Today's tape was intriguing enough when I heard the first six minutes of it. When I heard the remainder of the tape (which also indicated what that six minutes had been recorded over, I was even more fascinated.
Recorded over the initial third of the tape, at 15 IPS (the speed often used at recording studios), in whole track mono, after some initial setting up sounds, were versions of two Rockabilly classics, the first being "Heartless Woman" (most often associated with Terry Noland) and the second being "The Fool" (Sanford Clark's huge hit from 1956). There is no indication anywhere on the tape or box as to who is performing on these tracks, or even that they exist on the tape.
Well, as soon as these recordings end, the rest of what they were erasing shows up, at 7 1/2 IPS and again in whole track mono. And it is just as fascinating as that Rockabilly session, and yet couldn't be more different than it. What remains are three full episodes (and a fragment of a fourth) of a show hosted by Edwin Randall, short radio shows he hosted for The American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker organization, and on which he was joined by Harry P. Cain.
A quick internet search - and I don't for a moment claim to be an expert on any of this - shows that Harry P. Cain was a senator from Washington, and that he served in that position just long enough to develop strong ties to Joseph McCarthy, and join him in the legendary crusade against Communists. This has tended to paint him with the same brush with which history has painted McCarthy. However, once relieved of his seat in Congress, Cain was appointed to the Subversive Activities Control Board, where he began to question some of decisions being made in the name of protecting the nation from Communists, particularly in the area of violations of civil liberties. After making a point of raising these concerns in a variety of ways, he alienated those with whom he had previously worked, including President Eisenhower, and he resigned from the Control Board.
It would appear that these radio shows date from near the end of Cain's time on the Subversive Activities Control Board. They mention his three years on the Board, a time frame he never actually reached - he resigned after 2 1/2 years! The interviews are primarily focused on his concerns about civil liberties, and he brings up several examples of questionable use of Government power, as well as how difficult it was for the little guy to fight back. With one of ideals of The American Friends Service Committee being social justice, a radio show produced by that organization would have been a good fit for Cain to express his views, as they were near the end of his tenure on the Control Board.
(The very last bit is a very brief fragment of yet another show hosted by Edwin Randell, which itself was mostly erased by the show featuring Harry P. Cain. It was on the tape, so I included it.)
4.) Edwin Randall and Harry P Cain (For the American Friends Service Committee) - Fragment and Full Episode 1 (MP3) | 5.) Edwin Randall and Harry P Cain (For the American Friends Service Committee) - Full Episode 2 (MP3) | 6.) Edwin Randall and Harry P Cain (For the American Friends Service Committee) - Full Episode 3 (MP3) | 7.) Edwin Randall and Bill Hoisel - Fragment (MP3) | Tape (JPG)