2007   APRIL 2   #092

Rege Cordic & Mr. Sargent - Sounds of Ground Breaking

Rege Cordic & Mr. Sargent - Sounds of Ground Breaking (3:43)

Where do I begin on this one? It's a spoken word advertisment made on behalf of the Mellon Bank to promote a new branch 'in your town'. It's also a stereo hi-fi type monologue, comes in a great gatefold sleeve and this particular copy came with a unique metal dink in it's centre that I've never seen the likes of again.

Rege Cordic was THE morning show radio host to listen to in Pittsburgh in the 50's and 60's with his Cordic & Company show. His shows were clearly worked out theatre for the local community with characters being created by Cordic and his team six days a week. His comedy routines were recorded in advance and he worked alone in the studio most mornings, manipulating three turntables, tape decks and the control board. Through images and sound effects, Cordic created the illusion of a theater with a studio audience and the station regularly received ticket requests. He left Pittsburgh for Hollywood in the mid sixties after an LA radio station made him an offer he couldn't refuse but his show was out of it's depth and up against fierce competition. He was using the move to get a foothold into film though and appeared on The Monkees and in Woody Allen's 'Sleeper'. Also he was a natural for voiceover work, doing work for Disney and Hanna Barbara. He also made children's records for RCA and his initially fictional 'Olde Frothingslosh' brew became a real product each holiday season with Cordic fronting the ad campaigns.

The A side is part mockumentary and part sales pitch reminiscent of the Hellers' 'Creative Freakout' with it's tongue planted firmly in cheek. The pitch is this: The Mellon Bank is coming to your town and using diggers to open up the ground for the foundations, Rege and co. are here recording the whole event for posterity whilst marvelling at the stereophonic recordings of the community. This leads to as much talk of the Mellon Bank's ground breaking ideas as cracking of concrete and ends up with Mr. Sargent digging all the way through to China!

The B side (not included here) consists of two more Mellon Bank ads sandwiched between some knowing dialogue bigging up Sargent and his 'legion of followers' who would trek miles to hear him recite famous sales pitches. It's never clear who Mr. Sargent is although he is credited as 'of the Mellon Bank' on the sleeve notes, he was probably another of Cordic's character creations.

The whole thing is housed in a great gatefold sleeve complete with pictures of Rege and digger and Mellon Bank signs, if this thing wasn't for real then they certainly went the whole hog to try and convince people it was. The liner notes mention two previous releases; 'Pakistan Train Callers At Rush Hour' and 'Victoria Falls By Night' and even mentions an impending 4th release. Now, I'm pretty sure they're a gag but if anyone DOES have these releases then please step forward. The final jewel in the crown is the metal dink snapped into the centre hole with the legend 'SNAP-IT Kay Music Co. N.Y.- N.Y.' debossed into it.

Finally, and whilst not wanting to spam anyone, a new mix CD by myself (DJ Food) and DK entitled 'Now, Listen Again' is out today on Ninja Tune and, by a happy coincidence, has parts of this wonderful record peppered throughout..

- Contributed by: Strictly Kev

Images: Label, Front/Back Cover, Inside Cover

Media: 7" single
Label: Cordic
Catalog: M8OW-5936