Coyle & Sharpe: These 2 Men Are Imposters – SharpeWorld

by | Nov 28, 2006 | Jazz CD Reviews | 0 comments

Coyle & Sharpe: These 2 Men Are Imposters – SharpeWorld boxed set: 3 CDs + 1 DVD ****:

Broadcast radio has seen several “golden ages.”  Some consider the 1940s, with wonderful pre-TV drama and comedies available each day and night to be the zenith of creativity.  Programs like The Jack Benny Program  and Suspense became classics, still funny and frightening today.  The 1950s and early 60s brought a new wave of broadcast radio talent.  It was less scripted and formal, but with a sense of spontaneity and breakthrough approaches in talk and disk jockeying that had not been heard before.  The late night reminisences (without any notes in front of him) by Jean Shepherd in New York City come to mind.  In San Francisco, mornings were not complete without KSFO’s Don Sherwood’s shortening drive time with totally unpredictable skits, musings, and irreverence, followed by the ultra cool Al “Jazzbo” Collins. 
Aligned with the latter era came Jim Coyle and Mal Sharpe, who met each other in about 1961 in the dining room of their San Francisco boarding house at breakfast one morning.  They both were between jobs.  And they soon both realized, over burned toast and weak coffee, that they shared a zaniness and a desire to test the believability of their fellow San Franciscans.  Armed with a crude reel tape recorder, hidden in a briefcase with a hole cut out for the mic, they began to pose as deadpan but impossible characters, who would soon roam the Financial District of San Francisco, stopping innocent suits and workers for a brief discussion of subjects so absurd but so sincerely presented that the hapless victims were mesmerized.  They later used a hand-held mic, to provide the illusion of a serious interview. 
KGO-AM decided to air some of the episodes in five-minute spots during the day, and for a couple of years the duo became wildly popular.  Now comes this beautifully-packaged collection of their bits on 3 CDs.  Most are hilarious, and all are of an innocent pre-PC (in both senses) era impossible to do today, thanks to lawyers and our  general litigious and frightened society.  Could two guys walk up to you today and ask if you’d be willing to be connected by tubing to a human leach in order to provide him nourishment?  Would you agree to rob an unsuspecting bank,  armed with a gun, as part of a movie?  Or to rent orphan children on a trial basis for a reasonable fee?  Or to condone evoking beautiful music by drawing a bow over various animals—coyotes and weasels, even if promised they would feel no pain?  You might have to think about it.
As a bonus, a DVD is included.  It’s a pilot for a TV show which never aired.  It was hosted by George Fenneman—Groucho’s announcer—and involves hidden microphones and cameras in scenes as painful to watch as they are uproariously funny.
This CD/DVD set shows us talent far more personal that Candid Camera or, before that, Candid Microphone, with little commercial concern, and was arguably the first true reality show concept.  Jim Coyle disappeared from the San Francisco scene and died long ago.  Mal Sharpe is still much with us, playing his trombone with his Big Money in Jazz Dixieland group at the 1960s icon No Name Bar in Sausalito – at the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge.  He is also heard each Sunday on KCSM-FM from 9-11 PM ( for Internet streaming) where you can hear him present fine jazz, and occasional bits from this boxed set.  And even odd call-in contests where he may give away a copy.
You do need this CD/DVD set, whether you were in San Francisco with the Beat Generation in North Beach in the early ‘60s,  or a fan of radio genius, or just want to listen to finely honed absurdity.  Available from online sellers, or from CD or through the Coyle & Sharpe website.
— Bob Wilkins

Contents of the 3 CDs

1. KGO Show Open
2. Grevenz
3. Welcome to New Years Eve 1964
4. Burn Your Bag
5. Run Over Hand
6. King of the Sun
7. Renting Children
8. The Droner
9. Ingotal Matter
10. Seven Channel Seven
11. Traffic Patrol
12. Record Your Stomach
13. Seatbelts
14. Mailman Give Us Your Mail
15. Elongated Head
16. Sheet Sale
17. He Slipped Away
18. Human sugar Bowl
19. Dringitis
20. Wolverine Football
21. Stamps
22. Yo Quierro Fumar Cigarros
23. Underground Death Ritual
24. Weather Tree
25. Good Night and Happy New Year
26. Daring but Dead
27. Human Leach
28. Mr. Rodent
29. Crawfish Boat Shirt
30. Aquamaniac
31. Druggist
32. Feast of Patience
33. Musical Animals
34. Merchandise Peddlers
35. Werewolf
36. Brain Piggy Bank
37. Sandor 21
38. Polylingua
39. Footapples
40. Vocal Projection
41. Armored Attack
42. 114 Noises
43. Live in Elevator
44. Yiddish Reindeer
45. C&S Get Arrested Part 1
46. C&S Get Arrested Part 2
47. Not a Time Bomb
48. We Never Burn Anything Around Here
49. Insects in a Clothing Store
50. Up
51. Ritual Dry Cleaner


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