Sunday, February 1, 2009

Good Morning, Staff

Video technology was complex and confusing during my tour on staff at the School of Music during the early '80s. 

In the recording studio was a television camera the size of a PT boat. Riveted to bulkheads in offices and advanced course classrooms were bulky monitors. 

The ostensible purpose of these new tools was educational. Perhaps concert band rehearsals might be taped so student conductors could critique themselves (as if they weren't getting enough criticism from E-8s with clipboards). Maybe classes would be broadcast throughout the command so the entire staff could watch with glee as Master Chief Thumpston vigorously reamed out a student over the felonious approach to the 7th of a chord by leap from above. 

The possibilities of this new system were endless. In other words, nobody knew what to do with it.  

Enter Frank Mullen.

For the better part of a year, I hosted "Do You Care?", a weekly, ten-minute current events program, broadcast on closed-circuit WSOM, "The Armed Forces School of Music's Voice of Truth and Morale."

My co-host, Sandy Megas, (USMC), and I spent the first days of each week writing, lining up guests and rehearsing. Preparation was crucial because, on Thursday afternoons, Trish Angus (USA) filmed the program in one continuous, ten-minute take. "Do You Care?" was broadcast on Friday mornings at 0805 for the edification of the staff and advanced course students. 

Sadly, after I transferred out, the training staff discovered a worthwhile use for the equipment and the tapes were erased and reused. 

While the video is gone, an audio recording of the opening theme, "Good Morning, Staff," exists. I offer it here for your listening pleasure.

Consider this my contribution to Truth and Morale.  


Anonymous said...

What instrument is playing the accompaniment? Sounds like a caliope. An RMI piano?

Frank Mullen III said...

That's a Fender Rhodes. By the early 80s, Fleet Support had taken those RMIs and stuck them where the sun don't shine.

Anonymous said...

I remember the RMIs well. Wherever they are, I'm sure you could fire one up and it would still produce that tinny harpsichord sound that we all despised back in the day.

Nice post Frank, "Do You Care?" was the highlight of Friday mornings when I was in the ADV crs in '82.


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