Make horrid scars and gashes.


US Air Force "Promotional Radio Spots" (Century Records, 1979)

Here's a 7" that I've had since I was 10 years old. There were about 4 of these things on different colors of transparent vinyl at the local Salvation Army, and though the label was blank they seemed to have a whole bunch of tracks banded out on them. What great songs could be on those grooves? Such a mystery! Since they were only a dime apiece I bought the full set figuring on the coolest score of my life, but when I got home it turned out that each one was the same exact thing: a promotional single of radio spots for the Air Force.

Not that I was complaining really; right away I was intrigued to find the same basic jingle done up in multiple musical styles (Rock! Country! Disco!) for what I assumed to be different markets. Following the jingles were these lame little skits (a guy calls "Space Age Computer Systems" for a job interview & is laughed at, a cartoon-voiced extra terrestrial named "Kobak from the planet Zircon" laments the fact that as an alien he can't enlist), which mostly confused me -- this stuff makes people sign up for the Air Force? Then the bizarro closer: Lorne Greene appears as Commander Adama from Battlestar Galactica and compares the futuristic technical advances found on his TV show spaceship with those available to you RIGHT NOW on Earth as a member of the US Air Force. Huh? At age ten I already sorta suspected that I was too old for Battlestar Galactica -- who the hell were these ads written for?

Still I've been well served by my 40 cent purchase I guess; over the last 27 years I've used those singles as filler on comp tapes, last-minute gag gifts, decorations to hang up on my walls, and things-to-shoot-at-with-a-BB-gun. How one copy managed to survive all this I don't know, but since it did I assume that it was just waiting for a chance to jingle its way into your heart.

UPDATE: There's a great thread here about Century Records, focusing primarily on its relation to the '60's garage rock world. Check it out.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is great, weird stuff! Commander Adama for the Air Force? Who knew?

Loved the disco jingle too -- welcome to the '70's!

2/17/2006 12:45 PM


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