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Dave Ballard's "Vagabond's House" recording?

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  • Clueless in Seattle
    Aloha! My name is Will, but online everyone calls me Clueless. It probably won t take you long to figure out why. I m writing to your list hoping that one
    Message 1 of 11 , May 1 8:04 AM
      Aloha!

      My name is Will, but online everyone calls me "Clueless." It probably
      won't take you long to figure out why.

      I'm writing to your list hoping that one of you might have some clues
      or leads I can follow to track down an old recording of "Vagabond's
      House" I heard on the radio decades ago.

      Back when I was in high school, here in Seattle in the late fifties,
      there was a guy on the radio who read poetry backed with lush musical
      accompaniment one night a week. His name was Dave Ballard and he called
      his program "Reflections." I happened to tune in for the first time the
      night he read "Vagabond's House" and was captivated by it. I became an
      instant fan, tuning in every Sunday night at ten (I think I've got the
      night right, I can't say if I've got the time right. Maybe one of you
      knows for sure) while I did my homework for Monday morning.

      It turned out that "Vagabond's House" was one of his most requested
      readings and I got to hear it at least a couple of more times before I
      got out of the habit of listening to his show. Over the next 40 years I
      would sometimes think back to Ballard's reading of that poem, but I
      never knew the name of it and about all I could recall was an image of a
      big overstuffed chair by the fire, with a couple of dogs sleeping on an
      oriental rung at their master's feet.

      Then a few years ago I was talking to an old fellow I met at a
      collectible coin business, where I was working at the time, and he was
      working in a room of coin books on shelves from floor to ceiling. And I
      mentioned to him that I used to collect books and hd kept them in
      cardboard boxes in my parents' attic with the idea that someday I would
      have a big house on a bluff with a room full of wooden bookshelves
      crammed with all my books. But when my parents died I had to sell all
      those books, and as I'd always been a wanderer I would probably never
      own a house in my life.

      And that's when he began to recite some lines from "Vagabond's House"
      and I was stunned to realize that he was reciting the very poem I'd
      heard on the radio decades before. The next day he brought in a
      photocopy of the poem for me and as I read it I was transported back to
      those Sunday nights in the fifties.

      I was so excited I decided to try to track down a recording of Dave
      Ballard reading the poem. I knew that his show was on tape, because he
      used to send the tapes to Seattle from Hawaii. I found that out from a
      friend of mine whose parents had been friends of the Ballard's. She
      gave me the name and address of Ballard's widow. But she never replied
      to my letters.

      Do any of you have any idea how I could track down a recording of Dave
      Ballard reading "Vagabond's House?"
    • Cadia Los
      Hello, Clueless... Welcome! As most of this group knows, I live in Seattle and Dave B. was a close friend for many years. Today, May 1, would have been his
      Message 2 of 11 , May 1 7:22 PM
        Hello, Clueless...

        Welcome!

        As most of this group knows, I live in Seattle and Dave B. was a
        close friend for many years. Today, May 1, would have been his 82nd
        birthday.

        Yes, Reflections aired Sunday evenings at 10 (on KIXI); not sure what
        hour before 1961. Dave may have recorded his program in Hawaii from
        time to time, but most of his work was here in Seattle. As chief
        announcer at KIXI, he did a daily afternoon shift and produced
        Reflections from their studios. For some years, he also had a state-
        of-the-art recording studio at home that he used primarily for
        freelance voiceovers.

        I have maybe half a dozen different recordings of Dave's recitation
        of Vagabond's House, including one that he recorded privately for me
        in 1965 (along with The Cruise of the Spun-Glass Ship). The master
        is on open reel, so I'm going to have to carve out time to have it
        copied onto cassette. I don't have the necessary equipment.

        This has been a "to do" project for some time. I'll try to locate
        the reel and a duplicating service soon.

        ~~Cadia
      • devans6360
        Cadia, Wasn t Don born on November 7th? That s what my documentation says???? Donnelle ... From: Cadia Los To:
        Message 3 of 11 , May 2 1:39 PM
          Cadia, Wasn't Don born on November 7th? That's what my documentation
          says???? Donnelle
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Cadia Los <duchess@...>
          To: <aloha-donblanding@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Tuesday, May 01, 2001 7:22 PM
          Subject: [aloha-donblanding] Re: Dave Ballard's "Vagabond's House"
          recording?


