Sunday, April 22, 2012

Bob Crane Interviews Meredith Wilson and Rini Wilson - KNX / 1964

If you are a fan of Broadway musicals, then there is no doubt you know the name Meredith Wilson, whose plays include The Music Man (for which he won a Grammy Award for Best Original Cast Album), The Unsinkable Molly Brown, and Here's Love, a Broadway adaptation of the film Miracle on 34th Street. He also composed the score to Charlie Chaplin's 1940 film, The Great Dictator, and he worked with the United States Armed Forces Radio Network during World War II. In addition, he wrote many popular songs, including "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas."

In the spring of 1964, Meredith Wilson and his second wife, Ralini "Rini" Zavora, an accomplished singer, were guests on Bob Crane's KNX morning radio show. Of all the recordings we have of Bob's radio work, this is perhaps the most heartwarming. During their interview, Bob encourages Rini to sing "My Wish," a song from the play Here's Love, which was still in theatres at that time. With Meredith cuing the lyrics softly, Rini sings the tune perfectly. Bob then glides effortlessly into the cast recording, performed by Craig Stevens. None of it had been rehearsed or planned.

The lyrics are very touching, and they could have easily been written for Bob Crane. Bob's hopes were always high. During his short life, he achieved all his goals, and his star shone brightly. His smile was always radiant. His heart was warm, he was joyful, and he sought peace. Bob loved his family and his friends dearly, and his children most of all.

Both versions of the song as aired over Bob Crane's KNX show are featured here. We hope you find all that the song's lyrics wish for you.

Bob Crane Interviews Meredith and Rini Wilson
"My Wish" - Performed by Rini Wilson and Craig Stevens
The Bob Crane Show / KNX-CBS Radio - 1964

My Wish
May your hopes be as high
As high as the sky's highest star.
May your star be as bright
As bright as your smile.
May your smile be as warm
As warm as your place in the sun.
May your place in the sun
Give you peace.
May the peace in your heart
Give you joy in your heart
May your heart know the meaning of love.
May the love you will know
When you know you're in love
Be forever, and ever as true
As the love I have given to you.

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Note: On December 6, 1966, just a couple of years after this interview, Rini Wilson passed away. Meredith Wilson passed away in 1984 at the age of 82. He is buried in Mason City, Iowa.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Bob Crane For... Dodger Bat Boy? November 1957

Bob Crane presents then-President of the
LA Dodgers Walter O'Malley with a
"Hogan's Heroes" jeep mounted on a plaque.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Dodger Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Now, we know not everyone is a Dodgers fan, and that's ok! But when an iconic sports landmark celebrates a golden anniversary, you've got to pay homage.

Of course, Bob Crane was also a loyal Dodgers fan - first when the team was located in Brooklyn, and then in 1957, when the team moved to Los Angeles. Later that same year, Bob began a serious campaign over his KNX radio program - he wanted to be the next Dodger Bat Boy. His campaign manager? His 6-year-old son Bobby. 

In this clip from November 13, 1957, little Bobby Crane talks with some important reporters and KNX staff in the effort to have his father elected as the next Dodger Bat Boy. There was only one slight problem...when asked what his favorite team was, Bobby answered, "The Giants!"

Bob Crane Campaign for Dodger Bat Boy
(Featuring Bobby Crane, age 6)
The Bob Crane Show / KNX-CBS Radio
November 13, 1957