Information

Boston Charley


Boston Charley, a member of the Modoc tribe, was born in 1854. As a young man he took part in the Modoc War of 1872 and was in the group that killed 14 white settlers near Tule Lake. In 1873 he had joined the group led by Kintpuash.

During negotiations on 11th April, 1873, a group of warriors, including Boston Charley, killed peace commissioner Brigadier General Edward Canby.

This was followed on 26th April by four officers and eighteen men were killed at the battle of Stronghold. However, the Modocs were outnumbered and on 1st June, 1873 Kintpuash and his warriors surrendered to the army.

Boston Charley, Kintpuash, Schonchin John and Black Kim were executed for the murder of Edward Canby on 3rd October, 1873.


The National Parks of Boston

Boston city skyline at sunset.

The National Parks of Boston are three unique parks all connected by stories of revolution.

Boston is the birthplace of the American Revolution, and a driver of social and environmental revolutions of the 19th and 20th centuries. The National Parks of Boston, including Boston African American National Historic Site, Boston National Historical Park, and Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park, invites you to explore the seeds of revolution, and the on-going and many-sided struggle for civil rights, liberties, and environmental justice.

Out on Boston’s Trails to Freedom, explore the meaning of freedom through sites and stories that explore the motivations that pressed for independence from Britain, and launched revolutionary movements to abolish slavery, extend the vote, and safeguard civil rights and liberties to all people.

Heading out by ferry, experience the fruits of an environmental revolution that resulted in the clean-up of Boston Harbor and creation of Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park. Visit a Civil War-era fort, explore tide pools, camp under the stars, or simply enjoy an expansive 360 degree view—all within reach of downtown Boston.

Boston

Boston's role in the American Revolution started a political revolution that continues well over 250 years later.

Boston African American

The African American community of 19th century Boston led the city and the nation in the fight against slavery and injustice.

Boston Harbor Islands

34 islands form a partnership that protect vital natural resources and preserve a cultural history that spans millennia.


Boston Charley - History

I have long enjoyed listening to "The M.T.A. Song", better known as "Charlie on the M.T.A". In recent years, I have learned a great deal about the song and about the M.T.A (now M.B.T.A) itself, and would like to share this information here. About a year ago, I had the privilege to hear the original recording of the song (only two copies of the record exist) - regrettably I did not have a tape recorder with me at the time :-). I would like to give credit to the speaker at the BSRA meeting who gave the presentation, but I can't recall his name. If you're that person, let me know.

The melody of this song is a fairly old one. The first song (as far as I know) to use this melody was "The Ship That Never Returned", written in 1865 by Henry Clay Work. Work also wrote the more well-known song "My Grandfather's Clock" (and there are some similarities in melody between the two). The more famous use of this melody was in "The Wreck of Old #97".

Short clips of the songs are here (MP3 format):
The Ship That Never Returned (899K) - listen to the chorus - it's almost exactly the same
The Wreck of Old 97 (860K)

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Lyrics
Copyright Info: These words, as far as I know, are copyright Jacqueline Steiner, and Bess Lomax-Hawes. The Kingston Trio version is copyright Capitol Records.

Before I get into the background of the song, let me present the lyrics in their entirety. The version recorded by The Kingston Trio includes the chorus after each verse. Words in italics indicate the changes made by The Kingston Trio in their later recording. Parentheses indicate backing vocals.

Let me tell you the story
Of a man named Charlie
On a tragic and fateful day
He put ten cents in his pocket,
Kissed his wife and family
Went to ride on the MTA

Charlie handed in his dime
At the Kendall Square Station
And he changed for Jamaica Plain
When he got there the conductor told him,
"One more nickel."
Charlie could not get off that train.

Chorus:
Did he ever return,
No he never returned
And his fate is still unlearn'd
He may ride forever
'neath the streets of Boston
He's the man who never returned.

Now all night long
Charlie rides through the tunnels
the station
Saying, "What will become of me?
Crying
How can I afford to see
My sister in Chelsea
Or my cousin in Roxbury?"

Charlie's wife goes down
To the Scollay Square station
Every day at quarter past two
And through the open window
She hands Charlie a sandwich
As the train comes rumblin' through.

As his train rolled on
underneath Greater Boston
Charlie looked around and sighed:
"Well, I'm sore and disgusted
And I'm absolutely busted
I guess this is my last long ride."

Now you citizens of Boston,
Don't you think it's a scandal
That the people have to pay and pay
Vote for Walter A. O'Brien
Fight the fare increase!
And fight the fare increase
Vote for George O'Brien!
Get poor Charlie off the MTA.

Chorus:
Or else he'll never return,
No he'll never return
And his fate will be unlearned
He may ride forever
'neath the streets of Boston
He's the man (Who's the man)
He's the man who never returned.
He's the man (Oh, the man)
He's the man who never returned.
He's the man who never returned.

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History
(If you have any corrections to the information here, please let me know)

In the 1940s, the MTA fare-schedule was very complicated - at one time, the booklet that explained it was 9 pages long. Fare increases were implemented by means of an "exit fare". Rather than modify all the turnstiles for the new rate, they just collected the extra money when leaving the train. (Prior to the introduciton electronic fare collection in the mid-2000s, exit fares existed on the Braintree branch of the Red Line.) One of the key points of the platform of Walter A. O'Brien, a Progressive Party candidate for mayor of Boston, was to fight fare increases and make the fare schedule more uniform. Charlie was born.

The text of the song was written in 1949 by Jacqueline Steiner and Bess Lomax Hawes. It was one of seven songs written for O'Brien's campaign, each one emphasized a key point of his platform. One recording was made of each song, and they were broadcast from a sound truck that drove around the streets of Boston. This earned O'Brien a $10 fine for disturbing the peace.

A singer named Will Holt recorded the story of Charlie as a pop song for Coral Records after hearing an impromptu performance of the tune in a San Francisco coffee house by a former member of the group. The record company was astounded by a deluge of protests from Boston because the song made a hero out of a local "radical". During the McCarthy era of the 1950s, the Progressive Party became synonymous with the Communist Party, and, since O'Brien was a Progressive, he was labeled a Communist. It is important to note that, contrary to popular belief, O'Brien was never on the Communist Party ticket. Holt's record was hastily withdrawn.

In 1959, The Kingston Trio released a recording of the song. The name Walter A. was changed to George to avoid the problems that Holt experienced. Thus ended Walter O'Brien's claim to fame.

Walter A. O'Brien lost the election, by the way. He moved back to his home state of Maine in 1957 and became a school librarian and a bookstore owner. He died in July of 1998.

While the information above is in the public domain, the text was written by me in late '98/early '99. Some wanker ripped off part of my text and is using it on other pages.

Epilogue: Jacqueline Steiner died January 30, 2019 at the age of 94. I had the privilege to speak with her by phone in 2004 after a family member of hers happened to find this page. She led a very interesting life and was happy to talk about her most well-known song 55 years later, as well as her time working with people we now know as folk legends today.

Of course, one has to estimate Charlie's route given that the MBTA has changed dramatically between 1949 and the current day, but I have compiled what I imagine is a fairly accurate route:

Kendall Square -> Park Street -> Arborway

    Charlie handed in his dime at the Kendall Square Station that's pretty self-explanatory and he changed for Jamaica Plain As far as I know, there was no stop called "Jamaica Plain", so that line means that Charlie changed to a train going in the general direction of JP. The only lines that go anywhere near Jamaica Plain are the E branch of the Green line and the Orange Line.
    The Red line from Kendall Square connects to both the Green and Orange lines, however in the next step, you'll see why he didn't take the Orange Line.
    Charlie's wife goes down to the Scollay Square Station.. Scollay (pronounced 'Scully') Square Station is the old name for Government Center, which is on the Green Line. When Charlie got to his stop on the E-line, he couldn't get off without paying the five cents. So, they kept him on the train, which would have eventually gone through the loop at Arborway and returned to the line, probably passing through Scollay Square.

Back to top. Reader Comments
(Since some folks prefer not to have their information posted on line, I am using initials. If you wrote one of these comments and would prefer to be credited different, please let me know.)

R.N. writes in to say that between the "Now all night long. " and "As his train rolled on. " verses there was another on the original song:

"Who was that San Francisco singer [who performed in a coffeehouse that inspired Will Holt's recording]?"

His name is "Specs" and he owns a tavern here in SF. He told me that a theater company was interested in the song and his friend warned him to copyright it before they got their hands on it. [sic] so he did. He told the two ladies who wrote it [Steiner & Hawes] about what had happened and they were so grateful about him saving it from being copyrighted by someone else that they cut him in 1/3 for publishing royalties. When the Kingston Trio made their big hit with it in 1959 the money really started rolling in (back in 1960 a few thousand dollars went a long way) and to this day when the odd check shows up, people in the tavern Specs owns find themelves with a "drink on the house" sitting in front of them.

This page has been accessed at least times since the counter was last reset, or September 25, 2001, whichever is more recent.


Boston Charley - History

The first official Gay Pride March in Boston was held on Saturday, June 26, 1971. This was a distinctly political event that was preceded by a full week of workshops on various issues affecting the emerging gay community, such as coming out and gay spirituality. The march route encompassed four major stops: the Bay Village bar Jacques, Boston police headquarters on Berkeley Street, the State House on Beacon Hill, and St. Paul&aposs Cathedral on Tremont Street. At each stop, a speaker presented a list of demands. When the marchers arrived at the State House, a call was issued to include homosexuals in civil rights legislation and eliminate anti-sodomy statutes dating from Puritan times. Speaker Laura McMurry told the throng, As gay people, we have been given a second-class citizenship. We demand an end to this now! We will not be put down any longer." 

This walking tour follows the route of Boston&aposs first Gay Pride March in 1971 and offers information about different services, community organizations, issues, and individuals related to this route.

The Flyer:  "Two years ago on June 27, homosexuals in New York City for the first time refused OPPRESSION AS USUAL. They stood up when the Stonewall Bar on Christopher Street was raided . We and others across the nation commemorate that event this June. We celebrate the awakening of a vigorous gay pride and self-respect." 

Site 1: Jacques Cabaret and The Other Side (79 Broadway)

Opened in 1938, Jacques�me a gay bar in the mid-1940s. In 1965, its owner also opened, directly across the street, The Other Side,the first discotheque in the city to allow same-sex dancing. After serving as the city&aposs only lesbian bar from the late 1960s to the early 1970s, Jacques evolved into a venue for drag performers, which remains its focus to today.

The reason Boston&aposs first Gay Pride March started here was to confront a number of community concerns directed at what is now the city&aposs oldest surviving GLBT establishment, Jacques. Of primary importance to the march&aposs organizers was the club&aposs increasing problem with misogyny and the ill treatment of lesbian patrons.

  1. That the upstairs be for women only and that all men there must be accompanied by a woman
  2. There should be easily accessible fire escapes-without locks on them.
  3. That conditions, especially in bathrooms, be made more sanitary.
  4. That we be allowed to disseminate literature of interest to the gay community inside the bar.
  5. That there be a woman bartender.
  6. That we have control of the music played in Jacques that we be allowed to choose records to go the jukebox.
  7. That Jacques recognizes a negotiation committee to implement these demands and others that come up in the future.

The Napoleon Club opened as a speakeasy in 1929 and later operated as a private club with a sizeable gay clientele. It wasn&apost until 1952, though, when under new ownership Napoleons became a gay bar and eventually a piano bar. Regular crooners were joined by such luminaries as Liberace and the Queen of Queens herself, Judy Garland, who visited the club every night for a week shortly before her death in 1969. 

The Napoleon Club closed in 1998 and much of the contents of the establishment put up to auction. Its legacy lives on, though, in the Napoleon Room, a piano bar and lounge in਌lubCafé, a GLBT restaurant and club on Columbus Avenue.

Park Squareਊnd the Greyhound Bus Station formed a hub of gay activity in the late 1950s and early 1960s. 

Park Square was also home to one of the most popular bars of the 1950s and 1960s, the Punch Bowl, which entertained huge crowds - and, on occasion, the vice squad, which longtime Boston resident Preston Claridge describes in an interview with The History Project: "About once a night they would flash the emergency lights, which meant that the vice were coming and you had to stop dancing with your boyfriend, since it was illegal back then. You could dance with a lesbian, or you could sit down."

The South End was originally settled by middle-class business owners, bankers, etc., but a series of financial crises at the turn of the twentieth century, as well as newer trendy neighborhoods like Back Bay popping up, lead to many wealthier people leaving the South End. Most residences in the area then became tenement houses which lead to lower-income immigrants, African Americans, and gays and lesbians living in the neighborhood. In the 1940s, the South End started to become a more attractive location for single gays and lesbians. The environment of single-sex rooming houses provided homes and social cover for unmarried gay and lesbian people to live together. 

