Friday, October 7, 2005
GOLDEN TORNADO DAY
Ah, to be a radio or TV sportscaster back on this day in 1916, a crisp, clean autumn gridiron day. A day to watch the Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech win big time against helpless Cumberland College. This was one of the most lopsided wins in football history. Georgia Tech’s Yellow Jackets ate the competition 222-0!
This was football, sports fans! We’re speaking slaughter, here. We’re talking tune-out ratings. Boy, the instant replay gizmo must have gone ballistic on this one, eh? In the words of ABC’s Keith Jackson, “Whhhhoooaaa, Nellie! Touchdown!!!! Georgia Tech, again! For the 32nd time! This game is waaaaaaay out of control.” Unfortunately, there was no play-by-play of this classic game; but can you imagine the number of commercial breaks?
Coach John Heisman (of Heisman Trophy fame) led the Golden Tornado, as his Georgia Tech team was nicknamed, into the history books. They carried the ball for 978 yards, and never once threw a pass! No team has ever matched the score of the game referred to in Reader’s Digest as the ‘Little Big Horn of football’.
1922 - The first radio network -- of sorts -- debuted. It was a network of just two stations. WJZ in Newark, NJ teamed with WGY in Schenectady, NY to bring the World Series game direct from the Polo Grounds in New York. Columnist Grantland Rice was behind the microphone for that broadcast.
1939 - Kate Hopkins, Angel of Mercy was heard for the first time on CBS radio. Tom Hopkins, Kate’s husband, was played by eventual Beat the Clock host Clayton ‘Bud’ Collyer. The 15-minute radio drama was written by Chester McCraken and Gertrude Berg (writer and Emmy Award-winning actress of The Goldbergs, a popular radio and TV series in the 1940s & 1950s). The announcer for the four-year run of Angel of Mercy was Ralph Edwards of future This is Your Life fame. And the sponsor was Maxwell House of coffee fame.
1940 - Portia Faces Life debuted on the NBC Red network. This radio soap opera centered around the life of Portia Blake Manning, an attorney and a widow with a young son. And we thought this concept was unique to TV nighttime soaps of the 1990s... Portia Faces Life was extremely popular, and therefore, had many sponsors -- none of which were soap. The sponsors included Post Toasties, Grape Nuts Flakes, Grape Nuts Wheat Meal, Maxwell House coffee, Jell-O desserts and La France bleach.
1940 - Artie Shaw’s orchestra recorded Hoagy Carmichael’s standard, Star Dust -- for Victor Records.
1950 - The Frank Sinatra Show debuted. It was the crooner’s first plunge into TV, the beginning of a $250,000 per year, five-year contract. Ben Blue, The Blue Family, the Whippoorwills and Axel Stordahl’s orchestra were regulars on the show.
1959 - A U.S. House subcommittee began investigations of allegedly rigged TV quiz shows.
1965 - Robert Mitera’s tee shot, aided by a 50-m.p.h. tailwind, traveled 447 yards to the pin, and dropped in for the longest hole-in-one in golf history. This at the 10th hole of the Miracle Hills Country Club, Omaha, Nebraska.
1969 - Put on your headband, love beads, surfer’s cross and give the peace sign. It was on this day that The Youngbloods hit, Get Together, passed the million-selling mark to achieve gold record status. And just try to get into those bell bottom hiphuggers...
1973 - From the I Wonder How it Would Be Today Department: 40,000 football fans failed to use their pro-football tickets, opting instead to watch games on TV since legislation was signed lifting blackout rules of games.
1982 - Cats, opened on Broadway. Andrew Lloyd Weber’s musical is most memorable for its song, Memories.
1985 - Terrorists hijacked an Italian cruise ship, Achille Lauro, demanding the release of prisoners held by Israel. Of the four hundred people on board, only Leon Klinghoffer, wheelchairbound, was shot to death; an example that the four Palestinian gunmen meant business. They surrendered two days later to the Egyptians who promised them free passage out of their country. When Klinghoffer’s body was returned to his native New York City, New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan said that Leon Klinghoffer died “because he was an American, because he was a Jew and because he was a free man.”
1993 - Toni Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature. She was the first black woman to received the award and one of America’s most significant novelists of the twentieth century. She is the Author of six major Novels, The Bluest Eye, Sula, Song of Solomon, Tar Baby, Beloved and Jazz. Song of Solomon won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1977 and Beloved won the Pulitzer Prize in 1988.
1995 - A crowd of over 100,000 people were sitting or standing in Central Park to see Pope John Paul II. The pontiff’s message at the outdoor mass was geared to the role of young people in the church and the world. “You young people will live most of your lives in the next century,” he said. “You must help the holy spirit to shape the social, moral and spiritual character.”
1995 - Alanis Morrissette’s Jagged Little Pill album made it to number one on the Billboard 200 chart. The album, in its fifteenth week on the chart, featured these tracks: All I Really Want, You Oughta Know, Perfect, Hand in My Pocket, Right Through You, Forgiven, You Learn, Head Over Feet, Mary Jane, Ironic, Not the Doctor, Wake Up. Jagged Little Pill was #1 for two weeks.
