It was 1973 or ’74. I was working at WGAR, Cleveland and living in an apartment in North Olmsted, OH. The era was pre-Internet, pre-VCR, pre-cellphone.
I used to turn on the TV when I’d get home from work. Then as now, the hours after midnight were a wasteland of programs with lower production values and cheaper commercial time.
Late night Cleveland television provided my my introduction to Eddy Arnold. We hardly played him on the radio, and I wasn’t watching any on-screen concerts. Eddy Arnold is my first remembrance of a two minute ‘per inquiry’ record ad.
You see them all the time now. They have mainly moved from single artists to genre compilations, but the concept’s the same. Music by artists who no longer sell albums is sold to consumers who no longer buys albums.
Often, the TV station or cable network is paid a commission for each item sold. There’s no guarantee the station will get anything. So, these ads are only seen in time periods where conventional ads can’t be sold.
“Make the world (long pause) go away,” Eddy would sing as the ad began. Then for the next 115 seconds, the pitch would proceed.
How deeply is this ad burned in my pschye? Indelibly! I still remember where you sent your money: Eddy, 1030 Terminal Tower, Cleveland… that’s Eddy, 1030 Terminal Tower, Cleveland.
Eddy Arnold died today, and with him a piece of TV history. He probably didn’t even know.
I wonder if the album was any good?