Many credit the renewed cultural vigor of the South End to its many GLBT artists and entrepreneurs who helped the neighborhood flourish beginning in the 1980s. 

Marchers in Boston&aposs first Gay Pride March in 1971 made their second stop here, to address issues related to police and the GLBT community. In his reminiscences of that day, Boston-based activist and writer Charley Shively described the scene outside the Police Headquarters: ". everything was locked up, and although we hadn&apost announced which police station we would confront, they seemed to know we were coming. The building was totally dead except for the ubiquitous camera lenses taking our pictures. A statement was read on the steps denouncing police brutality against homosexuals. " 

It wasn&apost until 1978 that the BPD created a position that was to work directly with and to address the needs and concerns of members of the GLBT community.

  1. That all entrapment immediately cease.
  2. That vague laws, such as those against loitering, disorderly conduct, and lewd and lascivious behavior not be used to harass homosexuals.
  3. That the police provide protection, rather than harassment, in the areas around gay bars.
  4. That representatives of the police force enter into immediate discussions with representatives of the homophile organizations to facilitate communication and understanding and implement the above demands. 

The Homophile Union of Boston grew out of the Boston chapter of the Mattachine Societyਊnd was founded in late 1969 or early 1970. The organization&aposs leadership was male, but there were also women members. The purpose of HUB was to provide a space for gay men and lesbians to talk about political and social issues affecting them and to offer a support network for member.

Theꃚughters of Bilitis (DOB) was a lesbian organization founded in 1955 in San Francisco by Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon for the purpose of self-knowledge and self-acceptance, public education, involvement in research, and lobbying to change the laws criminalizing homosexuality.

The Boston chapter was founded in 1969 during a period when many homophile organizations were forming in Boston. Early leaders of the Boston DOB included Lois Johnson, Shari Barden, and Laura Robin/McMurry, who were prominent promoters of the group and its activities.

Since the early 1970s, theਊrlington Street Church on the corner of Boylston and Arlington streets, a Unitarian Universalist church, has been GLBT positive and affirming. Many groups have met here at one time or another, including the Homophile Union of Boston, BostonUnitarian Universalist Gay and Lesbians, Dignity-Boston, and the Boston Gay Men&aposs Chorus. The city&aposs first same-sex marriage ceremony (officially unrecognized of course) was held here in 1973.

The Public Garden was long a popular gay cruising site in Boston, especially during the time before WWII up until the 1980s. A Four Seasons hotel now stands where hustlers once patrolled opposite the Public Garden. In the 1980s, the city changed traffic patterns to discourage drivers from circling "The Block" (around Commonwealth, Arlington, and Marlborough streets) in their cars. The Public Garden is also presently home to a swan couple, Romeo and Juliet. These two female swans have been nesting around the lake since2005.

Boston&aposs most infamous drag queen, Sylvia Sidney, once described himself as "a fun-loving, outspoken homosexual who speaks his mind and if people don&apost like it, the hell with them, my dear . when I hit the stage I&aposm coarse, loud, and vulgar." He began his career as a drag performer in 1947, at the age of seventeen. Sidney received his stage name one day in the 1940s while walking through the Public Garden.

Sylvia Sidney died on December 16, 1998, but until shortly before his death was hosting a regularly night for drag at Jacques. Boston had lost a star comedian and entertainer, the self-proclaimed "Bitch of Boston."  

The਌harles Street Meeting Houseਊt 70 Charles Street was once home to several early gay activist groups and publications. The Gay Community News (GCN), which ran from 1973 to 1992 as a weekly and until 1999 as a quarterly, published its first issue out of the Charles Street Meeting House. Gay Community News was an influential publication in Boston, across the country, and around the world.

For more on Gay Community News, read "An Army of Ex-Lovers" by Amy Hoffman and visit the digitized Gay Community Newsਊrchives at http://historyproject.omeka.net/collections/show/35.

The Massachusetts State House, built in 1798, contains the Governor&aposs offices, the House of Representatives, and the Massachusetts Senate. In 1974, Elaine Noble was elected the first openly gay person in the nation to hold an elective state office. She and then-State Representativeꂺrney Frank subsequently sponsored a gay rights bill, which the legislature rejected. Over the years, the state house has been the site of many protests over GLBT rights issues and, in the early 2000s, saw Massachusetts become the first state in the United States to legalize same-sex marriage.

In 2001, seven same-sex couples from across the state applied for marriage licenses and were all denied. On April 11, 2001, Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) filed a lawsuit, Goodridge v. Department of Public Health,ਊrguing that denying same-sex couples equal marriage rights was unconstitutional under the state constitution. The Suffolk SuperiorCourt ruled against the plaintiffs in May 2002, a decision that GLAD appealed to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. On November 18, 2003, the Supreme Judicial Court ruled 4 to 3 that the state&aposs ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. The ruling states:

The Massachusetts Constitution affirms the dignity and equality of all individuals. It forbids the creation of second-class citizens. In reaching our conclusion we have given full deference to the arguments made by the Commonwealth. But it has failed to identify any constitutionally adequate reason for denying civil marriage to same-sex couples.

The state began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on May 17, 2004, the fiftieth anniversary of the Brown v. the Board of Education ruling. The Goodridge ruling sent shockwaves across the country.

The State House was the third stop at the first Gay PrideMarch in 1971 and was a way for marchers to confront "persecution of homosexuals by the state."

  1. That all the following laws pertaining to homosexuality be repealed: Mass. Chapter 272, S. 34, S.35, and city ordinance against same sex dancing together.
  2. That legislation be enacted to end discrimination against people in employment, housing, and in the use of public facilities because of their sexual orientation.

St. Paul&aposs has a long history of supporting the GLBT community in Boston. Some of the earliest public healing services for people with AIDS were held here. The Episcopal faith was one of the first Christian groups to recognize same-sex marriages and to create a same-sex marriage ceremony. The church also allows for the leadership of gay and lesbian bishops.

St. Paul&aposs is also supportive of the trans community in Boston, celebrating the Transgender Day of Remembrance and hosting events for the trans community. Members of the St. Paul&aposs community have been marching against homophobia and for GLBT rights in Boston Pride for years, and generally hold a post-march celebration for all who want to attend. 

At the first Gay Pride March in 1971 a list of demands were presented outside St. Paul&aposs, denouncing centuries of religious persecution of homosexuals.

  1. That the church accept qualified gay persons for ordination and other religious work.
  2. That the church include comprehensive courses on human sexuality in seminary training, and for men and women already in religious work.
  3. That it develop and use curriculum material on human sexuality in Sunday School or in Church School.
  4. That the church recognize and bless the love of homosexuals as it does for heterosexuals.
  5. That the church lend its support to the reexamination of the institution of marriage and the family, which in its present form legally discriminates against homosexuals.
  6. That the church lend its support to the reexamination of roles based on sex, with particular attention to the fact that its support of these sex roles has oppressed women and homosexuals.
  7.  

The first Gay Pride March in 1971 ended at the Parkman Bandstand where, according to Charley Shively&aposs account, "a closet-smashing and book-dumping" took place. Shively writes: "The cardboard closet was ripped apart and thrown in a trash-can along with cardboard signs of infamous books by psychiatrists, whose names hardly bear repeating."

The bandstand was most recently renovated in 1996 and is a common meeting point for events and rallies of all kinds, including Boston Pride, the annual Youth Pride March, and for the annual Boston Dyke March. The Bandstand was also a longtime location of the annual Pride Festival, during Boston Pride, and at that first Gay Pride March in 1971, this was certainly the case. Currently, the Pride Festival takes place at the Government Center.

Flyer for the Other Side. Image courtesy of The History Project: Documenting GLBT Boston


Performers in the Napoleon Room at Club Café. The stained glass panel above the piano, on loan from the archives of The History Project, originally hung over the bar at the Napoleon Club. Image courtesy of The History Project: Documenting GLBT Boston. 

The Napoleon Club Logo. Image courtesy of The History Project: Documenting GLBT Boston


Thenewsletter for the Boston Chapter of the Daughters of Bilitis, called Focus, was published from 1969 to 1983. Image courtesy of The History Project: Documenting GLBT Boston.


Gay Dance - Arlington Street Church image, Caption: The Homophile Union of Boston, the Student Homophile League, and the Daughters of Bilitis used to hold gay dances in the Boston area, including at the Arlington Street Church. Image courtesy of The History Project: Documenting GLBT Boston

 
Sylvia Sidney image, Caption: Legendary Boston drag performer Sylvia Sidney, circa 1945. Image courtesy of The History Project: Documenting GLBT Boston.


Marchers at Boston&aposs first Gay Pride March outside the Massachusetts State House, 1971. Image courtesy of The History Project: Documenting GLBT Boston.


Elaine Noble is an American politician and GLBT activist who served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives for two terms starting in January 1975. She was the first openly lesbian or gay candidate elected to a state legislature in the UnitedStates. She served two terms as representative for the Fenway-Kenmore/Back Bay neighborhoods of Boston. Image courtesy of The History Project: Documenting GLBT Boston.


Why Is It Called A ɼharley Horse'?

Whenever I’ve had the displeasure of experiencing one of those painful leg muscle spasms known as a charley horse, I’ve often wondered why it’s called that (and also, “Why does this hurt so damn much?”).

Admittedly, the pain is the dominant thought, but still, I’ve been left asking, “Who is Charley? What was the deal with his horse?”

It turns out there are a few theories on the origin of the term, but most lead to baseball.

In the 1880s, multiple publications referred to the term “charley horse” (often capitalized as “Charley horse” or spelled “Charlie horse”) as something familiar to baseball players, who reportedly used it to describe certain muscle injuries or pains. Two ballplayers, Jack Glasscock and Joe Quest, are each credited as the originator of the phrase.

A version of the Glasscock story appears in a July 1886 issue of a West Virginia newspaper called the Wheeling Daily Intelligencer:

Base-ballists have invented a brand new disease, called ‘Charley-horse.’ It consists of a peculiar contraction and hardening of the muscles and tendons of the thigh, to which ball players are liable from the sudden starting and stopping in chasing balls . Jack Glasscock is said to have originated the name because the way the men limped around reminded him of an old horse he once owned named Charley.

Other accounts suggest Glasscock adopted this phrase from his father, who took care of Charley. When the dad saw his son limping due to this kind of leg injury, he supposedly remarked, “Why, John, my boy, what is the matter you go just like the old Charley horse?”

The Quest story has a few variants as well. Outfielder Hugh Nicol told the Chicago Tribune in 1906 that Quest coined the phrase in 1882 while playing for the Chicago White Stockings.

Apparently, the teammates spent an off day watching horse races on the South Side. According to a tip they’d received the previous night, a horse named Charley was practically guaranteed to win.

“The tip was touted as a cinch, it simply couldn’t lose, and we all got on,” Nicol recalled, noting that everyone placed bets on Charley except for Quest. The other players teased him for his choice.

But Quest got the last laugh. Although Charley had a sizable lead from the beginning, he ultimately stumbled and injured himself going around the last turn and lost. Quest allegedly told his teammates “Look at your old Charley horse now!”

Per Nicol’s account, he kept up the ribbing the next day and even exclaimed, “There’s your old Charley horse ― he’d made it all right if it hadn’t been for that old Charley horse” when a teammate strained himself in a similar way while running to second base.

Another theory is similar to the Glasscock story. In June 1889, the Grand Rapids Daily Democrat reported:

Years ago, Joe Quest was employed as an apprentice in the machine shop of Quest & Shaw in Newcastle, his father, who was one of the proprietors of the firm, had an old white horse by the name of Charley. Doing usage in pulling heavy loads had stiffened the animal’s legs so that he walked as if troubled with strained tendons. Afterwards, when Quest became a member of the Chicago club, he was troubled, with others, with a peculiar stiffness of the legs, which brought to his mind the ailment of the old white horse Charley. Joe said that the ball players troubled with the ailment hobbled exactly as did the old horse, and as no one seemed to know what the trouble was, Quest dubbed it ‘Charley horse.’

It’s worth noting that “charley horse” initially seemed to refer to more serious athletic injuries, rather than the painful but short-lived spasms people often experience in the middle of the night. As a January 1887 article in the Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester, New York, noted, “Let a man suffer from a genuine attack of ‘Charley horse,’ and he is lucky if he gets over it in a season, while it may cling to him through life.”

Another name origin theory is that charley horse comes from an old horse named Charley that dragged equipment at the White Stockings ballpark. Apparently injured players would compare their limping to Charley’s gait and called a leg muscle injury a charley horse.

