Down For The Count

Started by Blair Blankenship at Apr 04, 2020 11:54 PM
March 15, 1924
1142 Views
67 Posts

Muff Miller

Bandleader and Trombonist
240
?Years Young
13 Posts

"And now a little tune called She Sits Between the Cabbages and Peas"


Muff had nodded excitedly when Snub mentioned them getting a mention in the radio news slot. Sure, the number of listeners might not be as huge as it would become with the proliferation of radio sets over the next few years, and the station could only be picked up in the greater Dade-Miami county area: but all publicity was good publicity if they spelled your name right … right? Or pronounced it right, if it was on the air.

The fellow then asked whether Blair would help them out of a spot by singing an impromptu song on air.

"Well .. ah,.. "  Blair stammered.  It was his understanding that he was the property of Muff Miller's Collegiate Boys .. or whatever they were called.  He was an artistic property.  It as a concept they'd touched on in his Preparatory Law class.

Muff looked at Blair askance – stuttering and stammering was his stock in trade.

"You'll have to ask Muff.  I'm under contract to him."

“Huh? Oh yeah! Guess you are.” Remembered the bandleader. This contract was the most important one he’d ever had, he needed to start taking things a little more seriously. But not that seriously. ”Ah, it’s fine.” He assured the well-heeled Blair “Listen, this’ll be great publicity for the band, and when you’re not working for Muff Miller, you can get more work using pseudonyms.” He forgot for a second that Blair was theoretically so rich that he wouldn’t need to do pick up work.

“Hell, do you know that half of the hot platters that come out of New York are recorded by the same dozen or so musicians, recording under different names? Who cares? It’s all good music. But seriously Snub, I think Blair’s got a great voice for radio.”

That was the thing, the Yankee didn’t bellow like an ear splitting Caruso, or produce shellac shredding notes like Billy Murray, but he reckoned that the delicate filaments of a radio microphone would pick up his more subtle crooning tones a treat.

Snub looked at Blair, who didn’t seem so sure, and had a brainwave.

“Hey, that’s it fellers! We’ll sell it that way!” The reporter was always looking for an angle “We’ll let the listeners decide! You warble ‘em a tune and they can write in to the station, either demanding more or ordering you to stick to tinkling the ivories. It’ll be a WOW!”

And just in case that idea didn't tickle Blankenship's fancy, the bespectacled trombonist offered an even more compelling reason:  “Listen Blair, if you won’t sing, I will!” threatened Muff, and Snub simultaneously shook his head and held his nose at that idea.


Made Me Laugh 1

Blair Blankenship

60
?Years Young
25 Posts

"If I'd known that this is the way it'd all turn out, I never would have kissed my father goodbye."


“Hell, do you know that half of the hot platters that come out of New York are recorded by the same dozen or so musicians, recording under different names? Who cares? It’s all good music. But seriously Snub, I think Blair’s got a great voice for radio.”

Blair was suitably abashed.  "I mean .. er .. I'm only used to singing in the shower to an audience of several blocks of Life Buoy soap.  Well, actually, I sang when i was up a Yale ..just  a fraternity group."  He was anxious to lower expectations.

That was the thing, the Yankee didn’t bellow like an ear splitting Caruso, or produce shellac shredding notes like Billy Murray, but he reckoned that the delicate filaments of a radio microphone would pick up his more subtle crooning tones a treat.

Snub looked at Blair, who didn’t seem so sure, and had a brainwave.

“Hey, that’s it fellers! We’ll sell it that way!” The reporter was always looking for an angle “We’ll let the listeners decide! You warble ‘em a tune and they can write in to the station, either demanding more or ordering you to stick to tinkling the ivories. It’ll be a WOW!”

Blair tugged at the knot in his tie.  How did these things keep happening to him.

"Say that sounds okay, Snub." He offered, finally.

And just in case that idea didn't tickle Blankenship's fancy, the bespectacled trombonist offered an even more compelling reason:  “Listen Blair, if you won’t sing, I will!” threatened Muff, and Snub simultaneously shook his head and held his nose at that idea.

"Okay Okay!  I'm your man.   Is there any accompaniment?  Er... a studio orchestra,  a banjo player .. or do I sit at a piano and sing?"

