20 May, 2010
TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME
While the response to my "Baseball Dream" video was underwhelming, I thought that I would go ahead anyway and provide a little history on the tape's background music, "Take Me Out to the Ball Game". I was very pleased when I unearthed the 1908 Edison Recording of the song and doubly pleased when I was able to encorporate it in my video.
The classic 100-year-old Tin Pan Alley song has become the unofficial anthem of baseball, although surprisingly neither of the authors attended a game prior to writing and producing it.
The words were written by vaudeville star Jack Norworth, who while riding a subway train in New York, was inspired by a sign that said "Baseball Today — Polo Grounds". The words were set to music by Albert Von Tilzer (Norworth and Von Tilzer finally saw their first Major League Baseball games 32 and 20 years later, respectively). The song was first sung by Norworth's then-wife Nora Bayes and popularized by many other vaudeville acts. Norworth wrote an alternative version of the song in 1927. Norworth and Bayes were also famous for writing and performing such smash hits as "Shine On, Harvest Moon."
Edward Meeker, another popular vaudeville performer, was one of the first to record the baseball song in 1908 and it is his voice that is on my video. This version is ripped from a 78-rpm recording, but the quality and gusto of Ed's voice resonates magnificently.
"For it's ONE, TWO, THREE STRIKES YOUR OUT! at the old ball game." Come to think about it, those memorable words kind of apply to me, not only as a baseball player but as a creator of oddball videos too.