Wijnand's Wonderful Memorabilia
Page 3

Godfrey Morrow warns of problems with the pre-recorded, sponsored 'Corona Calling' programme.

Corona was a soft drinks company that offered weekly household deliveries of bottles of fizzy pop. In the days when the 'Coke' and 'Pepsi' brands were virtually unheard of, kids would get excited when the Corona lorry came around, bearing cratefuls of such exotic varieties as 'dandelion and burdock', 'ginger beer' and 'ice cream soda'.

This script (which has clearly suffered from being trampled underfoot) comes from a series of interviews entitled 'Famous American Stars' which were issued to radio stations by Garrison System of Beverly Hills, as promotional tools. On this occasion, it's a promotion for the film 'Flight of the Phoenix' starring James Stewart. The interviewee is one of his co-stars, Dan Duryea, who played the part of Standish.

We imagine this is a similar arrangement to film promotions we used to receive in the Sixties at hospital radio stations. The script would accompany a reel-to-reel tape of an interview with one of the stars, containing only the star's response to the questions. The original interviewer's voice would have been edited out, with gaps left for an appropriate person at the receiving station to take on this role. In other words, the station could make it sound as if one of their own DJs had conducted the interview.

If the chosen 'interviewer' was sufficiently confident, he or she could run the promo tape live and simply insert the scripted questions into the gaps – i.e. conduct a conversation with the tape. If not, the interviewer could edit together a recording of him or herself 'talking to' the actor.

Whether or not Radio London ever used this script in the manner intended, or indeed at all, is unknown. Kenny Everett would have been perfect for the job as he was constantly conducting conversations with recordings of himself and became expert at doing so. However, Kenny would have been unlikely to have stuck to any script!

What is known is that in the first weeks of 1966, Big L promoted 'Flight of the Phoenix' with a 'Guess the Mystery Voice' competition. The mystery voice in question was James Stewart's and the prizewinners were invited to attend the film's London premiere (January 66) in the company of Paul Kaye.

Brian Long in 'The London Sound' records that at the premiere Kaye interviewed stars Stewart, Hardy Kruger and Ernest Borgnine for later broadcast on Big L.

(Click on script pages to see legible version)

Close-ups of a couple of tape boxes. For those unfamiliar with cartridge machines, the adverts were supplied by the agencies on reel-to-reel tapes. From these, they were recorded on to carts (bottom of righthand picture) which slotted into the cart machine and could be cued-up and played at the toucb of a button. Carts were also used to play jingles and sometimes new releases were supplied on tape and would be played from a cart. In rough weather, carts resolved the problem of the stylus skipping and jumping over the records.

Live-read script from Lintas advertising agency for Macfisheries poultry.

As the name indicates, MacFisheries was established in Scotland around the turn of the 20th century and the advert reveals that, by the 1960s, the shops were selling more than just fish. MacFisheries was a high street chain of retailers and in the days before supermarkets, most UK towns had a Mac store selling meat, eggs, fish and vegetables. As supermarkets increasingly took hold of the public purse, the MacFisheries type of retailer could not compete and the number of shops declined. The brand name is currently owned by Young's Seafoods.

Should anyone wish to peruse the riveting document 'MacFisheries Ltd., E.C.3., N. MacKay. Home Market for Herrings. - Evidence.' it is available from the National Archives.

All photos and memorabilia courtesy of Wijnand Brak

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