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

The Buggs: Liverpool Drag (1964)

The Buggs: Liverpool Drag (1964)

Elsewhere takes no end of cheap delight in unearthing various Beatles tributes (by dogs, by the soon-to-be Cher), copyists, weird cover versions and so on. But to find the Buggs' sole album for... > Read more

Deana Carter: Did I Shave My Legs for This? (1995)

Deana Carter: Did I Shave My Legs for This? (1995)

Country music most often tells character stories, and Deana Carter -- named for Dean Martin -- nailed it with this title track from her debut album. And when success came it had been hard won:... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Fleet Foxes: Fleet Foxes (SubPop/Rhythmethod)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: Fleet Foxes: Fleet Foxes (SubPop/Rhythmethod)

With its references to late 60s folk-rock, baroque pop flourishes, close harmonies, art-rock progressions and the jigsaw-puzzle of arrangements for voices and a small array of instruments (all... > Read more

Jorgensen, Mikkonen, Ounaskari: Kuara, Psalms and Folk Songs (ECM/Ode)

Jorgensen, Mikkonen, Ounaskari: Kuara, Psalms and Folk Songs (ECM/Ode)

Unfamiliar names, but this trumpet, piano and drum trio deliver an always interesting and often impressive line in meditative mood music which steps lightly between the most refined Miles Davis,... > Read more