Category Archive: music

Jun 21

10 reasons to buy an RCA Victor Radio

RCA Victor was a top of the line radio when the cabinet was as important as the electronics in 1931.

E.E. Long Piano Company touted 10 big improvements as selling points of this new RCA Victor Radio in this ad from October 12, 1931. Here they are but they are not as amusing as the lists David Letterman reads. 1. Automatic volume control. 2, NINE tubes 3. New RCA Victor Super-Heterodyne with Pentode tubes. 4. …

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Jun 16

Zoot Suit Riots, Los Angeles 1943-World War II week by week

Cartoon from June 16, 1943 comparing Tojo, Hitler and Mussolini to zootsuiters.

Sometimes people look back on a time, remembering the good and overlooking the bad. While the nation pulled together to fight World War II there were some ugly events that showed America was still on the journey to the goal in the United States Declaration of Independence,”that all men are created equal…” According to the …

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Jan 25

Zenith Solid State Stereos and Color TV Combinations

Feb. 8, 1966 ad for Zenith color TV and stereos. Mid-Century modern cabinets were the style of the day.

In the 1960s there were two schools of thought on sound systems. The new way was assembling a set of components, speakers, amplifier, turntable, etc. As you could afford it you would buy the best component part and assemble a system. A story on the same page as this advertisement explained the concept. The old …

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Dec 14

Christmas in the pines, Cambria dance advertisement

Cambria Christmas ball advertised in the Dec. 4, 1869 Tribune.

The Tribune was four months old in December 1869 and it carried an advertisement for a Grand Christmas Ball scheduled for Christmas Eve in Cambria. At the time the town in the pines was undergoing a development boom and was the county’s second city. The dinner, and dance was touted at the grandest of the …

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Nov 28

A song on the wires, boom box in the sky

Dave Moore, a splicer for Pacific Bell, takes his listening pleasure with him on the job. Earphones aren't convenient under a hardhat, so Moore lugged his portable radio up 30-feet high and hung it from a convenient wire. He was working at the corner of Pismo and Santa Rosa streets in San Luis Obispo. ©Robert Dyer/Telegram-Tribune

Nothing says 1980s faster than boom box. Transistor radios, wonders of the 60s that would fit in the palm of your hand had sound like a singing chipmunk. Bigger speakers, bigger batteries and you had a portable party, and bonus this one has a cassette tape player. Looks like the dial is set to around …

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Oct 27

Pismo Jubalee by the Sea at Halloween

Yankee Wailer Bill Wood wears his Halloween costume at the ninth first annual Jubilee by the Sea in Pismo Beach. ©The Tribune/Tony Hertz

One of the more enjoyable assignments for a photographer, music fan, is the Pismo Beach Jubilee by the Sea. Bands come from all over the United States as well and music lovers. Sometimes it is hard to capture the feel of the sometimes zany music in a photo, unless the date falls near Halloween.

Aug 15

iPods of 1913 – Edison Disc and Columbia ads

The perfect present, Edison phonograph ads from December 8, 1913.

Music is something people have wanted to have around since the earliest times. This store could set you up with phonographs that played discs or cylinders. And if you got tired of the aerobic exercise turning the crank on the music box they sold violins, guitars, accordions and mandolins. My kind of store. Guitars started …

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Feb 08

You can call me Al, Weird Al

"Weird Al" Yankovic and Jeopardy host Art Fleming during the "I lost on Jeopardy" video shoot. Publicity photo.

Find the path to international recording fame using this one weird trick. Record in the bathroom. Among the porcelain urinals and sinks, across the hall from radio station, KCPR is the sound environment that launched a recording star. Alfred M. Yankovic is arguably the second most famous Cal Poly graduate after John Madden. If you …

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Feb 03

Count Basie, jazz statesman

Count Basie waves good night to a standing ovation at Cuesta College. 9-18-1978 ©Thom Halls/Telegram-Tribune

William Basie did not have an easy path to success. His mother and father saved pennies to pay for music lessons. He began as a drummer in the school band and switched to piano in his teens. A good choice. His professional career began before he was 20 as a $3 a night piano player …

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Nov 01

Pacific Stereo, words of advice before you buy any stereo

Pacific Stereo ad from the then Telegram-Tribune February 3, 1977.

Any worthwhile college town in the 1970s had more than one stereo store. A listening room with lights set low so the components could glow on the shelves. Bring in your favorite virgin vinyl albums to play on the turntable. One of the happiest places on earth. To be honest I never was one of …

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