Curt Gowdy

Sportscaster


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his three-hour Archive interview, Curt Gowdy (1919-2006) reflects on his early experiences as a sportscaster on Oklahoma City radio, detailing the then-common practice of recreating away games with sound effects to mimic stadium noises. He discusses working alongside famed Yankee broadcaster Mel Allen and becoming the official "Voice of the Red Sox," staying with the Boston team for fifteen years. He reminisces fondly about the many legendary players he covered during those years, including Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams and describes the close friendships he developed with both. Gowdy also discusses his tenure at ABC, working under the now-legendary Roone Arledge in what was then the fledgling sports department. He speaks of his experiences covering Super Bowls, Olympics, Rose Bowls and World Series and recounts working on two of his favorite shows, American Sportsman and The Way it Was. He also outlines broadcasting the Goodwill Games, producing and hosting the special America the Beautiful, and lending his sports expertise to cable shows such as ESPN's 20th Century Sports and HBO's Play-by-Play: A History of Sports and Inside the NFL. Marvin Wolf conducted the interview in Boston, MA on May 19, 2000.

"Football, basketball, baseball, the Olympics, 'American Sportsman,' the fishing and hunting show. I was always proud that I wasn't just a baseball announcer, that I could go in and do just about anything."

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Curt Gowdy on his big break as announcer for the New York Yankees
Curt Gowdy on Yankee player Joe DiMaggio
Curt Gowdy on the 1964 and 1968 Olympic games; on evolving technology that came from the Olympics
Curt Gowdy on The Hollywood Blacklist
Curt Gowdy on his greatest career triumph
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his childhood and early influences; on loving sports as a child; on joining the Air Corps, but hurting his back and not being able to be a pilot; on getting into sports radio with KFBC in Cheyenne, Wyoming
On KFBC; on moving to a CBS station KOMA in Oklahoma City; on his big break as announcer for the New York Yankees; on re-creating away games; on announcing for the Yankees on radio and early television; on Yankee fans and players when he first started announcing for the Yankees
On covering basketball at Madison Square Garden; on covering sports for the Dumont network

Chapter 2

On announcing basketball games at Madison Square Garden; on the Dumont network; on leaving the Yankees to be the head announcer for the Boston Red Sox; on Fenway Park; on traveling with the Red Sox
On the duties of a sports announncer and preparing for games; on simulcasting; on Red Sox players; on memorable games -  Joe DiMaggio's comeback at the '49 World Series and Ted Williams' last game; on other Red Sox players - Carl Yestrepski and Rico Petrocelli
Curt Gowdy on announcing games for the Boston Celtics; on working for NBC; on the '52 B.U.-Villanova football game and the Rice-Alabama game

Chapter 3

On the Rice-Alabama game (contd.); on his start with NBC in 1956 and moving to ABC in 1960; on the genius of Roone Arledge
On The American Sportsman; on leaving the Boston Red Sox; on the 1964 and 1968 Olympic games and the importance of satellite feeds; on the early days of instant replay; on the Hollywood Blacklist
On JFK's assassination; on Game of the Week at NBC; on his co-anchors

Chapter 4

On the first Super Bowl, broadcast by both NBC and CBS; on memorable moments from Super Bowl III - Jets v. Colts; on Super Bowl V and other Super Bowls he called; on his friendships with coaches and players
On Rose Bowls; on memorbale moments from Orange Bowls and Sugar Bowls; on NFL Game of the Week; on preparing for football games

Chapter 5

On covering 16 World Series; on extra cameras for World Series games; on memorable moments from World Series games; on preparation for the World Series; on international broadcasters; on All-Star games
On colleague Howard Cosell and his opinions on former players who became broadcasters; on broadcasters becoming celebrities; on the PBS show The Way it Was; on preparing to cover hockey for the Olympics; on the syndicated show The Racers
On his peers; on sports broadcasters' trademark expresssions; on having one of the most recognizable voices in all of broadcasting; on voices he believes are memorable

Chapter 6

On playing himself in movies; on acquiring radio stations; on his guest appearances on television shows; on becoming president of the Basketball Hall of Fame; on broadcasting the Goodwill Games; on returning to radio as the voice of the Patriots; 
On the show America the Beautiful; on HBO's Play by Play; on working for HBO and ESPN; on the evolution of sports broadcasting; on his sons - both involved in sports broadcasters/production; on his current projects; on his Emmy and Peabody wins; on advice to aspiring sports broadcasters; on his regrets and career triumphs
Shows

ABC's Wide World of Sports

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Curt Gowdy on his respect for Roone Arledge and the creation of Wide World of Sports and The American Sportsman
Curt Gowdy on the first time he did Wide World of Sports

American Sportsman, The

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Curt Gowdy on his respect for Roone Arledge and the creation of Wide World of Sports and The American Sportsman
Curt Gowdy on hosting The American Sportsman

