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Remembering Charlie Osgood

CBS Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley
The Truth Network Radio
January 28, 2024 4:43 pm

Remembering Charlie Osgood

CBS Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley

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This broadcaster has 330 podcast archives available on-demand.


January 28, 2024 4:43 pm

Jane Pauley hosts a special broadcast, "Remembering Charlie," celebrating longtime "Sunday Morning" anchor Charles Osgood, who died this week at age 91. Featured: Osgood's reminiscence of his childhood in Baltimore; Rita Braver on his stellar broadcasting career; Anthony Mason on Osgood's love of music; Martha Teichner on Osgood's role as CBS News' "poet-in-residence"; Mo Rocca on the anchor's fashion for bowties; Ted Koppel on his friendship with his former ABC News colleague, dating back to the early 1960s; and from the archives we present Osgood's profiles of artist Keith Haring, "French Chef" Julia Child, and singer-portraitist Tony Bennett.

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Talk to a licensed specialist to find out if it's right for you. Good morning. I'm Jane Pauley, and this is Sunday Morning. A very sad Sunday morning for, as you probably know, our Charlie, Charles Osgood, has passed away.

Which is why this morning is for Charlie. One of only three of us who've hosted Sunday Morning since 1979. A respected, even revered broadcaster, both on radio and television.

And a very good friend to us all. Good morning. I'm Charles Osgood, and this is Sunday Morning.

We'll look back on the two plus decades Charlie stood where I'm standing. Language has the power to touch us and move us and to express our emotions in a way that transforms the commonplace. And offered our viewers stories on all kinds of topics from all over the world. Reports on the serious. Five days after the terrorist attack, you can see, hear, and feel America rising.

And not so serious. Let's see if he's there. You rang? He's the happiest I've ever been in my life, Charles Osgood. Famous and obscure. The artist as artist. Important and on occasion merely a passing matter of interest. There are treasures everywhere in this room.

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas. Charlie infused his stories and this broadcast. Hit it. With his signature charm and elegance. Energy and enthusiasm. Wit and wisdom.

You're only as old as you feel. A host who quite literally spun prose into poetry. These are one inch pine boards.

Not just one board, but two. So this Sunday Morning belongs to our Charles Osgood. Beloved host of this broadcast for some 22 years. Poet laureate of CBS News. A truly legendary American broadcaster. There is much to tell you about the life and times of Charles Osgood Wood. And with an assist from stories in Charlie's farewell broadcast we aired a few years back.

We'll begin our journey with Rita Braver and Tracy Smith. Who explain how a baseball loving kid from Baltimore wound up hosting a program that's grown to be a beloved American classic. Plus Martha Teichner channeling Charlie's inner poet. Lee Cowan on the good life. Charlie Summers in the south of France.

Mo Rocca on his signature bow ties. Some thoughts from longtime friend Ted Koppel. And more. On this special edition of Sunday Morning. Remembering Charles Osgood. And we'll be back after this. Each piece is carefully vetted and verified by experts. Head to Rebag.com to get 10% off your first purchase with code Rebag10.

That's 10% off your first purchase at www.rebag.com with code Rebag10. We begin at the beginning. Charles Osgood Wood was born here in New York City in 1933. He was joined just shy of a year later by his baby sister Mary Ann. And together they shared a childhood of simple pleasures. Summers met happy times at their grandparents home in Massachusetts.

Where they wild away the long days fishing and flying kites. Back in New York Charlie and Mary Ann shared a room in a small rental apartment. And Charlie began his school days at Our Lady of Refuge in the Bronx. That all changed in early 1942 when Charlie's father, a textile salesman, was transferred from New York to Baltimore.

In ways large and small the best was yet to come. In 2004 Charles Osgood returned to Baltimore to recollect his childhood. And as you're about to discover, no one tells the story about those early years better than Charlie himself.

You leave the Pennsylvania station about a quarter to four. Read a magazine and then you're in Baltimore. Baltimore, Maryland, birthplace of the great Babe Ruth and of the Star-Spangled Banner.

