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May 22, 2007


Louis Harrison

The album 'If the bomb falls' is also included in the Bear Family box set 'Atomic platters: Cold war music from the golden age of homeland security.'


Don't apologize for the quality of the recording. It ads to the realism of having to play the record without any power, as all above ground has been reduced to fused glass and super-evolving chimpanzees.
The record will be spun - sans needle - by lord of the flies type kids in a vain attempt to contact Captain Walker, anyway.

Jed Distler

Geez! I distinctly remember browsing through the rather paltry LP pickings in a Woodland Hills CA five and ten store in December 1968, and seeing quite a few sealed copies of this disc selling for 69 cents! Too bad I didn't pick one up, but I'm curious to hear it now, after 37 years!

Bohm Shelder

Be sure and remember what Bert the Turtle just did friends, because every one of us must remember to do the same thing. That's what this film is all about. Duck and cover. This is an official civil defense film produced in co-operation with the federal civil defense administration and in consultation with the safety commission of the national education association. Produced by Archer Productions incorporated. Hey Bert, come on out and meet all these nice people, please. Oh all right, we really can't blame you. You see, Bert is a very very careful fellow. When there's danger this is the way he keeps from being hurt. Sometimes it even saves his life. That's why these children are practicing to duck and cover just as you do in your school. We all know the atomic bomb is very dangerous. Since it may be used against us we must get ready for it, just as we are ready for many other dangers that are around us all the time. Fire is a danger. It can burn whole buildings if someone is careless. But we are ready for fire. We have a fine fire department to put out the fire, and you have fire drills in your school so you know what to do. Automobiles can be dangerous too. They sometimes cause bad accidents. But we are ready, we have safety rules that car drivers and people who are walking must obey. Now we must be ready for a new danger, the atomic bomb. First you have to know what happens when an atomic bomb explodes. You will know when it comes. We hope it never comes but we must get ready. It looks something like this. There is a bright flash, brighter than the sun, brighter than anything you have ever seen. If you are not ready and did not know what to do it could hurt you in different ways. It could knock you down hard, or throw you against a tree or a wall. It is such a big explosion it can smash in buildings and knock signboards over and break windows all over town, but if you duck and cover, like Bert, you will be much safer. You know how bad sunburn can feel. The atomic bomb flash could burn you worse than a terrible sunburn, especially where you're not covered. Now you and I don't have shells to crawl into like Bert the turtle, so we have to cover up in our own way. First you duck, and then you cover, and very tightly you cover the back of your neck and your face. Duck and cover underneath a table or desk or anything else close by. In Betty's school they are talking about the atomic bomb too. Betty is asking her teacher “how can we tell when the atomic bomb may explode?” and her teacher is explaining that there are two kinds of attack: with warning, and without any warning. We think that most of the time we will be warned before the bomb explodes, so there will be time for us to get into our homes, schools, or some other safe place. Our civil defense workers and our men in uniform will do everything they can to warn us before enemy planes can bring a bomb near us. You may be in your schoolyard playing when the signal comes. That signal means to stop whatever you are doing and get to the nearest safe place fast. Always remember, the flash of an atomic bomb can come at any time, no matter where you may be. You might be out playing at home when the warning comes- then be sure to get into the house fast, where your parents have fixed a safe place for you to go. If you are not close to home when you hear the warning, go to the nearest safe cover. Know where you are to go, or ask an older person to help you. You know the places marked with the S Sign? They're safe places to go when you hear the alarm. If there is a warning you'll hear it before the bomb explodes, but sometimes, and this is very very important, sometimes the bomb might explode without any warning. Then the first thing we would know about it would be the flash, and that means duck and cover fast, wherever you are. There's no time to look around or wait. Be like Bert- when there is a flash, duck and cover, and do it fast. Here are some older boys showing what to do if the flash comes when you are not in the classroom. This is what you should do if you should be in a corridor. You duck and cover tight against the wall this way. Remember to keep your face and the back of your neck covered tightly. Try to fall away from windows, or doors with glass in them, then if the glass breaks and flies through the air, it won't cut you. You might be eating your lunch when the flash comes. Duck and cover under the table, then if the explosion makes anything in the room fall down it can't fall on you. Getting ready means we will all have to be able to take care of ourselves. The bomb might explode when there are no grown-ups near. Paul and Patty know this, and they are always ready to take care of themselves. Here they are on their way to school on a beautiful spring day. But no matter where they go or what they do, they always try to remember what to do if the atom bomb explodes right then. It's a bomb, duck and cover. Paul and Patty know what to do. Paul covered the back of his head so that he wouldn't be burned, and Patty covered herself with a coat she was carrying. They knew how to duck and cover. They acted right away when the flash came. If they had been at this doorway when the bomb flashed, Paul and Patty would have ducked and covered this way, like this girl. Heavy doorways are a good place to duck and cover. She will be safer too. Here's Tony going to his Cub Scout meeting. Tony knows the bomb can explode any time of the year, day or night, he is ready for it. Duck and cover. That a boy Tony, that flash means act fast. Tony knows that it helps to get to any kind of cover. This wall was close by so that's where he ducked and covered. Tony knew what to do. Notice how he keeps from moving or from getting up and running. He stays down until he is sure the danger is over. The man helping Tony is a civil defense worker. His job is to help protect us when there is danger of the atomic bomb. We must obey the civil defense worker. We must know how to duck and cover in the school bus, or in any other bus or street car. Duck and cover, don't wait. Duck away from the windows fast. The glass may break and fly through the air and cut you. Sundays, holidays, vacation time, we must be ready every day, all the time, to do the right thing if the atomic bomb explodes. Duck and cover. This family knows what to do, just as your own family should. They know that even a thin cloth helps protect them. Even a newspaper can save you from a bad burn. But the most important thing of all is to duck and cover yourself, especially where your clothes do not cover you. No matter where we live, in the city or the country, we must be ready all the time for the atomic bomb. Duck and cover. That's the first thing to do. Duck and cover. The next important thing to do after that is to stay covered until the danger is over. Yes we must all get ready now, so we know how to save ourselves if the atomic bomb ever explodes near us. If you do not know just what to do, ask your teacher when this film is over. Discuss what you could do in different places if a bomb explodes. Older people will help us as they always do. But there might not be any grown-ups around when the bomb explodes. Then you're on your own.