Now that details needed addressing, Blair was all business.


Loved 1

Snub Callahan

Reporter for the Herald's rival newspaper The Miami Daily News and Reporter
240
?Years Young
11 Posts

"Okay Okay!  I'm your man.   Is there any accompaniment?  Er... a studio orchestra, a banjo player .. or do I sit at a piano and sing?"

“It’s probably easier to show you than describe it!” reasoned Snub and led them to a door which had no handle on it, but a little window, like the kitchen door in a restaurant, so that you could see if someone with a trayful of food was coming your way before you pushed it open.

A peep through the window showed a medium sized room, with movable panels to make it even smaller when needed. In the center was a big clock, a single microphone and gathered around it, like bees buzzing around a particularly nectar-filled flower, were several men, some of them seated musicians and a rather plump woman.

“That’s Dorothy Dare, doing her Around the Arts Hour!” pointed out Snub. The lady in question was talking in an animated way, with expressive hand movements, as if the audience could see her; she was quite close to the mic, but not right up to it. Occasionally, the small band could be heard playing something classical sounding, either real old-school stuff from Beethoven’s time, or more modern discordant long hair sounds: many of the musicians had different instruments that they would pick up and play at different times.

Snub pointed out the upright piano for Blair’s benefit. ”I don’t think you can play the piano and sing, it’s too far from the mic’. The professor in there will do the tinkling.” It had taken Snub a while to get just the right pitch and volume on air, some fellows in a little booth to the side listened in and would signal if you were too close or too far away from the ugly little black contraption that could bring your voice into a million homes.

“I always imagine I’m talking to my slightly deaf maiden aunt!” he advised. "Not shouting, but just a little 'up'"

Suddenly there was voice behind them. A female voice, and a somewhat testy sounding one at that.

“Do you might not blocking the door, some of us have work to do in there!”

Behind them was an attractive looking woman, conservatively dressed, which maybe made her look older than her 28 years, holding a clipboard. It was the aforementioned Mavis, manager of the whole station.

“Oh, Hello Mavis!” grinned Snub sheepishly, like a schoolboy who had been caught doing something he shouldn’t. “This is Blair Blankenship, he’s going to sing a song in the show, er, you know, to fill the gap!”

Mavis looked Blair up and down doubtfully. “Really?” she asked “We can’t pay you, you know.”

“We’re doing it for the publicity.” Muff cut in, then wondered why that suddenly sounded somewhat desperate.  

“Well, what are you going to sing? We need to let the band know.” Mavis snapped at Blair. It was like she was doing him a massive favor, when in fact it was the other way around.


Blair Blankenship

60
?Years Young
25 Posts

"If I'd known that this is the way it'd all turn out, I never would have kissed my father goodbye."


“That’s Dorothy Dare, doing her Around the Arts Hour!” pointed out Snub. The lady in question was talking in an animated way, with expressive hand movements, as if the audience could see her; she was quite close to the mic, but not right up to it. Occasionally, the small band could be heard playing something classical sounding, either real old-school stuff from Beethoven’s time, or more modern discordant long hair sounds: many of the musicians had different instruments that they would pick up and play at different times.

 

"Um.   She reminds me of Sophie Tucker,"   Blair quite correctly judged.  The woman had all of Miss Tucker's motherly warmth with probably a tinge of the I've been done wrong lament that made for such powerful songs that caused hardened sailors to cry into their beer.

The musicians gathered around her looked like they knew what they were doing which made Blair feel all the more like a blind man at an art exhibit. 

Snub pointed out the upright piano for Blair’s benefit. ”I don’t think you can play the piano and sing, it’s too far from the mic’. The professor in there will do the tinkling.” It had taken Snub a while to get just the right pitch and volume on air, some fellows in a little booth to the side listened in and would signal if you were too close or too far away from the ugly little black contraption that could bring your voice into a million homes.

Blankenship gulped hard and fought to keep his confidence up.

“I always imagine I’m talking to my slightly deaf maiden aunt!” he advised. "Not shouting, but just a little 'up'"

Suddenly there was voice behind them. A female voice, and a somewhat testy sounding one at that.