Edgar Allen Poe lived here and so did this young man, Charles Osgood Wood. The year was 1942. I was nine years old. Like many nine-year-old boys, I was in love with baseball and radio and the world around me. Lucky Strike Dream has gone to war. What a world it was back then. A world at war. A world of rationing and air raid drills and victory gardens. All of which seemed wonderfully romantic to a nine-year-old boy dreaming of the universe beyond Baltimore.

Here's mail calls selected by fighting men. I can still see that boy in my mind's eye, blissfully happy in that terrible time as only a nine-year-old can be. We interrupt this program to bring you a special news bulletin. The Japanese have attacked Pearl Harbor by air. On January 2nd, a few days before I turned nine, the Japanese took Manila. And sadly I had to pin a tiny Japanese flag to the big map I had tacked to my bedroom wall.

Army, Navy and Marine planes, surprise a Jap invasion force. It would be June 4th, the date of America's great victory in the Battle of Midway, before I could happily pin up an American flag. Did I mention that I loved baseball? The Orioles then were not the Orioles of today. In those days there were a struggling triple-A team that often played double-A ball.

I loved them anyway, especially when my father would take me out to the ballpark to see the games. In Baltimore in 1942 there were white wooden houses with big front porches and grand white stoops, many of them still standing, along with the Bromo-Seltzer Tower. It looked Italian with a distinctly American twist. In those days there was a 40-foot-tall Bromo-Seltzer bottle on top of the tower. In Manhattan, a college boy would meet his date under the Biltmore Clock.

In Baltimore, they'd meet under the Fizz. In 1942, milk was delivered in bottles. The mail was delivered twice a day, and that boy named Charlie Wood had a paper route. When I was delivering the Baltimore Sun, you'd have a stack of them held together by a strap. Pull one out as you approached the customer, fold it into the throwing position, and this is where accuracy in journalism really comes in.

Try not to get it in the bushes or on the roof. That's about right. My best boyhood pal was a girl, my slightly younger sister, Mary Ann, who followed the Orioles and the war and loved radio just as much as I did. These street lights off and down here were gas lights. Yes, they were. On an April day, as misty as my boyhood memories, Mary Ann and I visited our old house on Edgewood Road. I don't think we had one of those dishes on the roof.

No, we didn't. Got good radio signals, though. Very good radio. Radio was my window of the world, a world unto itself, a world more fantastic and more real than the world I saw every day in Baltimore. A fiery horse for the speed of light, a cloud of dust, and a hearty high old silver. The Lone Ranger. Is there anything that you haven't got your finger in?

Yes, a wedding ring. And Edgar Bergen, the only ventriloquist ever to succeed on radio. The shadow knows.

I even knew what the shadow looked like, and he was invisible. American radio of the 1940s had a profound influence on me. It's the reason I'm doing what I do today. Instead of playing the organ at a skating rink, I could imagine no career more delightful, except perhaps to play shortstop for the Orioles.

That dream was a little unrealistic, though. I was afraid of ground balls. T-H-R-I-V-O, Thrivo Dog Food. In those golden days of radio, I never minded the intrusions of sponsors. The commercials were entertaining. Mary Ann and I both loved them.

If you want a peppy pup, then you better hurry up. I try to hold for him. I took piano lessons at the Peabody Institute, an august institution that's still there in Baltimore, newly refurbished and busier than ever. Director Robert Sirota had a surprise for me. And we even actually have your report card. Charles O.

Wood, 3504 Edgewood Road. It says that you took four terms of piano satisfactorily. I'm just absolutely stunned that you still have a piece of paper with my name on it. I still remember the song I played at my recital, The Happy Farmer, which I almost didn't get to perform when they forgot to call my name. With someone like you, a pal so good and true. In the evening, our family would gather around the piano at the house on Edgewood Road to sing our favorite songs. That was what families did in 1942, with the shades drawn and the lights dimmed in the midst of a terrible war.