Some have theorized that it was Quest specifically who made that comment in reference to the horse while playing for the White Stockings.

Yet another theory is that “charley horse” referred to pitcher Charles “Old Hoss” Radbourn, who experienced bad cramps while playing in the 1880s. The Washington Post published this anecdote in 1907:

Just as Charley passed third base something seemed to crack in his leg, and he came down to the home plate limping, and evidently in pain. [A teammate named] Nova, who had sprung from the players’ bench in excitement, rushed up to him. ‘What’s a mattah wit you, Charley Hoss?’ he shouted, combining Charley’s given name and nickname. ‘My leg is tied up in knots,’ said Charley. And from that day to this lameness in baseball players has been called ‘Charley Hoss,’ or ‘Charles Horse.’

Others have offered an even simpler explanation. According to a July 1887 edition of the Boston Globe, “The name is said to owe its origin to the fact that a player afflicted with it, when attempting to run, does so much after the fashion of a boy astride of a wooden horse, sometimes called a ‘Charley horse.’”

While we may never know the true origin of the term “charley horse,” one thing is certain: They hurt like hell, so stay hydrated and remember to stretch.


A-C

The Athenæum&rsquos few playbills from the Adelphi Theatre date from 1864 and 1869-1870. The Adelphi apparently specialized in variety acts. By December 1869, the theater had changed its name to the &ldquoAdelphi Theatre Comique.&rdquo A single, undated program to the &ldquoWorrell Sisters&rsquo Adelphi&rdquo attests to the changing management of this playhouse.

Located at the corner of Chandler and Tremont Street and incorporating an outdoor garden among its attractions, the Arena was billed on its programs as &ldquo Boston&rsquos amusement and concert garden.&rdquo The Arena presented two shows daily, including burlesque-type acts, singers, pantomime and comedy. The Athenæum&rsquos Arena programs, which all date from 1892, include an illustration of the theater&rsquos interior, which is somewhat reminiscent of a dinner theater.

The library owns only one Arlington Theatre playbill dating from 1923: What&rsquos the Matter with Lily starring Madleine Massey.

This playhouse specialized in vaudeville acts and burlesque as well as more conventional theater as part of its twice daily performances. Program covers include an illustration of the theater&rsquos interior. The second floor of the adjoining Austin&rsquos Nickel Museum had been the site of Alexander Graham Bell&rsquos laboratory and the location of the first permanent telephone line.

The Lion Theatre was originally on this same site erected in 1836 it was later, in 1839 called the Melodeon. In 1878 the name was changed to Gaiety and finally, on December 18, 1882, to the Bijou. The Bijou featured musicals, operas and plays on the building&rsquos second floor. It was also the first theater in the United States to be entirely lighted by electricity, which was personally installed and supervised by Thomas Alva Edison.

By the end of 1881, George H. Tyler, manager of the Park Theatre, had formed a partnership with Frederick Vokes to establish the Boston Bijou on the site of the completely renovated and enlarged Gaiety Theatre. Later, Vokes relinquished his share in the theater and a new partnership was formed with T.N. and E.H. Hastings. On December 11, 1882, the Bijou opened with the production of Gilbert and Sullivan&rsquos Iolanthe, and in 1882, Lillian Russell played the lead in Patience at the Bijou (See Jenks, Box 7, no. 37). By September 27, 1886, the reins of ownership and management passed to a showman from Hillsborough, New Hampshire, Benjamin Franklin Keith and George R. Batcheller. Keith played a leading role in the Boston theater world as the founder of B.F. Keith&rsquos Theatre, one of the first vaudeville theaters in the country. Keith eventually took over the Bijou, developing variety theater into what he first termed &ldquovaudeville&rdquo, allowing him to open a large chain of theaters in other cities and eventually, directly under the Bijou, B.F. Keith&rsquos Theatre on March 24, 1894. Eventually the playhouse became a movie house called the Bijou Dream.

In his book The Theatres of Boston: a Stage and Screen History, Donald King takes the reader on a melancholy tour of what little that remained in the mid-20th century of the Bijou structure sandwiched between the Opera House and the Paramount Theater. Although the theater continued to operate as a movie house, the tragic Coconut Nightclub fire in 1942 brought about stricter fire codes which, in turn, hastened the Bijou&rsquos demise. Most of what remained of the theater was demolished in 2008 and only its front façade remains today.

The Boston Athenæum&rsquos collection of Bijou programs is limited to the period 1883-1891. With their colorful covers, the playbills are very attractive, and the cover illustrations with the theater plan on the back provide visual documentation of the Boston theater scene in the 1880s. Most of the library&rsquos Bijou programs date from the 1880s and are especially interesting in that the cover design and layout change every few years. From the multi-colored chromolithograph covers dating from around 1883 to the simpler, more generic covers of the late 1880s, the changing layout testifies to the changing ownership and management of the theater.

Bibliography: Historical Review of the Boston Bijou Theatre. Boston: E.O. Skelton, 1884.

Perhaps the most beloved of all the Boston theaters was the second Boston Museum (1846-1903). As its name implies, this performance hall housed a gallery of curiosities in addition to its theatrical features, best known for its wax tableaux, music programs and displays from the New England Museum. A description of the Boston Museum building is found in William W. Clapp&rsquos A Record of the Boston Stage (1853), an excerpt from which follows:

&ldquoIn the year 1846 the present Museum was built by Mr. [Moses] Kimball and his associates, and on the 2d November of that year the first entertainment was given. The building, designed by H. & J. E. Billings, and erected under the supervision of Anthony Hanson, is admirably adapted for the purposes for which it was built. It was during the season of 1846-7 that &lsquoAladdin&rsquo was brought out, which had a run of eight weeks, and was performed ninety-one times to crowded houses&hellip&rdquo

Built by Moses Kimball in 1841, the first Boston Museum had become so successful that a new building was erected on Tremont Street in 1846, and performances continued there until 1903. Kimball was a self-made showman whose initial decision to create a cabinet of curiosities is not surprising when considering his association with that ultimate showman, P.T. Barnum. A collection of Barnum&rsquos letters to Kimball dating from the 1840s can be found in the Athenæum&rsquos manuscript collection and provide a fascinating window into the nineteenth century world of sensationalistic entertainment, precursors to the circus and amusement park industry.

The Boston Museum has the distinction of staging the first American performance of Gilbert and Sullivan operas notably H.M.S. Pinafore on November 25, 1878. The operas were instant successes with the Boston public. Among the luminaries of the Boston Museum stage were Edwin Booth, Annie Clark, E.H. Sothern, and Richard Mansfield. In 1887, Mansfield played the lead in the Museum&rsquos first American production of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde the actor was later one of several individuals briefly suspected of playing an even grislier role in real life, namely that of Jack the Ripper. Actors of the older generation were Mrs. J.R. Vincent (Mary Ann Farley), an English born actress who made her career at the Museum from 1852 until her death in 1887, and was much beloved by Boston theater goers. Even after she died, Mrs. Vincent continued to benefit the Boston community through her private charities which led to the founding of the Vincent Memorial Hospital and the Vincent Club, whose members still put on a show regularly for the benefit of the hospital. William Warren was another prominent actor who stayed with the Boston Museum for more than thirty-six years.

The actors mentioned above are all well represented in the library&rsquos collection of Boston Museum programs, which date from 1844 to 1848 and 1859 to 1903.

With the first Boston Theatre, later called the Federal Street Theatre, Boston can be said to have inaugurated its theater history. One of Charles Bulfinch&rsquos early creations, the playhouse opened on February 3, 1794 with Gustavus Vasa and Modern Antiques. It was soon considered the finest theater in the country. Four years later, the building burned down only to be quickly rebuilt. In its early days, the Federal Street Theatre was managed by Charles Stuart Powell, who retired after two seasons. The building continued to operate as a theater until 1835, when it was converted into a lecture hall called the &ldquoOdeon&rdquo. In 1846, it again reopened as a playhouse under its old name, the Boston Theatre. The structure was razed in 1852, eventually making way for the lavish second Boston Theatre on Washington Street in 1854. Julia Dean and Edwin Forrest were among the more prominent actors at the first Boston Theatre.

Among the many theaters represented in the Athenæum&rsquos theater collections, the programs of the second Boston Theater are undoubtedly among the most numerous. Designed by Edward and James Cabot and Jonathan Preston from plans by Henri Noury, this playhouse had a noble history. Renowned for its spaciousness and beauty - the much-admired auditorium seated 3000 - the second Boston Theatre hosted such theatrical luminaries as Sarah Bernhardt, Maurice Barrymore and Edwin Booth. Not did the world-famous playhouse limit itself to theater this was also where Bostonians first heard Beethoven&rsquos Fidelio in 1854, Carmen in 1879, and several other American operatic premieres of note until the Boston Opera House was built in 1909. It is no wonder that playwright and producer, Dion Boucicault dubbed the Boston Theatre the finest theater in the world. In October 1860, the playhouse, then known as the Boston Academy of Music, also played host to a grand ball honoring Edward, Prince of Wales. For this occasion, the theater&rsquos parquet was floored over for dancing.

Noteworthy Boston Theatre playbills in our collection include Edwin Forrest in King Lear and others featuring such thespian luminaries as Edwin Booth, Charlotte Cushman, Henry Irving and Ellen Terry. Also of some historical interest is a program to The Lady of Lyons starring society beauty Lily Langtry. A perusal of Boston Theatre programs dating from the 1840s up to the turn of the century reveals the changing appearance and design of theater playbills in general. The earlier examples from about 1840 to 1880 are mainly broadsides, often printed on thin, fragile paper. As broadsides, these programs could have been nailed or mounted on building walls, billboards or even tree trunks. Use of very large type face and often imaginative layout made these simple, unadorned programs effective as proclamations. By the late 1870s, programs are printed in brochure formats with title and cast information on the cover, customarily surrounded and followed by pages of advertising and pieces of miscellaneous information and commentaries. In the 1890s Boston Theatre programs had evolved into the booklet form that most of them still retain to this day an often decorative cover followed by several pages of advertising and theater miscellany - more of a magazine than a playbill.

Another one of Blackall&rsquos many playhouses the Bowdoin Square Theatre had a resident troupe in the early 1900s that performed both sophisticated European drama as well as melodrama and comedy. The theater&rsquos managers and owners were William Harris and Charles F. Atkinson. In August of 1897, impresario George Lothrop took control of the theater, presenting melodrama at popular prices and featuring the Lothrop Stock Company. The library&rsquos collection of Bowdoin Square programs dates from Feb. 15, 1892 to Dec. 31, 1894.

The Boylston Museum specialized in variety shows, such as sketches, minstrel shows and dancers. The Athenæum owns only a few programs from this theater all dating from 1882 to 1884 and none of them intact.

Of the smaller theaters represented in the library&rsquos collection, only three playbills come from the Casino Theatre, which should not be confused with C.H. Blackall&rsquos 1909 playhouse of the same name. The Casino programs are all undated, but were probably printed in the late 1870s or early 1880s.

The Boston Athenæum owns a sizable collection of playbills from the Castle Square Theatre in Boston&rsquos South End. This relatively small but ornate playhouse was built by E.M. Maynard in 1894, retaining the circular wall and roof of the old Cyclorama. Often the home of opera and touring plays, Castle Square&rsquos stock company (1908-1916), operated by John Craig and Mary Young, was popular in its day. Between 1912 and 1914, a young actor named Alfred Lunt was a new member of the company he later toured with Lily Langtry. Lunt married Lynn Fontanne in 1922, forming what some regard as the greatest American acting team of the twentieth century. Several programs in the Athenæum&rsquos Jenks collection feature Lunt among the cast.

An excellent description of Castle Square Theatre is found in a souvenir playbill which describes and praises the Rococo/Renaissance style interior and also mentions the playhouse&rsquos new system of gradually dimming the stage lights through the use of a switchboard.

Succumbing to the popularity of film over theater, the Castle Square Theatre, re-christened the Arlington (see entry above), was razed in 1932 and its furnishings auctioned off.

Our Castle Square programs include ones for George M. Cohan&rsquos Broadway Jones and David Belasco&rsquos The Girl of the Golden West.

The oldest Boston theater to survive intact and one of C.H. Blackall&rsquos finest creations, the Colonial Theatre opened on December 20, 1900. Apart from the Tremont Theatre, it was the first playhouse to be erected in the Boston theater district that originated around the turn of the century around the southern end of Tremont Street. Outwardly modest in appearance, the Colonial&rsquos interior is in the Rococo style, featuring lavishly carved detail and paintings in the style of Francois Boucher. An extensive sequence of murals by Blackall and H.B. Pennell are unique within Boston. The Colonial opened with the production of Ben Hur, which featured William Farnum and W.S. Hart in the principal roles. Both actors later became silent film stars. This was also where Flo Ziegfeld launched his follies, playbill examples of which can be found in the library&rsquos collection. The Colonial is notable for its association with Irving Berlin, Sigmund Romberg, Richard Rogers, and Oscar Hammerstein.

