Thursday, March 16, 2006

WHAMCO and Mark Twain

I recently updated a couple of my web pages. One contains a list of links to Windows Media versions of the great WHAMCO ads of the early 80's. These ads were produced by the popular Denver radio morning team of Steven B. and The Hawk. Give them a listen. (Note: definitely best viewed with Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 or above. Uses IE-specific styles.):

http://www.swerbach.com/whamco/

The other page contains links to recordings I personally made at the end of 2002 at the WTDY-AM radio studios. There are four 15-minute Mark Twain sketches there as well as short samples. I say "short" because the full versions are from 19–34 megabytes in size.

These are some of my favorite Mark Twain pieces. Included is Twain's notorious "1601: Conversation as it was by the Social Fireside in the Time of the Tudors." An honest-to-goodness R-rated frolic from the 19th century. Absolutely unlike anything you've ever read by Twain. Enjoy! (Scroll down to the "Samples and Complete Tracks" section):

http://www.swerbach.com/twain/

12 comments:

JackSlade said...

You just made my decade with the WHAMCO Products... I grew up listening to them on KBPI Denver, but never got ahold one of those LP's they sold...

Kudo's and THANKS!

Brian
Folsom, CA

Steve Erbach said...

Brian,

You're very welcome. I have the discs sent to The Source affiliate stations back in '80 or thereabouts. Treasured possessions, I can tell you!

So you actually heard Steven B. and The Hawk live and in the flesh on KBPI, yes? Did you know that they've now both passed away? Steven B. was actually murdered a little less than two years ago.

Steve Erbach
The Town Crank

Chris W said...

Hey, thanks for the WHAMCO clips. My dad had a record of their greatest hits that he won from Steve B. and the Hawk when we lived in Denver in the 80's. I listed to it all the time, and just yesterday I was quoting "Mother Faggaga's" This is great.

Also, I read on your site about the sad news of Steven B. Williams death. I googled it and found out that they did catch the guy.

Thanks!
Chris

Steve Erbach said...

Chris,

And thank you for finding out more about Steven B.'s murderer! I didn't know about that.

I see from the Denver Post of September 21, 2006 that an arrest had been made, but I couldn't find any other news at that site.

Steve Erbach
The Town Crank

ljohnson said...

I've been looking for this since I left Denver in 1985. This makes my day, and perhaps my year.

I just learned of Steven B. and the Hawks' respective deaths. Their creativity will be sorely missed. I'm glad you preserved this important part of Denver history.

I delivered and then hauled papers for the Rocky Mountian News (now sadly defunct too) from 1981 to 1984. Nearly every morning I would listen to one of these comercials.

I finished school and moved my family to Oregon where we lost track of KBPI. 19 years later, we moved to Rochester NY. Nothing I've heard since matches!

Thanks!

Steve Erbach said...

ljohnson,

I'm glad you found Whamco again! And thanks for your bio.

Steve Erbach
The Town Crank

SianiPowys said...

I don't know why I never thought to Google™ WHAMCO when looking for references to my brother, Steven B. I would have found your trove ever so much earlier.

Your earlier posting-persons are correct. The Villain of the Piece was apprehended in September of 2006 in Montana, extradited after some to-do, to California in November where he has been incarcerated, lo, these, nigh unto 4 years. He is scheduled for trial—FINALLY—in October 2010.

I can't begin to tell you how this has all changed MY life. You will have to wait for the book/movie. Even I don't know how it ends.

Thank you for your time.

Jan Williams

SianiPowys said...

An update on the trial, that in an earlier post I had said would take place in October 2010. After delays and postponements galore, it finally commenced 16 May 2011, just 2 days after what would have been my brother's 64th birthday,

By the end of the first day, it appeared that evidence offered by the first witness was news to the Public Defender. The next morning before the jury was called in, a mistrial was declared, so the PD can develop what he hopes to counter the new-to-him information.

So now it appears that perhaps late summer/early fall there will be a new trial, new jury and so on.

On another note: I am SO glad you posted Mark Twain's 1601! I haven't heard it in over 40 years and I haven't met anyone since who knew of its existence! Kudos to you.

Beth H. said...

Don Hawkins was my uncle, and I can't tell you how good it makes me feel to know that people still remember his humor and talent! I actually just shed a few tears (through smiles)when I heard his voice again on these recordings. I do own several of his tapes, albums, and pictures, but haven't pulled them out in years. He and Steve died much too young. They still had so many more laughs to share with the world!

Thanks so much!

Beth
Ft. Worth, TX

Steve Erbach said...

Jan,

I was reminded of the Dec. 16th sentencing date for Morrow when I received the comment from Don Hawkins' niece, Beth, that she'd found the WHAMCO site.

Again, my sincerest condolences for the loss of your brother. I am very, very glad that his murderer has been put away forever.

Steve Erbach

Steve Erbach said...

Beth,

You're welcome! I'm very glad that you found my "shrine" to two great talents: your uncle and Steven B.

Your message reminded me to look up the results of the sentencing hearing for Steve's murderer. I was very gratified to see that he'll never see the free light of day.

Regards,

Steve Erbach

Steve Erbach said...

Jan,

Thank you for the kind comments about my Mark Twain efforts. I wish I could recapture the amazing surprise I felt when I first read that sketch aloud to my wife several years ago. I was laughing so hard I could barely read.

Regards,

Steve Erbach
The Town Crank