Monday, October 10, 2016
I forget just how many years it has been since we first started playing a daily Judson Fountain radio "drammer" through the month of October. Maybe three years? In that short amount of time, it has become a beloved holiday tradition on Shuffle Function, and we get people asking us when it will start up again. Well, we're doing it RIGHT NOW. We just aired Judson's classic "The Garbage Can From Thailand" this morning, and we'll keep playing one a day, Monday through Friday, through October.
We first became acquainted with the work of Judson Fountain about 15 years ago. I'm not entirely sure what the source was for our first Judson Fountain radio "drammer" (Judson's announcer Sandor Weisberger calls the dramas "drammers"), but my gut tells me it was probably on something like the 365 Days Project, where a new weird MP3 was posted every day, but I may be wrong. All I know is that Shuffle Function was instantly smitten with what we heard.
The first drammer we heard was The Garbage Can From Thailand. Shelley and I were on a trip to the cities for something or other, and we had a mix CD with Garbage Can on it. We must have played it 100 times that day, and each time we laughed to the point of tears. It's such a wonderfully weird story, and the performances are classic Fountain all the way. It's also a Judson Fountain radio drammer that gets regularly requested, which makes us incredibly proud.
Judson Fountain put out records of radio dramas in the late 60s and early 70s. Most of the material has been compiled on two fantastic compilations from Innova Recordings, but there are eight of his radio dramas that have not been issued in any form. These records are exceptionally rare, so it's not like you can just hop online and pick a copy up. They never turn up on Ebay or Discogs. There aren't even MP3s or YouTube videos floating around.
If you want to see what these records look like, visit judsonfountain.com. You'll see the complete discography there, plus the cover art and labels. These were extremely DIY, with mimeographed cover sheets masking taped to a record jacket. Judson dressed up in character for the covers, too, so you can see him as Wicked Witch, The Old Hag, Pops Serriano, and Old Man Beni. One of the covers is even autographed by Judson!
Again, these records are exceptionally rare. There's a famous story about one collector not finding them in the record bin, but UNDER the bin! I've never even seen a value placed on them, but to fans of Judson they're priceless. BTW, feel free to send us your copies if you aren't doing anything with them. We'll give them a lot of love.
A few years ago Shuffle Function decided to do a tribute to Judson by recreating The Garbage Can From Thailand. Shelley played the Old Man, and I played Sandor and Johnny. It was a lot of fun, and we've been getting a lot of requests for it lately. So here is our version of The Garbage Can From Thailand, written especially for radio by Judson Fountain.
Now, turn out all the lights, and be completely in the dark!
P.S.: JUDSON FOUNTAIN IS MISSING. Nobody has seen or heard from him in over two decades. Do you know where he is? Drop us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. One would think that Judson would have discovered the internet and googled his name by now, and he'd see that he has lots of fans out there. WE NEED YOUR RADIO DRAMMERS, JUDSON!