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, August 22, 2012

A Visit With Big Band Broadcaster Gene Martin

 My dad is always lamenting that none of his children took over his family business, a restaurant. My response is always "Why didn't you own a radio station? I would have taken it over right away!"  I still tell my wife I would buy one if I had the money.

  I enjoyed my years in the broadcasting biz and I've always been a broadcaster at heart, despite the fact that the industry has changed as much as popular music has over the years. 

  Up until a few years ago a friend of mine, Gene Martin, hosted a wildly popular radio show here in Central Florida called "Big Bands, Ballads and Blues." In its heyday thousands listened daily and Gene was literally mobbed at public events. Alas as radio station owners get younger, they could care less about that kind of music and the station became another satellite news feed a couple of years back. Did Gene Martin fade into oblivion? No way!
Gene Martin has always been quite the Renaissance man and reinvented himself once again. He took it upon himself to create an entire radio station on his own via the internet. He even resurrected my radio career as The Nostalgic Rambler Radio Show is heard on his network. You can hear my show as well as Gene and his other announcers by visiting www.TheGeneMartinShow.com or by clicking here.

 Recently I got to spend an evening with Gene and another one of his announcer/music experts George Samuels. He is still very much interested in keeping the big band sounds alive for folks to enjoy. He loves to talk about the bands and singers, so you know how much I loved that! Here's a pic of him appearing with The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. 
Here's the show lineup you can hear at TheGeneMartinShow.com:
 The Gene Martin Show AT 10 AM  &  3 PM. 

     CAFE’ SUNSHINE 12 PM DAILY starring Gene Martin
times are Eastern Time

Don Bruce's website is here.
Pete King's is a big band expert from the UK with a very complete and interesting website you will find here. It seems like the folks in Europe appreciate this music more than those in the colonies!

Here's a pic of George Samuels (Samuel's Serenade), Gene Martin, and yours truly.

I took this pic!  (left to right) my wife Heike, Gene, George, Gene's wife Ann, George's wife Harriet

Here's a final picture I thought was great! George showed us his new 3-D TV set. We were watching underwater footage and pictures from the moon. Gene asked if there were any 3-D shows of a big band concert. George said unfortunately there aren't any yet. Doesn't Gene look cool in his 3-D glasses?! 

I'm not sure how long Gene will keep his internet radio station going. It is a costly affair and a labor of love. Be sure to listen in and enjoy the great programming available to you worldwide on the internet.

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Dean Martin Show is cool!

 Pardon me, but the Nostalgic Rambler has been a bit lazy in posting here lately. If I would ask you to guess what I've been doing, I don't think you would guess....I'm learning Norwegian! Why? I've always been fascinated with the country and thought it would be fun. Don't worry, I won't be posting in "norsk" any time soon...I can't even say "nostalgia" in Norwegian yet!

  Time now for a new posting that is the epitome of cool.  That was a legendary tv series called "The Dean Martin Show." I uncovered a whole bunch of old VHS tapes of this program recently. Flea markets can hardly sell VHS videos for more than 25 cents anymore so it's a great place to find old movies and such.

Dean's show was the brainchild of producer Greg Garrison. Dean was a major star at the time and didn't want to be bothered with rehearsal. He more or less just showed up on the taping night while Garrison and his staff rehearsed the rest of the crew and made up cue cards for Dean-o to read!  The show became show biz legendary.

  The broadcast featured Dean singing, of course, as well as showcasing the legendary talent of the time, with guests from John Wayne to Bob Hope. Comedian Jonathan Winters would often break Dean up. No one knew what he would do on stage including the director.

Dean with Jonathan Winters
 Dean's relaxed image came off on the screen and that was perhaps what makes the show so charming today. TV today is so polished. It has to be perfect. Dean's show was perfect, simply because it wasn't perfect. It was just a guy singing and presenting a fun hour for his audience. He never took himself too seriously. After singing most of the songs, he usually starts applauding himself and then mocking it by saying something "Oh, can that boy sing..." or something along those lines.

Dean and "The First Lady Of Song" Miss Ella Fitzgerald

 You can find these Dean Martin Variety Shows everywhere on line. They are obviously also on dvd now. Producer Greg Garrison re-edited the shows several years back and the cream of the crop is available in re-mastered form.  Garrison was a broadcasting genius. Unfortunately, just like Dean, he is no longer with us either. He died in 2005. Too bad other big stars of that era don't have their material available for today's audiences. (Calling the kids of Perry Como, come in please!)