“Do you might not blocking the door, some of us have work to do in there!”

Behind them was an attractive looking woman, conservatively dressed, which maybe made her look older than her 28 years, holding a clipboard. It was the aforementioned Mavis, manager of the whole station.

Blair snapped to, stepped to the side and in true courtly form, gave a slight nod.  "So sorry," he said.

“Oh, Hello Mavis!” grinned Snub sheepishly, like a schoolboy who had been caught doing something he shouldn’t. “This is Blair Blankenship, he’s going to sing a song in the show, er, you know, to fill the gap

Mavis looked Blair up and down doubtfully. “Really?” she asked “We can’t pay you, you know.”

"Well, " began Blair.  "I hoped we were doing our friend Snub a favor.  You know, getting him out of a jam.  The money doesn't matter for a pal in distress."  

“We’re doing it for the publicity.” Muff cut in, then wondered why that suddenly sounded somewhat desperate.  

“Well, what are you going to sing? We need to let the band know.” Mavis snapped at Blair. It was like she was doing him a massive favor, when in fact it was the other way around.

"You know, it makes sense that you'd head up an outfit like this," Blair said, smiling.  "Mavis.. doesn't that mean Song Thrush?   I was thinking of singing, "Swinging Down the Lane"  or, I know, "Yes, We have no Bananas" or how about something closer to home, like "Carolina in the Morning."?

Blair looked from Muff to Snub to Mavis and back again.

 

 


Loved 1

Snub Callahan

Reporter for the Herald's rival newspaper The Miami Daily News and Reporter
240
?Years Young
11 Posts

"You know, it makes sense that you'd head up an outfit like this," Blair said, smiling.  "Mavis.. doesn't that mean Song Thrush?”

“Thrush?!” snapped Mavis “We advertise unguents to treat that! Never mind the compliments, Sir Galahad, just tell me what you’re going to sing."

“I was thinking of singing, "Swinging Down the Lane" or, I know, "Yes, We have no Bananas" or how about something closer to home, like "Carolina in the Morning."?

Blair looked from Muff to Snub to Mavis and back again.

Muff certainly didn’t like the middle selection. “Uggh!” he practically barfed at the suggestion “Even the monkeys in the zoo are tired of ‘Bananas’! I thought something more romantic would suit your voice.”

“And not Carolina, reminds me of a lousy date I once had with a girl of that name!” chimed in Snub. He hadn’t even made first base, and he was nowhere near her by the next morning.

“Swinging Down the Lane, then” concluded Mavis. “All right, we’ll put it right at the top of the show, get it over with!” she said, shaking her head slightly and making an amendment to the running order of things on her clipboard. “Miller, come with me and we’ll sort him out with the sheet music: beginners are likely to forget the words of ‘Happy Birthday’ once they get in front of that mic’.” she instructed the trombonist tersely, before stalking into the broadcasting room with the sheepish looking Muff trailing behind.

Snub slapped Blair manfully on the shoulder “Oh, ignore Mavis, she’s just clowning!” he grinned, unconvincingly. “This is a great break, Blankenship, singing on the Ginger Jones Hour! She’s got some great sponsors, and listening figures are the highest in the State for a shortwave station.” he blathered on, pepping the young musician up.

It was true, everybody with a radio set in Miami loved to listen in to the antics of the big fat, ginger haired, lovable girl-next-door - and laugh at her misadventures as she never quite got the boy of her dreams. She also had a friendly, down home way of explaining the benefits and uses of all sorts of medicinal products sold by a big pharmaceutical concern that had outlets all over the State. That company was the Hour’s all-powerful sponsor.

Snub looked at his watch. “Five Minutes! How’re you feeling kid? Scratch that – doesn’t matter how you’re feeling, you’ll be great!”

Two seconds later, the chubby lady who had been at the microphone when they looked in, burst out of the studio into the lobby where they were standing, crying in a cultured English accent the immortal words "Christ that was awful, I need a drink!"


Blair Blankenship

60
?Years Young
25 Posts

"If I'd known that this is the way it'd all turn out, I never would have kissed my father goodbye."


