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Old 03-12-2020, 04:51 PM
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East-coast old-timers: Did you listen to Bob+Ray growing up?


I've been listening to various collections of Bob and Ray--Classic Bob+Ray, The Soap Operas, Best of Bob+Ray--and am wondering what it was like listening to their live radio shows during the 1950s-1970s in Boston and New York City.

Did they typically mix produced/pre-recorded bits like the ones in the above collections with live conversations? I assume they must have sequenced the soap operas an episode at a time; what about the other stuff? Would they just drop them in randomly?

I love these guys--amazed at their versatility. And I enjoyed Chris Elliott's "Daddy's Boy: A Son's Shocking Account of Life with a Famous Father"--
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Old 03-12-2020, 06:13 PM
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Do Bert and Harry Piels count?

I probably could have gotten their radio station when I was growing up, but I had little interest in talk in the morning.
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Old 03-12-2020, 06:22 PM
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I heard them a bit on Los Angeles radio. Another Bob & Ray were with me constantly because they're my dad and his brother. But their voices were different.
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Old 03-12-2020, 07:14 PM
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My mom was a huge Bob & Ray fan, heard them a lot growing up.

She still is a fan... at 92, and has everything they've done, on many many many cassettes.


ETA: In the midwest. Chicago or maybe a Milwaukee AM station in the 60s.

Last edited by digs; 03-12-2020 at 07:15 PM.
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Old 03-12-2020, 08:27 PM
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I remember those growing up in New York City.

I'm not sure how I first became aware of them as Bob and Ray, and I don't recall listening to them on the radio. However, I was enough of a fan to see their Broadway show The Two and Only in 1970.
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Old 03-12-2020, 08:40 PM
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Bob and Ray totally fucking rocked!
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Old 03-12-2020, 09:42 PM
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Many slightly older people recommended Bob and Ray, including Kurt Vonnegut (who was much older). A high school English teacher gave me a book of their routines.

I enjoyed the shit out of them, and played the tapes for my millennial kids, who also enjoyed the shit out of them.
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Old 03-12-2020, 09:46 PM
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Born in late 1960, so not around for the real glory years.
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Old 03-13-2020, 10:41 AM
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Well - not growing up. I listened to them on the car radio commuting to work in 1957.

Wally Ballou, Tippy the Wonder Dog, Lawrence Fechtenberger , all non-sense but funny when they did it:

Tune in tomorrow folks
When Edna goes to the village
In the Gathering Dust
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Old 03-13-2020, 12:01 PM
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I didn't even become aware of them until the late 80s, when a Jacksonville FL afternoon variety radio show would play a clip. I became a huge fan, and was tickled to learn my father was a fan from the old days.

I've since collected many sets of cassettes, and some CDs. I also have a CD with hundreds of their over-the-air broadcasts (with commercials!) from, I think, the late 1950s. A very interesting time capsule.

IMO, their best quality, most-timeless recordings are the ones they made in the 80s for...RadioLab, I think. Some of them were polished versions of their old shows.
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Old 03-13-2020, 12:17 PM
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Another West Coast (ahem) fan from back in the day.

Write if you get work.
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Old 03-13-2020, 02:21 PM
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I was just thinking about one of their routines yesterday. The man who has budget advice. Like, he lives in Wisconsin and works in New York City, and has found a really inexpensive airfare to commute every day...
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Old 03-14-2020, 08:34 AM
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"I heard them a bit on Los Angeles radio."

"ETA: In the midwest. Chicago or maybe a Milwaukee AM station in the 60s."

"Another West Coast (ahem) fan from back in the day."

Was their regular NY City radio show syndicated? Or do the above comments refer to their occasional appearances on Mutual and NBC Monitor radio shows?
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Old 03-14-2020, 09:04 AM
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In LA 1957 it was syndicated
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Old 03-14-2020, 11:40 AM
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"Komodo Dragon Expert" and "Slow Talkers of America" were favorite bits.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_pDbhaB9vM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyI6KjpNrh0
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Old 03-14-2020, 12:49 PM
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Anyone remember the Bob and Ray features in late 50’s - early 60’s “Mad” magazine?

http://fourcolorshadows.blogspot.com...cker-1957.html

Last edited by Labdad; 03-14-2020 at 12:50 PM.
  #17  
Old 03-14-2020, 01:44 PM
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No but I listened to Jean Shepherd on WOR in NYC in the late 60s and early 70s.
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Old 03-14-2020, 02:02 PM
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No but I listened to Jean Shepherd on WOR in NYC in the late 60s and early 70s.
My father was a Bob and Ray fan but I remember him listening to Jean Shepard more. Im too young to remember the shows themselves.
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Old 03-14-2020, 04:07 PM
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Bob and Ray weren't always syndicated. Their show at various times early on was carried by the NBC, CBS, Mutual networks and, near the end, National Public Radio. These network shows gave them a fairly decent national presence which lead to their popularity in syndication.
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Old 03-14-2020, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by digs View Post
My mom was a huge Bob & Ray fan, heard them a lot growing up.

