Here's a fascinating little piece of recording tape. It is a recording made by a man coming to the end of his service in Vietnam, to his sweetheart in America. I've dated it as 1968, which is the earliest date possible, but it could be from a bit later.
I initially copied this into my computer as "Letter from a Soldier", but since his only reference to his actual service is to the Navy, I've referred to the speaker as a Sailor.
Much of the tape consists of expressing potential plans for the future, words of love to his darling, praise and inspirational thoughts for her, and these are the things that I think make this tape such a find, and such a fascinating (and sweet) listen.
But it actually seems to start mid thought, regarding his upcoming honorable discharge. While it sounds like perhaps the beginning of the tape has been lost, that doesn't appear to be the case, as the material you hear here actually begins about two minutes into the start of the tape. He mentions having contracted something called "Vericolor" (anyone know what this is???), and that this is leading to his discharge. He then mentions his plan to attend college in Colorado.
Then, about three minutes into this 16 minute tape, he turns his attention to his girl, their relationship, and their future. Aside from a few comments, I'll let you discover the charms and surprises of this tape yourself, but I did get a kick out of how the language he uses, flowery at times, slang-filled at others, just screams out "Late 1960's".
And that's clearly the case. He mentions having recently seen the film "Charly", which was released in 1968, and briefly sings a bit of "Dedicated to the One I Love", in a style closer to the 1967 version by the Mamas and Papas, than to the Shirelles original. Oddly, he does mention having just heard the 1965 hit "Eve of Destruction" for what seems to have been the first time, and I can't quite reconcile that with the rest of the dating here, but "Charly" clearly places this at 1968 or later.
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