It’s Independence Day Weekend, and OId Sinc’s on Vacation


I went looking in the boxes of reel-to-reel tapes for a July 4th show. The closest I found was one from Saturday, July 5th, 1986. Old Sinc and Miss Helen were on vacation in Florida (yes, in the summer; Sinc said the sea breezes made it quite pleasant). So I transferred all five hours (two of The Down Home Show, three of Hillbilly at Harvard) and got to work editing. It’s a lot easier in Audacity on the iMac than it was in the old days of razor blades and splicing tape. But it still takes time. There was a 5-second radio dropout in a George Jones song; I replaced the song. There were a bunch of bluegrass festival plugs that I thought might be confused with current ones, so I deleted those; I still left in lots of Country Calendar flavor for you country-nostalgia fans.

That left HAH about 10 minutes short, so I started the broadcast with three songs and the closing theme (‘Sally Ann’) of The Down Home Show, before HAH proper begins. The Down Home Show was more bluegrass and old-timey than HAH. Eventually we gave two hours of it to a full-bluegrass show called Panhandle Country, which some of you may remember, and HAH became the four-hour program it remained for thirty years—until this past Spring, as a matter of fact.

You’ll notice that there are new releases from folks like Dwight Yoakam, George Strait, and Randy Travis. Country music had begun a ‘neo-traditional’ rennaisance, and we were playing more new commercial artists than I do these days (or did when the show was live in 2020); the most country artists these days are ‘alt’.

You’ll notice too that for Country Calendar information, I give mailing addresses and phone numbers: not a website to be found. The World Wide Web was still four years in the future, and maybe 15 years before it became widely used. WHRB listeners were still restricted to our Boston-area broadcast signal from our transmitter then atop Holyoke Center in Harvard Square.

It was July 5th, but there are a couple of tunes for the Fourth, and many songs that you might not have heard for a while. So turn up your radio and revisit the Summer of 1986 with me in WHRB’s former studios in Memorial Hall, below Sanders Theater at Harvard. /CL

This entry was posted in Administrivia, Archival Productions, Country History, Hillbilly History, Hillbilly Journal, Program Notes, Radio Talk and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to It’s Independence Day Weekend, and OId Sinc’s on Vacation

  1. Byron Marshall says:


    Impressive, diligent, informative!

    Very cool work, and the information about times then are really interesting. Would make the basis for a time travel novel. 🙂 Or a new broadcast of You Are There!

    Mem hall!

    Could you record this little account you’ve written so it preceeds and explains the upcoming archival ? Use it to introduce the archival. It enhances the archival.

    Its quite interesting!

    And people who haven’t read your blog need to know how much work you put into these archivals – and HAH.

    ps Here in Orlando this weekend the fireworks will be on the 5th, since its the work-holiday. (On the 7th we may have a hurricane. Maybe at Disney they’ll play songs (about Elza) from horrible Frozen to celebrate.)

    We occasionally in the morning go to Downtown Disney (its free) to have an iced coffee by the artificial lake until the artificial volcano explodes at noon. its very pleasant. Of course at Daytona there’s a sea breeze.

    ps2 what is the trolley car (below)?

    ps3 Have a nice 4th! 🇺🇸



    • Howdy Byron–

      I usually mention a few details in an introductory announcement to the Archival shows.

      The trolley is at the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine. /CL

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