2003   JANUARY 26   #026

John Rydgren - A Beautiful Girl/Music To Watch Girls By

from Hyp Records :

The legacy of John Rydgren (deceased) is one of the most enigmatic in radio-jock if not also record history. A Lutheran evangelist, Rydgren started a hit program called "Silhouettes," in which he rapped over such appealing tunes as "Music to Watch Girls By," ""Groovin'," "Rinky Dink," the Electric Prunes' "Kyrie Eleison," and occasionally less obvious pieces such as "Dark Side of the Flower" (with sitar). As with Ken Nordine, his thoughts were highly original, ranging from quirky perceptions of the mundane to deep acid-head philosophy. Sexy and startling, ""Silhouettes" were as weird as anything heard from a pulpit or transistor radio."

text from the album liner by John Rydgren:

A natural phenomenon... watching girls. A special attraction... girls... designed for man by God. The beautiful girls today, the colorful music along with the fact that God did design a most special creature to keep man company... provided the inspiration for the Silhouette production, Music to Watch Girls By.

- Otis Fodder

TT-3:39 / 3.34MB / 128kbps 44.1khz
from the LP, "Silhouette Segments"

Shane Rydgren writes:
The album produced and voice-overed by John Rydgren: Silhouette, was a record produced by my father. He died in 1988 @ age 56, on Dec 26, I was fourteen. When my dad left for the big station in the sky, I wasn't yet old enough to sit down and ask him the things every kid should get to ask his dad, and by hearing his message, I can get a feel for where his work was and why. Quite a lot of people in the world of radio were fond of Brother John, I just wish I could have tuned in. I thought you might be interested in this: The only book Brother John wrote, ""Tomorrow is a Handfull of Together Yesterdays" published by Augsburg publishing in Minneapolis in 1971, and sold for $1.95. I guess my dad also wrote directed, and narrated 7 christian children's cartoons...Apparently my father was a man who has created many many pieces of entertainment. If nothing else Brother John; could tie the Beatles to God.

(Book images courtesy of Shane Rydgren)

Carl Howard writes:
You know, nigh on 18 years ago or so I was at a backyard barbecue in Levittown (yes, the REAL Levittown) and a section of John Rydgren's odes to swingin' chicks was played (I thought I heard him say: "the skin... creamy white"). Of course at the time I didn't know whom the hep cat on the victrola was, but I do know that I really pissed off the guitar player from Controlled Bleeding because I was laughing at it too much for his taste!