Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Tribute to Danny Stiles

Sometime in 2012, I discovered a radio show called The Music Museum on WNYC AM. I heard it through the internet. I've been listening to internet radio since early 2000. There is something about listening to something foreign that intrigues me. But WNYC is not an internet radio. It is an actual radio channel from New York, amidst thousands of radio channels being broadcast in the internet during that time.

I stumbled upon WNYC while browsing for random radio channels in New York using the TuneIn app (which is a great app) and was somehow hooked. Particularly, I was listening to show on WNYC FM called The Great American Songbook, hosted by one Jonathan Schwartz.

Not knowing there is another WNYC channel in the AM version, I stumbled upon another show called The Danny Stiles Music Museum. It was a two-hour long program consisting of songs from the swing era from Danny's own collection of 200 thousand vinyl. Yes, vinyl. And that made it so special. Most of the time you can hear scratchy sounds from the music he plays.

The show aired every Sunday 9am (Malaysian time) which is equivalent to Saturday 9pm in New York. Every Sunday morning I would 'religiously' listen to and record his shows using the paid version of TuneIn (just to show how obsessed I was about the show). Sometimes I would even sacrifice my 3G data to stream and record his program if I happen to be outside.

My favourite part of his show is the self-proclaimed titles that he would announce almost in every show. For the past few months, I've been listening to all of his shows that I managed to record, taking note all of the titles he uttered. These titles have always had me in stitches. They were mostly alliterations, which means a series of words with the same sounding first consonant or the same first letter.

Before that, I am here to proclaim something myself. I am probably the only person in the whole internet to have made a list of these titles.

The first and somewhat official title that he would say every time is The Vicar of Vintage Vinyl.
Then he will follow with the sentence "or sometimes referred to by (insert name) as your.."

1. Carefree Collector of Caressable Chords
2. Pontificating Purveyor of Past Popular Pristine Platters
3. Super Spinner of Supremely Savoured Salivating Selections
4. Learned Legislator of Labyrinthian Lyrics
5. Retro Raconteur of Rotating Recycled Rhythms
6. Duke of Dastardly Dusty Discs
7. Doctor of Archaeological Discology
8. Righteous Raja of Raucous Retro Record Relics
9. Presenter of Perpetual Past Popular Pearls and Platters
10. Dedicated Dispenser of Dreamy Discology
11. Wizard of Waxings the Way We Were
12. Gargantuan Generator of Genial Jocularity
13. Magnanimous Messenger of Marvelous Miraculous Memories
14. Gracious Guru of Golden Gramophones
15. Maverick Maestro of Musical Memories
16. Courageous Courier of Convivial Cudos
17. Indispensable Identifier of Irreplaceable Imagery
18. Entertainer of Exquisite Examples of Elevated Enjoyment
19. Loquacious Lionizer of Long Lost Lemonades
20. Erudite Emcee of Euphonious Esoterica

Danny died on March 2011. What I have been listening to were actually archives ranging from 2004-2010. I was a little too late to start listening though, or I might have sent him e-mails. Earlier this year in March, WNYC stopped airing his archived shows. I was devastated but luckily I still have a number of his recorded shows on my iPod

And I still listen to him from an online streaming of his Music Museum archives on his website

At the end of every show, Danny would play 'Goodnight, My Love' by Shirley Temple followed by 'I'll Never Have to Dream Again' by Connee Boswell. Every time. And every time at the very end he would say "Goodnight sweet Barbara". Barbara was Danny's late wife.

Well then, goodnight ole Danny.

P/S: Besides most probably being the only one to have a list of Danny Stiles' self proclaimed titles on the internet, I also wonder if there are any Malaysian who listened to his shows. Chances are scarce but here I am. So I will write these down as the keywords: WNYC, Danny Stiles, Malaysia.

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