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, February 27, 2013

Harry Belafonte: More Than Calypso

February is Black History Month...or is it African American History Month? I dunno which is politically correct and since the Nostalgic Rambler is as white as a sheet, we probably just don't get it. Maybe we should? My record collection is filled with the likes of famed black artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Mahalia Jackson, and Harry Belafonte. Over the years I have heard about and winced at the terrible things these people had to endure during their lifetimes due to their skin color. I'm hoping that's all over with now but it did happen.

I've been on another calypso kick lately and have been enjoying some Harry Belafonte. This is one of his great albums which sold hundreds of thousands of copies. It's listed as one of the 1950s top selling records and includes The Banana Boat Song and Jamaica Farewell.
 People sure are strange though. Despite his music being adored by blacks and whites, some people got in an unroar when Harry and Petula Clark sang on tv together and touched each other !

 Nat King Cole was one of the first blacks to have his own tv show and many stations in the south of the US wouldn't carry his show because of his race.
 The Nostalgic Rambler grew up in the 1960s and didn't realize all of this was going on until much later. It's a good thing to educate kids on what went on back then. A documentary I found called "Harry Belafonte Sing Your Song" is a good way to do this.
To me though shows like this just leave me wanting more music. Harry turned into quite a political activist. A few clips of his music and tv shows are shown on the documentary, but that wasn't enough for me. Apparently Revlon sponsored two award winning television shows he starred in.... I want to see them but alas there were only a few clips shown. He didn't do any more as people got in an uproar that blacks were appearing with whites and vice versa. Hard to believe. 

 Oh well, back to those old Calypso albums.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Nostalgic Rambler discovers Loretta Young!

 Thanks to a recent screening on "Me TV" (an over the air broadcaster presenting classic TV shows) I have discovered the 1950s classic program "The Loretta Young Show" aka "Letters To Loretta."

I didn't know much about Loretta.  I have a copy of her 1947 film "The Farmer's Daughter" which is quite charming. After her famed film career she turned to television to be able to tell stories with a moral. The series won three Emmys and ran from 1953 to 1961.
 Loretta was always very style conscious and would make her grand entrance on her show wearing very fashionable gowns.  Despite being black and white, the audience loved it. Loretta  apparently even sued when years later her show was re-broadcast. She didn't want them showing her in outdated fashions!
 Her tv show was an anthology series, meaning she played different characters in different storylines. Unlike the shows on television these days, these scripts had heart and were very riveting.
There is an official Loretta Young webpage you can visit here. Me TV also has episodes of her show on line here. Pretty cool. You can watch her show whenever you want.

I love programs like "I Love Lucy" but they are run ad nauseum! Actually Lucy is about the last hold out of 1950s TV still being broadcast. Too bad we can't get someone to wake up and run Loretta's show more often. True, her gowns are outdated, but then the fashion of today looks like trash compared to the elegance of the 1950s and early 60s.