Archives On The Air 43: Take Me Out To The Ball Game—Joseph C. O'Mahoney Papers

Sep 17, 2018

Senator Joseph O’Mahoney (center) interviewing six songwriters about the Jukebox Problem (royalties to writers). Jack Norwood (far right) composed "Take Me Out to the Ball Game", 1958. Box 386, Joseph C. O'Mahoney papers.
Credit American Heritage Center

Joseph C. O’Mahoney served as U.S. Senator from Wyoming from 1933 to 1960. O’Mahoney also had a weekly show where he interviewed notable figures from America.

In one show, O’Mahoney interviewed composer Jack Norwood and learned the simplicity behind the creation of the most iconic baseball anthem:

O’Mahoney asked: How did you come to write this “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”?

Norwood replied: I was in commercial music at the time … and I was in the subway one day and I saw this ad in the car that said “baseball today in the polo grounds”, and I had a bright idea and said “there’s never been a baseball song,” so I wrote one – it took about a half an hour. Then I found out that there were 30 ahead of mine and there is about over 300 of them now; but mine is the only one that really landed, thank goodness.

For the full interview, or to hear more of the Senator’s shows, see the digital collection of UW's American Heritage Center.