1849 - James Whitcomb Riley
poet: When the Frost is on the Punkin’, Little Orphant Annie; died July 22, 1916
1888 - Henry Wallace
33rd Vice President of U.S. [1941-1945]; died Nov 18, 1965
1905 - Andy Devine (Jeremiah Schwartz)
actor: The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok, Flipper, Andy’s Gang, Whale of a Tale, Myra Breckinridge, How the West was Won, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, The Red Badge of Courage, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves; died Feb 18, 1977
1911 - ‘Papa’ Jo (Jonathan) Jones
musician: drums: the first to minimize use of bass drum, keeping time on top cymbal; piano, reeds, trumpet: played with Count Basie, Bennie Goodman sextet, led trio: LPs: The Essential Jo Jones, The Drums, The Main Man, Our Man Papa Jo; died Sep 3, 1985
1911 - Vaughn Monroe
bandleader, singer: Racing with the Moon, Riders in the Sky, There I Go, Rum and Coca Cola, There! I’ve Said It Again, Let It Snow, Let It Snow! Let It Snow!, Ballerina, They Were Doing the Mambo; actor: Meet the People, Carnegie Hall, Singing Guns; died May 21, 1973
1914 - Alfred Drake (Capurro)
Tony Award-winning actor: Kismet ; Kiss Me Kate, Oklahoma; died July 25, 1992
1917 - June Allyson (Ella Geisman)
actress: Best Foot Forward, The Glen Miller Story, Little Women, Strategic Air Command; TV host: The Dupont Show with June Allyson; wife of actor Dick Powell
1918 - Frankie (Conrad) Baumholtz
baseball: Cincinnati Reds, Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies; died Dec 14, 1997
1922 - Grady (Edgebert) Hatton
baseball: Cincinnati Reds, Cincinnati Redlegs [all-star: 1952], Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, Baltimore Orioles, SL Cardinals, Chicago Cubs
1922 - Martha Stewart (Haworth)
singer; actress: Those Two, Holocaust
1926 - Alex Groza
basketball: Univ. of Kentucky; USA Men’s Basketball Olympic basketball team ; Final Four Most Outstanding Player in 1948, 1949; Indiana Pacers; banned by NBA for accepting bribes at Univ. of Kentucky; brother of football Hall of Famer Lou Groza; died Jan 21, 1995
1926 - Diana Lynn (Dolores ‘Dolly’ Loehr)
actress: Bedtime for Bonzo, The Kentuckian, The Annapolis Story, My Friend Irma, Miracle of Morgan’s Creek; died Dec 18, 1971
1927 - R.D. (Ronald David) Laing
psychiatrist, author; died Aug 23, 1989
1927 - Al Martino (Cini)
singer: Here in My Heart, I Love You Because, I Love You More and More Each Day, Spanish Eyes, Mary in the Morning; actor: The Godfather, The Godfather, Part 3
1931 - Desmond Tutu
Nobel Peace Prize-winner : Archbishop: 1st black Anglican bishop of Johannesburg, S. Africa
1934 - Imamu Amiri Baraka (aka LeRoi Jones)
playwright, poet: An Agony, As Now, The System of Dante’s Hell, Home
1935 - Thomas Keneally
Australian author: The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, Gossip from the Forest, Confederates, Schindler’s Ark, Bring Larks and Heroes, Three Cheers for the Paraclete; screen writer: Schindler’s List, Libido, Silver City, Olympic Glory
1936 - Charles Dutoit
symphony orchestra conductor/director: Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Orchestre National de France, NHK Symphony Orchestra
1938 - Gary Bergman
hockey: NHL: Detroit Red Wings, Minnesota North Stars, Kansas City Scouts; died Dec 8, 2000
1943 - Jose (Rosario Domec) Cardenal
baseball: SF Giants, California Angels, Cleveland Indians, SL Cardinals, Milwaukee Brewers, Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies, NY Mets, KC Royals [World Series: 1980]; NY Yankees outfield coach
1943 - Oliver North
U.S. military: Marine Corps Lt. Col.: center of Iran-contra Affair; radio/TV personality
1945 - Kevin Godley
musician: drums, singer: group: 10cc: Neanderthal Man, Rubber Bullets, I’m Not in Love, The Things We Do for Love; Godley & Creme: Donna, Wedding Bells
1949 - David Hope
musician: bass: group: Kansas: Dust in the Wind
1950 - Bo (David) Rather
football: Miami Dolphins
1951 - John Cougar Mellencamp
singer: Jack and Diane, Cherry Bomb, Get a Leg Up, Hurts So Good; LPs: American Fool, Uh-Huh, Scarecrow; songwriter: Colored Lights
1952 - Jacques Richard
hockey: NHL: Atlanta Flames, Buffalo Sabres, Quebec Nordiques
1953 - Christopher Norris
actress: Trapper John, M.D.
1953 - Tico Torres
musician: drums: group: Bon Jovi: You Give Love a Bad Name
1955 - Yo-Yo Ma
musician: cello virtuoso: albums: Obrigado Brazil, Classic Yo-Yo, Bach: Six Unaccompanied Cello Suites, Brahms: Sonatas for Cello and Piano, Yo-Yo Ma Plays the Music of John Williams
1959 - Dylan Baker
actor: Planes, Trains & Automobiles, Radioland Murders, Disclosure, Murder One, The Invisible Man, Random Hearts, Thirteen Days
1961 - Judy Landers
actress: B.J. and the Bear, Vegas, Madame’s Place
1967 - Toni Braxton
Grammy Award-winning singer: Another Sad Love Song , Breathe Again , Un-Break My Heart, You're Makin’ Me High 
He was that guy Reagan went to go see. When he got back his staffers asked, How was your meeting with Tutu? Reagan said, Oh, So So!