concert tour. I guess the economy was a lot better then for me to fly half way around the world to attend a concert! Those days are gone...Anyhow... Click here for a spine chilling rendition of Plasir d'Amour sung by Judith.

The long flight overseas was well worth it. I got to sit front row center and hear Judith's fabulous voice, along with the other Seekers Athol, Bruce and Keith sing those great folk-pop type songs of the 60s.

When I got married, my friends Keith, Cheryl and Yvonne sang a Seekers song "I'll Never Find Another You" to my beautiful bride at the church wedding. Watch the Seekers version here and see if you don't think this is one of the most beautiful love songs ever written.

Judith still does some rare appearances, has several solo cds on the market, and The Seekers are working on a concert tour with Dutch violinist Andre Rieu....unfortunately only in Australia and New Zealand!

Even though Georgy Girl was a big hit here in the US, The Seekers never really got much momentum out of their fame as they were stuck under contract giving concerts in small venues in Great Britain at the time!

Visit Judith's website at www.judithdurham.com

Pics below include a very lousy one of me with Judith taken late at night after the concert in Scotland....Oh well...I think you can tell its me with Judith!