I digitized my grandpa's Portuguese radio show from 1983!

I recently posted about this in the goings on thread, but I’ve finally uploaded the first of several tapes I digitized when I visited my grandpa over the holidays. He had a radio show in Provincetown, MA in the early 80’s where he played Portuguese classics and contemporary music for the local immigrant community. There’s some great stuff in there!

Lusíada - 7/1/1983

This episode’s first half is classic fado type stuff and the second half has some AMAZING new wave and pop stuff. Here’s the description I wrote for soundcloud:

My grandfather, Antonio Ferreira, created a radio show called Lusíada in the early 80’s in an effort to connect the Portuguese immigrant community of Provincetown, Massachusetts with the music of their homeland. He played both classic and contemporary music he gathered on his yearly trips back to Portugal. He also used the show to inform the community of local news and events.

At the time, he also owned the Provincetown Portuguese Bakery. Because his show aired in the afternoon while he was working at the bakery, he always recorded episodes at home in advance. He had a complex audio setup so he could play his records and tapes, and record his interludes using his own microphones. He output everything to a reel-to-reel tape that he delivered to the station.

He kept these tapes afterwards, and he still has boxes of them in his house. I recently visited over the holidays and digitized a selection of them, including this episode.

Check out the great new wave punk song at 30:25 - Amor by Heróis do Mar. My grandfather seems to have played this and the following track at the wrong speed, but I actually like it better that way. I’m not sure whether he did this intentionally or whether he just wasn’t familiar with new wave and thought it was supposed to sound like this.

26 Likes

The audio starts a little rough but gets better as it goes. I did only very minor cleanup – just normalized to bring the left and right channels to the same volume. Any audio experts out there (like @b_coma perhaps?) who can hear anything and have any tips on how to improve it, I’m all ears! I’m using Audacity.

Also, I know almost no Portuguese, unfortunately, so a lot of the time I don’t really know what he’s saying on his talk breaks. In the intro to this episode, it sounds like he might be talking about Portugal’s former colonies, and I just have to hope he’s not being problematic!

1 Like

I digitized 4 or 5 other episodes, which I also plan to upload when I have time.

I think it’s great just as it is, after normalization. I guess there’s an obvious noise floor from the tape in the beginning that one could run through some kind of noise removal, but I don’t feel like it’s so distracting as to make it necessary–tape hiss is part of the context of its history anyway!

5 Likes

also this is dope

3 Likes

Thanks a ton for checking it out! I’m glad to hear from an expert that it came out well. Now I can stop second-guessing it. I recall some of the other tapes having pretty fucked up left channels for whatever reason, so for those I might just duplicate the right channel and make it mono.

1 Like

Looking forward to listening to this in my spare time this weekend

1 Like

Bumping this before it gets axed. I’ll be putting out another of these some time soon!

3 Likes

This is getting me through a very “blah” day working from home, thank you

1 Like

That’s awesome, I’m really happy to hear you’re enjoying it!

I have shared this with my Azorean work friend for her family to enjoy.

Will listen for real soon

1 Like

Musica saudade would be a good subtitle

2 Likes

Oh man I just got to Amor holy shit it’s slowed down Chipmunks all over again

Impossible not to groove to

3 Likes

Much better than the regular speed version (it’s on Spotify).

1 Like

I completely agree, the languid horn solo alone makes the slower version superior.

1 Like

gonna listen to this while I do some work tonight

1 Like

boppity bu–

1 Like

radical :+1:

1 Like

I’ve put up another episode! The disco song 15 minutes in is pretty rockin’.

1 Like