Harlan Ellison

This is Jackie Spinning

HI, Y’ALL, THIS IS Jackie spinning. That’s right, it’s 7:00, Eastern Standard Time, and this is Jackie Whalen spinning the hot ones, the cool ones, the bop and the rock ones, and all for you, just you, little old you. And tonight’s show is a real joy-popper! Be sure to stick right by that radio, kids, because as our special guest tonight Jackie has got the lovely, luscious Kristene Long, singing star of Sapphire Records, as his guest. We’ll be playing Kris’s new smash “Mocking Love” as well as her hit parade topper, “Shagtown Is My Town,” a little later; and we’ll be talking to that living doll Miss Long, as well. But right now — right now — let’s hear a little of Ricky Nelson’s new one.

(Fade music up)

(Jackie Whalen, a short man with a great deal of curly hair tumbling onto his forehead, almost to the eyebrow line, cues the next record and stands up behind the consoles. He stretches out of his severely Ivy League sports jacket and hangs it on the back of his chair. He unbuttons the cuffs of his piqué button-down shirt, and scratching a wrist, rolls the sleeves up to the biceps. He pulls down the small four-in-hand knot of his conservative challis tie and unbuttons the collar of the shirt. Then, pouring a glass of water from the carafe at his left, he takes two small pink pills from the neat pile on the edge of the right-hand turntable, and tosses them off, with the water in close pursuit. His dark, angry eyes track across the control room and light on the sheer nylon-encased legs of the tall blonde sitting expectantly in the metal chair near the control booth’s big picture window. He smiles at her legs, and the smile travels up carefully, slowly, till it reaches her blue eyes, where the smile has magically been transformed into a leer. She smiles back insinuatingly. “Later, baby,” he tells her, licking his lips. She moves languidly in the chair, revealing a knee. Jackie Whalen reluctantly looks away from her, to the record that is almost ending. He sits down and flips a toggle switch.)

(Music up and out)

Well, that was Ricky’s new one, and there’s no doubt about it being number seventeen on your Top Sixty list this week. And speaking of the Top Sixty, all you tough teens, when you want a record to while away those hours, make sure you do your shopping at The Spindle, 6720 Seventeenth Street. All the boys out there, especially Bernie Glass the manager, they’ll take good care of you. Just tell ’em Jackie sent you, and you can expect that big Jackie Whalen discount.

But right now here’s one that your “disc Jackie” thinks will be in number-one spot real soon. In fact, if I can make a prediction, this will be number one. It’s that new star, the voice of Rod Conlan, singing and swinging his smash hit … “I Shouldn’t Have Loved You So Much!”

(Fade music up)

(He cues the next record and turns to stare at the girl again. She grins at him and says, “Have you told your wife about us yet?” His face darkens momentarily as honest emotion shows through; then the façade of sleek, well-fed humor moves back into place and he replies, “Don’t worry about it, baby. When the time comes, she’ll find out.” The girl stands up, smoothing the tweed skirt over her thighs, and walks to him at the console. “Gimme a cigarette,” she says. As he shakes a filter-tip cigarette free of its pack, she adds, “Florey made some pretty broad hints in his column this morning. Won’t she read it and wonder where you were last night?” He lights the cigarette for her with a slim sterling-silver lighter, and the affected, boyish grin spreads up his face once more. “She’s not too bright, Kris. You forget I married her when I was with that dinky two-hundred-and-fifty-watter upstate. She’s a farm girl … she may have read it, but it won’t dawn on her that Florey meant me. She thinks I was at a retail record distributor’s convention last night. Don’t let it bug you; when I want her to know, she’ll know. Right now I’ve got bigger things to worry about.” The girl recrosses to her chair and sits down. “You mean things like Camel Ehrhardt and the Syndicate?” His face once more loses its sheen of camouflage and naked fear shines wetly out of his eyes. “You’ve been pushing that Conlan dog for over a week now. They’re not going to like it, Jackie. They covered Patti Page’s version with their own boy, and every other jockey’s fallen in line to give it the big play. You’re cutting your throat by pushing Conlan.” Jackie Whalen pulls at his petulant lower lip and replies, “To hell with those hoods. I’ve got dough in Conlan, and this could be the big one for him. They won’t press their luck. They’re afraid I’ll go to the Rackets Committee if they push me too hard. Besides, I’m working an angle. The Conlan gets the big shove from this jock!” The girl grins wisely and adds, softly, “Jackie, baby, I’d hate to have to lose you so soon. Those guys don’t play games. You know what they did to Fred Brennaman when he refused their stuff for his jukeboxes.” Visions of a man being fished from the river, hair matted with scum and plant life, flesh white, eves huge and watery, skitter across Jackie Whalen’s mind. He sits in the comfortable foam-bottom chair, and his thoughts consume him to such a depth that only the shushing of the needle repeating in the final groove of the spinning record brings him to attention.)