 

 

 

"You know, it makes sense that you'd head up an outfit like this," Blair said, smiling.  "Mavis.. doesn't that mean Song Thrush?”

“Thrush?!” snapped Mavis “We advertise unguents to treat that! Never mind the compliments, Sir Galahad, just tell me what you’re going to sing."

Blankenship was taken aback.  He wasn't very used to sharp-tongued ladies.

“I was thinking of singing, "Swinging Down the Lane" or, I know, "Yes, We have no Bananas" or how about something closer to home, like "Carolina in the Morning."?

Blair looked from Muff to Snub to Mavis and back again.

Muff certainly didn’t like the middle selection. “Uggh!” he practically barfed at the suggestion “Even the monkeys in the zoo are tired of ‘Bananas’! I thought something more romantic would suit your voice.”

Blair smiled .. "We've got  a nice a ripe a tomato!" .. he sang, kiddingly, nodding at toward Mavis when pronouncing "tomato"   But the fellas kept knocking his selections.

“And not Carolina, reminds me of a lousy date I once had with a girl of that name!” chimed in Snub. He hadn’t even made first base, and he was nowhere near her by the next morning.

“Swinging Down the Lane, then” concluded Mavis. “All right, we’ll put it right at the top of the show, get it over with!” she said, shaking her head slightly and making an amendment to the running order of things on her clipboard. “Miller, come with me and we’ll sort him out with the sheet music: beginners are likely to forget the words of ‘Happy Birthday’ once they get in front of that mic’.” she instructed the trombonist tersely, before stalking into the broadcasting room with the sheepish looking Muff trailing behind.

Go get 'em, Tiger! thought Blair of the hapless Muff.

Snub slapped Blair manfully on the shoulder “Oh, ignore Mavis, she’s just clowning!” he grinned, unconvincingly. “This is a great break, Blankenship, singing on the Ginger Jones Hour! She’s got some great sponsors, and listening figures are the highest in the State for a shortwave station.” he blathered on, pepping the young musician up.

Blair rubbed his hands together anxiously and tried to convince himself that he must feel as natural as if he were singing alone.

It was true, everybody with a radio set in Miami loved to listen in to the antics of the big fat, ginger haired, lovable girl-next-door - and laugh at her misadventures as she never quite got the boy of her dreams. She also had a friendly, down home way of explaining the benefits and uses of all sorts of medicinal products sold by a big pharmaceutical concern that had outlets all over the State. That company was the Hour’s all-powerful sponsor.

Snub looked at his watch. “Five Minutes! How’re you feeling kid? Scratch that – doesn’t matter how you’re feeling, you’ll be great!”

"I'm as good as bread," Blankenship assured him.   "Hey those crooners on the radio don't have anything on  me ... er .. us.  They were just in the right place at the right time."  He remembered how him mother used to instill confidence in him when he was just a little kid.  "You must always remember who you are, little man."  She would say.  "There is nothing you can't do if you set your sights on it.  Remember that."

Well he was remembering it now.

Two seconds later, the chubby lady who had been at the microphone when they looked in, burst out of the studio into the lobby where they were standing, crying in a cultured English accent the immortal words "Christ that was awful, I need a drink!"

The would be radio star smothered a grin.  If he had his flask with him, he might have obliged her.

As they moved further into the studio, Blair began to rehearse the lyrics in his mind.

"Everybody's hand-in-hand swingin' down the lane.  Everybody's feeling grand swingin' down the lane...."

 

 


Loved 1

Mavis 'Ginger' Jones

Businesswoman and accidental Radio Personality
240
?Years Young
13 Posts

"Ladies, do you ever worry about ... personal delicacy?"


Two seconds later, the chubby lady who had been at the microphone when they looked in, burst out of the studio into the lobby where they were standing, crying in a cultured English accent the immortal words "Christ that was awful, I need a drink!"

“Ha ha ha! That Dorothy!” Snub gave a false laugh “Maybe we’d better go in.” he decided, pushing Blair in the direction of the studio, before she made things worse.

The would be radio star smothered a grin.  If he had his flask with him, he might have obliged her.

As they moved further into the studio, Blair began to rehearse the lyrics in his mind.

