Over the years many items of interest to hearing professionals have been lost or forgotten, and for others, have never been experienced. This blog relates to an item of interest that if not presented here, may never have been known to hearing professionals.
In my library is an audio tape with a couple of songs on it, and one relates to hearing testing. The writer(s), singer, and banjo player are not identified. And, while I have my thoughts as to the origins of the songs, I have no confirmation in spite of contacting a number of “old timers” in the industry who I thought might have some knowledge about their origins.
In spite of the “no knowledge” comments I received, and based on what I think I know, I do believe that Arne Darbo, who was Director of Special Instruments, Maico Hearing Instruments until 1971, was involved in putting these songs together. Additionally, in one of the songs, there is an ad-lib comment referencing Arne. From the fact that the singer mentioned Arne by name, it seems fairly obvious that the singer is not Arne. Still, Arne may have been the writer, especially because of his position as head of audiometer sales for Maico and his fondness for music.
Arne was an audiometer pioneer who was responsible for the introduction of the audiometer in the United States in 1939, for Maico. I knew Arne, but not well. I recall that he was a real gentleman and handled himself well on the dance floor (not that I have any personal experience).
The song is meaningful to those who test hearing. And, while some of the terminology has changed over the years, it is something that should be shared and preserved. It is possible that the copy I have might be the only one in existence, and if that is indeed the case, I want to ensure that it will not have been written in vain.
To listen to the song, the link below is to an audio recording. Enjoy it as a part of hearing history.