(Music down and out)

And that was the big one for Rod Conlan, kids. “I Shouldn’t Have Loved You So Much,” and it’s going right to the top. I’ve heard ’em all for a good many years, but Rod has got it locked this time, if I’m any judge.

So I hope you’ll all drop over to The Spindle, 6720 Seventeenth, and pick up a copy of Rod Conlan’s big new one, “I Shouldn’t Have Loved You So Much.”

And it’s time right now to run down the top five of the Top Sixty, kids, so here they are:

In first place is Kris Long’s “Shagtown Is My Town” — and don’t forget, in just a few minutes we’ll be talking it up with Kristene Long herself. In second place Fats Domino’s “When the Saints Go Marching in” is still holding its own, and third place this week is occupied by Sam Cook and “Nobody Could Hate the Cha-Cha-Cha.” Fourth spot goes to Steve Don and the DonBeats with “Foolin’ Around Too Long” and that big fifth place goes to Rod Conlan’s “I Shouldn’t Have Loved You So Much.” So let’s catch Rod again with that smash, because we think it’s bound for the million mark.

(Music up)

(“You’re really digging your grave, Jackie,” the girl says, worry lines marring the ivory perfection of her forehead. “Oh, don’t get on my back, Kris,” he says, cueing the next record. “Sybil does the same damned thing, and I can’t stand her ” The girl winces at the comparison between herself and Whalen’s wife, and settles back with the stub of her cigarette. Whalen leans over in the console chair and pulls at his lower lip, mumbling to himself. “What?” the girl asks him. “I forgot to bring that damned revolver with me today,” he says. “I left it in the nightstand.” The girl rises once more, walks to the console and snubs the cigarette in the large ceramic ashtray. “You might need it today,” she says. Her face is unmarked by lines of annoyance or worry. It is obvious she thinks no harm can come to Whalen; it is obvious in her carriage, in her looks, in her voice. “What the hell,” he says, “I’ll pick it up when I go back to the apartment to change. It’s safe where it is.” “But are you? ” the blonde demands. He ignores her, and watches the black disc spinning under the rapier tip of the diamond needle. As it reaches the final grooves, he flips a switch.)

(Music under, Announcer voice superimpose)

… your cool lips have told me …

… I shouldn’t have loved you … so-oo mu-uch.

And that was Rod Conlan again, kids, swinging his big new one, “I Shouldn’t Have Loved You So Much.” After this word about Blim the miracle cream that will rid you of unsightly pimples and blackheads in just one week, we’ll be back to have that talk with the lovely Kris Long.

(E.T. Commercial up)

(He riffles through a sheaf of after-commercial comments written by the continuity department and tosses over the console, “This Blim crap couldn’t remove dirt from a sand pile,” to the girl. She laughs lightly, and examines a fingernail with its polish chipped. She bites at the nail absently.)

(Commercial out, segue to Announcer)

That’s the straight stuff, kids. Blim is guaranteed to do the job, guaranteed to leave your skin fresh and clear and clean, or your money will be refunded. Don’t miss going to that hop just because of unsightly blemishes or blackheads. Jump out right after the show tonight, kids, and fall down on a jar of that great Blim.

And now, what you’ve all been waiting for, let’s call over that singing sensation of Sapphire Records, Miss Kristene Long, whose rendition of “Shagtown Is My Town” is holding tight to first place all around the country.

Hi, Kris.

“Hi, Jackie.”

We’re really thrilled to have you here today, Kris.

“It’s a big thrill to be here, Jackie.”

Kris, let’s get serious for a minute, and find out just how you got into the singing game. You’re a lovely girl, and you look to be — oh, about twenty-one.

“Ha-ha-ha. Why, thank you, Jackie. Actually, I’m twenty-five, and I first got my break singing with Earl Pettifore’s band in Detroit. It was just a step up to singing on my own, I g ...

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