The Athenæum owns an intact copy of the Colonial&rsquos opening night program of Ben Hur. In fact, several of the theater&rsquos earliest programs can be found here. Playbills follow the basic booklet format. Intact programs dating from 1912 and on feature colorful cover illustrations with characters in 18th century costume, and additional advertisements, perhaps an indication of the Colonial&rsquos growing prosperity.

George Bernard Shaw&rsquos acclaimed play Pygmalion was first produced in Vienna in 1913 with the part of Eliza Doolittle expressly written for the British actress Mrs. Patrick Campbell (nee Beatrice Stella Tanner, 1865-1940). Mrs. Campbell performed the part at the Colonial in 1915 (See Jenks, Box 7, folder #42). Enamored of the actress, Shaw maintained a correspondence with her, which was published after his death. American actor Jerome Kilty created a dramatic dialog of extracts from the correspondence entitled Dear Liar, which was successfully performed in the United States and London between 1959 and 1960.

Designed by Leon H. Lampert & Sons, the Columbia Theatre opened in 1891. Built in the style of a Moorish temple, the theater also had its own stock company. Reopened after remodeling in 1899, the Columbia became a burlesque house in 1906 and changed its name to Loew&rsquos South End in 1911, when it began featuring vaudeville and movies at low prices. In 1939, the former Columbia Theatre was converted to a last run movie house. The theater was razed in 1955.

Judging by illustrations found inside several of the library&rsquos Columbia playbills - all, thankfully, intact - the inside was decorated in the same Moorish style, with rounded arches, onion-shaped turrets and slender pillars (See Rare Book Lg PN2277 .B67 C6).

The Athenæum&rsquos collection of theater programs from the Columbia Theater date from 1891-1894, and represent such plays as Oscar Wilde&rsquos Lady Windermere&rsquos Fan and Brandon Thomas&rsquo Charley&rsquos Aunt, among many others.

The Copley Theater began as the second Toy Theater, erected in 1914, and re-christened Copley in 1916. In 1922, the Copley moved to Stuart Street, between Dartmouth and Huntington Avenues. It became the Capri movie house in 1957, and has long since been razed to make room for the Massachusetts Turnpike Extension.

Located in what architectural historian Douglas Shand Tucci has called the &ldquoaching void&rdquo in Copley Square, the Copley Theater was one of the pioneering &ldquoLittle Theatres&rdquo of America that sought to present vital, contemporary plays in intimate settings. The Copley was also known for its George Bernard Shaw premieres. The theater&rsquos beautiful staircase was the gift of Isabella Stewart Gardner, who, like society painter John Singer Sargent, was a regular patron of the Copley.

From 1917 to 1923, the Copley was under the direction of Henry Jewett, who also had his own repertory company there. E.E. Clive assumed the directorship of the Copley in the 1920s. In the 1930s, the theater hosted productions by the federal government&rsquos Works Progress Administration&rsquos Federal Theatre project for unemployed theater workers.

Unfortunately, the Athenæum&rsquos collection of Copley playbills is not intact. All of them can be found in the Swan collection of scrapbooks (Rare Book Lg PN2277 .B67 S92 1883). Players featured at the Copley included Lionel Atwill and Joseph Cotten.

No fewer than three Boston theaters were called the Globe, and the Boston Athenæum owns playbills and portions of playbills from the first two. When the first theater was erected in 1867, it was initially called Selwyn&rsquos, but burned down in 1873. The third Globe at 692 Washington Street was built by Arthur H. Vinal in 1903. Most of the Athenæum&rsquos Globe Theatre programs originate from the first and second playhouse, which was built by B.F. Dwight in 1874. All three theaters were known for their celebrated stars. Among the actors featured at the Globe in the 1870s and 1880s were Helena Modjeska, Henry Irving, Ellen Terry and Richard Mansfield, all of whom are well-represented in the library&rsquos theater collection.

In the early 1880s, Madame Modjeska starred in several plays at the Globe, opposite the handsome Maurice Barrymore, father of the illustrious Lionel, Ethel, and John. A large number of programs featuring Modjeska and Barrymore are found in the Athenæum&rsquos collection of theater scrapbooks.

Only about two 1888 theater programs from this relatively obscure playhouse exist in the library's collection. The Grand Dime Museum was located at the corner of Washington and Dover Streets, and apparently presented variety shows. One of its many attractions was a swimming pool.

Located between Washington and Tremont Street, the Hollis Street Theatre was in its day the most fashionable theater in Boston. Built in 1885 by John R. Hall, Hollis Street opened with Gilbert and Sullivan&rsquos operetta, The Mikado, and featured such well-known actors as Dion Boucicault, Madame Modjeska, Maurice Barrymore, E.H. Sothern, Sarah Bernhardt and, around the turn of the century, Ellen Terry, Henry Irving, William Gillette, and Maude Adams. Isaac B. Rich was the theater&rsquos general manager and proprietor until management of the Hollis Street Theatre passed to Charles Frohmann sometime between 1907 and 1910. In 1917, Hollis Street was only one of three remaining legitimate stage theaters in Boston without a projection room. Sadly, during the theater&rsquos demolition in 1935 the roof collapsed, killing several workers.

Many of the Boston Athenæum&rsquos theater playbills have survived intact. The Hollis Street Theatre scrapbooks include programs that, with few exceptions, retain all of the advertising and cover art. The covers of the earliest programs (1886) represent exterior and interior views of the theater itself, valuable images of a playhouse and street that no longer exist. Judging by the covers, the theater was decorated in sumptuous, neo-Baroque style, lending credence to its fashionable status. Intact covers from the late 1880s and seem to have been purely decorative. The Athenæum&rsquos collection of Hollis Theatre programs date from 1886 to the 1920s.

Of all Boston theaters, the Howard Athenæum is one of the most famous as well as one of the most lamented. To those few Bostonians who still remember it, the theater was affectionately called &ldquoThe Old Howard&rdquo. Originally the site of a Millerite temple whose followers awaited Armageddon, the building was rebuilt as a playhouse in 1845, only to burn down a few months later. In 1846 Isaiah Rogers designed a new structure in a Gothic style unique among American theaters. Like many other playhouses of its time, the auditorium occupied the second floor of the building, with merchants on the first floor. The Howard Athenæum soon became famous for its opera productions: Verdi&rsquos Ernani, performed at the Howard in 1847, may have been Boston&rsquos first exposure to Italian bel canto opera. In 1868, the Howard became a variety theater and as such it became one of the finest in the country under the management of showman John Stetson until he left the Howard for the Globe Theatre in 1877.

Plays and ballets were also featured at the Howard. Gradually, however, as the theater lost much of its audience to the Boston Museum and the Boston Theatre, the variety shows had in 1898 changed to burlesque and incorporated old films between stage shows during the 1930s. From its fashionable grand opera days in the mid-nineteenth century the Old Howard had become a tawdry establishment especially beloved by Harvard undergraduates for its strip-tease acts.

The Boston Athenæum has a very small but interesting collection of programs from the Howard&rsquos early years dating from 1847 to 1848. Notable is a program of Verdi&rsquos Ernani (also called Hernani), which had its American premier at the Howard in 1847.

Located on Tremont Street, opposite Park Street Church, in roughly the same location where Tremont Temple is now, this theater should not be confused with the two other Tremont Theatres built in 1827 and 1889, respectively. In the space of a year, the name &ldquoJane English&rsquos New Tremont Theatre&rdquo changed to &ldquoNew Tremont Theatre&rdquo and, later, to &ldquoTremont Theatre.&rdquo Judging from the programs, this playhouse mounted many types of theatrical diversions, including variety shows, operas and stage plays. In 1865, the theater changed back to its original name of Allston Hall. (See also Tremont Theatre)

New Hampshire showman Benjamin Franklin Keith opened his theater next to the second Boston Theatre in 1894. Earlier, Keith had successfully opened a chain of theaters in several cities that he was the first to dub &ldquovaudeville&rdquo. Keith&rsquos Theatre was an elegant vaudeville playhouse with reserved seats, two shows a day and an orchestra. The theater&rsquos ventilation system was relatively unique at the time in that it employed a ten-foot blower that drew air from the roof, passed it over heating coils and forced it down and then up through the chair legs. The temperature was controlled by thermostats and air ventilated through the gallery ceiling.

Built by J.B. McElfatrick, B.F. Keith&rsquos Theatre became a landmark of American theater history with some 400 Keith theaters soon built throughout the country. In 1909 B.F. Keith&rsquos took over its great competitor, the Boston Theatre, which became one of Keith&rsquos three-theater complexes seating 7000 people.

B.F. Keith&rsquos featured a variety of vaudeville acts every day. A theater program for May 19, 1902 mentions, among other entertainers, singers and dancers, an &ldquoeccentric, juggling comedian&rdquo by the name of W.C. Fields. In June, 1928, after a final farewell featuring Ethel Barrymore, the B.F. Keith was shuttered. In 1939, the theater found a new life as a movie house called the Normandie Theater.

Located at the corner of Washington and Dover Streets, Lothrop&rsquos was managed by George E. Lothrop and had its own stock company. The library owns only six programs from this playhouse.

The Athenæum&rsquos two programs from the Lyceum date from 1892 and 1893. When the World&rsquos Theatre and Museum (see below) changed its name to the Lyceum, all that remained of the original building was its outer wall on Washington Street. The building had been extensively remodeled fireproof construction of brick and iron added to the façade, among many other improvements. As part of the rush among Boston theaters to incorporate cinema into its offerings in the late 1890s, the Lyceum introduced Cinematoscope in 1897. Judging from the programs the theater specialized in comedy and burlesque acts during its earlier years and was managed by James W. Bingham. The building was demolished around 1907.

Now known as the Emerson Majestic, after Emerson College, this theater is the only known local building designed by John Galen Howard. Built in opulent style reminiscent of Viennese Rococo, the Majestic is also the first Boston playhouse to make extensive use of electricity, integrating lighting fixtures into its architectural design. In January 28, 1941, the Majestic premiered Disney&rsquos Fantasia and became a first-run movie house by 1945. Eventually, the theater was re-christened the Saxon and, as the Cutler Majestic Theatre, is now managed by Emerson College. Much of the Majestic&rsquos original splendor survives to this day.

Of the few Majestic Theatre programs held by the Athenæum, only one, dated Oct. 6, 1906, is intact.

Located in Boston&rsquos South End, the National Theatre (the 3rd of that name) was yet another building designed by C.H. Blackall. In its day, the National was the largest theater in Boston with 3,500 seats and a movie projection booth built into one of its two massive balconies. Also known as the Hippodrome and the Waldorf Theatre, it was demolished in the 1990s to make way for an expanding arts center.

Both of our Nickelodeon Theatre playbills date from Oct. 1888 and so should not be confused with the later Nickelodeon built in 1894. Like the Boston Museum, this obscure theater included a cabinet of curiosities that also incorporated museum exhibits, a lecture hall, punchinello exhibits, a bowling alley and a shooting gallery. In the so-called &ldquotheatridium&rdquo theatrical performances were given four times a day. As an example, the Nickelodeon presented in a single day a ventriloquist, a black female impersonator and a dancing minstrel - all for 5 cents!

Located in Roxbury and one of several summer-garden theaters built for summer entertainment only, the Oakland Garden Theatre was managed by Isaac B. Rich in the mid-1880s. Programs in the Athenæum&rsquos collection all date from the mid to late 1880s. Summer theaters like Oakland Garden specialized in light English opera offerings.

The former Beethoven Hall was located where Cathay Bank is now, and was for a long time one of only two surviving Boston theaters from the 19th century - the other being Tremont Theatre. The Park Theatre was erected by the successful actress Lotta Crabtree, who reputedly became the city&rsquos largest tax payer. The wealthy Ms. Crabtree opened the theater with La Cigale on April 14, 1879. Apart from Lotta herself, prominent actors at the Park included Madame Janauschek, Edwin Booth, and Richard Mansfield.

At her death in 1924, Crabtree left more than $4 million to various charities which still are administered in Boston by the Crabtree Trust. In the early 1930s, after the Minsky brother&rsquos had taken ownership of the Park, it became Minsky&rsquos Park Burlesque where Gypsy Rose Lee did her striptease act. Throughout this century, the theater had been variously known as the &ldquoHub&rdquo and the &ldquoTrans-Lux&rdquo. The Park Theatre was remodeled by Blackall in 1903 and demolished in 1990.

