Ken Nordine needs no introduction. But he was probably less well known in the spring of 1957, when he was asked to speak at the opening of the new Allied High Fidelity "Voice and Vision" Store, on the corner of Rush and Walton Streets, in Chicago.
What I was lucky enough to find, during one of my reel to reel thrift and rummage sale buying sprees, many years ago, is what I believe to be a recording made during preparations for that appearance.
And what a peculiar and fascinating rehearsal this is. After he supplies a bit of playful commentary on the echo effect which occurs while the sound system is being set up, Nordine then gives a nine minute long speech - likely a version of what he was going to say at the gala opening, and completely unrelated to the business at hand of opening a store for audiophiles.
I have not heard all of Nordine's recordings, so I don't know how much of this speech may contain elements of things he later released, except for this: near the end, he makes mention of his "Word Jazz" (which hadn't premiered on album yet), then throws in a version of his piece "Flibberty Jib", which is significantly different - shorter and simpler - than the version that would be released on album, later that year.
After trying out his speech, he then gives two short performances, both of them poems by Dylan Thomas, the second of which is followed by a smattering of applause from whichever staff happened to be there at the time.
I'm guessing this material has never been released, and that few have even heard it, since the day it was recorded.
2.) Ken Nordine - 2 - Speech (MP3)
3.) Ken Nordine - 3 - In My Craft Or Sullen Art (MP3)
4.) Ken Nordine - 4 - Fern Hill (MP3)
6.) Norman Ross - 2 - Lisa Kirk Interview (MP3)
7.) Norman Ross - 3 - Josephine Premice and Eddie Heywood Interview (MP3)
8.) Norman Ross - 4 - Gale Robbins Interview (MP3)
9.) Norman Ross - 5 - Dr. Von Schultz Interview (MP3)