Disc 5 of the Atomic Platters box set contains "If The Bomb Falls":


I actually own this record. Strangely I have yet to listen to it due to technical difficulties. Nice to see it online for all to hear.


You can listen to these records online here: (What To Do In Case Of A Nuclear Attack) (Supplies Needed For Survival)


Actually, it's not at all unusual for Tops to be releasing this record. It's right down their alley. At the time, Tops was a subsidiary of PRI . . . Precision Radiation Instruments, a company founded to sell cheap and mostly useless Geiger counters through discount stores. See here: for the whole story, including a mention of your Bomb album, which came out in 1961.

And what you're getting there sound-quality-wise is not unusual for Tops vinyl, which was wildly hit-and-miss. It might help to try it with a 78 needle, or to send it through a pro record-cleaning machine a few times. Or it might not. I recently bought a sealed children's LP on Tinkerbell Records (an SPC/Peter Pan subsidiary) that looked flawless, but sounded exactly like someone had scrubbed it with a brillo pad. The vinyl must have had sand or something added to it. That's a budget label for you.

(BTW, sorry, Otis, that I haven't been participating like I hoped. It's turning out to be a hectic year.)

Duncan Walls

I remember buying this VERY cheap in the late 1960s,,,I was a fan of pre- and post-apocalyptic scirnce fiction and I do believe I had seen the BBC documentary 'War Games' by the time I found this record. Strange, but I do remember almost yearning for Armageddon...probably from reading Revelations from the Bible too often in my search for MORE escahtological piffle. I used to play this as a DJ during my first stint at college (1969-1971)on WMUH/Muhlenberg College's AM station in Allentown, PA, mixed in with some of the Pink Floyd and Byrds sets. I remember doing one set sequeing from "This Wheel's On Fire" by the Byrds, which ends with the air raid siren and explosion to Lovin' Spoonful's "War Games" to side two of this record, cued up to the air raid siren 3/4 through the side into "The Real Thing" by Russel Morris which also ends with an explosion. Honest. I did this kind of shit regularly and would get scolded by Ralph Johnson the Station Manager for being too weird. i guess I was a little ahead of my time. Cool to hear Bear Family re-issued this record. Cool to see the cover again after so many years.


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I have have DVD quality recording of this which. No vinyl pops at all. Great for DJ sampling. Contact me at halloweenhouseparty AT hotmail


I have have DVD quality recording of this which. No vinyl pops at all. Great for DJ sampling. Contact me at halloweenhouseparty AT hotmail


Sorry for the multiple comments. I'm new here. I have a DVD quality recording of this. No vinyl pops at all. Great for DJ sampling. Contact me at halloweenhouseparty AT hotmail DOT com

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