For a few minutes, we'd let the rest of the world go by. I'm Tracy Smith. So around now, you're probably wondering, Charles Wood, Charlie Osgood, what's that about? Well, when Charles Osgood Wood went to work for ABC Radio in the 1960s, there was already another Charles Wood working at the network, so steps needed to be taken. And Charlie's solution was to take his middle name, Osgood, and use it as his last name. Charles Wood became Charles Osgood. Good morning. I'm Charles Osgood, and this is Sunday Morning.

The rest, of course, is history. America came to know and love Charles Osgood, so Charles Osgood Wood would make his middle name his last name for the rest of his working life. The Osgood File. Charles Osgood on the CBS Radio Network.

Now you know. Stephen Colbert here to tell you about The Late Show Pod Show, which is our podcast for The Late Show with my producer, Becca. Becca, how long have you been producing this podcast? I've been producing this podcast for two years now. And your favorite thing about it?

The extended moments, for sure. Right, because sometimes I'll interview a big star for 25 minutes, and we can only put 14 minutes on air. Where can people get that? On The Late Show Pod Show with Stephen Colbert, wherever you get your podcasts. And who produces that? I help out. It's a team effort.

You can listen ad-free on the Amazon Music or Wondery app. So how does a kid who loved baseball and radio, growing up in Baltimore, wind up on national television? Rita Braver can explain. Here it is right here. Nature's cooling system.

The great American elm tree. Whether describing a national treasure or deploring the plight of the homeless. Being cold is not an abstraction, but a reality you can feel in your bones. And the only thing that matters is to escape from the cold, and now. You know what this is, of course. Charles Osgood always wanted us to take a closer look.

Let's see if he's there. You rang? And maybe in some cases to be angry or amused or sort of shake your head about this crazy world. And by the way, it is a crazy world. Which helps explain how an economics major at Fordham University in the Bronx. Were the call letters the same when you were here?

Yes, they were. Ended up at the campus radio station. I spent more time here than I did in classrooms or doing horn. He started as a classical music DJ in Washington, D.C. But at some point you moved to become a news reporter.

What was the inspiration for that? There was a job that was available and I knew how to get it. His first big time news job was at ABC. Good morning, this is Charles Osgood, News Radio 88. Then in 1967, he joined WCBS Radio in New York.

Well, today Mrs. Martin is the proud possessor of a plant that towers like Jack's Beanstalk, looks like a tomato plant and is nicknamed Fred. His distinctive style soon landed him a job at the CBS network. The Osgood file, this is Charles Osgood. And in 1971, he launched one of the longest running features in radio history.

What came to be known as the Osgood file. Edward R. Morrow sure knew how to use his voice on the radio. Several stories a day in two minute segments that are surprisingly complex to craft.

See you on the radio, I say that every week. A peculiar phrase some people think for anyone to speak. I've got a piece of mail or two up on my office shelf complaining that this sentence seems to contradict itself. Short words, short sentences, short paragraphs.

There's nothing that can't be improved by making it shorter and better. When the idea of television was presented to you, was that exciting for you or foreboding? It scared me to death. It just about scared me to death. Good evening.

Time's running out to get the hostage crisis. In fact, the first time he anchored a broadcast, he got some constructive criticism from the legendary Mike Wallace. He said you looked like you had gone into the room to empty the waste bags. And you looked up and you saw Walter Cronkite's chair. And so you say, oh, and you sat in the chair and you said to yourself, I hope nobody catches me doing this.

I hope nobody's watching. But soon he realized. Good evening, I'm Charles Osgood. He just needed to be himself on camera.

It takes two to tango, but more than two to make for any kind of peace in the Middle East. It's important that the audience be comfortable and they won't be if you're not comfortable. In 1994, Charles Osgood took over Sunday Morning from the venerable Charles Kuralt. Good morning. I'm Charles Osgood and this is Sunday Morning. I know it sounds strange to me, too, but here we are. You've got to know that the audience came to not just accept you, but to really be very fond of you. What was that like as you started to realize that? Well, I think if you do something every week and if you show up in their homes, then they get to know you.

