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, October 10, 2015

Hymns Classics Re-discovered

As some of you know I haven't had much time to post on this blog lately due to my involvement in a new Christian radio station in Ocala, Florida. I invite you to visit our webpage at  www.wrge.org to find out about it.

Programming the music for this station has been fun and a challenge. We feature several "talk" segments but of course radio is 24/7 and it requires quite a music library. A friend of mine Don Ward has assisted immensely in reaching into his broadcast archives.

We like to play some of the tried and true hymns sung in churches for years. What's nice about that for me is some of America's most beloved singers recorded much of this music back in the heyday of the Nostalgic Rambler times.

 Jo Stafford recorded quite a few hymns and teamed up with Gordon McCrae for some beautiful selections.
 Perry Como and Tennessee Ernie Ford were adamant about their Christian beliefs...so much so that they often sang a hymn at the end of their TV show, much to the networks chagrin.
 Bing Crosby recorded many songs of faith.
 The nice thing about playing these songs on the radio today is that it doesn't matter that these people were beloved popular figures of yesterday. If the listeners recognize Bing or Perry from times gone by, they will find comfort in hearing them again.

 If the listeners to the radio station don't know who these voices are, then they are at least hearing some high quality wonderful arrangements and talent.
At Christmas time you will hear most of these artists on most all radio stations as well featuring their "holiday" recordings. There's more to their library than "White Christmas" and "Santa Claus is Coming To Town". I'm glad to put them back in the Christian spotlight, even it's just for a limited audience on the radio in my home town!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

No escaping the strange move of Sirus XM

Time for me to come out of my self imposed exile from posting on the Nostalgic Rambler (I've been very busy getting a new Christian radio station ready to go on the air but more on that in the coming weeks.......)

I am here today to express my dismay, bewilderment, disgust, and all around confusion at the decision of Sirius XM Radio to dump the Escape channel from their satellite line up.

This was one of the finest broadcast presentations of the classic and beloved "easy listening" instrumental or "beautiful music" format. It was actually programmed by one of the founders of this format.

Those of you who know me know that I started the WGER 102.5 FM Appreciation Society on Facebook.  WGER was at one time one of the highest rated radio stations in the entire country due to their use of the musical format formerly heard on Escape.

This instrumental music vanished in recent years from over the air radio but it had and still has a very loyal fan base.  There is a Facebook page trying to assist in getting the format back on the Sirius XM satellite.  I am not sure how Sirius can justify much of their niche programming without keeping Escape on, but it sounds like a personal vendetta from someone who just doesn't like this music.

Very dumbo miopic move but here's what you can learn from all of this.........
 Anything on the air, whether it is on TV or radio, can vanish into thin air quickly. I learned my lesson long ago. I have enough Escape type music on my ipod that would rival the XM/Sirius programming library. I cancelled long ago when they kept alienating me by preempting the programming for weeks on end with such oddities as Barbra Streisand radio and Hanukkah radio.

When I worked in radio and enjoyed the nostalgic "Music of your Life" library back in the 1980s, I recorded the entire library for my own use and have been enjoying it ever since...even though it has been long gone in that same genre style. One of my favorite TV shows "Homefront" hasn't been rerun in years, but yes I have them all preserved so I can watch it whenever I want.

So the lesson here is if you really like something, preserve it yourself as you can't rely on popular culture to keep it in front of you. Time marches on as society devolves into further noise and nonsense. The outsourced phone operators are telling the disgruntled Escape listeners that they can find the same music on other channels. As my grandpa used to say " Boloney!"  I'm glad I can "Escape" using my own carefully preserved media.

I think I'll go listen to Lex De Azevedo.........

September 19th UPDATE:  The pessimist in me never thought this would happen: In a major reversal and accomplishment for beautiful music fans, Sirius XM has restored Escape to their lineup. The fans apparently bombarded them with enough cancellations that they reversed their decision. Excellent news!