The library&rsquos collection of Park Theatre programs includes a premier theater program for La Cigale, which also contains fascinating information on the design and decoration of the theater as well as on the demolition of Beethoven Hall.

Most of our Park Theatre playbills date from 1879 to 1898 with a small number from about 1899, 1905-1907 and 1910-1913 in the Swan collection of scrapbooks.

The Plymouth Theatre was originally known as the &ldquoGary&rdquo and eventually converted to a movie theater. Yet another Blackall creation, the theater was dubbed &ldquoone of the crucibles of the American drama&rdquo by Elliot Norton because of the many significant plays that reached their maturity there. The Plymouth premiered on October 16, 1911 with John Millington Synge&rsquos controversial Playboy of the Western World at which theatergoers William Butler Yeats and Lady Gregory were forced to hire a pack of Harvard graduates for protection against local agitators. This theater was apparently not afraid of staging daring, contemporary plays!

The few playbills in the library&rsquos collection date from 1911-1913 and 1931-1934. Of special interest is a Plymouth program for Elmer Rice&rsquos play Counselor at Law starring Paul Muni.

Only five programs from the Pompeiian Amphitheater can be found in the Athenæum&rsquos Jenks collection consisting of programs and playbills taken from dismantled scrapbooks donated to the library by Francis H. Jenks, drama critic for the Boston Evening Transcript in the late 19th century. According to one of these programs, the theater was located on Huntington Avenue, near Westchester Park, and had a seating capacity of about 8,000. The building, apparently modeled after the Coliseum, had been erected by J. Pickering Putnam, Esq., and specialized in variety acts, especially pyrotechnical displays and spectacles of various kinds such as The Lost Days of Pompeii. Apart from one undated theater broadside, the four remaining programs date from 1888 and 1889.

Formerly the Continental, the St. James Theatre was located roughly where Tufts Medical Center is now. It was converted into a clothing factory sometime after 1873. The Athenæum&rsquos St. James Theatre programs date from 1871 to 1872.

Selwyn&rsquos Theatre programs at the Athenæum date from about 1868-1870 and 1873. This playhouse should not be confused with the Cort Theatre (1914-1915) which was later renamed the Selwyn Theatre. Located on Washington Street near the corner of Essex Street, Selwyn&rsquos Theatre was named after its manager John H. Selwyn who had worked for the Boston Theatre both as actor and scenic artist. In 1870 it was re-christened the Globe and burned down three years later. Among its repertoire, Selwyn&rsquos included operettas such as Jacques Offenbach&rsquos La Grand Duchesse de Gerolstein.

The Athenæum owns only two programs (1911-1912) from the Shubert Theatre, known as &ldquo Boston&rsquos Little Princess&rdquo, which was designed by Thomas M. James in 1910. From its opening night production of The Taming of the Shrew starring E.H. Sothern and Julia Marlowe, the Shubert has had a long history of first-rate theatrical productions. Here was where Laurence Olivier first introduced John Osborne&rsquos critically acclaimed drama The Entertainer to American audiences, and where in 1950 Ethel Merman starred in Call Me Madam. The Shubert was also where Robert C. Sherwood&rsquos The Petrified Forest opened its pre-Broadway tour in 1936. Starring Leslie Howard, this production also featured a then unknown actor in the role of Duke Mantee named Humphrey Bogart. The Shubert&rsquos marquee is the last of its kind in Boston.

Programs from the Theatre Comique date from 1858-1860 and 1864-1867. Formerly Andrews Hall and located on what used to be the site of P.T. Barnum&rsquos Museum and Aquarial Gardens, the theater was managed by J. Wentworth and presented mostly variety shows, including ballet, acrobatics and pantomime among its productions.

Several Boston playhouses were named Tremont Theatre (built in 1827, 1889 and 1908, respectively), but the major one represented in the Athenæum&rsquos playbill collection is the second Tremont built in 1889 by J.B. McElfatrick and Sons, and located on Tremont Street at the corner of Avery. Extremely successful and fashionable in the 1890s, this theater is famous for hosting the great Sarah Bernhardt, who enraptured Bostonians in 1891 with her performance of La Tosca.

In his September, 1895 article in Bostonian Magazine, Atherton Brownell wrote about the Tremont Theatre:


How Boston powered the gay rights movement

Globe FILE PHOTO 1970/Illustration/Globe Staff

Next weekend’s Pride Parade in Boston will cap off an extraordinary run for the gay rights movement. In the past two years, public support for marriage equality passed the 50 percent mark for the first time, and today, it is even higher—69 percent—among people under 30. An unmistakable shift in the political climate has encouraged lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to join CEOs and professional athletes in affirming that gay people should be treated equally in all walks of life.

When most Americans think about the story of gay rights, they look back to New York’s 1969 Stonewall Riots, when gay men in Greenwich Village rose up in response to a police raid and sparked a decade of determined activism. They remember San Francisco’s Harvey Milk, the charismatic leader from the Castro who was elected to the city’s Board of Supervisors in 1977 before being tragically assassinated. Perhaps they remember the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights of 1979, when around 100,000 people from around the country gathered in the capitol to demand an end to discrimination.

Conspicuously absent in that story is Boston, a city more likely to be associated with its Puritanical past than with gay activism. But while it routinely gets overshadowed by New York and San Francisco, where the gay scenes were bigger, louder, and livelier, a closer look at the movement’s early history and tactics reveals that Boston in the 1970s was deeply important in the arrival of gay rights as a mainstream national issue, and home to a sophisticated, nationally relevant, pioneering gay community. The cause of gay liberation was taken up during those years with energy and seriousness by Boston-area college students, intellectuals, journalists, politicians, psychiatrists, and lawyers. Ultimately, the city would be the source for a significant portion of the national movement’s burgeoning intellectual firepower.

“Boston largely gets ignored,” said Tufts University lecturer Neil Miller, who lived in Cambridge in the 1970s and is the author of “Out of the Past: Gay and Lesbian History from 1869 to the Present.” But as he put it in an essay several years ago, the reality is that Boston “represents a missing piece crucial to understanding the formation and growth of gay institutions. nationwide.”

The city served as a farm team for gay-rights forces across the United States—thanks in part to Gay Community News, an influential weekly newspaper with national reach that was considered the movement’s “paper of record” throughout the ’70s, and whose alumni at one point occupied so many leadership roles around the country that they were called the “GCN mafia.” Boston also helped drive the movement’s political and legal development: Not only was it home to the country’s first openly gay state representative, Elaine Noble, it was also one of the first places in the country where antidiscrimination laws were brought up for debate by politicians, and the birthplace of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, known as GLAD, whose legal advocacy led to Massachusetts’ groundbreaking gay-marriage decision.

Representative Elaine Noble at a 1977 Gay Rights Rally on Boston Common. Stan Grossfeld/Globe Staff/File

Part of what made the city distinctive in the ’70s was that the gay community, though active, just wasn’t that big, and thus was unusually harmonious. Gay men worked side by side with lesbians—uncommon at the time—and radical gay liberationists found common cause with moderates who believed in working for political reform. But the fact that this compact scene was devoted to advances on the political, intellectual, legal, and journalistic fronts—rather than becoming known for protests or a vibrant gay social scene—meant that Boston’s role in gay life never captured the imagination as did New York and San Francisco. To look back at what was forged in Boston is to realize that sometimes the forces that drive real social change are, on the surface, less dramatic than the transformative moments and individual leaders that come to symbolize it.

“New York was sexier. San Francisco was really sexy. But Boston was smarter,” said Michael Bronski, a professor at Harvard University who spent the 1970s writing for local gay publications and is the author of “A Queer History of the United States.” “Boston really generated ideas.”

Compared with other American cities, Boston presented some special cultural hurdles for early gay activists, given the deeply conservative attitudes toward sex that had been prevalent for generations. Several gay and lesbian organizations did have local chapters in Boston before Stonewall, including the Daughters of Bilitis and the Mattachine Society. But the city never became a mecca for gays and lesbians in the way San Francisco or New York City did. Nor did it give rise, until much later, to a single neighborhood that gay people could publicly claim as their own: Though the west side of Beacon Hill was something of a gay enclave, it did not compare to Greenwich Village or the Castro. “San Francisco had a big bar and bathhouse culture—and that. kind of swallowed up the gay population,” said Miller. “Boston wasn’t quite like that. It was a little more intellectual here, I think, than some other cities, where people really migrated to have fun.”

The first issue of Gay Community News, June 17, 1973. The History Project

It was not until 1973, with the founding of the Gay Community News—where Miller was an editor—that the city began to appear on the radar of gay activists around the country. The paper, which operated as a collective, began after an MIT graduate named David Peterson pulled together members of all the various gay groups in town and suggested they consolidate their newsletters. For years, volunteers from all over town would gather at GCN’s headquarters at 22
Bromfield St. every Tuesday night to debate the news of the day and plan coverage, as well as every Friday afternoon, to fold and stuff copies of the paper and send them out to subscribers. (The “Friday Folders,” as they were called, were nourished with beer and pizza.)

Though it began as nothing more ambitious than a mimeographed calendar of events around Boston, GCN quickly became a source of exclusive reporting on gay issues around the country, and came to unite people who were fighting for the same cause but had no other way of finding out about each other’s activities. Eventually, GCN was being read in all 50 states, helping to turn the gay movement, which had previously been geographically fractured, into a national phenomenon. “There was no Internet back then—everything was local, or regional,” said Richard Burns, who moved to Boston from New York to join the paper’s staff, and served as its managing editor. To have GCN subscribers and stringers in every state, Burns added, allowed Boston to “infiltrate the consciousness of local movements around the country.”

The June 1971 cover of Fag Rag magazine. The History Project

GCN’s rise to prominence took place against a backdrop of intense activity in the Boston gay and lesbian community, which by the spring of 1972 had come to seem, according to the book “Out For Good” by Adam Nagourney and Dudley Clendinen, “more advanced than any other in the country.” In addition to gay groups at Harvard and MIT—“A lot of students were away from home and felt like they could be brave,” said lesbian activist and politician Ann Maguire—the city was home to a trailblazing radio show on WBUR, Gay Way, which Maguire hosted. Boston also supported public health organizations like the Fenway Community Health Center, one of the country’s first medical providers catering specifically to gays and lesbians (which continues to operate today) and the Homophile Community Health Service, which was set up in 1971 by the nation’s first openly gay psychiatrist, Richard Pillard, as a place where gay people could get inexpensive mental health advice from doctors who, unlike most of their colleagues, believed that homosexuality was not a disease. At the more radical fringes, meanwhile, were outfits like the Fag Rag Collective, which published a gay liberation quarterly that was once denounced on the floor of the US Congress as “the most loathsome publication in the English language.”

Boston was no stranger to activism by the 1970s—the huge student population meant that the city was host to a diverse and very visible collection of antiwar groups, environmentalists, and other flowerings of the New Left. Even so, most of the gay-rights activity went on out of sight of the straight world. Together, the groups almost represented a second, parallel society. “All of this stuff was going on completely unacknowledged, pretty much, even by the alternative papers, like the Phoenix, and certainly by the Globe,” said Amy Hoffman, who served as news editor at Gay Community News starting in 1978. “It’s hard to describe this to people now, how kind of invisible the LGBT community was at that time.”

For some, like the self-described revolutionaries of the Fag Rag Collective, that was just fine: The point of liberation, as they saw it, was not to integrate into straight society but to create their own. But Boston was also home to another powerful strain of thinking: activists who believed that gay people needed to fight for their place in the mainstream, and that the way to do that was to pursue their interests through the political system, like any other voting bloc. “The Boston movement was intensely political from the beginning, and intelligently so,” said former congressman Barney Frank in an interview. “These were not people who thought the most important thing to do was have a demonstration, though marches were part of it. These were people who got involved. [and] who understood the value—I believe correctly—of insider connections as well as political organizing.”

Representative Barney Frank in January 1977. Globe Staff/File

Frank himself, despite being closeted at the time, first made contact with the gay community in Boston during a public meeting shortly before the 1972 election, when the first-time candidate and former mayoral aide promised the assembled crowd that as a member of the state Legislature, he would support gay rights and help draft legislation repealing the state’s antisodomy laws. Shortly thereafter, activists sent out questionnaires to all 300 candidates running for the State House asking if they would support gay rights legislation only Frank answered in the affirmative. Later, when Frank won his seat, he became a liaison between the gay community and the Boston Police Department, and helped arrange a system whereby closeted gay men who had been assaulted or robbed during trysts could report crimes anonymously. This kind of behind-the-scenes political maneuvering “lay the foundation for the long-term success of the gay movement nationally,” said Joseph Martin, who served as an aide to Frank. “It created a framework for. how to be effective politically.”

