FARAI CHIDEYA, host:

It's time again for our staff song pick of the week. Today, we hear from NEWS & NOTES editor Cory Turner, and he's got a special pick in honor of Father's Day.

CORY TURNER: My dad doesn't buy music, and when the radio is on, it's usually tuned to some fuzzy AM sports station. So picking a song for him requires some cheating.

Unidentified Man #1: And you start walking very slow. And stop if I say stop or I'll stop you.

TURNER: When I was a kid, my dad and I spent Sunday mornings in church with my mom and Sunday afternoons at home with John Wayne. I used to think my dad even look like the Duke. He doesn't. They just have the same quiet, steely way about them. As for my song, the one thing my dad loves more than movies, is that other American past time - baseball. And my pick comes from the classic marriage of the two, Robert Redford's 1984 hit, "The Natural."

(Soundbite of movie, "The Natural")

TURNER: So my song pick isn't a song pick at all. The part of Randy Newman's Oscar-nominated score. It comes at the end of the film when the injured veteran Roy Hobbs, played by Redford, steps up for the last at bat of his career. He takes two strikes, blood from an old injury seeps through his jersey then all goes quiet, the film slows and Roy Hobbs literally knocks the lights out.

(Soundbite of movie, "The Natural")

Unidentified Man #2: It's way, way, way back up high into the right field. That ball is still going. It's way back high up in there.

TURNER: I can't remember the first time I saw "The Natural" with my dad but that's because we've watched it so many times. It got me playing Little League baseball. The movie even got us collecting ball cards together. As I said, he wasn't much of a talker but my dad definitely spoke baseball, and I learned.

But I haven't run the bases in years now and our cards are packed neatly away in the basement. My dad recently had a knee replaced too. The surgery went well but when I called a few days ago, his voice was thin and vulnerable. He asked for a pep talk like he used to give me before each at bat through the fence. I told him if he took it easy and use the cane, he'd be up at them in no time. Pretty lame as pep talks go, but what I really wanted to do was just sit beside his hospital bed, popped in "The Natural" and tell him if Roy Hobbs can come back, so can you.

So dad, this is for you and maybe if you're feeling up to it when I'm home in July, we can dig out our mitts and have a catch.

(Soundbite of music)

CHIDEYA: NEWS & NOTES editor Cory Turner with our song pick of the week.

(Soundbite of music)

CHIDEYA: That's our show for today and thank you for sharing your time with us. To listen to the show or subscribe to our podcast, visit npr.org/news¬es. To join the conversation, visit our blog News & Views. Just check out the link at the top of our Web page.

NEWS & NOTES was created by NPR News and the African-American Public Radio Consortium. Tomorrow, tracing America's cultural DNA with the roots project.

(Soundbite of music)

CHIDEYA: I'm Farai Chideya. This is NEWS & NOTES.

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