Sunday, November 11, 2012

WATERGATE (5 Volumes)  -  Various

YEAR:  1973 - 1975
LABEL:  Smithsonian Folkways
TRACK LISTING:  President Nixon's Watergate Speech April 30, 1973,  James McCord Testifies ~ Outlines His Background,  Further Testimony of James McCord,  Bernard Barker Testifies,  Questioned by Samuel Dash - Jeb Stuart Magruder,  Questioned by Sen. Howard Baker Jr. - Jeb Stuart Magruder,  Questioned by Sen. Sam Ervin - Jeb Stuart Magruder,  Questioned by Samuel Dash - Jeb Stuart Magruder,  Questioned by Joseph M. Montoya - Jeb Stuart Magruder,  Questioned by Samuel Dash ~ Background/The White House/The Cover-Up/The President - John Dean,  Questioned by Sen. Edward J. Gurney ~ The C.I.A. & The Cover-Up/The Kalmbach Episode - John Dean,  Questioned by Sen. Edward J. Gurney (cont.) ~ Meeting with H.R. Haldeman/The $4800. Expenses/The Kalmback Meeting - John Dean,  The Nixon Meeting/Clemency Discussion - John Dean,  Questioned by Samuel Dash ~ The $1,000,000.,  Senator Talmadge:  The Liddy Plan - John Mitchell,  Senator Inouye:  Criminal Activities Discussed/Why Wasn't the President Advised?/Protecting the President/Is the President Above the Law? - John Mitchell,  Executive Privilege - John Mitchell,  Involvement of the F.B.I. and C.I.A. - John Mitchell,  Senator Baker:  Involving the President - John Mitchell,  Nixon as President - John Mitchell,  Senator Ervin:  Executive Privilege/Telling the Truth - John Mitchell,  Senator Weicker:  Protecting the President - John Mitchell,  The March 21st Meeting - John Ehrlichman,  The Ellsberg Case & the Plumbers - John Ehrlichman,  THE FBI Investigation - John Ehrlichman,  Political Espionage - John Ehrlichman,  Opening Statement - H.R. Haldeman,  The Tapes - H.R. Haldeman,  His Staff - H.R. Haldeman,  The Internal Revenue Service - H.R. Haldeman,  Handling Demonstrators - H.R. Haldeman,  Attacking the Democrats - H.R. Haldeman
IMPRESSIONS:  I've always had a strong fascination for the bizarre character of Richard M. Nixon.  As a tiny tot, I barely remember the actual Watergate scandal as it was going on (beyond vague recollection of it in Scholastic magazines at school and satirical reference to it in Cracked and Mad Magazines.  But since then, especially after earning my degree in history, I've found Nixon immensely puzzling; his intelligence and drive tempered by some incredibly glaring character flaws of Shakespearean proportions which both saw to it that he would reach the presidency and also guaranteed that he would lose it like he did.  These 5 volumes of Smithsonian Folkways recordings offer (with the exception of Nixon's speech on Watergate of April 30, 1973) the recorded testimony of key figures in the Watergate scandal:  Watergate burglars James McCord (ex-FBI and CIA agent) and Bernard L. Barker, odd little Republican zealot Jeb Stuart Magruder (former White House aide and Deputy Director of the Committe to Re-Elect the President), former Presidential Counsel John W. Dean III, former Attorney-General John Mitchell and Nixon's "Berlin Wall" H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman.  Even after all these years, this edited testimony is fascinating, riveting and astonishing. 
MY FAVOURITE TRACKS:  This isn't really the kind of album (or albums) in which you can pick and choose "tracks".
FACT SHEET:  WATERGATE is a 5 volume set of recordings of aspects of the Watergate hearings produced by Smithsonian Folkways records.  "WATERGATE VOLUME ONE" was released in 1973 and is entitled "THE BREAK IN:  JAMES MCCORD TESTIFIES/PRESIDENT NIXON'S WATERGATE SPEECH, APRIL 30, 1973".  VOLUME TWO was released in 1974 and is entitled "THE TESTIMONY OF JEB STUART MAGRUDER:  A QUESTION OF ETHICS".  VOLUME THREE was released in 1974 and is entitled "I HOPE THE PRESIDENT IS FORGIVEN":  JOHN W. DEAN III TESTIFIES".  VOLUME FOUR was released in 1974 and is entitled "WHITE HOUSE HORRORS:  THE TESTIMONY OF JOHN MITCHELL, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE U.S.".  VOLUME FIVE was released in 1975 and is entitled "THE TESTIMONY OF JOHN EHRLICHMAN AND H.R. HALDEMAN".  Also heard on these recordings are Senate Sub-Committee members Senator Sam Ervin, Samuel Dash, Senator Howard Baker, Senator Joseph M. Montoya, Senator Edward J. Gurney, Senator Herman Talmadge, Senator Daniel Inouye, and Senator Lowell Weiker.

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