From the Stacks

From The Stacks: ‘Army Reserve Radio Program Sampler’

If you want Johnny Mathis, Al Green, and Alice Cooper all on one album, this one is your huckleberry.

Apparently back in 1973, the United States Army Reserve was doing its best to revitalize its image. Vietnam wasn’t quite over yet, and in terms of the youth movement the military didn’t survive the ’60s very well. That was all behind them now: “The Army Reserve is a whole new bag now that none of the faithful is sitting in a draft” the back cover of this album promises. I guess when the draft ended in January 1973, the Reserve miraculously found itself filled with chipper (and faithful) volunteers rather than those cruddy old draftees.

And what better way to entertain those eager Reservists than with Army Reserve radio shows, right? This promo offered tastes of three different shows, one for every kind of young person. There was Skitch Henderson’s sit down with Johnny Mathis, for those youthful Reservists who were the same age as their grandparents. Those in the middle without any plans could enjoy a little Alice Cooper, and our African American friends–who we more than welcome to join us in the new, improved Army Reserve–can “get down” (am I using that correctly?) with Al Green and LaBelle.

The whole package is incredibly weird and tone deaf, but that’s what makes it so fun. Side B is dedicated to an interview with Alice, who was promoting the band’s latest album, Billion Dollar Babies. He talks about 22 year-old producer Bob Ezrin, the commercial failure of Alice Cooper’s first two albums, who the title refers to (spoiler alert: it’s the band) how singles are getting longer, and the grind (and addiction) of the road, all interspersed with tracks from Billion Dollar Babies.

Of particular interest to Alice Cooper fans but fun for the whole family, this Army Reserve Radio Programming Sampler will set you back about ten bucks. Happy hunting.

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