USA Today: Think Inside The Box Sets

USA Today's Edna Gundersen reviews Atomic Platters: Cold War Music from the Golden Age of Homeland Security in the newspaper's 2005 Holiday Gift Guide for CD box sets (Think Inside the Box Sets 11/29/2005).

"For anyone interested in Cold War history, the dawn of nuclear anxiety or obscure pockets of post-WWII music, this box set is the bomb. Educational and entertaining, the exhaustive compendium of music, panic-button films and grave civil defense spots focuses on the early Cold War period of 1946 to 1966, when paranoia and na´vete defined public reaction to the Red Menace. It's enhanced by a lavishly illustrated 292-page hardcover book with a witty and incisive essay by co-producer Bill Geerhart, co-founder of CONELRAD, devoted to preserving and studying atomic history and Cold War culture (check out the vast archive at"

"In addition to fear of radioactivity, there was radio activity, in the form of delightful and inane tunes about the pinko threat and mushroom clouds. Such familiar artists as Marty Robbins, Hank Williams, Bo Diddley, Doris Day, Bill Haley, The Louvin Brothers and Bing Crosby pop up on four CDs of music interspersed by such stern PSAs as Art Linkletter's "Don't Use the Phone!" But it's the fringe acts and their earnest novelties that illuminate the times: Carson Robison's I'm No Communist, Ray Anderson's Stalin Kicked the Bucket, Jim Eanes' They Locked God Outside the Iron Curtain, Golden Gate Quartet's Atom and Evil, Mike Russo's Agnes (The Teenage Russian Spy) and Dr. Strangelove and the Fallouts' Love that Bomb. The fifth CD revives two 1961 spoken-word albums for the first time. Designed to terrify, If The Bomb Falls and The Complacent Americans are the Reefer Madness of scared-straight-into-the-fallout-shelter nuke propaganda."

"The DVD holds 1951's amusing and pitifully inadequate Duck and Cover and eight other instructional films, most as legitimate as today's duct-tape defense for biological attacks. Likewise, Groucho Marx deadpans that citizens have an excellent chance of surviving the A-bomb by simply keeping a first aid kit and fire extinguisher handy. The sanest tip may lie in Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup's song: I'm Gonna Dig Myself a Hole."

See Atomic Platters Press and Media for more coverage.

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