Tactically speaking, the work being done from within the State House could not have been more different from what the radicals involved in Fag Rag were up to, such as burning a Bible on Boston Common and marching around with a banner proclaiming the glory of “Pornography, Prostitution, Promiscuity, Pederasty!” Such antics stirred tensions within the activist community that would erupt most dramatically over a controversy involving 24 gay men from Revere who were indicted on suspicion of running a sex ring involving underage boys. The “Revere Sex Scandal,” as it was called in the press, prompted the Suffolf County district attorney to set up an anonymous hotline that people could call if they thought someone in their midst was engaging in similar activities.

The hotline was seen as a witch hunt by many in the gay community, including John Ward, a lawyer, and GCN managing editor Richard Burns, who channeled the intense anger over the hotline—as well as the arrest of more than 100 men accused of having sex in the restrooms at the Boston Public Library—by creating GLAD. That nonprofit would later become hugely influential by fighting injustice against gays and lesbians through the legal system. Certain others in Boston, meanwhile—including several members of Fag Rag—reacted to the Revere scandal very differently, and formed the North American Man/Boy Love Association, or NAMBLA, which opposed age-of-consent laws, and quickly became one of the most widely reviled organizations in the country. It brought unwelcome attention to the Boston gay scene, and was condemned by many of the activists who had once marched alongside its members. “That was just a huge overwhelming controversy,” Amy Hoffman said.

Marchers at a gay pride parade in Boston in June 1972. George Rizer/Globe Staff/File/Boston Globe

For the most part, though, radicals and moderates in Boston worked together. And by doing so, the city’s gay activists built what John Scagliotti, former host of the gay-themed “Lavender Hour” on WBCN, called the “R&D center for the whole gay movement.” This was true on a number of levels, from GCN spreading the word about gay activism across the country to the very idea of lobbying lawmakers on behalf of gay people, which originated in Boston in 1973 thanks to a group that included Joseph Martin, Elaine Noble, and Ann Maguire, who went on to manage Noble’s campaign for the state Legislature.

In retrospect, the city helped lay the groundwork for a pivotal transition from an era in which merely being open about one’s homosexuality was a deeply radical gesture, to the movement’s more modern incarnation, in which the fight is about demanding gay people’s right to participate as equals in mainstream society. In this sense, gay activism in 1970s Boston was a prototype for what the broader gay movement would later become.

Nowhere can that be seen more clearly than in Noble’s 1974 election, which followed a campaign during which she was open about her sexuality, but deliberately avoided making it the focus of her candidacy. Instead, Noble sold herself as a problem-solver who could help constituents with potholes, absentee landlords, and rising rents—and who also happened to be a lesbian. Though Noble, who could not be reached for an interview, was moderate in her politics, there was something subtly radical in the underlying premise of her campaign: that being gay did not define her. And there was something radical, too, in the fact that, while she did face intense homophobic attacks during her campaign, her fellow Bostonians, like no other Americans before them, were ready to send an openly gay candidate to a state-level office.

Today some efforts are underway to document Boston’s role in the history of the gay rights movement. A group called the History Project, which has been archiving material on Boston’s gay activists since 1980, is working to make their extensive archives available online to the public, and is in the process of digitizing early issues of Gay Community News. The Boston writer and activist Michael Bronski has organized the personal papers of Fag Rag editor Charley Shively and is in talks with Yale about acquiring them. Barney Frank, meanwhile, has retired from Congress, and is planning to write his own book about the gay rights movement.

“We’ve seen it happen before, where the less obvious turns out to really be the most significant,” said Bronski. “And I think that in the long run, what happened in Boston in those years will be seen as a major part of gay American history.”


Charley Hall

Standing 6-feet-1 at 185 pounds with dark good looks, the young Charley Hall cut an imposing, often intimidating figure on the mound. Early in his baseball career, he combined his “swarthy” appearance with a blazing, high-voltage fast ball. Later, with diminished speed but more consistent control, he deftly packaged a wide array of pitches thrown at various speeds, alternately teasing and jamming hitters. Batters simply did not like to face either the young or old Charley Hall.1

Charley was born on July 27, 1884, in Ventura, California, to Arthur and Elvira (Mungari) Hall.2 His roots were Spanish-American. Both Spanish and English were spoken in his boyhood home. Elvira’s mother was Doña Concepcion Cota Mungari, a descendant of the Spanish settlers of the Presidio of Santa Barbara of 1762. Charley was christened Carlos Luis Hall at the San Buenaventura Mission in Ventura.3 Elvira died from childbirth complications in 1888 when Charley was 3 years old.4 Arthur’s father (Rueben) and mother (Sarah) came to California from Wisconsin via a wagon train in the mid-1860s.

Charley started playing organized baseball as a boy. According to the Oxnard Courier, he “learned how to play ball” as a member of an Oxnard junior baseball team known as the Palm Street Nine.5 Very thin as a youngster, Hall’s prodigious baseball talent was not generally recognized until he began to mature physically. 6

In 1904, Parke Wilson, the manager of the Seattle team in the Pacific Coast League, “discovered” and signed the 19-year-old Hall playing in Santa Barbara. Initially, Wilson used Hall in relief. As he gained experience and other veteran Seattle pitchers faltered, Charley became a starter as well.

By July 1904, Charley’s record was 12-5, second best in the entire PCL. The Seattle Times called him “about the biggest sensation in the Pacific Coast League this season.” 7 Opponents also noted his nerve. San Francisco catcher Ly Gordon told the Seattle Times, “I never saw a youngster with more backbone in him than this Seattle youngster.” By the end of 1904, Charley had accumulated a 29-19 record, pitching a phenomenal 425 innings.8

Returning to Seattle again in 1905, Hall found himself on a horrible team. Burdened with the high expectations he established in 1904, he slumped – though he did no-hit Oakland on April 5. As the team improved, Hall rallied, finishing the year with a 23-27 record. He completed another marathon eight-month PCL season with 449 innings pitched. Although clearly overworked at times by the brutal schedule, Charley was rewarded for his diligence with over 870 innings of professional pitching experience in his first two years.

When the 1904 and 1905 seasons ended in early December, Charley went home and played semiprofessional baseball in Southern California. He would do this for most of his professional career. Within this local, low-pressure, entertainment-oriented baseball environment, Charley also began coaching third base. His Spanish-laced baserunning instructions were high-volume exhortations that usually resulted in making him hoarse over the course of a game. An Oxnard Courier article described his hoarse coaching voice as “sounding something like the bark of hunting dog.” Every time he batted during the game, the bleacher fans would mimic his coaching sounds mercilessly.9 Later, when he did the same thing as a Red Sox third base coach, the Boston fans affectionately named him Sea Lion.

By 1906, Charley was married to Emma Larson and had fathered his first son, Marshall.10 He was also an established veteran pitcher on Seattle’s team. When injuries hit the team during the year, Seattle also used Charley occasionally as an infielder or outfielder.11

On May 13, 1906, against Oakland, Hall pitched his second no-hit game, winning 3-0. The Seattle Times called it “the finest exhibition of pitching seen in Recreation Park (Seattle’s home field).” A walk in the second inning and an error by the shortstop in the ninth accounted for Oakland’s only baserunners. Relying primarily on his fastball, Hall struck out seven.12 During his next regular start, in a pregame ceremony, his teammates gave new “Papa” Hall a brand new “baby buggy in which to trundle his son and heir.”13

In July 1906, Charley finally got his first chance in the major leagues, reporting to the Cincinnati Reds. For Seattle, he had a 1906 record of 8-14 in 196 innings with an earned run average of 2.29.

In Cincinnati, Hall made his major-league debut against John McGraw’s defending NL champion New York Giants on July 12. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Charley relieved a beleaguered Cincinnati starting pitcher in the top of the first inning and was “pounded unmercifully” the rest of the game. The Reds lost 16-11, as Charley gave up 12 hits and walked seven in his nine innings.14 Four days later, starting in place of an injured pitcher, Charley recorded his first major-league win against Brooklyn, striking out eight while walking four in a complete game 7-6 victory.15 Hall finished his rookie year with a 4-8 record in 95 innings with a 3.32 ERA.16

In 1907, he started with Cincinnati and things quickly deteriorated. His pitching control remained inconsistent. He would be impressive in one appearance and then wild in another. After pitching 68 innings in 11 games with a 2.51 ERA, Hall was sent to Columbus in the American Association. He ended the year with Columbus going 8-3.

Hall began 1908 pitching for a Columbus team that finished in third place. He went 8-21, allowing 245 hits in 243 innings. It was his worst full-season record in professional baseball. Hall’s slide into baseball oblivion, however, suddenly ended when he was sent to St. Paul at the end of the 1908 season.

At St. Paul in 1909, Hall was 4-13 with a 4.08 ERA in 172 innings. The highlight of his 1909 season was another no-hitter, a nine-inning effort against Louisville, which he eventually lost 1-0 in the 12th inning. He struck out every man in the lineup (six in a row) for a total of 16 batters in 12 innings. In the first nine innings, only two batters reached base, both on walks.

At St. Paul, however, Charley had the good fortune to pitch for one of the legends of minor-league baseball, manager Mike Kelley. On July 26, 1909, Kelley got Charley back into the major leagues when he traded him with pitcher Ed Karger to the Boston Red Sox for pitchers Charlie Chech and Jack Ryan, plus cash.17

With Boston, Hall compiled a 6-4 record that season, pitching 59 ? innings with a 2.56 ERA. Hall’s joy in returning to the major leagues was tempered by the death of his first wife, Emma, during childbirth. His first child, Marshall, was subsequently raised by Emma’s parents.18

In 1910, Charley pitched well as both a starter and a reliever for Boston. In his 35 appearances, he started 16 games and relieved in 19. His resulting record was 12 wins and 9 losses in 188 ? innings with his major-league career low 1.91 ERA, good enough for 10th best in the American League.

Hall’s 1911 role put more emphasis on relief pitching. His 32 pitching appearances included 22 in relief and 10 starts. He finished 1911 with an 8-7 record in 146? innings and a 3.75 ERA. His 1911 appearances included a number of highlights. In May, he relieved the Boston starters in both games of a doubleheader against Washington and won both games, besting Walter Johnson in the afternoon contest.19

On August 2, against the Detroit Tigers, Hall arguably had the best relief appearance in his major-league career. In the second game of a doubleheader, with Boston leading 8-2 in the top of the ninth inning, the Tigers loaded the bases with no outs. Hall was summoned with no time to warm up to replace the fading starter, Larry Pape. In succession, Hall had to face Ty Cobb, Wahoo Sam Crawford, and Jim Delahanty.

After teasing Cobb with two outside pitches, Charley busted two past him for called strikes. Cobb took a strong swing at the next one, tipping it slightly, but catcher Les Nunamaker held on to the ball for strike three. Charley used the same pitching sequence with Crawford – two pitches outside followed by two strikes. The all-time triples king swung at the fifth pitch. Again Nunamaker held the foul tip for the third strike. The doubleheader crowd of 27,354 erupted as Crawford dejectedly headed back to the dugout. For the final out, Charley got Delahanty to pop weakly to shortstop. As the infield pop fell into Steve Yerkes’ glove, a boisterous crowd of very happy Boston fans stormed the field in celebration.20 In later years, Hall often cited the incident as one of the biggest thrills in his baseball career.

On November 5, 1911, Charley married Boston native Marie Cullen at the Mission Church in Boston. The Oxnard Courier, announced the news, calling Charley “one of the best known young men in the country, from a baseballistic and friendship standpoint.” The paper also reported that he would bring his bride with him when he returned to Ventura.21

Balancing this happy news was a less flattering incident. In late 1911, the Boston Globe reported that Charley was arrested in Ventura for refusing to help with firefighting.

After Boston’s disappointing fourth-place finish in 1911, Charley showed up for 1912 spring training “lively and limber.”22 During the winter, the Red Sox had made several significant ownership, front office, and field manager changes. Jake Stahl, who had sat out the 1911 season, now managed the 1912 team. As the Boston first baseman on the 1909 and 1910 teams, he had witnessed Hall’s success as both a starting and relief pitcher.

In 1912, Charley flourished, achieving major-league career bests in wins (15) and innings pitched (191). He appeared in 34 games, 20 as the starting pitcher and 14 in relief. 23 This was a distinct departure from his 1911 usage pattern, when he started only 10 games during the entire season.

