Nostalgic Rumblings
The Ramblings of an Old Man

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My Comments to the FCC Regarding the Removal of Net Neutrality Rules

Filed under: General, News — Charlie Summers @ 7:11 pm

Submitted to the FCC in reference to Proceeding 17-108; specifically referencing comments by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai saying that what matters is the quality, not the quantity of the comments, preferring a single well-argued legal brief over potentially millions of common citizens demanding of the FCC basic protections:

I realize you are on-record preferring a well-crafted legal brief, but I am not a lawyer. I am just one of the citizens whose rights you are sworn to protect. Just some guy who doesn’t want to see my connection to ANY server, using ANY protocol, throttled because I am not using one of the paid services of my Internet provider - which, of course, in the vast majority of the country has no competition in the marketplace. Someone who depends on the FCC to by rule-making govern the public trusts under your control to the benefit of all citizens, not just a few corporations.

The idea that the governed would even need to argue for simple fairness in packet-sharing, something so basic to the proper functioning of the Internet, is astounding to me. Why Net Neutrality would be something to abolish makes no sense to any rational person with any understanding of the basics of how the Internet works.

And that the United States, the country who INVENTED the connection protocols that allow computers all over the world to be interconnected into this thing we call the Internet would even consider placing the whim of the few corporations controlling access over the desperate need of all of its citizens is truly an embarrassment to us all.

But then, I am not a lawyer, and this is not a well-crafted legal brief, so I assume it is your intention to completely ignore my comments. After all, why would I matter? I’m just a guy who is part of the public in public trust.

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The Poet Laureate of Radio with its Finest Interviewer

Filed under: Radio Today, Bob Edwards Archives — Charlie Summers @ 8:55 pm

Back in 2005, I took advantage of my contacts at the Bob Edwards Show staff to pitch an interview that I wanted to hear; Norman Corwin. Now understand, I have a pretty firm rule: if I can’t facilitate the connection, I don’t make the pitch. Saying, “You should interview So-and-So” is pretty useless if you can’t provide contact information for So-and-So, you know?

But in this case I had some connections (I had previously met Mr. Corwin, whose autographed photo you see here is one of my most prized possessions, worked on the committee of the Friends of Old-Time Radio Convention, and ran the largest gathering of OTR fans, the Internet OTR Digest), so I made the pitch to producer Andy Danyo, providing contact info, some recordings (including my favorite Corwin production, “My Client Curley”), and some suggestions; she and Bob decided to do the interview, and the result is what you will now hear, originally airing July 26th, 2005.

From the introduction:

This medium of radio was built on the backs of hundreds of pioneers who made it a popular source of entertainment and information. Some of them labored to keep a bit of radio on the high road, appealing to the better instincts of listeners rather than trying to score a vast audience by appealing to the lowest common denominator. Today you’ll hear from one of those. Norman Corwin wrote, produced and directed some of radio’s finest moments in the pre-television era. Corwin addressed American values through stirring dramas, but also entertained with a clever sense of whimsy.

With the events of the last week or two, I’ve been thinking of Corwin a lot, particularly his On a Note of Triumph; written to celebrate what was then believed to be the final and absolute defeat of the despicable Nazi Regime - who then could have imagined Charlottesville? I’ll be running that production on the tiny Old-Time Radio show I host with my daughter Kate, SummersTime the first week of September on Radio Once More.

A few personal notes: This program was the first time I heard Bob speak my name…surprising and thrilling, I have to tell you. Also, Andy doesn’t know this, but she made me weep the first time I heard this…one of the “drops” she used from On a Note of Triumph, beginning, “I’m a private first class in the army of one of the United Nations…if you don’t mind, there’s some things I’d like to ask,” was a friend of mine, an actor named Harry Bartell, who much later wrote a series of articles for the Internet OTR Digest called Struts and Frets — I urge you to read them, they are fascinating. Anyway, he had been gone a bit over a year at that point, and hearing his voice unexpectedly come out of my satellite radio induced tears of loss and remembrance.

icon for podpress  The Bob Edwards Show Script for Tuesday July 26th, 2005: Download

icon for podpress  The Bob Edwards Show for Tuesday July 26th, 2005 [59:10m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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Music City Mondays - WSM, Air Castle of the South

Filed under: Old-Time Radio, Radio Today, Bob Edwards Archives — Charlie Summers @ 4:38 pm

In 2010, The Bob Edwards Show instituted a short series they called Music City Mondays; programs recorded in Nashville, TN devoted to country music. Most of you know I am not a huge fan of the genre; the sound of a pedal steel guitar is to me what fingernails on a chalkboard is to you. And yet, oddly, country music singers tend to be some of my favorite interviews…sitting the possibly-bogus twang aside, they do tend to be awesome storytellers.

But this show has less to do with country music than it does with radio history, so naturally I’m immediately sucked in. Bob’s introduction:

Today we’re telling the story of one of the country’s great radio stations. WSM in Nashville went on the air 85 years ago and started a program called the WSM Barn Dance that ultimately became the Grand Ole Opry—the longest-running radio program in history. WSM is The Legend—the Air Castle of the South—a fifty thousand watt powerhouse—and the only clear channel station in the eastern United States that is still playing music. It’s reach is so great that it’s one of those stations the federal government would use in a national emergency. And yet its Opryland studios were flooded this year, forcing the staff to work from the site of the station’s distinctive broadcast tower.

That’s where we went to bring you today’s program.

The show begins with Craig Havighurst, author of Air Castle of the South: WSM and the
Making of Music Citv,
and then a tour of the transmitter facility itself with, among others, Chief engineer Jason Cooper.

As I have before, I’ve combined the CD copy of this program from the archives with the original recording I made from the on-line stream so you can have better audio quality and the original promos as aired at 9:00am EST December 6th, 2010. For more on the trip, and a photo slideshow, check out this post at

I hope you enjoy this look at one of the biggest radio stations in the country, produced by Chad Campbell. Oh, I am pleased to report Mr. Campbell survived his close encounter with the killer transmitter…

icon for podpress  The Bob Edwards Show Script for Monday December 6th, 2010: Download

icon for podpress  The Bob Edwards Show for Monday December 6th, 2010 [59:30m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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