Ballads From The Nam
A Shau Tower
During my first tour in Nam (Aug. 67 - Aug. 68), open reel tape recorders/players were "the" thing. And they were cheap at the PX/BX s. Several tapes started circulating that were collections of songs recorded in various clubs throughout the Southeast Asia theater. These included bases in Vietnam, Thailand and Guam, among others. The tapes were basically the same, but different versions. Somebody would get a copy of the tape and add a song or two. And this "new" tape would move along, morphing as it went. My good friend, Gary "Doc" Heffner and I made copies of the one going around Co. "C" 5th SFG(A) in DaNang. Unfortunately, my copy was lost to time. Ever since I started re-connecting with old comrades, I’ve been asking about a copy of the tape. I finally was able to obtain copies of all the ones I had back then. (Recently, I obtained new, virtually pristine, copies of these ballads.)
However, the audio was very degraded. I used home sound engineering software to remove terrible hiss and further enhance the sound. I then made them into the music videos I’ve posted here.
A True Story
The A Shau Valley is in northern South Vietnam. There is a large mountain at its south end. This mountain was honeycombed with tunnels and an NVA (North Vietnamese Army) stronghold. I can't imagine the genius of putting a relatively poorly manned "A" Camp there. A-102 (the team I would later join at Tien Phuoc) was there. As was enviable, The NVA an VC struck in force and laid siege on the camp. As the camp was finally being overrun, the sturdy SPADS were doing all they could to cover the last extraction choppers.
One SPAD was shot down and the song tells the story. The pilot who was rescued was Air Force Maj. "Jump" Jumpmeyer.
I hope you enjoy these voices from the past.