          > Hello, Clueless...
          >
          > Welcome!
          >
          > As most of this group knows, I live in Seattle and Dave B. was a
          > close friend for many years. Today, May 1, would have been his 82nd
          > birthday.
          >
          > Yes, Reflections aired Sunday evenings at 10 (on KIXI); not sure what
          > hour before 1961. Dave may have recorded his program in Hawaii from
          > time to time, but most of his work was here in Seattle. As chief
          > announcer at KIXI, he did a daily afternoon shift and produced
          > Reflections from their studios. For some years, he also had a state-
          > of-the-art recording studio at home that he used primarily for
          > freelance voiceovers.
          >
          > I have maybe half a dozen different recordings of Dave's recitation
          > of Vagabond's House, including one that he recorded privately for me
          > in 1965 (along with The Cruise of the Spun-Glass Ship). The master
          > is on open reel, so I'm going to have to carve out time to have it
          > copied onto cassette. I don't have the necessary equipment.
          >
          > This has been a "to do" project for some time. I'll try to locate
          > the reel and a duplicating service soon.
          >
          > ~~Cadia
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > To Post a message, send it to: aloha-donblanding@...
          >
          > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
          aloha-donblanding-unsubscribe@...
          >
          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          >
          >
          >


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        • devans6360
          Sorry Cadia, I thought you were speaking of Don for a moment... To much sun out here in Arizona... Donnelle ... From: Cadia Los To:
          Message 4 of 11 , May 2 1:41 PM
            Sorry Cadia, I thought you were speaking of Don for a moment... To much sun
            out here in Arizona... Donnelle
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: Cadia Los <duchess@...>
            To: <aloha-donblanding@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Tuesday, May 01, 2001 7:22 PM
            Subject: [aloha-donblanding] Re: Dave Ballard's "Vagabond's House"
            recording?


            > Hello, Clueless...
            >
            > Welcome!
            >
            > As most of this group knows, I live in Seattle and Dave B. was a
            > close friend for many years. Today, May 1, would have been his 82nd
            > birthday.
            >
            > Yes, Reflections aired Sunday evenings at 10 (on KIXI); not sure what
            > hour before 1961. Dave may have recorded his program in Hawaii from
            > time to time, but most of his work was here in Seattle. As chief
            > announcer at KIXI, he did a daily afternoon shift and produced
            > Reflections from their studios. For some years, he also had a state-
            > of-the-art recording studio at home that he used primarily for
            > freelance voiceovers.
            >
            > I have maybe half a dozen different recordings of Dave's recitation
            > of Vagabond's House, including one that he recorded privately for me
            > in 1965 (along with The Cruise of the Spun-Glass Ship). The master
            > is on open reel, so I'm going to have to carve out time to have it
            > copied onto cassette. I don't have the necessary equipment.
            >
            > This has been a "to do" project for some time. I'll try to locate
            > the reel and a duplicating service soon.
            >
            > ~~Cadia
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > To Post a message, send it to: aloha-donblanding@...
            >
            > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
            aloha-donblanding-unsubscribe@...
            >
            > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
            >
            >
            >


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          • Michael Brookman
            Great story! Wish I could help, but I m sure someone out there on the site will, Will. Good luck, michael ... From: Clueless in Seattle To:
            Message 5 of 11 , May 2 5:04 PM
              Great story! Wish I could help, but I'm sure someone out there on the site
              will, Will. Good luck, michael

              ----- Original Message -----
              From: Clueless in Seattle <clueless@...>
              To: <aloha-donblanding@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Tuesday, May 01, 2001 8:04 AM
              Subject: [aloha-donblanding] Dave Ballard's "Vagabond's House" recording?


