Yesterday I posted an article calling attention to the frequent cutting off of commercials on my favorite news channel, MSNBC. Their sponsors are getting short-changed!
Now I have a beef on the other side of the coin. I resent the amount of time devoted to commercials! MSNBC is no worse than any other channel or station in this regard. I remember when half-hour programs were limited to three and a half minutes of commercial time. Those were the days! How different it is now!
Way back in 1951 the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) adopted a code of practices for television broadcasters. It prescribed not only the amount time that should be devoted to commercials but also a set of ethical standards prohibiting such things as the use of inappropriate sex, profanity, and the disparagement of God and religion. Television broadcasters indicated their compliance with the Code by displaying a "Seal of Good Practice" in the closing credits.
In 1979 the Justice Department brought suit against the NAB to discontinue the code on the grounds that “the NAB had violated Section 1 of the Sherman (Anti-Trust)Act by combining and conspiring to restrain trade. Specifically . . . the NAB had promulgated and enforced a television code, certain provisions of which restricted the quantity, placement, and format of television advertisements” (47 Fed. Reg. 32813, 29 July 1982). The suit led to the eventual dropping of the code by the NAB in 1983.
The abolition of the code has in turn led to the increase of commercial time to 30% or more of the total, along with a proliferation of violence, sex, and obscene language that are of concern to many viewers. Their complaints are countered by First Amendment advocates, who are quick to attack anything that restricts freedom of speech, or smacks of censorship. But that’s another issue. My concern here is the high percentage of time now consumed by commercials, not to mention the growing practice of embedding sponsors’ products in the program itself.
I don’t know how many people are as disturbed as I am about this, but if enough viewers complained about it, maybe the broadcasters would feel the pressure and cut back a bit. Or is that just wishful thinking?
When I saw first saw it happen many weeks ago, I thought it was a mistake that could and would be quickly corrected. I can understand how such a mistake could occur once in a great while. But when it kept happening day after day and week after week, I became more and more concerned and frankly annoyed. Not that I love watching TV commercials, but I was offended by what was at best sloppy programming and at worst deliberate malpractice on somebody’s part.
|"Chicken parm you taste so good!"|
As a former advertising executive who used to produce commercials, I would give the Nationwide commercial a very high rating. In a low-key but interesting way it very effectively fixes the insurance company’s theme song/slogan in the viewer’s memory. Though the sponsor’s name is mentioned only once, the end result makes for excellent product identification. So the first time it was cut off before I heard the woman sing the Nationwide theme song followed by Payton’s humming the tune again at the end, I thought to myself, “Nationwide should get its money back!”
The sponsors to whom this is happening have a legitimate beef . They are getting short changed. At first I thought that whoever monitors the programs would notice what was happening and put a stop to it immediately. When it kept happening day after day and week after week, I decided I should call it to my readers’ attention to see if anyone else has noticed.
I’m hoping MSNBC will get my tweet about this. Maybe if enough people bring it to their attention, they’ll do something about it!
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|L to R: ABS Music Director Emeritus James Litton, |
Francois Girard, Dtin Hoffman, and Fernando Malvar-Riz.
The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 5 and received some rave reviews, including this one from Roger Friedman's "Showbiz."
Fernando Malvar-Ruiz, Music Director of the American Boychoir, was engaged to be the Music Director of the film, and coached Dustin Hoffman, who plays the role of the Music Director, in the art of conducting.
With a star-studded cast, a heart-warming story, and exquisite music throughout, and judging from the reaction to its premier, Boychoir could well turn out to be a very popular film. It is due to be released sometime next spring.
I can't wait to see it!
TIME FOR A MUSICAL INTERLUDE
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS ONE?
|The Princeton Nassoons in the 1946-47 Triangle Show "Clear the Track!" - L to R: Bill Rogers '48,|
Jack Pemberton '48, Jim Buck '46, Ed Knetzger '46, Jeff Penfield '49, Og Tanner '48, Al Burr '49,
Don Elberfeld '47, Dick Armstrong' 46, Don Finnie '47
My article on the 1946-47 Princeton Nassoons attracted such interest that I decided to tell more of th
Our rehearsals were strictly private. We wanted no one to hear us until we were ready for our public debut. Some of our group had been chosen by a group of the original Nassoons, who returned I believe it was on Friday afternoon, May 17, 1946, to recruit a new group of Nassoons. I was still in the Navy at the time, having been made the Assistant Materiel Officer of the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, Philadelphia, after completing my duties as Supply Officer of the USS Chandeleur (AV10), which incidentally was the first ship to go into moth balls at the Philadelphia Naval Base.
