Messages from the Message

When I was in high school, I discovered a record in my parents’ collection with a very simple white cover, titled Messages From The Message. The Message was an answering service somewhere in Cambridge, Mass., started in 1968, on which various goofy skits of one sort or another were left for the enjoyment of anyone who cared to call. I assume that this album is a sort of “greatest hits.”

I taped the album for my own use, trotting out various skits at youth-group talent shows (and again more recently at my local folk-music organization’s “recitations” night). Recently, I looked and was surprised to find that I can’t find any reference to it online anywhere.

So, in the interest of making this bundle of exuberant, and occasionally brilliant, weirdness accessible to those who might enjoy it, I have begun to go through and transcribe the skits. I will post them here as I get them done. I will also try to get around to creating audio files.

We recently tracked down the original album, and I am transcribing the back label below. If anyone knows anything more about Messages From The Message, please contact me! If you are one of the people who created it, by all means let me know. (Please note that in theory the copyright of these works still belongs to those who made them.)

Enjoy!

Messages:

Side One:

1. Antoine’s Head
2. Amanda Thorston’s 895th Dream
3. The Vacuum Cleaner Interview
4. The Laugh of a Loon
5. The First Unanswered Question
6. Therapy
7. The Small Cyclops–A Likely Story
8. Baragonia–Island of Enchantment
9. The Great Dead Horse Parable

Side Two:

1. By the Dawn’s Early Light
2. Action Man and Gogo Girl
3. The Cosmic Number
4. The Cabbage and the Duck
5. Words by Lulu
6. Our Text this Morning Is Taken from the Almanac
7. The Trees
8. An Auditory Cartoon.

“The Laugh of a Loon” by Rozie McClellan.
“Words by Lulu” by Lola Claflin
All other selections by Bill Claflin.

Other information form the album label:

“The Message (868-0959) is the world’s first dial-a-fantasy service. It was born on April 8, 1968, and speaks for itself. Ths album contains 17 of the messages broadcast during its first year of life.

For further information, or additional copies of this record, or anything else that comes to mind, write: The Message, Box 77, Cambridge, Mass. 02138.

For best results, turn up treble, turn down bass, and play at 33 1/3 RPM.

Recorded live, on location, at The Message. A monophonic, telephone-fidelity recording.