Hoosier History Live is an independently produced new media project about Indiana history, integrating podcasts, website www.HoosierHistoryLive.org, and social media. Its original content comes initially from a live with call in weekly talk radio show hosted by author and historian Nelson Price. You can hear the show live Saturdays from noon to 1 pm ET at WICR 88.7 fm or stream the show live at the WICR HD1 app on your phone.

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Books by Nelson Price

Book cover of The Quiet Hero, A Life of Ryan White, by Nelson Price.

Indiana Legends book cover.Book cover of Indianapolis Then and Now, 2016 edition, by Nelson Price and Joan Hostetler, featuring photos by Garry Chilluffo.

Acknowledgments

Hoosier History Live thanks our partners who help the show to go on!

Monomedia
Website design, email marketing and PC consulting.

Fraizer Designs
Graphic design and illustration.

Visit Indy
Promoting Indy and providing us with wonderful prizes for our History Mystery contest, including museums, sporting venues and great places to dine.

WICR
Our anchor radio station, on the campus of University of Indianapolis.

Heritage Photo and Research Services

June 15, 2024

An acclaimed race driver and a sportswriter: two lives cut short

A fan favorite even though he shunned publicity, hard-charging Bill Vukovich was the two-time defending champion at the Indianapolis 500 and on his way to a third consecutive victory in 1955 when he was killed during a horrific crash.

One of his closest friends was a nationally acclaimed sportswriter, charismatic Angelo Angelopolous of the Indianapolis News, who chronicled Vukovich's rise from a hard-scrabble childhood (and a family tragedy) to his triumphs at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Angelopolous had completed an eagerly anticipated biography of his friend before the sportswriter died at age 43, probably as a result of radiation exposure he endured as a pilot in World War II by flying over atomic bomb sites in Japan.

The manuscript of the biography of Vukovich went unpublished for nearly 65 years and remained in the closet of Angelopolous' nephew. But Vukovich never has been forgotten among Indy 500 history enthusiasts. A photo of the publicity-adverse driver covering his face in his Gasoline Alley garage after escaping crowds following his triumph in 1954 remains the bestseller in the Speedway's photoshop.

Now, nearly 65 years after Angelopolous wrote the biography, another acclaimed Indianapolis sports journalist, Mark Montieth (website: markmontieth.com), has edited and published Vukovich: The Man Who Wouldn't Lift. The subtitle refers to his aggressive driving style, reflected in his tendency to "stay on the throttle longer in the turns", as Mark puts it. Mark, who has written a prologue and an epilogue featured in the "rescued" book, will be Nelson's guest to share insights about both Vukovich and Angelopolous.

Vukovich, who was 36 when he was swept up in a five-car accident and killed, had grown up in Fresno, California. That's where, when he was 14 years old, his father committed suicide after foreclosure proceedings apparently had been initiated on his farm.

Tragedy followed the Vukovich family for generations. Bill Vukovich's grandson, known as Bill III, was killed at age 27 in a sprint car race in Bakersfield, California. Bill III had competed in the Indianapolis 500 in 1989 and 1990. His father (the son of Bill), called Bill Jr., raced 12 times in the Indy 500; he died in 2023 after suffering from dementia.

Angelo Angelopolous, the award-winning sportswriter, never got to cover the careers of Vukovich's son and grandson. An Indianapolis native and the son of a Greek immigrant, he graduated from Butler University and put his newspaper career on hold to enlist in the Navy during World War II, serving as a pilot. At the end of the war, he flew over bombing sites in Japan. The radiation exposure, according to Mark, eventually "resulted in a diagnosis of leukemia".

Mark Montieth describes Angelopolus as "handsome, humble, charismatic and married to a local model". Before his death in 1962, Angelopolus "did more than anyone to reveal Vukovich to the public", Mark writes. Although Vukovich(called "Vuky" by fans) distrusted most journalists, he befriended Angelopolous. The two spent hours together in garages at the Speedway and local restaurants.

His biography of his friend was, as Mark puts it, "unfinished business". Mark, who covered the Indiana Pacers for the Indianapolis Star, is the author of several books, including Reborn: The Pacers and the Return of Pro Basketball to Indiana (2017). He has been a Hoosier History Live guest several times, most recently on a show last September about basketball icon Larry Bird.


Our Hoosier History Live online collection . .

Do remember that our most valuable asset is our online product. The Hoosier History Live ARCHIVES is essentially our collection of previously aired shows that have been turned into podcasts, as well as their accompanying newsletters. And yes, we do control our online product (it’s about the only thing we do control!), and yes, we do want you to share our enewsletters and podcasts!

And here is a great show to listen to. Online, the modern way!

 

Click here for podcast.