I had been back on campus a few times and had learned that the Nassoons were going to be holding tryouts. Knowing how important that was to me, my very obliging superior officer, Cdr. Frank Levy, gave me shore leave that afternoon, so I could be there for the tryouts. I took a train to Princeton Junction and caught the "Dinky" into Princeton in plenty of time. I was both pleased and somewhat intimidated by the large number of students who were there for the tryouts.
Each of us was grilled by our Nassoon judges, who checked our pitch and range and interval accuracy, and then had us sing our appropriate part in a quartet with three of them. The song was "My Sweet," to which they had the sheet music for those who needed it. That song will always have a special place in my heart! You can imagine how thrilled I was at the end of the day to learn that I was one of the fortunate few to be chosen.
The older Nassoons did not select a full complement that day, but charged the eight or nine of us who had been selected to hold tryouts at the beginning of the 1946 fall semester to round out our group. That we did, and again a surprising number of undergraduates showed up for the tryouts. I can't trust my memory as to who was selected at this time, but Jack Pemberton '48, a wonderful first tenor, told me that he was one of them.
The other members of the "starting twelve" included first tenors Steve Kurtz '48 and Al Burr '49; second tenors Jim Buck '46, Og Tanner '48, and yours truly '46; first basses Don Finnie '47, Ed Knetzger '46, and Bill Rogers '48; and second basses Don Elberfeld '47, Jeff Pennfield '49, and Jack Taylor '45. 2B Dave Romig '48 and 2T/1B Herb Spencer joined us later in the year. Jack Pemberton, Jack Taylor, and I are the three surviving members of the original twelve, many of whom had accomplished amazing things in their lifetime. But that's another story.
We also selected eight candidates, two for each part, as alternates. They were to be what we called a "feeder octet," who would practice our numbers and be available as needed. It was predictable that the feeder octet would enjoy singing together, so much so that they decided "Who needs the Nassoons?" So they formed their own group and called themselves "The Tigertones"! They continue to this day as another one of Princeton's premier singing groups and friendly rivals of the Nassoons. Of course, the Tigertones have long since chosen to ignore this part of their origin!
There's still more I want to tell, but this is enough for now.
|October, 1946, post WWII Nassoons make their debut in|
Alexander Hall. Music Dir. Don Finnie gets the pitch for
the next song.
While sticking with my original harmonization and basic arrangement, the Nassoons over the years have added some clever choreography and varied the original blues tempo. I was most impressed by the presentation of the current Nassoons, a
link to which was included in the previous post.
For an interesting and I hope enjoyable contrast, you might like to hear the original version, as sung by the reorganized post-WWII Nassoons in the album they recorded in the spring of 1947. I don't know whether or not this is going to work, but I'm hoping if you click on The Tigertown Blues below you will be able to listen to the song, as it was sung sixty-six years ago! I first made a cassette tape from the old vinyl record, then last night was able to re-record that copy on to a disk, which in turn was copied into my storage cloud, Sugarsync.
After listening again to the way I sounded doing the solo way back then, I wasn't sure I wanted to go public with this, but my wife Margie and sons Andy and Woody insisted, so here goes. Now let's hope it works! The link will take you to my storage cloud, Sugarsync, which will say "Richard S. has sent you a file." Right under that you will see "91 Track 1.wma." If you click on that, you should then be able to play The Tigertown Blues.
I hope you enjoy this brief musical relic from my college years. (If it doesn't work, we'll try something else.)
|The Princeton Nassoons|
|Still the Nassoons!|
Do you remember the 2008 video? It's still relevant and inspiring!
As you listen to this stirring song from Les Miserables, just imagine they are singing
"one more term" instead of "one more day"!
The 2012 presidential election is just as important as the historic 2008 election, even
more so, for it is a test of our American values. Truth itself is on the line. We can't let the
dream die! There's too much at stake. We've come too far, accomplished too much.
Click on this LINK, turn up your volume, and click on full screen.
If you like the big band sound, click on the link below. You'll be surprised by what you see and hear! Even if you've seen it before, it's worth watching and hearing again.