On Facebook, my brother Alan just posted a YouTube of violinist Stephane Grappelli and guitarist Diz Disley with the comment, “Maybe the ultimate Sunday ‘morning’ music for me.” This sent me on a quest yesterday.
One evening in 1979, on or after April Fool’s Day, I tuned in KWGS on my “new” 1969 Sony ST-80F AM/FM stereo tuner and happened onto some great acoustic jazz.
I fired up my reel-to-reel tape deck to capture it.
It turned out to be Grappelli and Disley, plus David Grisman doing the music he wrote for “King of the Gypsies” (1978) with Grappelli and Tony Rice. All but Grappelli were unknown to me at the time.
By June 2, 1984, I had transferred what I had recorded to cassette, editing out the between-song patter.
After seeing my bro’s Facebook post, I listened to my tape again and wondered if that radio show might be available anywhere. No luck commercially, then I found this blog post:
An entire show was there for download, archived as two .rar files. The description sounded like what I taped:
This is a real nice recording with David Grisman and Tony Rice on the last five tracks.
Stephane Grappelli Group
Great American Music Hall
San Francisco, CA
Soundboard > NPR radio
John Etheridge – guitar
Brian Toff – bass
Diz Disley – guitar
Stephane Grappelli – violin
Comparing it with my partial recording, the songs, arrangements, and ambience are the same, but the solos are different. Amazing to find an entire show from the same tour.
(By the way, according to Gary Chew, then Station Manager, KWGS’ first broadcast programming from NPR was in early December 1977.)
I used free 7-Zip to extract the 320 kbps .mp3 files from the .rar files.
I retitled each .mp3 with the song name. With free Mp3tag, I gave all the tracks the same Album Artist and Album name (these are key tags for Plex). I added track number tags and brief comments about content.
Now I can stream it to browser, smartphone, Roku or the Raspberry Pi.
Maybe my frequent playing of the tape in 1979 stuck in my brother’s mind, the sound having seeped through his bedroom wall. I like the result of this 38-year boomerang.