Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Linda Ronstadt on Cinemax's Album Flash (1983)

I recently pulled out my Linda Ronstadt vinyl of What's New and noticed two things about the cover:
  1. There's a Walkman set beside Ronstadt to her left. I discover this 34 years after fact? Sheesh. I must have been distracted by other things in that cover photo, huh? 
  2. The attached promo sticker mentions a show named "Album Flash" on Cinemax.

I'm not sure I've ever watched Cinemax but I can confidently declare that I wasn't watching it in 1983 because my family didn't have cable television at that time. We used a massive external antenna to pick up about six Houston TV stations, both VHF and UHF.

So I did what anyone would do in this situation: I googled the thing. I found scant information. There's an IMDb entry for the series, and it must have run for a couple of years after this Ronstadt special. From what I can gather, this Ronstadt episode about What's New was the first of the series (fittingly) and premiered on Tuesday, September 13, 1983. It contained some conversations with Ronstadt and a very distinguished Nelson Riddle interspersed among videos for the four tracks listed on the above promo sticker. Here's a rough copy that I've cobbled together and uploaded to YouTube. As if you need an excuse to enjoy Linda Ronstadt.

If my assumptions are correct, the record label produced this episode and probably paid Cinemax a promotional fee to air it. Cinemax was and still is a pay cable network with millions of subscribers. Does that mean that Cinemax's role in all this was to sit back and count their money while record labels provided free content? Brilliant! Now if I can only apply that business strategy to a certain blog...

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