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

Ira Cohen: Ornette Comes Home (1994)

Ira Cohen: Ornette Comes Home (1994)

The late poet/filmmaker and documentarian Ira Cohen (who died in April 2011 age 76), was one of those rare voices from that co-joining of the Beat Generation of the Fifties and the Sixties... > Read more

Shoes: Tomorrow Night (1978)

Shoes: Tomorrow Night (1978)

In that great alphabet of power pop kicked off by the Beatles and which includes Badfinger, Big Star, Cheap Trick and so on, the Shoes out of Zion, Illinois are perhaps the least known today.... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

A FAST 15 MINUTES: Sounds peculiar to me, pal

A FAST 15 MINUTES: Sounds peculiar to me, pal

In this fast 15 minute programme we listen to the sound of unusual instruments like PVC pipes, flowerpots and other found objects. Peculiar, but in a good way. For more of these fast 15 minute... > Read more

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009 Elvis Costello: Secret, Profane and Sugarcane (Starbucks/Universal)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009 Elvis Costello: Secret, Profane and Sugarcane (Starbucks/Universal)

On his what is his thirtysomethingth album here's Elvis Costello's problem as I see it: it is his thirtysomethingth album. As with Eric Clapton who could deliver the best album of his career... > Read more