"Everybody's hand-in-hand swingin' down the lane.  Everybody's feeling grand swingin' down the lane...."

Inside, Muff gave Blair an encouraging nod and handed him the sheet music. This left his hands free to inspect the trombone he had borrowed from the studio band. He’d stupidly left his own in the auto parked outside. The drummer was kneeling in front of his traps, using the thick end of his sticks to produce a dramatic roll on the bass drum before reaching up and ending it with a crash on the hi-hat.

A tiny man with a big voice stood on tiptoes to reach the mic and announced, in stentorian tones: “It’s the Ginger Jones Hour! Brought to you in association with Peabody Pharmaceuticals, the Chemist’s Store on YOUR High Street!"

Suddenly the band struck up Ginger’s theme music which, for some forgotten reason, was All Over Nothing At All. The slim, mousy-haired Mavis was there, clipboard in hand, but there was, as yet, no sign of the rotund red-haired comedienne.

As the brief burst of music faded, the little announcer cut in again and Snub dragged Blair forward into the confined space around the ugly, unforgiving looking single microphone.

“We join Ginger today, as she prepares for her holiday to Cuba” the announcer intoned, before deftly weaving out of the way of the mic. The slim, terse Mavis weaved in his place and opened her mouth:

“Why, I’ve only packed one of my dresses and already both mah cases are full!” she complained in a sweet Southern ‘down-home’ voice. Every member of the band and the announcer and Snub burst into laughter and clapped at this somewhat weak joke, for that was the way of early radio: people at home thought the thing was taking place on some theater stage somewhere, with an appreciative audience packed into the place. Even Muff had known to laugh and clap.

Now Snub poked his head into the ‘sweet area’ around the mic and announced “Hello Ginger, packing for Cuba?” It was clear now that ‘Ginger Jones’ was just an illusion, a phantom of the airwaves.

“Why Snub, what’re YOU doin’ here? Your news show ain’t due fer another hour!” drawled Mavis in full ‘Ginger’ mode.

“I just had to tell you, Ging’, I’ve just had a stupendous News Flash: that boat you’re sailing to Cuba on, the S.S. Chanteuse, they’ve signed a new band, and it’s led by your old pal Muff Miller!” he announced, in a stagy, ‘speaking up’ voice.

“Oh, I just LOVE Muff!” she cried, which drew an unwitting howl of laughter from one member of the band and earned him a baleful glare from Mavis. She waved Blair in a little.

“But who’s this handsome feller with you, Snub?” she asked coyly.

“This is Blair Blankenship, Muff’s piano player. Muff tells me he sings too, it’s just, well, he’s shy. Doesn’t think he’s any good. I thought he could sing a song for you, and you could decide if he should sing in the band or not.” It was strange seeing Snub talk to Mavis like this without even looking at her, aiming his face to the microphone instead.

“Aw Blair!” gushed ‘Ginger’ grabbing his arm and dragging him a bit nearer the mic’. “Will you sing a itty bitty song faw me?” she asked in an obnoxious baby-voice.

“Tell him to sing ‘Swingin’ Down the Lane’ it’s my Maiden Aunt’s favourite!” Snub added helpfully, then backed out of the way so the singer could step in.

Blair didn’t have time to say much before the band, including Muff Miller, started to play the introductory bars to Isham Jones’ big 1923 hit. It was all now on Blair and that unforgiving and ugly black mic’.


Blair Blankenship

60
?Years Young
25 Posts

"If I'd known that this is the way it'd all turn out, I never would have kissed my father goodbye."


Inside, Muff gave Blair an encouraging nod and handed him the sheet music. This left his hands free to inspect the trombone he had borrowed from the studio band. He’d stupidly left his own in the auto parked outside. The drummer was kneeling in front of his traps, using the thick end of his sticks to produce a dramatic roll on the bass drum before reaching up and ending it with a crash on the hi-hat.
 
Blair made a comic, little, jump at the percussion.  He always felt that comic touches lighten any tense or troubled atmosphere -- this being no exception.  His eyes wandered from what he thought were the less-than-enthusiastic musicians to the strange, very Twentieth Century look of the sound and broadcast equipment. 

