Imagining a Better Future by Re-imagining the Past

Saturday, April 26, 2014

So Far That Organ Plays Only A Dirge

Just recently, Wrigley Field in Chicago, home of the Cubs, celebrated its 100th anniversary. Today, April 26, marks another anniversary at the ballpark. It was on this date in 1941 that Wrigley Field became the first stadium to have an organ play live during a baseball game.

Here’s an article by an unknown author published in The Tribune a few days after the organ’s debut:
Ray Nelson, who on Saturday unveiled his pipe organ behind the grandstand screen at Wrigley field, was at his keyboard again yesterday, playing a concert to the delight of the 18,678 fans who arrived before 2:30 o'clock.

Mr. Nelson was obliged to still his bellows at 2:30 because his repertoire includes many restricted ASCAP arias, which would have been picked up by radio microphones hooked up half an hour before game time.

The organist, it is promised, will sort his album before the Cubs return home on May 13 and will be ready to peal BMI selections exclusively. Also in prospect is a Cubs theme song entitled, "When The Midnight Choo Choo Leaves For T-U-L-S-A."

Those who can think of a better title for a theme song are requested to send their selections to General Manager James T. Gallagher, Wrigley field, Chicago. Also any little number you'd like to have rippled off some afternoon, fitting the aria to the baseball score at the time, of course.
The title of the article was “So Far That Organ Plays Only A Dirge” because that day the Cubs, of course, lost to the Cardinals 6-2.

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