I have been a radio buff as long as I can remember. Longer, actually; According to my mother, there was a table Philco in the delivery room of the California Lutheran Hospital—dragged along by the nurse who hated to miss "Young Doctor Malone." I was born on August 7, between a Rinso commercial and the NBC chimes, which makes me a Leo, with Lever Bros, as my rising sign.
As a child I devoured radio programs, like Orson Welles going through French Pastries. Years before I became a Capitol recording artist, I knew 1 wanted to write and perform in this fantastic world of sound. I started working as a Network radio actor at the age of sixteen, and was eventually given my own show on the CBS Radio Network in 1957. Among other things, it featured such sounds as "John L. Lewis' eyebrows, getting a crewcut for the summer," and "a life-size latex rubber Liberace being deflated, in stereo."
Years later an album I created for the Radio Industry contained a demonstration of just how large a mental picture you could create on radio, which couldn't possibly be done on television, it involved Lake Michigan, a ten-ton Maraschino Cherry, and the Royal Canadian Air Force. I include it on this record to test your new hi-fi system with.
At any rate, with that history behind me, it was natural I should end up using the audio medium to sell a visual product like paint. My client Pittsburgh Paints, was somewhat surprised at first to learn that I planned to demonstrate their various shades if color like Mandarin Orange on radio. They weren't as surprised as Capitol Records though, who soon found out that the way I meant to achieve such a sound was by painting their microphones Mandarin Orange.
A lawsuit seemed imminent. They claimed that although it was a superb paint job, I had gorked up three Telefunken Mikes beyond repair. They changed their tune the following week however, when a new acid-rock group demanded that they be allowed to record on "those far-out orange mikes!" Their previously semi-understandable music now became TOTAL gibberish-reaching a new plateau of distortion hithertofor undreamed of, even by Mick Jagger, and that's how Grand Funk Railroad was born!
Be that as it may, I have had a lot of fun recording some new Pittsburgh Paints commercials on this record, in addition to some you may have already heard on the air, and I hope you enjoy them. Make a stab at it at least. I offend easily.
STAN FREBERG/Beverly Hills, California