Goodwill Games

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Curt Gowdy on broadcasting the Goodwill Games

Olympics

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Curt Gowdy on the 1964 and 1968 Olympic games; on evolving technology that came from the Olympics
Curt Gowdy on preparing to cover hockey for the Olympics

Super Bowl

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Sportscaster Curt Gowdy on the first Super Bowl, broadcast by both NBC and CBS
Sportscaster Curt Gowdy on the some of the Super Bowl  games he covered

Way it Was, The

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Curt Gowdy on the PBS show The Way it Was

World Series

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Curt Gowdy on Joe DiMaggio's comeback at the '49 World Series
Curt Gowdy on covering 16 World Series
Topics

Coverage

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Curt Gowdy on legendary announcer Mel Allen
Curt Gowdy on Ted Willams last game

Diversity in Television

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Curt Gowdy on international broadcasters

Emmy Awards

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Curt Gowdy on his Emmy wins and being the first sportscaster to win a Peabody

Fame & Celebrity

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Curt Gowdy on broadcasters becoming celebrities

Hollywood Blacklist

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Curt Gowdy on The Hollywood Blacklist

JFK Assassination and Funeral

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Curt Gowdy on JFK's assassination

Memorable Moments on Television

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Curt Gowdy on Ted Willams last game

Minorities

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Curt Gowdy on international broadcasters

Olympic Games

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Curt Gowdy on the 1964 and 1968 Olympic games and the importance of satellite feeds
Curt Gowdy on preparing to cover hockey for the Olympics

Sports

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Curt Gowdy on Yankee player Joe DiMaggio when he first started announcing for the Yankees
Curt Gowdy on how World Series differ from All-Star games
Curt Gowdy on preparing to cover hockey for the Olympics

Super Bowl

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Sportscaster Curt Gowdy on the first Super Bowl, broadcast by both NBC and CBS

Technological Innovation

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Curt Gowdy on the 1964 and 1968 Olympic games and the importance of satellite feeds

Television Industry

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Curt Gowdy on broadcasters becoming celebrities

We Celebrated

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Sportscaster Curt Gowdy on the first Super Bowl, broadcast by both NBC and CBS

World Series

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Curt Gowdy on Joe DiMaggio's comeback at the '49 World Series
Curt Gowdy on covering 16 World Series
Professions

Sportscaster

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Curt Gowdy on his start in sports radio at KFBC in Cheyenne, Wyoming
Curt Gowdy on his big break as announcer for the New York Yankees
Curt Gowdy on the duties of a sports announcer
Curt Gowdy on how to prepare for a game and talking to players
Curt Gowdy on the evolution of sports broadcasting
Curt Gowdy on advice to aspiring sports broadcasters
Genres

Sports

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Curt Gowdy on Yankee player Joe DiMaggio when he first started announcing for the Yankees
Curt Gowdy on his big break as announcer for the New York Yankees
Curt Gowdy on Ted Willams last game
Curt Gowdy on Joe DiMaggio's comeback at the '49 World Series
Curt Gowdy on the 1964 and 1968 Olympic games and the importance of satellite feeds
Sportscaster Curt Gowdy on the first Super Bowl, broadcast by both NBC and CBS
Sportscaster Curt Gowdy on the some of the Super Bowl games he covered
Curt Gowdy on covering 16 World Series
Curt Gowdy on having one of the most recognizable voices in all of broadcasting
Curt Gowdy on the evolution of sports broadcasting
People

Mel Allen

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Curt Gowdy on legendary announcer Mel Allen
Curt Gowdy on colleagues with whom he announced World Series games
Curt Gowdy on fellow broadcasters he's admired

Roone Arledge

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Curt Gowdy on how Ed Scherick and Roone Arledge transformed sports
Curt Gowdy on his respect for Roone Arledge 
Curt Gowdy on preparing to cover hockey for the Olympics

Red Barber

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Curt Gowdy on fellow broadcasters he's admired

Warren Beatty

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Curt Gowdy on playing himself in Heaven Can Wait

Howard Cosell

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Curt Gowdy on colleague Howard Cosell and his opinions on former players who became broadcasters
Curt Gowdy on voices he believes are memorable - Howard Cosell

Joe DiMaggio

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Curt Gowdy on Yankee player Joe DiMaggio when he first started announcing for the Yankees
Curt Gowdy on Joe DiMaggio's comeback at the '49 World Series

Ted Husing

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Curt Gowdy on fellow broadcasters he's admired

John F. Kennedy

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Curt Gowdy on JFK's assassination

Vince Lombardi

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Sportscaster Curt Gowdy on the first Super Bowl, broadcast by both NBC and CBS

Leslie Nielsen

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Curt Gowdy on playing himself in The Naked Gun

Edgar J. Scherick

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Curt Gowdy on how Ed Scherick and Roone Arledge transformed sports

O. J. Simpson

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Curt Gowdy on his first Rose Bowl and meeting O.J. Simpson

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