Paul Anka, the theme of the St. John's Regatta and the most romantic kiss in movie history ... just three of the topics we covered on the latest trivia episode of Crosstalk on CBC Radio here in Newfoundland and Labrador.
We spent a fair bit of time on the show talking about the theme of the Royal St. John's Regatta. Ingrid Fraser and I knew it best as Up The Pond, although of course it's really titled The Banks of Newfoundland. (And, as John O'Mara told us, a lot of people just call it "Diddley, Diddley.") We were stumped when John asked us to identify the author; it was Francis Forbes. You can listen to the song here.
One interesting discussion arose from this question: if the CLB band plays The Banks of Newfoundland when crews are going up the pond, what do they play when crews are coming down? I had never noticed any other tune, but there's a tradition of playing the Irish tune Gary Owen during the races. A bit of information about that storied song is here.
The Banks of Newfoundland was composed more than 180 years ago, and was also the theme of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment. John O'Mara told us the song may have been first used at the Regatta of 1919, dubbed the Victory Regatta, to celebrate and honour members of the regiment.
A great deal more about the Regatta can be learned from this terrific Web page.
Today is Paul Anka's birthday; he turns 63. We asked listeners to identify the songwriter behind the Buddy Holly classic It Doesn't Matter Anymore, which was a hit in 1959, when Anka was only 18. Anka of course wrote many more songs; it took a while for someone to answer that Anka wrote the theme for The Tonight Show (when he was only 21!). I believe that theme ... a tune for middle-aged guys and their cocktail-shakers, if I ever heard one ... was retired with Johnny Carson in 1992.
It didn't take long to get a correct guess to the first question we tossed out. Hershey's Kisses, in a publicity gambit, conducted a survey of the top romantic kisses in the movies. Ranking at the top: Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh in Gone With the Wind. (Which involves this famous line: "You should be kissed and often,
and by someone who knows how."
We had a left-field question at the top of the show, when we were asked to identify where Newfoundland's first train theft had taken place. (A joyride of limited scope, I would think.) The answer is Botwood, when ... according to the legend ... some troops during the war took a train towards Bishops Falls. Our caller says more details can be seen at the Botwood museum.
Susan Felsberg phoned in from Labrador with an interesting query arising from confusion she's heard on news programs about people's confusion about different territories: namely, Nunavut, Nunavik and the relatively new term of Nunatsiavut. Which is which? Here's a quick guide. Nunavut was formed from the eastern half of the Northwest Territories.
Nunavik is the Inuit territory of northern Quebec. Nunatsiavut is the name of the territory represented by the Labrador Inuit Association's land claim. As Susan says, we all should know more these terms, and be able to distinguish between them!
Last step on the moon
From Steve O'Brien, we got a slew of questions covering the gamut. To start: Everyone knows Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first to walk on the moon ... but who were the last? Ingrid and I blanked. The answer: Gene Cernan and Jack Schmidt. As the movie Apollo 13 made clear, few people much cared about the non-history-making missions. Here's a little history on Cernan and Schmidt.
Baseball and world leaders
We were asked a double-barrelled question about baseball and politics: A) Which current world leader once owned a major-league baseball team; and B) which current world leader once tried to play on a major-league baseball team? The answer to the first, of course, is George W. Bush. The answer to the second, we were told, was none other than Cuban leader Fidel Castro, who is said to have been a prospect for the now-defunct Washington Senators. However ... a check of the Snopes urban legends site shows the Fidel-baseball yarn is delicious but not true. (Don't blame me; I only look 'em up.) In any event, the what-if possibilties are incredible to ponder ...
Steve O'Brien's question list included this nugget: Which movie star got his start playing a corpse?
A. Errol Flynn. Click here for pix and some biographical data.
That promped another caller to ask: Who played the corpse in The Big Chill? The answer is Kevin Costner, whose role in the film (seen mostly in flashbacks) was cut out during editing. Only selected parts of his body, but not his face, can be seen in the opening sequence.
Monty Newhook is usually good for a string of questions, and this week was no exception:
Who put the money up for the transatlantic cable in 1866?
A. Cyrus Field.
More details to be added later ...