Way back in 2009, back when President Obama still had that new car smell, I had started a column here called “Way Out Wednesday”. It featured odd albums from my old blog, “Way Out Junk”. Dw Dunphy encouraged us all to start columns rolling here again on a regular basis, and I decided it was time to start this up again. Unfortunately, Wednesdays were all booked up by the time I said yes. I’m scheduled for Fridays now, but that wouldn’t work with my old title, so I tried to think of another appropriate name. Far Out Friday? Freaky Friday? Way Out Weekend? I just figured I’d just call it “Way Out Junk” here too, because it would be good advertising in case I ever got the old site up and running again (and it wouldn’t confine me to a specific day). Anyway, here’s an album I featured on my very first column here (and where the name of both my blog and this column originated).
This is a set of eight different commercials from an organization I know very little about except:
- They sent out pamphlets and a magazine at no charge (“Like love, it’s free”) geared to teens on subjects like suicide, VD and other sexual matters, and getting along with parents.
- They had locations in Canada (Vancouver 3, BC) and California.
- They had enough pull to get endorsements from Johnny Cash and Dorsey Burnette.
I don’t remember when or how we got this record. I think a radio station might have given it to us (or perhaps we found it in their dumpster). Going by the fashions and some of the music, I’m guessing that these commercials were done some time in the early ’70s.
At 5:56 in the video below, you can hear Johnny’s spot, where he sounded natural and unforced all the way. With his hit song “What Is Truth” playing in the background, Cash tells you that if you need guidance and are going “the route” like he did, contact “Way Out” for help.
Compare that to Dorsey Burnette’s spot at 7:06. Burnette sounds like he’s reading off a piece of paper handed to him as soon as he stepped up to the microphone. It doesn’t help that he got stuck doing a PSA about venereal disease. After rattling off some statistics, Burnette astutely observes, “That makes VD kind of a hangup, don’t it?” He also informs us that “VD is a bummer by anybody’s standards.” I don’t even think he gets the name of the booklet right. I show it listed as “How the Bad Bug Bites,” and he calls it “How the Big Bug Bites.” (I can imagine this conversation in the recording booth: “Hey guys. I said ‘How to get rid of it it’. Should we do that again?” “Keep rolling, Dorsey. Unlike love, studio time isn’t free!”)
If you’d like to learn more about what Way Out is all about, you can hear the whole set of commercials here.
The links in my old blog are dead, but if you see any albums there that you’d like me to spotlight in a future installment, just let me know in the comments below!