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Thursday, October 27, 2016

I.G.Y., The Nightfly, Donald Fagen, Jean Shepherd and SolderSmoke

OK, so from time-to-time we  talk about IGY, the International Geophysical Year. I was born during that scientifically momentous period.  A lot of cool stuff happened.  Amazing propagation conditions too.  So for a while (around SolderSmoke 149) I was using the opening bars of Donald Fagen's song I.G.Y. as the intro for the podcast.  That song comes from Fagen's album Nightfly.  The album cover appears above.

This morning I got two e-mails from Steve N8NM about another connection between SolderSmoke and IGY.  At first I thought he was pulling my leg.  But  before I show you the e-mails, let me show you another picture:

That's Jean Shepherd.  Can you dig it?

Steve writes:

Hey Bill! 

I'm Listening to #149, where you introduced Donald Fagen's "I.G.Y" as the new theme song.  Have you heard that the protagonist on that album is based on none-other than Shep, K2ORS.  Don't know if that's necessarily true, but the album title (The Nightfly), Fagen being from NY, and the era depicted certainly make that plausible...

I guess it's factual - This is from an interview Fagen did with New York Magazine:
Your first solo album, The Nightfly, was inspired by fifties jazz disc jockeys. Which ones were your favorites?
Symphony Sid was very popular. Mort Fega was probably the best all-around jazz D.J. Ed Beach on WRVR would do this very scholarly afternoon show, and I’d listen to that when I came home from school. But the figure of the Nightfly was based more on a guy who didn’t play jazz records, Jean Shepherd. He was a monologist who used to just talk and tell stories and say funny things. He was a social satirist.
Speaking of Shep:  You've done him proud, not only in your HB radio efforts, but in proving yourself to be a very capable monologist for the several years between Mike's passing and Pete's arrival.  Three Cheers for Bill!  Give that man a brass figlagee with gold leaf palm!
73!  Steve N8NM
By the authority vested in me by having once spoken to Jean Shepherd, I award Steve Murphy N8NM, the coveted Brass Figlagee with Gold Leaf Palm.  



1 comment:

  1. Nightfly is an amazing Album. What an era. Bill and Pete ... keep up the good work mates. Hope to meet up with you both one day!


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