She still is a fan... at 92, and has everything they've done, on many many many cassettes.
Cool.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crane View Post
Wally Ballou...
Liked the way he always started off "-ly Ballou, here", like those cut-off correspondent feeds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ukulele Ike View Post
Many slightly older people recommended Bob and Ray, including Kurt Vonnegut (who was much older).
Nifty appearance as commentators in the film Between Time and Timbuktu, which was adapted from some of Vonnegunt's works.

Mom turned me on to them.
Great i-view bit they did on Carson with Ray as a somewhat mercenary paper clip factory manager.
Pretty hot covering "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?" on SNL, just sitting there on stage in chairs, trading off lines, poker-faced as ever.
  #21  
Old 03-14-2020, 06:12 PM
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Not really, but my father was a fan.
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Old 03-15-2020, 08:21 AM
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Nifty appearance as commentators in the film Between Time and Timbuktu, which was adapted from some of Vonnegunt's works.
Here's their largest segment in that show.

Vonnegut was hesitant about the idea for the program but when they told him that Bob and Ray were going to be in it, he was all for it.

Love the "... time warp"/"Chrono-Synclastic Infundibulum" recurring bit. Note that Ray is the "Wally" here.
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Old 03-15-2020, 08:33 AM
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"Komodo Dragon Expert" and "Slow Talkers of America" were favorite bits.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_pDbhaB9vM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyI6KjpNrh0
I may or may not have played the Komodo Dragon routine quietly on my kindle at Disney's Animal Kingdom while we gawked at the dragon.

A former co-worker ha s a kid who did a presentation on komodo dragons in school. I played the routine for him, he loved it, played it for his kid, who used it in his presentation.😁

My father always listened to them in college - the late 40s and early 50s at Champaign -Urbana - but I had never heard of them before the SNL special they did. I wish they would release that on DVD.

Last edited by kitap; 03-15-2020 at 08:35 AM.
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Old 03-15-2020, 09:53 AM
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"I heard them a bit on Los Angeles radio."

"ETA: In the midwest. Chicago or maybe a Milwaukee AM station in the 60s."

"Another West Coast (ahem) fan from back in the day."
The first word of the OP was "East-coast"... I wonder if that was meant to be restrictive.

Hope not, this is fascinating. Bob & Ray, uniting the nation with absurdism!
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Old 03-15-2020, 10:12 AM
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I suppose Bob and Ray were around somewhere when I was growing up but I never listened to them (and when I heard their stuff later was not all that impressed).
Quote:
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No but I listened to Jean Shepherd on WOR in NYC in the late 60s and early 70s.
Same here. Great storytelling and even a bit of literary discussion. I recall an interesting take on Sinclair Lewis' "It Can't Happen Here". I had friends who were even more into it, to the point of scrawling "Flick Lives!" graffiti in the subway.
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Old 03-15-2020, 11:04 AM
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digs:
"The first word of the OP was "East-coast"... I wonder if that was meant to be restrictive.
Hope not, this is fascinating. Bob & Ray, uniting the nation with absurdism!"

My error--I didn't know their radio pgms were syndicated--at least, it appears that some were, some of the time--

In the 1970s-80s, I'd see B+R occasionally on the Tonight Show, where Johnny+Ed obviously had great respect for them. I thought they were clever, understated, subtle, but had no idea of their range until NPR broadcast their soap-operas in the 1990s. I also read that they'd appear sometimes on the Mutual Radio Network, and NBC Monitor, which were national broadcasts.
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Old 03-16-2020, 09:01 AM
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Particularly in their younger years, Ray does a pretty good singing falsetto.
I Wish I Was a Cow in Switzerland
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Old 03-22-2020, 06:08 PM
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Bob and Ray wrote commercials for Millbrook Bread. The commercial slogan "Bread Baked to Music" completely baffled me when I was seven.
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Old 03-22-2020, 07:12 PM
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Not really, but my father was a fan.
Ditto. "Slow Talkers of America" is my favorite bit.

And Chris Elliott (Late Night with David Letterman, Cabin Boy, Groundhog Day etc.) is Bob Elliott's son.
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Old 03-22-2020, 08:58 PM
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Bob and Ray wrote commercials for Millbrook Bread. The commercial slogan "Bread Baked to Music" completely baffled me when I was seven.
Dont forget the Piels Beer commercials.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHroxyoCwV4
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Old 03-23-2020, 07:08 AM
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I didn't even become aware of them until the late 80s, when a Jacksonville FL afternoon variety radio show would play a clip.
Landon Walker's Metro Rapid Transit Radio? I remember it well.

And I know I was aware of Bob and Ray from my youth (born 1954) tho I can't pinpoint when or where I first heard/saw them. Always enjoyed their stuff.
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Old 03-23-2020, 07:36 AM
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And Chris Elliott (Late Night with David Letterman, Cabin Boy, Groundhog Day etc.) is Bob Elliott's son.
And his daughter Abby Elliot is an actress/comedian who was on SNL for 4 years. (Her father was on it for only 1 season.) Another daughter Bridey is also in the family business.
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Old 03-23-2020, 12:02 PM
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And his daughter Abby Elliot is an actress/comedian who was on SNL for 4 years. (Her father was on it for only 1 season.) Another daughter Bridey is also in the family business.
Hmm - didn't know that! This might be of interest: https://variety.com/2012/tv/news/sat...-elliott-9185/
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