              >
              > Aloha!
              >
              > My name is Will, but online everyone calls me "Clueless." It probably
              > won't take you long to figure out why.
              >
              > I'm writing to your list hoping that one of you might have some clues
              > or leads I can follow to track down an old recording of "Vagabond's
              > House" I heard on the radio decades ago.
              >
              > Back when I was in high school, here in Seattle in the late fifties,
              > there was a guy on the radio who read poetry backed with lush musical
              > accompaniment one night a week. His name was Dave Ballard and he called
              > his program "Reflections." I happened to tune in for the first time the
              > night he read "Vagabond's House" and was captivated by it. I became an
              > instant fan, tuning in every Sunday night at ten (I think I've got the
              > night right, I can't say if I've got the time right. Maybe one of you
              > knows for sure) while I did my homework for Monday morning.
              >
              > It turned out that "Vagabond's House" was one of his most requested
              > readings and I got to hear it at least a couple of more times before I
              > got out of the habit of listening to his show. Over the next 40 years I
              > would sometimes think back to Ballard's reading of that poem, but I
              > never knew the name of it and about all I could recall was an image of a
              > big overstuffed chair by the fire, with a couple of dogs sleeping on an
              > oriental rung at their master's feet.
              >
              > Then a few years ago I was talking to an old fellow I met at a
              > collectible coin business, where I was working at the time, and he was
              > working in a room of coin books on shelves from floor to ceiling. And I
              > mentioned to him that I used to collect books and hd kept them in
              > cardboard boxes in my parents' attic with the idea that someday I would
              > have a big house on a bluff with a room full of wooden bookshelves
              > crammed with all my books. But when my parents died I had to sell all
              > those books, and as I'd always been a wanderer I would probably never
              > own a house in my life.
              >
              > And that's when he began to recite some lines from "Vagabond's House"
              > and I was stunned to realize that he was reciting the very poem I'd
              > heard on the radio decades before. The next day he brought in a
              > photocopy of the poem for me and as I read it I was transported back to
              > those Sunday nights in the fifties.
              >
              > I was so excited I decided to try to track down a recording of Dave
              > Ballard reading the poem. I knew that his show was on tape, because he
              > used to send the tapes to Seattle from Hawaii. I found that out from a
              > friend of mine whose parents had been friends of the Ballard's. She
              > gave me the name and address of Ballard's widow. But she never replied
              > to my letters.
              >
              > Do any of you have any idea how I could track down a recording of Dave
              > Ballard reading "Vagabond's House?"
              >
              >
              > To Post a message, send it to: aloha-donblanding@...
              >
              > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
              aloha-donblanding-unsubscribe@...
              >
              > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
              >
              >
            • Clueless in Seattle
              ... What a wonderful surprise! After all these years! This internet is really a miracle machine, I swear! A dozen (!) different recordings of Vagabond s
              Message 6 of 11 , May 2 5:16 PM
                Cadia Los wrote:

                > I have maybe half a dozen different recordings of Dave's recitation
                > of Vagabond's House, including one that he recorded privately for me
                > in 1965 (along with The Cruise of the Spun-Glass Ship). The master
                > is on open reel, so I'm going to have to carve out time to have it
                > copied onto cassette. I don't have the necessary equipment.
                >
                > This has been a "to do" project for some time. I'll try to locate
                > the reel and a duplicating service soon.

                What a wonderful surprise! After all these years! This internet is
                really a miracle machine, I swear!

                A dozen (!) different recordings of "Vagabond's House?"

                I can't help wondering what the differences between them are?

                Are any of them recordings from his "Reflections" program?

                Is the background music different from recording to recording?

                I guess I'd better slow down. But you can imagine how excited I am to
                find something I've been looking for for over 40 years.

                Many thanks for replying. I can't wait to hear the tapes!

                Will (a.k.a "Clueless") in Seattle
              • Cadia Los
                Maybe HALF a dozen versions...one is the private recording, another is on one of Dave s four LP s and the others are from assorted Reflections programs between
                Message 7 of 11 , May 2 7:11 PM
                  Maybe HALF a dozen versions...one is the private recording, another
                  is on one of Dave's four LP's and the others are from assorted
                  Reflections programs between 1970 and 1973 (later broadcast on KBLE
                  and other stations in 1978-81).

                  I am not absolutely certain if the broadcast versions were different
                  readings or just remixed. Even with different background music,
                  it's possible to use a single reading to create several versions. (I
                  was once an announcer-engineer, too, and spent many hours producing
                  my own programs.)

                  Actually, I have about 150 hours of Dave's Reflections programs on
                  tape. Many are clearly duplicates, which is fortunate because a
                  couple of tapedecks sort of ate a few cassette tapes! Some years ago
                  I counted 36 out of 52 programs that included at least one Don
                  Blanding poem. One January 1971 program is entirely Blanding.

                  Dave was a great fan of Don Blanding. For Vagabond's House, Dave
                  always substituted the name of his own dog, Robespierre, for Boreas.