A tiny man with a big voice stood on tiptoes to reach the mic and announced, in stentorian tones: “It’s the Ginger Jones Hour! Brought to you in association with Peabody Pharmaceuticals, the Chemist’s Store on YOUR High Street!"

Since Blair was certain there must have been a "QUIET  ON AIR." sign posted somewhere, he refrained from suggesting that the Peabody Pharmaceutical people better have plenty of chloroform on hand once he started crooning.

Suddenly the band struck up Ginger’s theme music which, for some forgotten reason, was All Over Nothing At All. The slim, mousy-haired Mavis was there, clipboard in hand, but there was, as yet, no sign of the rotund red-haired comedienne.

Blair felt the urgent tug of Snub -- pushing him forward toward a pathetic microphone, suspended from a boom like a drop-cord light bulb, the kind one would find in flop houses.

The pipsqueak announcer began to speak .. his voice quite nice and quite out-of-keeping with his diminutive appearance.

“We join Ginger today, as she prepares for her holiday to Cuba” the announcer intoned, before deftly weaving out of the way of the mic. The slim, terse Mavis weaved in his place and opened her mouth:

There was some corny banter Snub and Mavis but Blair was too worried that he might forget the quite forgettable lyrics of his song .. Everybody's hand in glove, ... no .. Everybody's hand in hand swinging .. or should it be the more casual "Swingin'"?  Everybody's ..."

The banter went on and on .. or so thought Blair whose hands were clammy and his throat tightening.

“Oh, I just LOVE Muff!” she cried, which drew an unwitting howl of laughter from one member of the band and earned him a baleful glare from Mavis. She waved Blair in a little.

Blair obliged .. posture perfect .. his prep school upbringing showing through.

“But who’s this handsome feller with you, Snub?” she asked coyly.

“This is Blair Blankenship, Muff’s piano player. Muff tells me he sings too, it’s just, well, he’s shy. Doesn’t think he’s any good. I thought he could sing a song for you, and you could decide if he should sing in the band or not.” It was strange seeing Snub talk to Mavis like this without even looking at her, aiming his face to the microphone instead.

“Aw Blair!” gushed ‘Ginger’ grabbing his arm and dragging him a bit nearer the mic’. “Will you sing a itty bitty song faw me?” she asked in an obnoxious baby-voice.

"Why Miss Ginger," Blair boldly began.  "You are the diamond stickpin in the bosom of the South.  It would be a pleasure to serenade you"   Hell, thought Blair.  When in Rome.."

“Tell him to sing ‘Swingin’ Down the Lane’ it’s my Maiden Aunt’s favourite!” Snub added helpfully, then backed out of the way so the singer could step in.

Blair didn’t have time to say much before the band, including Muff Miller, started to play the introductory bars to Isham Jones’ big 1923 hit. It was all now on Blair and that unforgiving and ugly black mic’.

Blair turned away quickly, straightened his shoulders, turned to face the microphone and began.  And it all went beautifully.   As his voice purred the simple lyrics, he was amazed at how natural and in-tune it all sounded.   It gave him confidence.  Was this even him?

Everybody's hand in hand
Swingin' down the lane
Everybody's feelin' grand
Swingin' down the lane
 
That's the time I miss the bliss
That we might have known
Nights like this
When I'm all alone
 
When the moon is on the rise
Baby I'm so blue
Watchin' lovers makin' eyes
Like we used to do.."
 
He continued through the piece, grateful that the band was somewhere near his key and pitch.  My God!, he thought as he sang.  How many people was this reaching?

Loved 1

Mavis 'Ginger' Jones

Businesswoman and accidental Radio Personality
240
?Years Young
13 Posts

"Ladies, do you ever worry about ... personal delicacy?"


"Why Miss Ginger," Blair boldly began.  "You are the diamond stickpin in the bosom of the South.  It would be a pleasure to serenade you"

“Stick a pin in mah what?!” gasped Ginger in mock horror. Mavis was the acme of improvisation. In this job, you had to be.

“Er, tell him to sing ‘Swingin’ Down the Lane’ it’s my Maiden Aunt’s favourite!” Snub added helpfully, then backed out of the way so the singer could step in.