They're not even surprised when you knock on the door and say, may I come in? We have actors and artists, not just politicians. Over the years, Charles Osgood took us to Cuba, explored American architectural landmarks, even served up Thanksgiving dinner. Our Sunday mornings are filled with such things. In the process, helping Sunday Morning earn multiple Emmys for Outstanding Morning Program.

Through it all, he followed his own wise counsel. Before your working years are through, I hope whatever work you do makes you happy, makes you smile. You may be at it quite a while.

My feeling is not half bad. Hi, I'm Laleh Arakoglu, host of Women Who Travel. Women Who Travel is a transported podcast for anyone curious about the world. We talk to adventurers and athletes.

We have a race, the God's Own Adventure Race, which is on the South Island and goes through the mountains down in the Southern Alps on New Zealand. That was eight days spent out in the wilderness. And chefs. Iranian food is home, it's family, it's love. And we share dispatches from our listeners.

Ireland is full of these, I will call them ghosts of the past. From stampeding elephants to training sled dogs. We hear it all.

The dogs will curl right up with you and it can be kind of cozy, waiting things out. New episodes of Women Who Travel, publish every Thursday. Join us wherever you listen. Academy is a new scripted podcast that follows Ava Richards, played by HBO's Industries, Myhala Harold. A brilliant scholarship student who has to quickly adapt to her newfound eat or be eaten world. Ava's ambitions take hold and her small-town values break in hopes of becoming the first scholarship student to make The List. Bishop Gray's all-coveted academic top ten, curated by the headmaster himself. But after realizing she has no chance at The List on her own, she reluctantly accepts an invitation to a secret underground society that pulls the strings on campus life and academic success. If she bends to their will, she'll have everything she's ever dreamed of.

But at what cost? Academy takes you into the world of a cutthroat private school where power, money and sex collide in a game of life and death. Follow Academy on the Wondery app or wherever you get your podcasts.

You can binge all episodes of Academy early and ad-free right now by joining Wondery Plus. As you may recall, one of the many things that set Charles Osgood apart from some of his colleagues was his penchant for poetry. Martha Teichner tells us about our CBS News poet in residence. From down the hall, I paid Charlie a friendly call. So, Charlie, hi. Hey, Martha.

What's up? I have a question about poetry. First of all, I don't think anything that I do is poetry. I do rhymes.

There are certain parts of London, if you're ever there at night, where the streets all seem to glow with a peculiar sort of light. A throwback to another time, imagination quickens and suddenly you're thinking of a Conan Doyle or Dickens. Rhymes like these, he was famous for.

When you heard iambic pentameter, you knew what was in store. When it's time for Halloweening, there is one thing you should know. You should stay away from Nuttree. That is, if you are a crow. For they go to endless trouble there to get crows off their backs and to make crows feel unwelcome and to give crows heart attacks. We actually had a death threat in the newsroom. Somebody called up and said, tell Osgood that if he does any more of those stupid poems, I'm going to kill him. From a colleague, a scent for this murderous intent. If somebody did kill him with one of those poems, he said it would be justifiable homicide. So I'm always, I always feel as if it's sort of dangerous for me to do poetry.

Dangerous in more ways than one. For example, this limerick that's racy fun. There once was a pretty young lass who hailed from the bay state of mass.

She stepped into the bay on a fine summer day. She threw water right up to her knees. Funny, but it's not what you expect. And you laugh because you expected something else. And say, well, it doesn't rhyme now, but it will when the tide comes in. Charlie's audience could bet money on his poems being funny.

For example, the time he wrote about a lawsuit between the makers of yuck and the makers of slime. Playing with something as wretched as slime, little kids have just a wonderful time. It wiggles and stretches. It's clammy and green. It's as drippy as anything you've ever seen.

Some noise about toys with a great punchline, I'll say. Don't let anyone tell you that slime does not pay. Ever heard of a possle queue? It's an acronym now obsolete, but amusing to repeat. A person of opposite sex sharing living quarters from those census bureau people sorters. There's nothing that I wouldn't do if you would be my possle queue. You live with me and I with you, and you would be my possle queue.

