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I loved this show when I was young. It was on NBC for years.
Every Friday night they would cover a recent story from the news of the day. The show was narrated and that just made it better.
The only "big story" I remember was in 1951 and that of a 104-year old man who claimed he was Jesse James. He said the Ford brothers were true friends who killed a "double" and claimed it was Jesse. The murdered man, who was a traitor to the James gang, looked like Jesse.
The old man went by the name of Dalton. That was Jesse's mother's maiden name. Jesse was related to the infamous Dalton gang of the 1890s.
Following the television episode, doctors and scientists determined the old man was lying. They even had the body of Jesse James exhumed to prove it was really Jesse in his grave.
The whole affair was most interesting and that episode of "The Big Story" is still in my mind today.
I learned to love classical music from my exposure to the themes used
by television programs in the 50's. I looked forward to the shows as
much for the themes as anything else. One of my favorites was the theme
to The Big Story, which I only discovered years later was taken from
the opening bars of Richard Strauss's Ein Heldenleben (A Hero's Life).
When I first heard it on a classical radio station it gave me a rush of
pleasure. I recognized it immediately as an old friend.
I recall that one of the reporters whose "Big Story" was highlighted in an episode was Dorothy Kilgallen. I remembered her because she was a regular on the television program What's My Line.
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