Hall made important contributions to the Red Sox’ 1912 championship season. He got the win in the first game at Boston’s brand new Fenway Park, replacing wobbly starter Buck O’Brien and pitching three-hit ball for seven strong innings to allow the Red Sox to rally in the 11th.24 During the first 35 games of the season, Charley appeared nine times and pitched four complete-game victories. On September 10, he saved Smoky Joe Wood’s 15th consecutive win in the ninth inning at Comiskey Park in Chicago.25

Hall was a consistently positive presence during the 1912 pennant drive. He voluntarily manned Boston’s third-base coaching box, often yelling directions and encouragement to his teammates.26 In the clubhouse, he was gregarious and friendly, often exchanging friendly banter with other veteran players. He often teased Boston pitcher Ed Cicotte (before the latter’s July sale to the White Sox) that his name meant “punk” or “very poor” in Spanish. Cicotte jokingly insisted that Hall’s real name was Carlos Cholo.27

The 1912 World Series afforded Charley an opportunity to play against his two longtime Southern California friends, Fred Snodgrass and Chief Meyers. He appeared twice and was probably under the weather each time. The Boston Globe reported before the Series opener that Charley had a severe cold and it was uncertain to what extent he could pitch in the Series. He was referred to the Boston team physician, Dr. Cliff, for treatment.28

Sick or not, Charley performed. He pitched in the Game Two 6-6 tie, entering in relief of Ray Collins in the eighth inning with runners on second and third, one out, and the Red Sox ahead 4-3. He retired the first hitter but gave up a two-run double to Buck Herzog. Although walking the bases full, he pitched a scoreless ninth. In the 10th, he allowed a leadoff triple and the sixth Giants run.29

Hall also pitched in Boston’s seventh-game loss (because of the tie, the Series ran to eight games). He relieved Wood in the second inning and pitched the rest of the game.30 His World Series line showed 10 ? innings pitched with a 3.38 ERA.

After their pennant-winning 1912 season, the Red Sox players, including Hall, suffered a letdown in 1913. Within an environment that included distracting 1912-related celebrations, injuries, management turmoil, a strong wire-to-wire pennant run by Connie Mack’s Philadelphia Athletics, and Boston’s erratic starting pitching, Hall’s workload changed.

Appearing in 35 games, he was used as a relief pitcher 31 times and as a starting pitcher only four times. He ended the year with a 5-4 record in 105 innings with a 3.43 ERA. He failed to win any of his four starts and walked nearly as many hitters (46) as he struck out (48).

After the disappointing 1913 season, Boston released Hall. Unable to find another job in the major leagues, he returned to St. Paul, where in 1914 he went 12-17 in 258? innings for a mediocre American Association team.

In 1915, with an improved club around him, Charley re-emerged as a strong starting pitcher. Manager Kelley again created the kind of tight-knit club environment in which Charley thrived. At an early-season team fishing trip, he manned the stove as the chief cook. A picture in the St. Paul Pioneer Press showed him decked out in his apron. A later article commented on his outdoor cooking prowess, noting that he was the “master of the barbeque sauce.” 31 In 1915, he was 24-10 in 298 ? innings. His season’s highlight was an American Association record-setting streak of 16 consecutive wins.32

As Hall’s 1915 streak lengthened, scouts from both the National League and the new Federal League made visits to St. Paul to assess his pitching. Hall reportedly received a substantial offer from the Federal League to leave St. Paul and jump to the Federal League immediately.33 He refused the offer, publicly citing his loyalty to Kelley.34 Kelley rewarded Hall by negotiating a deal that gave him an immediate bonus and put him back in the major leagues with the St. Louis Cardinals the next season. The deal also allowed him to complete 1915 in St. Paul. 35

In 1916, Hall, now in his early 30s, began the year in the major leagues with the Cardinals. He appeared 10 times: five as a starting pitcher and five in relief. He did not win a game, going 0-4. His control problems re-emerged and he walked 14 in 42 ? innings. Toward the end of July, the Cardinals sold him to the Los Angeles Angels of the Pacific Coast League.

Guided by future Hall of Famer Frank Chance, the Angels were fighting for first place.36 During the first week in August, Hall started and won his first game for the Angels.37 He finished with a 6-6 record in 128 innings as the Angels won the pennant. Returning in 1917, he spent the entire season with the Angels, going 14-19 in 313? innings.

Hall rejoined Kelley in St. Paul to start the 1918 season. One of his highlights was pitching yet another no-hit game, against Columbus in late June. Three runners reached base, as he walked two and one reached on an error.38 Because of World War I, the American Association ended its season on July 21. Hall finished with a 15-8 record in 189 innings.

Primarily due to his 1918 success at St. Paul and the player shortage caused by the federal “work-or-fight” rule, the Detroit Tigers gave Charley another shot at the major leagues after the American Association season.39 But Hall was pounded, allowing 10 runs in 13? innings. He appeared in six games, starting once and relieving in five others, and was 0-1. He was released by Detroit after the season. Hall’s major-league career was over. In parts of all of nine seasons, Hall finished with a 54-47 record, pitching 909 ? innings. He appeared in 188 games, starting in 80 and relieving in 108. His career ERA was 3.09.

Hall began 1919 again with Kelley in St. Paul. Starting in that season and running through 1923, Hall and the Saints amassed one of the greatest sets of seasons in minor-league history. In five years, Charley won 110 games, pitching 1,481 innings.

His 27-8 season in 1920 included a no-hit game, against Columbus. In the 6-0 shutout, only two runners reached base, one on a walk and one on an error.40 Kelley later called Hall’s 1920 season (27-8, 2.06 ERA) the greatest he’d ever seen for a pitcher. Three of those St. Paul teams (1920, 1922, and 1923, first place, first place, and second place, respectively) are ranked by baseball historians among the top 100 teams in minor-league history.

In 1924, when Kelley left St. Paul to become an owner of the Minneapolis team, Charley pitched for Sacramento in the PCL. For a last-place team, Charley went 16-21 in 305 innings. In 1925, after beginning the season with Birmingham, he rejoined Kelley in Minneapolis. Then 41 years old, Charley finished his professional baseball playing career by going 3-4 in 54 innings. His last pitching appearance was in relief against his old team, St. Paul. As a result of a controversial call by an umpire, Charley lost the game, 5-3.41

That pitching appearance was not Hall’s last game. In the next game, Kelley let his longtime friend play first base.42 Charley finished his 22-year professional baseball career with 54 major-league and 285 minor league wins, for a total of 339.

After leaving baseball, Hall returned to California, where he owned land and was an avid outdoorsman. He entered law enforcement and served as a policeman, a jailer, and the deputy sheriff. In 1920, his family suffered a devastating loss when their 6-year-old son, Charley, accidentally shot and killed their 3-year-old son, Kenneth.43

In 1943, Charley died of Parkinson’s disease in his beloved Ventura. Noting his popularity in Boston, the sportswriter Fred Lieb observed in Hall’s obituary, “Many a player who played with Charley or batted against him must have felt a passing regret that the big Sea Lion had roared his last.”44

E-mail correspondence with Rebecca Glidewell-Hall

Jeff Maulhardt. Baseball in Ventura County. Arcadia Books 2007.

Bill Nowlin. Day By Day With the Boston Red Sox. (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Rounder Books, 2008)

Bill Nowlin. Red Sox Threads: Odds and Ends from Red Sox History. (Burlington, Massachusetts: Rounder Books 2006)

John Thorn, Pete Palmer, and Michael Gershman. Total Baseball. Kingston, New York: Total Sports Publishing, 2001.

SABR Minor League Database

National Baseball Hall of Fame: Charley Hall Player File

Twelfth Census of the United States: 1900.

1 Bill Nowlin. Red Sox Threads: Odds & Ends from Red Sox History. (Burlington, Massachusetts: Rounder Books, 2006), 89.

2 Certificate of Death 3608, State of California, Department of Public Health, Charles L. Hall, December 7, 1943, and Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900: California, Ventura County, Ventura City, Schedule NO-1, Population, Enumeration District 171, June 9, 1900, Arthur Hall.

3 Rebecca Glidewell-Brown, e-mails dated May 17, 2008, and August 26, 2008.

4 Rebecca Glidewell-Brown, e-mail dated April 28, 2008.

5 “Oxnard Wins Championship in Delirious Final Ball Game,” Oxnard Courier, Oxnard, California, December 9, 1910.

6 “Side Light From The County Seat,” Oxnard Courier, December 16, 1904, Volume 6, No. 51.

7 “Records of the Pitchers,” Seattle Times, July 18, 1904.

8 SABR Minor League Database, Charley Hall career pitching statistics.

9 “Captain Snodgrass Gets Winning Team Together Sunday,” Oxnard Courier, November 12, 1910.

10 Rebecca Glidewell-Brown, e-mail dated April 28, 2008.

11 “Seattle Breaks Even On Day,” Seattle Times, May 21, 1906.

12 “Hall Pitches No-Hit Game,” Seattle Times, May 13, 1906.

13 “Charley Hall In Fine Form,” Seattle Times, May 18, 1906.

14 Jack Ryder, “Fearful,” Cincinnati Enquirer, July 13, 1906.

15 Jack Ryder, “Scooted,” Cincinnati Enquirer, August 1, 1906.

16 John Thorn, Pete Palmer, and Michael Gershman. Total Baseball (Kingston, New York: Total Sports Publishing, 2001).

17 Bill Nowlin. Day By Day With the Boston Red Sox (Cambridge, Massachusetts, Rounder Books, 2006), 346.

18 Rebecca Glidewell-Brown, e-mail dated May 17, 2008.

19 “Red Sox Clean Up Two More,” Boston Globe, May 31, 1911.

20 Paul Shannon, “27,354 See Red Sox Beat Detroit Twice,” Boston Globe and T.H. Murnane, “Make Tigers Give Up Two,” Boston Globe, August 3, 1911.

21 “Charley Hall Is Married in Boston,” Oxnard Courier, November 3, 1911.

22 “Charley Hall Lively, Limber,” Oxnard Courier, March 15, 1912.

23 John Stahl’s analysis of Boston Post and Boston Globe for the 1912 Red Sox Box Scores, May through July 2008.

24 Paul Shannon, “Fenway Park Is Formally Opened With Red Sox Win,” Boston Post, April 21, 1912.

25 Paul Shannon, “Wood Wins His 15th With Assistance From Hall,” Boston Post, September 11, 1912.

26 “Sea Lion Charley Hall Is The Red Sox Rescue Pitcher,” Boston Post, September 5, 1912.

27 “Red Sox Are of a Retiring Disposition When Not Playing,” Boston Post, April 14, 1912. Most standard baseball reference sources have mistakenly cited Hall’s surname at birth as Clolo.

28 James C. O’Leary, “Gov. Foss Roots For the Red Sox, Hall Improves,” Boston Globe, October 8, 1912.

29 T.H. Murnane, “World Championship Baseball Extra Red Sox 6 New York 6,” Boston Globe, October 9, 1912.

30 James C. O’Leary, “Worlds Championship Baseball Extra Red Sox 4 Giants 11,” Boston Globe, October 15, 1912.

31 “What The Pioneer Press Camera Caught At The Saints Picnic At Bald Eagle Lake,” St. Paul Pioneer Press, July 18, 1915.

32 “Double Defeat Jolts Saints Out of First Place Hall Is Stopped At Last,” St. Paul Pioneer Press, August 23, 1915.

33 “Fed Agents On Hall’s Trail,” St. Paul Pioneer Press, July 28, 1915.

34 “Hall Loyal To Kelley,” St. Paul Pioneer Press, August 14, 1915.

35 “Hall and Boardman Are Sold to St. Louis,” St. Paul Pioneer Press, Sports Section, August 22, 1915.

36 “Charley Hall Bought By Chance From Cards,” Los Angeles Times, July 25, 1916.

37 Harry A. Williams, “Hall Wins First Game,” Los Angeles Times, August 3, 1916.

38 “Hall Hangs Up No Hit, No Run Game Against Columbus,” St. Paul Pioneer Press, June 24, 1918.

39 “Charley Hall,” Detroit Free Press, July 31, 1918.

40 Leo P. Sullivan, “Charley Hall Pitches No-Hit, No-Run Game Against Columbus,” St. Paul Pioneer Press, August 6, 1920.

41 Harry McKanna, “Old St. Paul Jinx Is On Job And Keds Lose Again 5 to 3,” Minneapolis Journal, September 21, 1925.

42 “It’s All Over Now,” Minneapolis Journal, September 21, 1925.

