Conversations with Red Barber
For 12 years starting in 1981, Bob Edwards held a series of Friday morning talks on Morning Edition with sportscasting legend Red Barber. They discussed sports, of course, but also the weather, Barber's garden, history, war and social issues.
"Each conversation revealed a new dimension to the man. There was the baseball Red, the broadcasting Red, the gardening Red and the spiritual Red," Edwards said upon Barber's death in 1992.
Edwards says he and Morning Edition listeners looked forward to his conversations with Barber. Edwards attributes much of the show's success to his chats with Barber, who would speak from his home in Tallahassee, Fla.
It was Barber who regularly referred to Edwards as Colonel Bob, after the Louisville native became an honorary Kentucky Colonel. Upon Barber's death in 1992, Edwards reflected on their friendship: "I don't know why Red took a liking to me, but it was clear that he did. Returning that affection was the easiest thing in the world. He was more than a mentor — he was a surrogate father. I loved him dearly and Fridays will never be the same."
Edwards chronicled the Barber series in his 1993 book, Fridays with Red. Below are some of Edwards' most memorable conversations with Barber, including segments reprised during Morning Edition's 20th anniversary year in 1999.
- April 1981: Red Barber and Chuck Yeager
- July 1981: Baseball, the National Pastime
- April 1982: 'Well, I'll be a Suck-Egg Mule'
- 1986-90: Reds, Dodgers and a Mockingbird
- August 1986: Baseball's TV Debut
- October 1986: 'It's In There for the Pennant'
- January 1991: The 90th Psalm (Gulf War)
- March 1992: Joe DiMaggio Kicks Dirt
- April 1992: Calling Baseball Injuries on Radio
- February 1992: The 1947 World Series
- October 1992: Remembering Red