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

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fred Allen, radio star and national wit

Growing up in Southfield, Michigan in the 1970s we had access to a great library. Part of that library had a cassette tape lending program (anyone remember cassette tapes?). Take the early 1970s and subtract about thirty years and you still had the 1940s and what was known as the "Golden Age of Radio." Today in 2011 the 1940s seem like ancient history. Subtract thirty years from today and you get 1981....that doesn't sound like THAT long ago, does it? As Jack Benny would have said.... "Hmmmmmmmm."

Anyhow, as time marches on, I have digressed.....getting back to to those tapes....Some of my favorites were by the radio comedian Fred Allen. Fred was a master of words and wit. His show was topical for the time. Sometimes that made it hard to understand back in the 1970s. Still somehow the wry wit of this man came through. His radio show was top rated in its heyday. Listen to an episode here.

His humor served him well on the radio and in several books but he never made the transition to TV very successfully, probably because he didn't have the looks! He did serve as a panelist on "What's My Line?" for a while as well as a mystery guest. He was a great friend of Jack Benny and they sparred on their various programs in a famous "feud" that was all in fun.

I don't think we have too many national wits around anymore. The general population is probably too lowbrow to understand the comments. I think it must have been fun to gather around the radio and listen to Fred Allen in his heyday. I can't get too nostalgic for 1981 but somehow those cassettes I listened to in the 1970s still keep me interested in the times that were already passing into the nation's foggy memory banks back then....

pics above include Fred with his wife and often co-star Portland Hoffa

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