Monday, July 31, 2006

Rare Charles Whitman tower shooting video

In honor (?) of the 40th anniversary of Charles Whitman's shooting spree atop the clocktower at the University of Texas (August 1, 1966), I have decided to post this rare video footage and TV coverage of the crime. These videos were found in the trash at a TV station I used to work at.

Please read the extensive Wikipedia article on the man and the shootings... no use in me reposting the same stuff.

What I realized after watching this footage years ago is that I think this the first time such a "breaking news" type of event was carried live on television. Remote TV broadcasts in 1966 were certainly possible, but required a huge truck full of equipment, not to mention a lot of time and manpower to set the thing up. Remotes were dome for sporting events and other planned activities, but not for "breaking news" as is so common now.

The KLRN footage (below) was broadcast live throughout Austin.. the reason being the station was right next door to the tower. They apparently just pointed a studio camera out the window. I believe this would be the same studio used by the now-KLRU for the Austin City Limits program.

Although the live footage is actually rather dull by today's standards, the pieces from the local reporters are great examples of television journalism.

KLRN footage part 1 - first cut-in

KLRN footage part 2

KLRN footage part 3

NBC News - Huntley/Brinkley Report

KTBC - first part of News Special with Neal Spelce

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Big Bamboo: Dirty Calypso songs

The best Calypso records are local, low-fi productions straight from Jamaica, the Bahamas, Trinidad, or other Caribbean islands.

Talk about home made! Check out Lord Antics: this album cover is made from plain green paper, folded and held together with masking tape. Instead of cover slicks, the cover picture and track list are glued on. Not just the cover, but the vinyl itself is pretty crappy, like most of the original records from the legendary Dynamic Sounds studio in Kingston, JA.

Lord Antics actually plays in the country Mento style. Believe it or not, this record is from 1970... I had always figured if for 1960 or so! Included here are versions of several "dirty Calypso" classics:

Lord Antics & the Lyons Band: "Sixty Nine"
Lord Antics & the Lyons Band: "Big Bamboo"
Lord Antics & the Lyons Band: "Sell The Pussy"

And one of his own:
Lord Antics & the Lyons Band: "Fork She Garden"

Here's another, far more polished version by Lord Creator from Trinidad:
Lord Creator: "Big Bamboo"

...and another standard:
Lord Creator: "Bang Bang Lulu"

And finally, a version of "Sell The Pussy" by Junior Jennings And the Humble And the Meek from the Caymans:
Junior Jennings: "Sell the Pussy"

With the obvious entendre of "big bamboo", I've always thought it quite amusing that the Houston Astros' Minute Maid Park has a faux-tiki bar called "Larry's Big Bamboo". I hadn't realized that this bar was named after a cool-sounding joint in Florida, which burned down recently.