Jeff Kallman's excellent The Easy Ace: A Journal of Classic Radio
is a wonderful place to spend hours on end, rediscovering the Golden Age of Radio
as it's meant to be discovered and celebrated. Article after article
is filled with a wonderful new vignette about Golden Age Radio History.
---The Digital Deli Online.

[I]n his matchless on-this-day approach to chronicling “yesteryear,”
he easily aces out a less organized mind like mine,
which promptly lapsed into a more idiosyncratic mode of relating the past.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

"Twenty-Thousand People and a Million Butterflies": The Way It Was, 9 September

It probably seems like an annual event by now. Virtuoso pitcher Sandy Koufax, who has thrown a no-hitter in 1962, 1963, and 1964, proves that practise makes perfect when he finished his work against the Chicago Cubs in the ninth inning. With virtuoso broadcaster Vin Scully calling every pitch and nuance until the finish.

It is a record-setting game on several counts, not the least of which is that it is only the ninth perfect game recorded in modern major league baseball history, and it is the second time in four years that the final out of a Koufax no-hitter is Harvey Kuenn, the veteran outfielder now a Cub spare part, who was once an American League batting champion.

On the flip side, had it not been for Dodger outfielder Lou Johnson, Cub pitcher Bob Hendley would have had a no-hitter in his own right: the Dodgers scored the game's only run on a walk, a sacrifice, a stolen base, and a throwing error; Johnson's single elsewhere in the game (he was stranded on base) was the evening's only base hit.

The game even carries a future aesthetic connotation: Koufax's second victim in the three-strikeout ninth inning (Koufax was well en route to shattering Bob Feller's single-season strikeout record), a rookie Cub catcher named Chris Krug, would go on from a brief career as a baseball player to become a landscape architect. And you will know his work even if you will not necessarily remember his name: Krug designed the famous baseball field within a corn field that becomes the fulcrum of the Kevin Costner film, Field of Dreams, based on W.P. Kinsella's classic novel, Shoeless Joe.


COMMAND PERFORMANCE: QUIZ MANIA (AFRS, 1944)---Groucho Marx hosts a program that spoofs in its way a genre of which he will become, soon enough, a singular avatar in his own right, when he gets You Bet Your Life, and he finishes off himself with "Lydia, the Tattooed Lady." Cast: Georgia Gibbs, Gloria DeHaven, Frank Morgan, Kenny Baker, Announcer: Ken Carpenter. Director: Glenn Wheaton. Writers: Melvin Frank, Norman Panama.

STUDIO ONE: THE BARRETTS OF WIMPOLE STREET (CBS, 1947)---Rudolf Besier's play chronicling the tumultuous, tyrannised family one of whose daughters stirred one of history's greatest literary love stories receives a tastefully arresting treatment by the landmark CBS series. Elizabeth: Ann Burr. Edward: Horace Graham. Henrietta: Kathleen Cordell. Robert Browning: Fletcher Markle. Arabel: Hester Sondegaard. Additional cast: Otto Francis, Morris Levine, Dennis King, Jr., Miriam Wolf, Dorothy Sands, Gregory Morton, Robert Dryden. Music: Alexander Semler. Director: Fletcher Markle. Writer: Vincent McConnor, adapting the Rudold Besier play.


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