(Pictured: Oscar Robertson of the Cincinnati Royals shoots over Sam Jones of the Boston Celtics in the first game of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals on March 28, 1963.)
April 7, 1963, is Palm Sunday. A strike by printing unions against New York City newspapers was settled last week. Today, the New York Times publishes its first full post-strike Sunday edition. The paper contains over 700 pages and weighs 7.5 pounds. Around the country, Sunday papers preview tomorrow night’s Academy Awards. Lawrence of Arabia is nominated for ten Oscars including Best Picture and Best Actor for Peter O’Toole in the title role. Other Best Picture nominees are The Longest Day, The Music Man, Mutiny on the Bounty, and To Kill a Mockingbird. Today, President Kennedy takes a sightseeing trip to the Antietam Civil War battlefield in Maryland, helicoptering in from Camp David with a party that includes his brother Ted and sister-in-law Joan. Kennedy will return to Washington tonight and throw out the first pitch at tomorrow’s American League season opener when the Senators play the Baltimore Orioles. (The traditional National League opener is tomorrow in Cincinnati, where the Reds will entertain the Pittsburgh Pirates.) Kennedy and his advisors will closely watch tomorrow’s general election in Canada; Canadian newspapers reported yesterday that Kennedy referred to Prime Minister John Diefenbaker as an “S.O.B” in a handwritten note on a secret paper left behind after a 1961 meeting in Ottawa.
Hamden, Connecticut, is embroiled in controversy over whether the novel The Catcher in the Rye is obscene, as one parent of a school-age child insists. In nearby Bridgeport, a public school official tells the local newspaper she is opposed to the censoring of books, but Catcher “has too many four-letter words for the early teenager.” Shoppers at King Cole supermarket in Bridgeport can save on Easter hams and Easter baskets. Also, fresh New England dressed pork butts are 35 cents a pound.
Today, 23-year-old Jack Nicklaus shoots a six-under-par 66 to win the Masters by one stroke over Tony Lema. First prize is $20,000 out of a total purse of $112,500. The NBA Eastern and Western Conference finals continue today. The Cincinnati Royals beat the Boston Celtics 109-99 in Cincinnati to force a seventh game of the series in Boston on Wednesday. The Los Angeles Lakers take a 3-2 series lead over the St. Louis Hawks with a 123-96 home win today. Next game will be in St. Louis on Tuesday. The Stanley Cup final opens on Tuesday in Toronto; the Detroit Red Wings advance with a win over Chicago today. Also today, the Milwaukee Braves withdraw their public stock offering; the struggling National League club had hoped to raise cash by selling 115,000 shares, but only 13,000 have been bought.
Shows on TV tonight include Lassie, Dennis the Menace, The Ed Sullivan Show, The Real McCoys, What’s My Line, Ensign O’Toole, Car 54 Where Are You?, and Bonanza. On the latest Cash Box chart, the top three are the same as last week: “He’s So Fine” by the Chiffons at #1, “The End of the World” by Skeeter Davis at #2, and “Our Day Will Come” by Ruby and the Romantics at #3. Three songs are new in the Top 10: “Can’t Get Used to Losing You” by Andy Williams, “Baby Workout” by Jackie Wilson, and “In Dreams” by Roy Orbison. “Puff the Magic Dragon” by Peter Paul and Mary is up 18 spots to #16; “Pipeline” by the Chantays crashes into the Top 40 at #25 from #42 last week. New songs percolating below the Top 40 include the Beach Boys’ “Surfin’ USA” and “On Broadway” by the Drifters. The oldest songs on the chart couldn’t be more different. “Cast Your Fate to the Wind” by the Vince Guaraldi Trio and the country crossover “From a Jack to a King” by Ned Miller are both in their 17th week.
Perspective From the Present: The Canadian Liberal party did not win a majority but won enough seats to enable Lester Pearson to become prime minister. It was later revealed that JFK’s advertising team helped Pearson and the Liberals. Lawrence of Arabia won seven Oscars including Best Picture; Gregory Peck was Best Actor for To Kill a Mockingbird; Anne Bancroft won Best Actress for The Miracle Worker; her co-star Patty Duke, age 16, won Best Supporting Actress for playing Helen Keller. The Celtics and Lakers would advance to the NBA Finals, where Boston would win its fifth of eight straight titles; the Maple Leafs would win the Stanley Cup. Jack Nicklaus would win five more Masters titles over the next 23 years.
Sixty years from this date, a weary man lacking inspiration will write about this day because he’s got nothing else this week. He thanks you for your indulgence.
3 thoughts on “April 7, 1963: Cast Your Fate to the Wind”
The 70mm restoration of Lawrence of Arabia remains the greatest movie-going experience of my lifetime. I couldn’t tell you another instance where I had to glance all around the screen to take in the full frame, if that makes sense. It was the first of two theatrical screenings I took in on June 24, 1989; later that evening, I’d see a film that premiered nationwide the day before: Batman. Quite the comedown after the majesty of Lawrence. (Sorry, Tim.)
“Cast Your Fate to the Wind” remains Guaraldi’s finest composition not tied to a Peanut, and “From a Jack to a King” is flat out awesome. (Your correspondent also accepts the respective Sounds Orchestral and Ricky Van Shelton versions as currency.)
Sixty years later, book banning is making a major comeback, and Jack Nicklaus was in the news just yesterday, refusing to rule out supporting Donald Trump in 2024.
I’d just like to say that the choice of the lousy remake of Mutiny on the Bounty for Best Picture over the likes of To Kill a Mockingbird, The Miracle Worker, The Manchurian Candidate and several other more deserving choices is one of Oscar’s biggest boo-boos ever. At least they got the winners right in 1963.
As regarding the music 60 years ago, it’s not surprising that there was much more diversity on the pop chart than there is nowadays. Pretty good mix of most genres on here, and that’s only mentioning less than 20 percent of the chart.