Awhile back I got a small package of cassettes from Jennifer LeDoux, Mike LeDoux‘s widow. Before he passed away, Mike had told me that he’d given me all the Optigan-related items he thought he had, but apparently he missed these cassettes. They contain mostly demos and promo spots of various sorts. I finally got around to putting them together for this blog post, though I didn’t really do any heavy editing or clean-up, so they are what they are.
First off, a 60-second radio spot for the Optigan:[audio:http://www.optigan.com/sounds/optigan-radio-spot.mp3|titles=Optigan® Radio Spot]
Here’s an audio excerpt from the Dinah Shore TV show “Dinah’s Place,” dated Dec. 21, 1972. Barry Goldwater is the guest, and this clip features Goldwater attempting to play an Optigan® whilst Shore attempts to sing along. Optigan® had its first (and probably only) big promotional campaign during the 1972 holiday season, so this bit was most likely a part of that campaign. If anyone has a video copy of this, I’d love to get it from you![audio:http://www.optigan.com/sounds/dinah.mp3|titles=When The Saints Go Marching In|artists=Dinah Shore / Barry Goldwater]
Finally, we have a large number of songs written by someone named Arlene Buckner. As far as I can tell, these are demos of her songs, maybe recorded by something like a song-poem service, all featuring Optigan® backing tracks. They are all published by Lark Ellen Music, ASCAP. The singer(s) are not identified, and I don’t know anything else about these songs. Neither Buckner nor her publishing company appear in ASCAP’s search engine. And since Mike is no longer with us to clue me in, I’ll probably never know for sure![audio:http://www.optigan.com/sounds/0101.mp3,http://www.optigan.com/sounds/0102.mp3,http://www.optigan.com/sounds/0103.mp3,http://www.optigan.com/sounds/0104.mp3,http://www.optigan.com/sounds/0105.mp3,http://www.optigan.com/sounds/0106.mp3,http://www.optigan.com/sounds/0107.mp3,http://www.optigan.com/sounds/0108.mp3,http://www.optigan.com/sounds/0109.mp3,http://www.optigan.com/sounds/0110.mp3,http://www.optigan.com/sounds/0111.mp3,http://www.optigan.com/sounds/0112.mp3,http://www.optigan.com/sounds/0201.mp3,http://www.optigan.com/sounds/0202.mp3,http://www.optigan.com/sounds/0204.mp3,http://www.optigan.com/sounds/0205.mp3,http://www.optigan.com/sounds/0206.mp3,http://www.optigan.com/sounds/0207.mp3,http://www.optigan.com/sounds/0208.mp3,http://www.optigan.com/sounds/0209.mp3,http://www.optigan.com/sounds/0210.mp3,http://www.optigan.com/sounds/0211.mp3,http://www.optigan.com/sounds/0212.mp3|titles=Sadie Is Almost A Lady,Earth And Sky,I Can’t Believe I Ate The Whole Thing,Old Fashioned Christmas,Hello Baby,Island In The Sun,The Good Old Days,Riverboat Queen,People I Like,I Still Want You,Chasin’ Rabbits,Candlelight And Wine,Oak Tree Polka,Rainbow Waltz,Lessons,Devil Can’t Hurt Me,Shadow,Man Can’t Make A Rainbow,I’m Just Passin’ Through,Come Down Sweet Jesus,You Just Say It’s Over,Blue Rainy Day,Mama’s Rocking Chair|artists=Arlene Buckner,Arlene Buckner,Arlene Buckner,Arlene Buckner,Arlene Buckner,Arlene Buckner,Arlene Buckner,Arlene Buckner,Arlene Buckner,Arlene Buckner,Arlene Buckner,Arlene Buckner,Arlene Buckner,Arlene Buckner,Arlene Buckner,Arlene Buckner,Arlene Buckner,Arlene Buckner,Arlene Buckner,Arlene Buckner,Arlene Buckner,Arlene Buckner,Arlene Buckner]
February 18, 2010 at 4:18 pm
Can you post them as mp3 files or a zip file with them. I would love to burn them and listen to them in the car or on my ipod. Art was a good singer.
March 17, 2010 at 5:15 am
Wow, for a second there I thought number 15 “Lessons” was Morrissey.
November 21, 2010 at 7:52 am
I have found our Arlene Buckner:
Indeed this is the same woman who ran Lark Ellen, Inc., which dissolved in 1978:
But now we come to the bad news, friend. She died in 2005 at the age of 85:
It is 5 years too late now to interview dear Arlene. But her survivors would, I am sure, be happy to know that you are keeping her memory alive. Her widower’s firm, Buckner Chiropractic, still operates in Brookings, OR:
Arlene Fay Buckner
June 8, 1920 – September 8, 2005
November 22, 2010 at 2:25 pm
awesome! thanks for the sleuthing!! i’ll have to check out all those links when i get a chance!!
August 15, 2016 at 3:05 am
“Christmas is a time for coming home” by Arlene Buckner. 45 rpm on the Lark Ellen record label