This week, we’re sharing a highly subjective journey through one narrow, eccentric, corridor of radio advertising, as heard through the ears of one man. His name is Clive Desmond. Clive is a radio advertising producer, writer, and composer. He’s been doing it for more than thirty years, and he’s won some of the industry’s top awards. Through those years he’s been sort of a zelig figure: you can find his face somewhere in the margins of every one of the medium’s key aesthetic revolutions. He’s rescued beautiful forgotten nuggets of radio history, and he’s delicately arranged them into a glittering associative chain—a constellation of jingles and spots that somehow all add up, to a life: The life of Clive Desmond as heard through the radio.
Listen below to a special bonus playlist of some of the finest radio-advertising nuggets Clive assembled:
In this episode, you’ll also hear Josh Wilker read his review of our program. “A man claiming to be from The Organist came to the parking lot gate out back. He said he needed access to the building’s electricity meter. We looked at one another through the bars.” Josh Wilker is the author of the pop-culture memoirs Cardboard Gods, Benchwarmer, and The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training. He lives in Chicago.
You can also check out our episode on Mal Sharpe, a man who was among the first wave of fake newsmen, paving the way from everyone from Borat to Colbert. In this week’s episode, Clive Desmond cites Mal as one of the originators of the “man on the street” radio commercial. Special thanks to Doug Thompson, Dan Aron, Nick Ream and Jennifer Sharper.
All incidental music courtesy of the wonderful artists listed below from Free Music Archive FMA.org
Podington Bear, “Three Colors,” “Light Touch,” “Keep Dancing,” “Clouds Pass Softly Deux”
Lee Rosevere, “Let's Start At The Beginning,” “Making A Change Blue Dot Sessions, “Diatom,” “The Zeppelin”
Anamorphic Orchestra, “Machine Elves”
Chris Zabriskie , "Another Version of You"