Ken Nordine: Now Nordine (extract only, 1975?)

 |   |  <1 min read

Ken Nordine: Now Nordine (extract only, 1975?)

In the mid Seventies a friend of mine living in West Virginia started sending me cassettes of a programme that beamed out late at night on Public Radio. It was called Now Nordine and all I knew at the time was that it was "made possible by a grant from . . . anonymous".

They were weird half-trips into strange references (snippets from Leonard da Vinci's journals about dissecting cadavers, a list of Winston Churchill's collection of hats) and odd sounds. A string quartet or a fragment of the Beatles might appear, there were electronic sounds and strange voices in the background, some terrible jokes and shaggy dog narratives, someone up against the wall before a firing squad . . .

This was headphones time, and smoke-'em-if-you-got-'em stuff.

Much later I learned the bent genius behind this was Ken Nordine who created Word Jazz albums in the Fifties, which I sought out and discovered were equally funny, chilly, slightly paranoid and utterly compelling listening. You just always wanted to know where he was going with whatever train of thought (or stream of consciousness) he had.

This is just the first 10 minutes of one of his half-hour Now Nordine programmes. If you want to hear more of such things -- and I don't doubt you will if you like being confused -- then have a look here for his podcasts etc.

Ken Nordine is 93.

For more one-offs, oddities or songs with an interesting backstory see From the Vaults

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

Louis Armstrong: Why Did Mrs Murphy Leave Town? (1970)

Louis Armstrong: Why Did Mrs Murphy Leave Town? (1970)

At the very end of his long career the great Louis Armstrong seemed rather detached and indifferent to the material he was playing. He'd scored huge and cross-generational hits with Hello Dolly and... > Read more

Otis Rush: All Your Love (1958)

Otis Rush: All Your Love (1958)

One of Eric Clapton's most definitive and distinctive early statements was his cover of this song by the great Otis Rush, which appeared on the John Mayall Blues Breakers album of '65. You can... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Elvis' Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches

Elvis' Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches

Nobody in their right mind would want to follow Elvis' eating regime, but every once in a while maybe you should live like a King. This was one of his favourite recipes and I got it off an oven... > Read more

RAVI SHANKAR (1920 - 2012): More Than One Lifetime

RAVI SHANKAR (1920 - 2012): More Than One Lifetime

My collection of schoolboy poetry which I would agonise over late at night, laboriously using my Scripto fountain pen and Radiant Blue ink, has long since vanished. Thank God. I’m sure it was... > Read more