Miscellaneous Playlists

Reel-to-Reel Presents: “Bull Durham”

Spring has sprung.

The sun is shining, the grass is green, and that, good people of WKNC only means one thing; Bodhi needs to go to a baseball game.

It’s a chronic condition at this point, the moment I get a whiff of 70 degree weather, I need a cold beer in hand and my butt in a stadium seat.

Lucky for me, we’ve got hometown (adjacent) heroes just a stones throw away from campus that made it into silver screen history.

What Do You Believe In? The Church of Baseball

Written and directed by Ron Shelton, “Bull Durham” brings a fictionalized version of real life minor league darlings, the Durham Bulls, to the big screen with Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins.

Released in 1988, the film predominantly follows baseball-groupie Annie Savoy and her tug of war between green gilled, neophyte pitcher, Ebby Calvin ‘Nuke’ LaBoosh and 12-year minor league veteran Crash Davis.

Every season, the aptly named Annie – an “Annie” is shorthand for a baseball groupie – picks an upstart from the team who needs a little extra loving and coaches them up in the bedroom and the ballpark.

And say what you will, Costner’s brand of rough-n-tumble, all-American everyman makes a home run every time.

“Bull Durham” 1988 trailer from MGM YouTube.

To match Costner’s homegrown, heartland charm, the film pulls from straight to the heart Americana-boogie rock like The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Los Lobos and John Fogerty.

As such, Reel-to-Reel is headed to the ballpark with our very own, 80s smalltown juke joint set.

Bodhi’s Best:

Take Me Out to the Ballgame by Dr. John.

In the old American sport, if there’s one song you best play at the ballpark, it’s this one; one short ditty to get the crowd rollicking as the bats crack.

More so, John’s cover comes from a Ken Burns docu-series chronicling the rise of the sport from gentleman’s hobby to national past time, giving a pedigree to the film’s basis.

Because beyond dugouts, curveballs and garter-belts, “Bull Durham” is about one woman’s love of the sport and how she reignites that in two very different men; the jaded Crash and the naive Nuke.

Sure, she uses her feminine wiles to coach Nuke up to his true potential as a pitcher and reignites Crash’s passion for the sport that washed him out…but beyond the sex and romance, she loves the game.

So why not start with the song we all know and all sing from the cheap seats? For the love of the game.

“Take Me out to the Ballgame” by Dr. John from YouTube.

I Drove All Night by Cyndi Lauper

I am not ashamed to say, the first time I saw “Bull Durham,” far too young I might add, I thought it was set in the fifties.

Now obviously that was a massive misjudgment on my part -Annie Savoy uses a speed-gun to hunt prospects for Christ’s sake – because the film is contemporarily set in the year before it’s release, 1987.

That being said, I love a good trend cycle and “eighties goes fifties” is one of my favorites; big skirts, curled hair, petticoats and pegged jeans all jumped from Mom’s photo album to your closet.

As such, the quasi-rockabilly reminiscence colored my interaction with the film and how I approached this set.

With the film being Annie’s story (fight me on it), I wanted to have a commanding female presence in the romantic sense present within my playlist.

Originally written for Roy Orbison in the 70s, recorded in the 80s, and posthumously released in the 90s, “I Drove All Night” is a perfectly saccharine teeny-bopper pop hit in the late-50s/early-60s tradition.

But, with Lauper at the helm it takes on a whole new level by putting female agency at center stage; no longer the pursued girl waiting in her bedroom, she’s the one at the wheel taking off into the night for her lover.

For a film like “Bull Durham,” where an older woman controls the dynamics of every scene she’s in, I can’t help but feel this would’ve made it’s way into Annie’s tape deck at some point in time.

Cyndi Lauper’s “I Drove All Night” music video from YouTube.

But that my friends is just a tease of what I cooked up for your listening pleasure; an hour-and-a-half of good old jukebox rock to bring you centerfield with Crash, Nuke and Annie.

Reel-to-Reel airs every Friday starting at 8 a.m. only on WKNC 88.1 FM HD-1, Raleigh, NC.

Avoid the Clap…wait, wrong baseball movie – Bodhi

By Bodhi

Human Dewey Decimal System for all things music and movies, purveyor of useless knowledge.