June 19, 1986 |
America has had many voices, and for a time one of the loudest was Kate Smith's. It was a big, warm, all-embracing voice, and it sang us sentimental songs, and heartbreak songs, and picker-uppers, and at least one invocation: "God Bless America. " The voice was effectively stilled long before Kate Smith's death Tuesday, at 79, in Raleigh, N.C., of respiratory arrest, following years of illness. And yet Kate Smith's long career in records, radio and television was one marked by repeated comebacks after tragic setbacks.
June 6, 1987 |
Kate Smith, whose rendition of "God Bless America" looms so large in Flyers lore, will soon stand larger than life outside the Spectrum. The Flyers said yesterday that an eight-foot bronze statue of the late singer would be erected at the arena. The statue, by New York sculptor Marc Mellon, is expected to be unveiled this fall. Smith died last June 17. "Kate Smith was a great, great lady," said Flyers president Jay Snider. "She was an inspiration not only to the Flyers but to our entire country.
June 22, 1986 |
On a lovely May day almost a dozen years ago, Philadelphians, young and old, went out of their heads celebrating the Stanley Cup win by the Flyers. There was a parade up South Broad Street, ending on Independence Mall. The asphalt was lined with people, smiling, screaming, shouting, cheering, sign- waving people, people overwhelmed by the joy of the day. I never had seen Philadelphia so deliriously happy, but, of course, this was years before Tug McGraw and the Phillies won the World Series and almost a decade before Dr. J. and Moses Malone brought home the NBA title.
October 9, 1987 |
Kate Smith's "God Bless America" has been the Flyers' good-luck charm since 1969, and the Flyers yesterday dedicated an eight-foot statue of the singer outside the Spectrum. The Flyers first played Miss Smith's rendition of "God Bless America" before a game in 1969. They won that night, and have compiled a record of 58-9-3 (including last night's tie) in games before which the song has been played. Miss Smith, who died last year, appeared in person at the Spectrum four times to sing the Irving Berlin song that she made famous during the Depression.
June 18, 1986 |
It was one of the strangest love affairs in history: Kate Smith and the Broad Street Bullies. A singer whose belt-'em-out style had faded from popularity after the '40s and World War II patriotism, and a team of upstart bruisers that shocked professional ice hockey in the 1970s by winning two Stanley Cups in a row, were an odd couple. Her lush contralto voice boomed the rousing old song, "God Bless America," over the Spectrum ice and the Philadelphia Flyers skated off to unlikely National Hockey League championships in 1974 and 1975.
June 18, 1986 |
Kate Smith, whose rousing rendition of "God Bless America" inspired the patriotism of a nation and helped boost the Philadelphia Flyers to two Stanley Cup championships, died yesterday of respiratory arrest in Raleigh, N.C. Smith, 79, died in the emergency room of Community Hospital, where she had been taken after being stricken at her home, a hospital spokesman said. She had suffered brain damage during a diabetic coma in 1976 that made it difficult for her to walk or talk during her later years.
May 20, 2010 |
Kate Smith left her stamp on the Flyers, inspiring the team on its way to its first Stanley Cup with her rousing rendition of "God Bless America. " Now the U.S. Postal Service is putting Smith on a stamp. A new 44-cent commemorative honoring the American singer - the Flyers' beloved "good luck charm" - was unveiled outside the Wachovia Spectrum on Wednesday as alumni of the 1974 championship team looked on. The event was well-timed. It was 36 years to the date that Smith performed "God Bless America" in person just before team captured its first Stanley Cup. The relationship of Smith and the Flyers, always considered an unlikely pairing, has become the stuff of Philadelphia sports legend.
June 20, 1986 |
Philadelphians gathered yesterday in a Center City church to honor Kate Smith and to sing her song again. Smith, whose rousing version of "God Bless America" served as a good-luck charm for the Philadelphia Flyers during two championship seasons, was remembered yesterday at a memorial Mass at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, 13th Street below Market Street. The 79-year-old singer died Tuesday in Raleigh, N.C., where Gov. Jim Martin ordered flags on state buildings to fly at half-staff until tomorrow.
May 29, 1987 |
The Canadian national anthem was completed, sung strongly by Renee Veneziale. The crowd was restless. Would they? Wouldn't they? They will. They'd better. So it went, until Veneziale turned on her heel, and headed back down the red carpet. Then they knew. Then they knew that the Flyers would be using a videotape of the late Kate Smith to christen Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final. Despite complaints by some people in the Stanley Cup press corps - complaints that included the notion that the use of the videotape was somehow in bad taste - the Flyers played it anyway.
May 20, 2010 |
I'M BROAD STREET BULLY, inviting you to keep e-mailing your Flyered-up family stories and photos to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org DIE-HARD SINCE BLAZERS: Ralph Faustino, 50, has been a die-hard fan since he went to a 1972 Philadelphia Blazers game when he was 12 and was blown away by goalie Bernie Parent's flame-painted mask. "He was so cool!" the Southwest Philly native, from 61st and Grays, told B-Street Bully. "I would make pads out of old couch cushions, use a baseball glove and a Mylec stick and imitate his moves.