43 Bill Nowlin. Red Sox Threads: Odds and Ends from Red Sox History (Burlington, Massachusetts: Rounder Books 2006).

44 Fred Lieb, “Death Fans the Old Sea Lion,” The Sporting News, December 16, 1943.


James Bratsos

Bratsos was last seen in Boston, Massachusetts on March 21, 1954. He told his family he was meeting with an associate, Larry Biaone, to collect some money owed to him. He has never been heard from again.

Bratsos was involved in racketeering and other organized crime activities. In 1951, while awaiting trial for burglary, he survived an alleged assassination attempt by three men who knocked on the door of his apartment and shot him when he answered. Bratsos was wounded in the foot and shot back, injuring one of his assailants.

The suspects were quickly arrested. Bratsos requested police protection after the incident, saying he believed his life was in danger.

After his disappearance, rumors circulated that Bratsos was drugged in a bar in the Syrian Town section of Boston (now the China Town section), shot to death and buried either in New Hampshire or at a Stoughton, Massachusetts pig farm owned by Biaone's relatives.

None of the stories have been verified and no one has been charged in Bratos's case it remains unsolved. His brother was also involved in organized crime and was the victim of a mob-related slaying in 1966, twelve years after Bratsos disappeared.

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Updated 2 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated July 23, 2011 details of disappearance updated.


Disturbing Equanimity

By now, everyone talked about Emma Snodgrass. She “disturbed the equanimity of the sleepy magistracy in the eastern cities,” reported the Fort Wayne Times and Peoples Press.

The Simmons Clothing House, Courtesy Boston Public Library.

Emma Snodgrass boomeranged back to Boston in December, and again discovered wearing pants. On Dec. 18, the Boston Herald reported on her attraction to romantic young men. On Dec. 22, she reportedly made a ‘profound sensation’ on a trip to Portsmouth, N.H. On Dec. 29, police arrested her again. This time, she was accompanied by a woman also wearing pants.

When Emma Snodgrass appeared in court, only with great difficulty could the friends could be separated, reported the Daily Alta California. “Snodgrass was finally sent to New York in charge of an officer, and her friend was packed off to the House of Industry for two months,” the newspaper wrote.

Harriet French was actually given a day to get out of Boston. The Tribune editorialized that authorities punished Harriet because she didn’t have money, while Emma got away scot free. That demonstrated ‘the difference between breeches without money, and breeches with,’ noted the editors.


Unearthing Busted Statues' ɺshes And Relics' And Boston's Punk Underground

Punk shook the world in 1977. EMI had just dropped the Sex Pistols for saying “f--k” on British television. The Ramones had released two seminal records later that year in New York. The subsequent “success” of punk, if you could call it that, took the music industry by the neck and suffocated the status quo, its anarcho-gospel spreading like wildfire across the United States. Suddenly, New York and London weren’t the only hot spots regional cities like Minneapolis, Washington, D.C. and Boston had latched on. The spirit of the American youth had caught fire.

Boston was particularly fertile ground for the underground music scene, largely spearheaded by the formation of Mission of Burma. Built from the remains of a group called Moving Parts, Mission of Burma &mdash composed of guitarist Roger Miller, bassist Clint Conley, drummer Peter Prescott, and with the addition of Martin Swope on tape loops later on &mdash were the beacons of the Boston underground. Kurt Cobain was vocal about his admiration of the band. The Boston City Council even decreed Oct. 4 Mission of Burma Day. Their footprint in this city is gargantuan. “It’s hard to overestimate how central they were to that community at that time. They really felt like a sort of bedrock,” former Boston musician Bob Moses tells me.

What Moses is underplaying is his own role in Boston’s underground music history. His former band, art-punk collective Busted Statues, are a missing link in the city’s music mythology. More specifically, Moses has recently unearthed a significant relic from the scene: A Busted Statues EP recorded at the legendary Fort Apache studios in 1988 that ties global punk icons and music industry magnates to the prolific, yet often overlooked history of Boston underground counterculture. “I opened up a couple of 16-track, one-inch reels and discovered Sean Slade’s hieroglyphic track sheets from the original Fort Apache, back when they first started,” he tells me. These sessions, dubbed “Ashes and Relics,” have been restored, remixed, mastered and reissued online.

Cover art for Busted Statues' single "Red Clouds." (Courtesy)

A young Sean Slade was cutting his teeth in Boston as a local musician and self-taught sound engineer at Fort Apache preceding his success as a top-tier music producer for bands like Radiohead and Hole. But even before he found himself in the high-stakes arena of major label production, Slade remembers territorial chest-puffing around town as the scene became stronger and more broadly recognized, particularly one incident involving a local producer. “He actually kind of attacked me in a club one night,” Slade alleges. “I was just standing there and suddenly some guy came up behind me and grabbed me by the waist and picked me up into the air and I go, ‘What the f--k is going on?’ I turn around and he’s looking at me and says, ‘You stole my band,’” referring, of course, to Busted Statues.

The altercation followed the buzzworthy release of “Red Clouds” in ‘89, the sparky, anthemic lead single from the Busted Statues “Relics” sessions, co-written by Mission of Burma’s Clint Conley during a period of which he had almost entirely retired from music. “I was writing songs &mdash I was really ambivalent about playing music myself &mdash but I had a notebook full of music, and I thought maybe Moses could use it,” Conley recalls. “I remember going over to Moses’ apartment and playing ‘Red Clouds’ for him and recording on a little cassette. I just thought it would be cool if I could write songs and have somebody else sing the damn things and do all the damn work and tour around.”

Moses and Conley have deep ties. Long before the Busted Statues, even before Mission of Burma, the duo met as bartenders at a bar called Jack’s just off of Harvard Square. “It was largely a jock bar, we were mandated to wear rugby shirts,” Conley says begrudgingly. “Bob and I, the two of us were these dweebs. We shared an interest in art and music that was a little different from the rest.” Moses remembers seeing Conley perform with Moving Parts just as punk rock began surfacing in New England. “Like everybody else then, punk rock was very important. It really convinced you that there was something you could participate in,” Moses says.

Meanwhile, as a student at Yale, Sean Slade was getting his lesson in punk rock first hand. “We went to CBGB’s in ‘76 and dropped acid and went to go see Wayne County and Tuff Darts. I was there the night Wayne County attacked Handsome Dick Manitoba with a mic stand. It happened 10 feet in front of me,” he says proudly. “But a lot of us had moved to Boston because it was the coolest place to have a rock band,” he adds.

The formation of Busted Statues can be attributed almost entirely to Mission of Burma. Moses would meet his fellow Statues while palling around with Burma before gigs. Statues bass player Diane Bergamasco was a local photographer and girlfriend of Burma drummer Peter Prescott Moses recalls meeting Statues vocalist Bob L’Heureux and original drummer Michael Mooney on the loading dock of Burma’s rehearsal space. Upon dubbing themselves as Burma “crew members,” the Statues took a stab at songwriting themselves. “You know, the origins of the band was more or less Mission of Burma roadies plus one Mission of Burma girlfriend,” Conley remembers. “So they formed a band and I confess, I thought, ‘Oh, that’s kind of cute.’ But then I heard their music and I was like, ‘Oh my god, this is solid!’”

The innocuous downfall of Burma in 1983 resulted from an unfortunate side effect of the band’s notoriously loud performances guitarist Roger Miller had developed tinnitus. “Once they were absent from that, there were a lot of people who were pulled into that void, and it was like, ‘Let’s see what we can do,’” Moses says. Burma had inadvertently passed the torch. The Statues grabbed it and ran.

Busted Statues soon found themselves thrown into the electrifying world of Boston’s rock underground, landing supporting shows for bands like Hüsker Dü and The Dream Syndicate, even occasionally brushing up against post-punk royalty Gang of Four. The Boston circuit was swelling. Groups like Big Dipper, Salem 66, Volcano Suns, Bullet LaVolta and The Lemonheads were drawing crowds. The Pixies and Throwing Muses were just getting their start. It was a scene Conley describes as “insular within an insular world, the sort of art-rock underground.”

Fanzines like Conflict were popping up and funding local shows while compilation tapes were passed around with fervor. Matador Records co-founder Gerard Cosloy was just a teenager when he created “Bands That Could Be God” in 1984, a local punk rock compilation that featured Deep Wound (the origins of Dinosaur Jr.). “Let’s Breed,” another local underground compilation record from record label Throbbing Lobster, included “Heart Upside Down,” the Statues’ first single release. But just as the Statues began to enjoy the buzz of local radio play, Moses put the band on hold indefinitely to travel around Asia for a year.

All the while, Sean Slade, along with roommates and Yale compatriots Paul Kolderie and Jim Fitting, were cultivating the initial framework of Fort Apache Studios. “Kolderie found it,” Slade recalls. “He was just wandering around Roxbury and he found this old commercial laundry building. Some crazy guy had bought it and he was determined to turn it into artist loft spaces.” The trio partnered with local musician Joe Harvard to help fund the studio’s recording gear.

“The first year we were teaching ourselves, so each of the partners had his own band come in and we recorded our own bands,” Slade says. “It took us all of 1986 to get our s--t together. By ‘87, we were semiprofessional enough to take on clients and we recorded anyone who booked the time &mdash that’s how you really learn.” Slade recalls that the Pixies’ “The Purple Tape” was recorded shortly before the “Relics” sessions with Busted Statues.

Upon returning to the U.S. in 1987, Moses reformed Busted Statues with the addition of Andrea Parkins and Chad Crumm on accordion and fiddle respectively, an era he described as “a whole other chapter.” Enter the alleged Sean Slade assailant Steve Barry, a spirited hip hop producer around town known as “Mr. Beautiful,” who took the Statues to Q Division to track their next record. “I have no clue what happened to those tapes,” Moses digresses.

The Statues underwent another lineup shift, this time dropping Parkins and Crumm and adding The Five drummer Brian Gillespie and David Kleiler of Volcano Suns on guitar. They booked two sessions at Fort Apache in 1988 with Slade. “They walked in and they seemed like a really cool band,” Slade recalls. “They had this kind of high-IQ art-rock vibe. I was totally drawn to that.”

Members of Busted Statues in 1984. (Courtesy Vernon Doucette)

Both Moses and Slade described the “Relics” sessions as “set up and play.” During the first session, Slade captured the band performing a handful of songs live in the studio with minimal intervention the second session was for vocal overdubs and mixing. The sessions produced five songs, including two singles &mdash ”Red Clouds” and the trampling new wave B-side “The Bo Tree” &mdash that dwelled in mysticism, apocalyptic fever dreams and the manic energy of 1980s Reagan-era post-punk. “Thematically, in terms of ‘Red Clouds,’ it’s this sort of apocalyptic vision that Bob had. Songs involving monks who appear to save a village from ecological disaster, even a plague song.” The singles were sent to local alternative FM radio stations like WBCN and WMBR and subsequently pressed by Erik Lindgren of Arf! Arf! Records. “Red Clouds” became a hit on the college radio circuit.

And then, radio silence. The “Relics” sessions were passed on to Moses but were shelved and never released.

The Busted Statues’ musical interests began to diverge in the years following their regional success. Distinguished shredder Corey Loog Brennan of The Lemonheads replaced David Kleiler on guitar before the group eventually disbanded in the early ‘90s. Diane Bergamasco dug into the alternative scene with bands like Mindgrinder, eventually auditioning for Hole (she didn’t get the gig). Bob L’Heureux took up country music crooning.

Sean Slade went on to produce Radiohead’s debut album “Pablo Honey” with Paul Kolderie in 1992 and was instrumental in the massive global success of their single “Creep.” He would later produce Hole’s “Live Through This,” as well as recordings by Lou Reed and Weezer. Slade now teaches music production and engineering at Berklee College of Music.

Following the dissolvement of Mission of Burma, Clint Conley put music on hold to pursue a career in broadcast journalism. He came out of retirement twice in the 1980s: once to produce “Ride the Tiger,” the debut album from indie stalwarts Yo La Tengo, and once to help Moses craft “Red Clouds.” He formed a group called Consonant in the early 2000s while periodically reuniting Mission of Burma. He currently works as a producer for WCVB-TV, an ABC affiliate in Boston.

Bob Moses joined a new group called Kustomized that got signed to Matador, but ultimately gave that up after moving to New York City in the mid-’90s he’s now in artist management with First City Artists.

I asked Moses why it’s important for “Ashes and Relics” to be released 30 years after its conception. “I wish I could tell you that I knew when I found these things that the time would be right, but upon listening to it, I found it really compelling musically and in a way that it sounds fresh to me again,” he says. “At the time, there was &mdash although not nearly to the extent of now &mdash that feeling of danger and apocalypse in the air. It’s all just weirdly relevant.” And so the spirit of punk remains.

Correction: An earlier version of this piece misstated Bob Moses' role with the band Kustomized. He did not start the band, he joined the group.


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