Cold War Music from the Golden Age of Homeland Security
If the Bomb Falls - 1962 Civil Defense 'Scare' LP If the Bomb Falls: A Recorded Guide to Survival
[ 1961, TOPS Records ]

Released shortly after JFK's Civil Defense appeal to America in the pages of LIFE magazine, this chilling spoken word LP was issued complete with a bonus insert manual on how to construct a "Family Fallout Shelter."

SIDE ONE, "What to Do In Case of Nuclear Attack," opens with a CONELRAD alert signal and is followed by the no-nonsense narration of David Wiley: "The threat of nuclear warfare is a threat to all of us. How can we live with this threat? Our best life insurance may be summed up in four words: Be Alert, Stay Alert. This will take some doing on your part. It will take ingenuity, it will take fervor, it will take the desire to survive. And it need not take a lot of money. All you'll need is shelter and common sense."

SIDE TWO, "Supplies Needed for Survival," offers a litany of items required to wait out World War III: "...cups, napkins, matches, pocket knife, battery-powered radio and extra batteries, human waste can, recreational and spiritual supplies, a bible, books, cards and games... By all means provide some tranquilizers to ease the strain and monotony of life in a shelter. A bottle of 100 should be adequate for a family of four. Tranquilizers are not a narcotic and are not habit forming. Ask a doctor for his recommendation."

Wiley concludes the album by intoning "No one knows if you'll ever need a shelter, but in this atomic age it's wise to be prepared. The best advice your government can give you is Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow."

Producer David Pell's recollections of IF THE BOMB FALLS:
—David Pell to CONELRAD via e-mail, 3/2/01


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