I'll be your friend and so much more. That's what a possle queue is for. If his rhyme seemed goofy, it could be because his inspiration was Dr. Seussi. Nothing could be more enjoyable than reading his stuff. Then he heard it again, just a very faint yelp, as if some tiny person were calling for help.

It's even true. He narrated Horton Hears a Who. It's like an earworm, one of those things that you hear a song and then you can't get it out of your head. Charlie's poems were like that too. Why? Well, here's a clue. Well, as a member of the Academy of American Poets, I happen to have a poetic license. Anybody could do it if they wanted to.

But they don't, and probably won't. Who else with such zeal would rhyme about great-grandma Lucille? Eighty-nine years of age is Lucille, but she says you are only as old as you feel. Want to see what Lucille is now able to do?

These are one-inch pine boards, not just one board, but two. Here's to Charlie. Our resident wit, TV's Poet Laureate. Many put their hope in Dr. Serhat. His company was worth half a billion dollars. His research promised groundbreaking treatments for HIV and cancer. Scientists, doctors, renowned experts were saying, genius, genius, genius.

People that knew him were convinced that he saved their life. But the brilliant doctor was hiding a secret. Do not cross this line that was being messaged to us. Do not cross this line. A secret the doctor was desperate to keep. This was a person who was willing to cold-heartedly just lie to people's faces.

We're dealing with an international fugitive. From Wondery, the makers of Over My Dead Body and The Shrink Next Door comes a new season of Dr. Death, Bad Magic. You can listen to Dr. Death, Bad Magic ad-free by subscribing to Wondery Plus in the Wondery app or on Apple Podcasts.

A few years before his departure from Sunday morning, Charles Osgood anchored an extended broadcast on a very serious topic. An up-close look at death and dying. To no one's surprise, Charlie came up with the perfect poem for that somber occasion.

So perfect, we think it's worthy of another listen. Man is mortal, this is true, and that applies to women too. To each of us, to those we love and to our dearest friends, at some point human life begins and at some point it ends. We don't know when, life is dispensed in differing amounts. But it is not how long we've lived, it's how we've lived that counts. Death, like life, is natural and not to be afraid of. If you love life, guard well your time. For time's the stuff life's made of. Being an actual royal is never about finding your happy ending.

But the worst part is, if they step out of line or fall in love with the wrong person, it changes the course of history. I'm Arisha Skidmore-Williams. And I'm Brooke Siffrin. We've been telling the stories of the rich and famous on the hit wondering show, Even the Rich, and talking about the latest celebrity news on Rich and Daily. We're going all over the world on our new show, Even the Royals. We'll be diving headfirst into the lives of the world's kings, queens, and all the wannabes in their orbit throughout history. Think succession meets the crown meets real life. We're going to pull back the gilded curtain and show how royal status might be bright and shiny. But it comes at the expense of, well, everything else, like your freedom, your privacy, and sometimes even your head. Follow Even the Royals on the Wondery app or wherever you get your podcasts.

You can listen to Even the Royals early and ad-free right now by joining Wondery Plus. Talk to many people both inside and out of the world of television, and Charles Osgood is perhaps best remembered as the man with the bow ties. He certainly had plenty to choose from.

In fact, the one he wore for his farewell broadcast is now part of the collection at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington. Mo Rocca explores a nutty situation. You've got some beautiful ones here. I've got a lot of ties, you know. There's some right there. Oh, I love that one. And there's some here.

Got a whole drawer down there. Boy, look at them. Charles Osgood and the bow tie. This would look good with this shirt and jacket. They just seemed...

I like these from your psychedelic period. ...to go together. We will catch you up on the box scores and take a peek at the weather. We'll have those stories and more. But first, here are the headlines for this Sunday morning, the 31st of December. Through the decades, he wore a kaleidoscopic variety of bow ties that captivated fans and colleagues alike. I've always wanted to do something as a reporter, okay?

