Beyond the Baselines: The Jackie Robinson Story In Music
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A MUSICAL CELEBRATION OF THE MAN WHO WORE 42
PITTSBURGH (93-7 THE FAN) — With the Jackie Robinson biopic “42” hitting movie theaters and Major League Baseball celebrating Jackie Robinson Day on Monday, April 15, the man who broke baseball’s color line at Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field in 1947 has come alive once again to a whole new generation of people who might not realize what Robinson or his legacy means to our lives today.
From a musical perspective, Jack Roosevelt Robinson has been celebrated in many different ways and in several different genres of music from swing to alternative rock.
In the years 1947-1950, no less than 10 songs were published that had the second baseman as its topic or referenced him. Since then songwriters have seen fit to honor Robinson and the monumental accomplishment known as Branch Rickey’s” Noble Experiment” that ended segregation in baseball and many think led the way for the civil rights movement.
In this edition of Beyond the Baselines, 93-7 The Fan’s Vinnie Richichi featured five songs from his collection of Baseball Music that are among his favorites about Jackie, and ends with a sixth from the soundtrack of Ken Burns’ PBS documentary “BASEBALL” which marries the old spiritual “Steal Away” and the Reverend Jesse Jackson’s powerful eulogy of Robinson. Truly a moving piece of music and speech.
Besides collecting baseball music, Vinnie can be heard Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. as co-host of the Vinnie and Cook Show and hosting “Bucco Talk” the Pirates Magazine Saturdays 8am-11am on Sportsradio 93-7 The Fan. Follow him on Twitter @nyvinnie.