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The Mad Daddy


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It was 1959 in Cleveland,”once upon a time, in the land of Oobladi”. Frantically preparing for his 8 p.m. show, the young wizard of rock ‘n’ roll radio cued tape recorders, positioned microphones, and flipped sound effects records onto turntables like cards from a deck. Through the soundproof studio window,”Mad Daddy’s” bat-out-of-hell paced pantomime looked like ‘fast forward’ video. The silent frenzy grew till the studio light blinked ‘on air’.

Suddenly, radios throughout northeastern Ohio (dubbed ‘Oobladi’) resounded with echoing, mad laughter. After a countdown to ground zero, “Fiver, four, three, two, one”, listeners heard an explosion, then Mad Daddy’s theme song,”Night Train.” Finally, with perspiration starting to bead on his brow and an old ‘birdcage’ microphone over his shoulder, Pete ‘Mad Daddy’ Myers, Cleveland’s famed bard of the airwaves, went into his number: four hours of outrageous acrobatics, torrents of kooky jargon, and off-beat ‘wavy gravy’ record sounds, peaking with a manic live show. Everything was done in off-the-cuff rhyme.

“Night Train” sunk into the distance, as Myers ‘flap-lipped’ a greeting to his Mad Minions:”Welcome, little stinkers, to the land of winky blinkers! We’ve boiled up wavy gravy and it’s ready to flow, so hang loose, Mother Goose, here comes the show!”

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