Okay. It's real. It is not a clip-on. The tie is real, just like the man. In 1992, he was undone by co-host Meredith Vieira. Is it a real bow tie?

Do you mind? And in 2011, Charlie tied one on with comedian Jimmy Fallon. That's the choice. So it might surprise you that Charlie didn't always wear a bow tie. When did you put on your first bow tie? It was to do a weekend broadcast. Good evening.

I'm Charles Osgood and this is the CBS Sunday Night News. It was back in the 1980s at the suggestion of a producer that Charlie and his signature sartorial accessory tied the knot. Don't forget that you need 22 cents postage now. You do realize that people are very into your bow ties. Well, enough so that I now, if I'm going to make an appearance anywhere, I almost always wear a bow tie. I think you're great, but you without a bow tie is a little bit of a letdown.

It's not what you expected. People say, you know, I can't get away with wearing a bow tie. I didn't know it was against the law. But for a time at CBS, it was something of a law that Charlie and only Charlie wear a bow tie.

Nobody put pineapple juice in my pineapple juice. When former CBS anchor Harry Smith began co-hosting CBS This Morning, he innocently showed up in a bow tie. Howard Stringer was then the president of CBS News and we were doing a camera test or whatever and I had on a bow tie. And there was Charles Osgood with a bow tie and he says, no, not two guys with bow ties on TV. This news organization is not big enough for two guys with bow ties.

No, not on morning TV. What has Charlie Osgood done for the bow tie? Well, you know, he's a proud emblem. It's an absolute accompaniment to all that he is.

Charles Osgood was the picture of a perfect gentleman. What do you think of this bow tie? I think it's a nice bow tie. But?

A little too perfect. But that doesn't necessarily mean that it's a pre-tied tie. Do you doubt that I tied this myself?

I don't doubt it. I'll unfurl mine if you unfurl yours. Okay. All right.

Now let's see who re-tied it. I was afraid you were going to say that. It's not a competition.

Hell it isn't. All right. Let's go.

We're on. There. I just find it so hard to find the right hole.

But you can fudge with it. No, yours looks, I like that. Now the most important question of all. How good do we look?

I think we look pretty damn good. Yeah. Most of us here at Sunday Morning consider ourselves friends of Charles Osgood. But our long-time contributor, Ted Koppel, can one-up all of us. I guess that I'm the oldest member of the Sunday Morning cast of characters, and so it's reasonable to assume that I have the earliest memories of Charlie. As it turned out, we were hired the same week in June of 1963 to do a soft news program. Flair Reports, it was called, on ABC Radio.

This is Charles Osgood for ABC's Flair Reports. Charlie had previously been the general manager of a television station, WHCT in Hartford, Connecticut. He recalled his departure from the job with the same wry humor that marked so much of his work in years to come. They left me off the hook very gently, Charlie remembered.

They said, you're fired. He had been the youngest station manager in the country, taking on this new job in journalism at ABC made him, Charlie thought, the oldest cub reporter in the country. He was 30. I was 23, making me the youngest network reporter in the country. We were destined to be friends. We also believed that we were destined to make it into television. At the time, NBC was the only network with a morning program, the Today Show. Charlie and I decided to create a similar program for ABC. We were ambitious, but we knew they wouldn't hire us as hosts. So we reached out to Dave Garroway. He had recently been let go as the host of the Today Show. Many of your viewers will remember that he had a chimpanzee, J. Fred Muggs, as his occasional co-host. Charlie and I thought we could probably match that standard.

We were wrong. The network brass at ABC liked the show, but felt they could do it without us. One weekend, I recall this would have been 1966 or so, Charlie and I drove up to Providence, Rhode Island. There was an FM radio station for sale, and we thought about buying it.

