Trial Balloon

Trial Balloon: February 1, 2010 Archive

I'd Like To Thank ...

Posted at 6:00 AM on February 1, 2010 by Dale Connelly (35 Comments)

Radio Heartland has tickets to see Mavis Staples at the Dakota in Minneapolis this Wednesday night at 7 pm.

Enter the drawing.
Obey the rules.
Good luck!

Seeing Mavis Staples perform live (in amazing 3-D, WITHOUT the funky paper glasses) would be an inspirational way to spend a February evening, and this week she might appreciate a supportive crowd even more than usual, having lost the Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album to the Derek Trucks Band last night.

It surprised me to learn that Mavis Staples has never won a Grammy, though her father (Pops) got one in 1994.

Awards show season can be frustrating for artists and their fans. If your favorite singer, actor, writer, set designer or foley artist doesn't win, it's a reminder that these shows are a pointless waste of time, an exercise in snobbishness, the purest form of self congratulation and the voters are a bunch of no-taste noodle heads.

And if your favorite wins, well, this is a date that will go down in history! Justice was served. The world acknowledged greatness.

My favorite awards show thank you speech pre-dates television. I loved what Nephew Thomas said when he accepted the prize for 1938 Stunt Man of the Year, receiving his first Marconi (the "Oscar" of the radio world) thanks to his uncanny ability to make it appear he was flying through the air using only his voice and manipulating his proximity to the microphone. He said:

I have so many people to thank, I'm going to have to disappoint them equally and not mention any names at all. Sorry, everybody. Kill me if you must, but that will be hard. I'm a Radio Stunt Man after all.

My only thank you tonight goes to gravity, because it has made my career possible.

It was gravity that pulled me off the side of HMS Indomitable when I played "Semaphore Operator 1", valiantly trying to signal Vice-admiral Beatty aboard HMS Lion during the riveting WW1 drama, "The Battle of Dogger Bank".

Gravity kept me from getting launched all the way into space when I played the Human Cannonball in "Carnival People!".

And it is gravity holding me here right now, at a time when I am so happy, I could float right to the ceiling of this auditorium, which would be a wonderful effect to do in some future radio dramaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaa..."

Of course at that point he did a vivid fade off mic that sounded for all the world like he was being inexplicably lifted upward - the sort of detail only a master can pull off.

If you had to give an acceptance speech right now, who would you thank?

And please, keep it brief. We have to get the commercials in.

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