                  ~~Cadia
                • Bev Leinbach
                  Donnelle, I just got off the phone with Lucille Richardson from San Rafael. She was your mother Patty McCabe best friend in Inverness/Pt. Reyes Stations. She
                  Message 8 of 11 , May 3 8:33 AM
                    Donnelle,

                    I just got off the phone with Lucille Richardson from San Rafael. She was
                    your mother Patty McCabe best friend in Inverness/Pt. Reyes Stations. She
                    talked of their times together and your grandmother Evelyn Cravelli. However,
                    she moved to Pt. Reyes Station in 1947 and knows nothing of Don Blanding.

                    Lucille said your sister Dana might know more and if you could give me your
                    Uncle Sidney Roberts phone number, I could learn more from him. Alex Cravelli
                    told me that Sid recently had a stroke, but was doing O.K. He had even been
                    to Pt. Reyes recently.

                    Anyway, if you could patch me up with your sister Dana and Uncle Sid, I’ll
                    see what they remember about DB.

                    Mahalo,

                    Bev.
                    bevbach@...


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Clueless in Seattle
                    ... LP s?! You mean all these years I could have just gone to a record store and bought an LP of Dave reading Vagabond s House? Oohh! I could just kick
                    Message 9 of 11 , May 3 2:09 PM
                      Cadia Los wrote:

                      > Maybe HALF a dozen versions...one is the private recording, another
                      > is on one of Dave's four LP's

                      LP's?! You mean all these years I could have just gone to a record
                      store and bought an LP of Dave reading "Vagabond's House?" Oohh! I
                      could just kick myself. Well, there are still yard sales and thrift
                      stores. Maybe I'll get lucky and find one.

                      What label were they on?

                      > I am not absolutely certain if the broadcast versions were different
                      > readings or just remixed. Even with different background music,
                      > it's possible to use a single reading to create several versions. (I
                      > was once an announcer-engineer, too, and spent many hours producing
                      > my own programs.)

                      What station were you on? What kind of program. Maybe I used to listen
                      to you too!

                      > Actually, I have about 150 hours of Dave's Reflections programs on
                      > tape. Many are clearly duplicates, which is fortunate because a
                      > couple of tapedecks sort of ate a few cassette tapes! Some years ago
                      > I counted 36 out of 52 programs that included at least one Don
                      > Blanding poem. One January 1971 program is entirely Blanding.

                      I'd be interested in trying to catalog how many different variations of
                      "Vagabond's House" Dave Ballard recorded. Would you be up for that?
                    • devans6360
                      That s great. Hope Lucille is doing great. My sisters, including Dayna really know nothing about Don Blanding. I was the only one who took an interest in my
                      Message 10 of 11 , May 4 1:48 PM
                        That's great. Hope Lucille is doing great. My sisters, including Dayna
                        really know nothing about Don Blanding. I was the only one who took an
                        interest in my mothers friendship with him. His letters and books came to
                        me before her death. My uncle Sid lives in Vacaville and I'll give him a
                        call to ask about Don. I let you know soon. Take care. Donnelle
                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: Bev Leinbach <bevbach@...>
                        To: <aloha-donblanding@yahoogroups.com>
                        Sent: Thursday, May 03, 2001 8:33 AM
                        Subject: RE: [aloha-donblanding] Re: Dave Ballard's "Vagabond's House"
                        recording?


                        Donnelle,

                        I just got off the phone with Lucille Richardson from San Rafael. She was
                        your mother Patty McCabe best friend in Inverness/Pt. Reyes Stations. She
                        talked of their times together and your grandmother Evelyn Cravelli.
                        However,
                        she moved to Pt. Reyes Station in 1947 and knows nothing of Don Blanding.

                        Lucille said your sister Dana might know more and if you could give me
                        your
                        Uncle Sidney Roberts phone number, I could learn more from him. Alex
                        Cravelli
                        told me that Sid recently had a stroke, but was doing O.K. He had even been
                        to Pt. Reyes recently.

                        Anyway, if you could patch me up with your sister Dana and Uncle Sid, I'll
                        see what they remember about DB.

                        Mahalo,

                        Bev.
                        bevbach@...


                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



                        To Post a message, send it to: aloha-donblanding@...

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                      • TJMarkle@cs.com
                        Donnelle: tj lives in Vacaville with your Uncle Sid....put him in touch with me or give me his phone number and I ll follow up with him...always amazing all
                        Message 11 of 11 , May 4 8:52 PM
                          Donnelle:

                          tj lives in Vacaville with your Uncle Sid....put him in touch with me or give
                          me his phone number and I'll follow up with him...always amazing all the
                          lines that are crossed....tj
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