I think it was going for about $250,000. Charlie and I were a quarter of a million dollars short. That next year, I went off to Vietnam to cover the war for ABC television, and Charlie traded networks and became one of the most beloved voices on CBS radio. It wasn't until 1994, as I'm sure some of us probably mentioned by now, that Charles Corolt retired, and Charles Osgood applied for the impossible job of replacing him. It is probably safe to mention now, finally, after Charles has passed on, that some of the CBS brass didn't think he was quite right for the job, thought his bow ties were silly, and his delivery was off. Well, for the record, Charlie, they were wrong.

Just like that other batch of executives over at ABC nearly 60 years ago, you were so, so right for the job. As you've seen all through the morning, Charlie Osgood was a man with many callings, and one of the most important is best shared by those who knew and loved him most, his wife, Jean, and their five children. When Charlie announced his retirement from this broadcast in 2016, we asked Lee Cowan to head to the south of France to spend time with Charles Osgood, the husband, father, and host. When Charles Osgood invited us to his picture postcard home in the south of France, the one with the sun made of stone in the driveway and the stunning Mediterranean views, it was both a generous and intimidating offer. After all, how do you sit across from your boss, let alone the newsman you grew up watching, and ask him about a career that's lasted as long as you've been alive?

Do you remember the first piece he did for television? No. Truth is, he made the conversation easy, like he did with all conversations, even when he was correcting me on the art of writing. There's a big difference between the right word and the wrong word.

Well, all the words are wrong except for the right one. His style, his manner, his curiosity were all as fitting as the grapes hanging in his garden. These are descended from grapes that were here for a hundred years. Are they really?

But they're good to eat. Yeah? Do you read them a lot? Just passing through. But he was never far from the news. Charlie, we're ready here.

Okay, good. Whether in New York. The Osgood file. This is Charles Osgood.

Or in France. The Osgood file. This is Charles Osgood. He had a radio studio down in the basement. All the comforts of work. Broadcasting was his love.

Writing, his passion. And the two paired perfectly during his 22-year Emmy-winning run as host of Sunday Morning. A lot of television is about ratings. But I don't like to think of it as ratings. I think it is people watching the show and getting some satisfaction out of it and learning something.

And not having something forced down their throats. You love it, don't you? I do. I cannot think of anything that has given me more pleasure professionally than Sunday Morning. Because first of all, it feels great to be part of something that people love.

And I know that they do. He loved it so much, he rarely took time off. But when he did, he came here.

And why wouldn't he? It's a place where leisure is cherished. Not something you squeeze into two weeks around national holidays. It's very seductive here. It also encourages you to be a bit lazy. In a good way. Because you tend to get up late and eat too much and drink too much.

Gene, Charlie's wife, was always at his side. You almost can't just put your mouth around it. You almost need to eat it with a fork, Harlan. Oops, there it goes.

There it goes, okay. Do you have a routine here? There are a couple of naps involved. There's one nap usually after lunch. And that lasts right up until cocktail time.

So the day sort of slips away. This concert grand piano occupied much of his time. And most of the living room. Not a bad view from the piano bench to look out onto the Mediterranean.

Yes, that's right. And there are French songs that are written about this very view. But what French song is it? La Mer. He bought that Steinway from CBS back when it owned Columbia Records. And it's a historic piano indeed. La Mer. This is the piano that Glenn Gould used for his first recording of the Goldberg Variations.

Wow. It was used for Frank Sinatra's songs. Mitch Miller also used it for every one of his Sing Along With Mitch records. This piano? Yes, this is the one. Outdoors, flowers bloom at every corner, surrounding his pool with a fragrance and a color that to this day are pretty hard to forget.

It's here that Gene and Charlie work off the calories from the brie and the baguettes. They did it together, like they did everything. Do you remember your first date? I do. Yeah? That depends on what you call a date. Because the first time you ever asked me to go someplace, you wanted me to go to a basketball game. That's where you asked her out to first? Yes, wasn't that romantic of me? Did you say yes?

No, I said something else. She had to arrange for a sock brewer. They were married half a century and have five children. Was there one piece of advice that your dad gave you guys that has really stuck with you?

Eat more ice cream. It's hard even for Charlie to get the whole family together, but we managed to gather three of the kids. He's warm and friendly. Annie and Winston in his New York apartment. That persona that he is on television encapsulates him pretty well.