As soon as Blair started to croon, Mavis eyeballed the man with the headphones in the tiny control booth, who gave the thumbs up: not that he was fond of singing in the modern manner, it was just that the volume was exactly right for broadcast.

The slight woman turned her attention back to the singer. He was a natural for the wireless. Somehow, she had a talent for finding them in the most unlikely of places. Snub was a good example: he was originally just supposed to provide news stories for a professional actor to read out, but his rasping, frenetic style of speech carried over the airwaves beautifully, and she engaged him to read as well as write the news, and even to appear as a “reporter character” in some of the sketches.

Same with Dorothy Dare, whose breathless, slightly dotty exuberance about the arts made her just the right voice to get this, often dry, subject across to the great unwashed masses. The programmes exhausted her, but Mavis made it worth her while.

Blair was another natural: the way he gently caressed the mic’ with his voice, like he was singing softly to a girl on a park bench in the moonlight… when he finished the song she half expected him to take the microphone in his arms and kiss it, not stumble back from it like a man in a daze. But that was the trick, he had been in a daze, or a dream, in which the mic had been that girl, she supposed.

He continued through the piece, grateful that the band was somewhere near his key and pitch.  My God!, he thought as he sang.  How many people was this reaching?

The end of the number brought a rapturous round of applause from the musicians who had just played it, along with everybody else in the small studio. And, the inevitable follow up banter from Snub and Ginger.

“Well, what did you think of Blair’s singing, Ginger?”

“Ohhh, real handsome!”

“No, not what he looks like, how did he sound?!”

“Oh, I don’t know, Snub, I’m tone deaf!”

Then came the invitation for the listening to write in and give their opinions on the matter and into an announcement about suppositories from the sponsors. Blair had gone from being centre stage to a ticked-off item on Mavis’ clipboard within seconds, and at the first opportunity she shooed Muff and Blair out of the studio, as they were now surplus to requirements and kind of in the way.

“Well that went all right.” shrugged Muff. Before Blair had much time to answer, an excited Dotty Dare jumped out of nowhere and grabbed Blair’s arm.

“Oh, my dear boy! Have you just lost your virginity?!!”


Blair Blankenship

60
?Years Young
25 Posts

"If I'd known that this is the way it'd all turn out, I never would have kissed my father goodbye."


He continued through the piece, grateful that the band was somewhere near his key and pitch.  My God!, he thought as he sang.  How many people was this reaching?
 
The end of the number brought a rapturous round of applause from the musicians who had just played it, along with everybody else in the small studio. And, the inevitable follow up banter from Snub and Ginger.

“Well, what did you think of Blair’s singing, Ginger?”

“Ohhh, real handsome!”

“No, not what he looks like, how did he sound?!”

“Oh, I don’t know, Snub, I’m tone deaf!”

The handsome New Englander blushed which only added to his handsomeness.  He had no dream a day that started with him having a drinks and a chat with his college chum, Morrie, would have ended with him signing at a radio station and not bungling it.  

The crisp verbal duel between Snub and Ginger confirmed to him that he'd made the mark.  Wasn't life a road full of twists and turns?

Then came the invitation for the listening to write in and give their opinions on the matter and into an announcement about suppositories from the sponsors. Blair had gone from being centre stage to a ticked-off item on Mavis’ clipboard within seconds, and at the first opportunity she shooed Muff and Blair out of the studio, as they were now surplus to requirements and kind of in the way.

“Well that went all right.” shrugged Muff.

"Well I, er, we, ah..." began Blair, for once flummoxed. 

Before Blair had much time to answer, an excited Dotty Dare jumped out of nowhere and grabbed Blair’s arm.

“Oh, my dear boy! Have you just lost your virginity?!!”

He reached into his pockets.

"You know," he said, showing upturned, empty palms, "I believe you're right.  I can't find it anywhere.  I think you're right.  I lost it out there on the air waves."

He found his footing, however.

And tell me, whom do I have the honor of addressing?"

Blair thought her attractive.  She wasn't one of those prissy, finishing-school girls he'd had paraded in front of him for the past several years.  Instead she was brash and fresh.