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

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Lost Raconteur (if you know what that means) Alexander King

File this Nostalgic Rambler posting under "lost raconteur" or "one thing leads to another." I recently found a nostalgic look at television past and TV personality Jack Paar through his book "My Saber Is Bent." Jack was the host of "Tonight" on NBC before Johnny Carson. I have to admit the stars of the Tonight show including Carson, Steve Allen and Jack Paar were very interesting men. As usual the Nostalgic Rambler hasn't followed the current incarnation of "The Tonight Show" since Johnny retired.

 I found Paar's comments on life fascinating and opinionated. Lots of his stuff isn't too politically correct today but I guess we won't worry about that since there aren't many chances to read his books or watch his old shows anymore anyhow.
 I wondered who Jack Paar was talking about when he said that his most interesting guest was Alexander King. He was a raconteur. What in the dickens is a raconteur? I looked it up and it simply means a person skilled at telling stories or anecdotes. Well, Jack was pretty good at that, too. King however must have really been a character. Since King wrote the introduction to Jack Paar's book and was a popular author in his day, surely his books are still around. Or are they?
He was a best selling author but today even our local library didn't have anything by him. They were able to get the book "Mine Enemy Grows Older" from another library here in the state on loan. So I spent the last few days seeing why Jack Paar was so in love with King's storytelling. He rambles on much in the fashion the Nostalgic Rambler would, going from various anecdotes of growing up in Vienna to being in drug rehabilitation to being editor at LIFE magazine.  (note: the Nostalgic Rambler grew up in Detroit, was never in drug rehab or the editor of anything except a couple of blogs...)

You can listen to Alexander as a guest with Jack Paar by clicking here. Too bad there is no video but you get a good idea of his ramblings.

I did a little more delving on line and found that one of his wives has a blog featuring more info on him. You can get there by clicking here or here

King and even Jack Paar are mostly forgotten but if you delve you can find some of their wit. I hope in fifty years someone will remember me. You can still buy a copy of my book "The Little Grownup" by clicking here to help preserve my legacy!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Remembering a song from Lolita: Seeman

There are only a handful of German songs that have ever made it big in the USA and one of them was the song "Seeman" (translated title "Sailor")  by Lolita. In 1959 in reached #5 on the hit list. German isn't known as a beautiful language of song. Perhaps it was the charming voice of Austrian singer Lolita or all of those German immigrants pining for their homeland.

Listen to the song with its English translation in the middle (not too accurate but what do you expect for an American release?). Click here.

Why was the song a big hit? Maybe it was just because the song is catchy and melancholic? It's about a sailor and how his home is the sea. My parents played this song and the whole album over and over when I was growing up (they are from Germany). My grandma loved this song and my step grandpa didn't understand German. He heard the song so many times he finally made up his own English version "Sea man, Sea man, go jump in a lake!"

 It's amazing to read the comments on Youtube about how this song affected people. Seems like lots of German immigrant kids recall their elders listening to Seeman. Nice.
Lolita released a few albums in the US but never had another big hit here. She was a big star in Europe and continued appearing on TV and making records until her death from cancer several years back.