They loved growing up with their dad's passion for baseball, his knowledge of history, and their home being full of music. He's always playing the piano. Always? Oh, always. Always in the background. Yeah, there's always... The soundtrack.

Right. Dad was always playing the piano or the banjo. What was that like, like you'd bring friends over and your dad would just be... Oh, it was totally embarrassing. Your dad is sitting around in his robe playing the banjo. It's definitely not cool when you're 12 or 13. And then he would start singing and that was just too much. Right.

The music. That they'll never forget. And neither will we. I'll be home for Christmas.

You can plan on me. Retirement wasn't really in Charlie's vocabulary, but the benefits soon became apparent once he did retire. All those Sundays that he shared with studio cameramen and floor managers were replaced with Sundays with family and friends instead. Still catching up on the news just of each other instead of the world. What's the one thing you'd want people to know about the next chapter in your life? I don't even know myself what the next chapter in my life is going to be. But I will have a little more time, without a doubt, to be with Gene and with the kids and the grandkids and the friends that you have.

And it's like asking somebody when they're dying whether you're ready for this. No! No, I want there to be a tomorrow. And there will be. Just different tomorrows.

That's right. Charles Osgood, as you've learned today, was an uncommonly interesting man. I learned new things, though I knew him for many years, just like many of you did.

I looked forward to the Osgood file on the radio in my car. There was nothing else like it. Like him. His deft take on the news of the day. Insight wrapped in whimsy and often in rhyme. His heart and humanity so plain you could see it on the radio. I never imagined that one day I'd know the man himself. Watching Charles Osgood at work in the studio, that was a masterclass in communicating. A broadcast stylist. It's a subtle art. He was one of the very best.

And one of the last, frankly. He knew how to connect. Never delivering a line. He just talked to you in a style that communicated his authenticity. You felt like you knew Charlie. And he knew you. As a viewer once told me, Charlie is so present. And even after his retirement, Charlie remained a big presence here.

You see it every week. His sensibility, curiosity, his connection and affection for you. I have a favorite poem. Powerful are those who choose the items that make up the news. And yet in spite of all that power, it's much like singing in the shower. For it's clear from card and letter that you all think you'd do it better.

No one did it better. Charlie has been uniquely present to me. When I say, this is Sunday morning and join us when our trumpet sounds again. I still hear Charlie.

Maybe you do too. And with that, we come to a close. We decided we should give Charlie the last word. Words put to music. I've seen that face before. The face that I see in the mirror. I know that face. I've seen that face before. I knew that dopey guy when he didn't know how to tie a bow tie.

He stood right there and he had hair galore. Man in the looking glass, who can he be? Man in the looking glass, can he possibly be me? Where's our young Romeo, that lad who used to sigh? Who's this elderly Lothario with a twinkle in his eye? He seems so much wiser now. Less lonely, but then could be he's only pretending again. Man in the looking glass, smiling away.

How's your sacroiliac today? Where's that first love affair? The tragedy double.

The one that you thought would be the end of you for sure. Man in the looking glass have no regrets. The man who's wise never forgets that life is worth living.

If once in a while you can look in that looking glass and smile. I'm Jane Pauley. Our nod to the great Charles Osgood wouldn't be complete without a thank you to the many people on the air and off who helped make this program possible, who helped make every Sunday morning possible. And please join us when our trumpet sounds again next Sunday morning. So long it's been good to know you. So long it's been good to know you. So long it's been good to know you. What a long time since I've been home.

And I've got to be drifting along. My CBS News colleagues, you are the best. You've taught me a lot and I know I've been blessed.

As for all of you viewers, please know that it's true. I'm going to miss Sunday mornings with you. So long it's been good to know you. So long it's been good to know you. So long it's been good to know you. It's been a long time since I've been home. And I've got to be drifting along. So long it's been a long time since I've been home.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-10 21:06:56 / 2024-02-10 21:24:32 / 18

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