6/7/13

Godzilla, King of the Monsters - Vintage Radio Spots 12" LP (1956)

This is a one-sided, 12" vinyl record from 1956, that totals only a few scant minutes, and it has five individual bands with radio spots for GODZILLA, KING OF THE MONSTERS.  The first three bands are 50 seconds, while the last two are 12.  Now, as to what I paid for it, we won't get into...
The good news is, it cleaned up flawlessly.  Oddly, each band was self-contained; in other words, when you played a radio spot, there was no danger of advancing to the next one.  Instead, your record would just spin endlessly, which I thought was pretty clever for 1956.
The first thing that becomes evident in hearing these--and the voices are undoubtedly the Terry Turner and Don Thompson on the label--is that they weren't given anything to work with, especially in the sound effects department.  After all, it was "just another monster movie" at the time, smack in the middle of the 1950's.  What is almost comical, when heard from today's perspective, is the jungle-cat-roar used in a couple of these spots to represent Godzilla.  No, you aren't hearing a Tarzan feature, or even the beginning of an MGM film; that leopard/cougar sound is supposed to be Godzilla.  It's either a case of being really bizarrely unprepared, or really industrious in light of the circumstances; you decide.
Another thing that struck me was the note on the label: tracks 3 & 5 "are for use in kid shows."  Really, all this amounts to is a young voice (or a female representing one, maybe) saying a quick line about "golly gee, I'm going to see this swell picture," but the more I thought about the dark message of this beautiful film, and the parable of nuclear destruction, the stranger it got.  I could never think of KING OF THE MONSTERS as a "kid show" film, for goodness' sake...GODZILLA'S REVENGE, sure, but GOJIRA? It boggles the mind! It just seems really heavy for a 1956 child, but maybe I'm over-thinking it.  I'm sure many an American child became a fan from seeing the film, but was probably just a little unnerved at the same time!
It's just a few minutes, but they are minutes of GOLD. 

3 comments:

Christopher Sobieniak said...

Knowing how things were promoted then, this does not surprise me one bit.

Corganoid said...

Very cool.

Anonymous said...

Awesome! Thank you so much!