Movie and TV directors who aren't household names now

Now that awards season is underway in Hollywood – Oscar nominations were announced Tuesday – our spotlight will be on movie and TV directors with Indiana connections. The filmmakers range from directors of movies from the Golden Age of Hollywood such as the holiday classic "Miracle on 34th Street" (1947) and "To Have and Have Not" (1944) to popular hits like "The Amazing Spiderman" (2012).

"Miracle on 34th Street" was directed by George Seaton (1911-1979), who was born in South Bend. Although the movie has become a Christmas classic, it was not initially released during the holiday season and was not promoted with yuletide as a focus. Nelson's guest, Dan O'Brien, a screenwriter and former TV sportscaster based in Greenwood, will explain why. In addition to being a director, George Seaton was a screenwriter and won an Oscar for his screenplay for "Miracle on 34th Street". He also won an Oscar for his screenplay for "The Country Girl" (1954) starring Grace Kelly and Bing Crosby; Seaton directed that movie as well.

Other movie directors we will spotlight include Howard Hawks (1896-1977), whose ancestors helped found Goshen, Ind., where he was born. Although Hawks primarily is remembered as a director of Westerns (several starred John Wayne, including "Red River" and "Rio Bravo"), Hawks was known for his versatility. His other hits include "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" (1953) starring Marilyn Monroe as well as "To Have and Have Not" (1944) that teamed Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall for the first time.

 

Trivia prizes sought

Our "History Mystery" on air contest continues to be very popular!  If you are an organization or business that would like to contribute tickets or admissions, please contact our host Nelson at nelson@hoosierhistorylive.org.

Prizes must fit in a standard business envelope. Hoosier History Live prefers to "snail mail" prizes to our trivia winners. And If prizes are time sensitive, they need to be offered well in advance of the event so that we can get them out in time.

 


Who can you see in this “Hoosier History Live Photo Album” . . .

Swipe through these photos gleaned from the last fourteen years of Hoosier History Live production!

And would you believe that radio technology has completely changed tech wise since we first went on the air in 2008 at WICR?  Can you find Bobby Plump, Chris Gahl, Connie Zeigler, Tom Ridley, Bonnie Britton, Tiffany Benedict Browne, Eunice Trotter, David Baker, Lefty Huntzinger, Keira Amstutz, Cowboy Bob, Janie of “Popeye and Janie”, K.P. Singh, Pam Fraizer, and Dark Rain Thom? The voices of so many Hoosiers blended together over the years to make Hoosier History Live such a unique archive.

And thanks to Richard Sullivan of Monomedia for creating this group of images.


What people are saying about Hoosier History Live

 

"...Are fulfilling a valuable role..."

"Hoosier History Live is a haven of trustworthy knowledge. Molly Head and Nelson Price are fulfilling a valuable role in making quality scholarship about our state readily available to on-the-go listeners, expanding how we engage with the history and culture of Indiana."

-Wayne Hastings, Bloomington listener and library science student

 

"...A great service with the creation of independent media..."

"Both Nelson Price and Molly Head do the public a great service with the creation of independent media project Hoosier History Live. The program adds considerably to the public IQ, at a time when intelligence is much needed."

- Tom Cochrun, former news anchor, WTHR-TV Channel 13 Indianapolis

 

"... an intelligent, well-researched program..."

"I’ve loved listening to Hoosier History Live during the pandemic as an intelligent, well-researched program to escape the news for an hour."

-Lee Little, JD, MLS, Research Librarian, Indiana University

 

"...'Live' - and 'Lively' as well..." 

"Hoosier History really is 'Live' - and 'Lively' as well. The program brings to new audiences the delight and wisdom that comes with knowing more of our past and our connections as Hoosiers."

- James H. Madison, Emeritus History Professor, Indiana University

 

"...interactive, more entertaining and more 'relevant'..."

"As museums and educational institutions scramble to make their offerings more interactive, more entertaining and more 'relevant', Hoosier History Live seems to have mastered that formula."

- Glynis Worley, rural Bartholomew County listener

 

"...a great way to learn more about history..."

"The links on the Friday Hoosier History Live enewsletter are a great way to learn more about history, and from a variety of sources."

- Jill Ditmire, Omni Media Specialist

 

"I love the podcasts..."

"I love the podcasts! I work on Saturdays and cannot always hear the live broadcasts. Sometimes I also like to listen a second time."

- Terri Gorney, Fort Wayne listener

 

"...infuses joy into the pursuit of history..."

"Nelson Price, more than anyone I know, infuses joy into the pursuit of history. And that joy rings out loud and clear on the radio show, Hoosier History Live."

- Marsh Davis, President, Indiana Landmarks

 

"... a compelling and engaging project..." 

"Molly Head and Nelson Price are Indiana-based visionaries who have created a compelling and engaging media project with Hoosier History Live. Podcasts, website, enewsletter, and live call-in radio show; it’s all there!"

- Keira Amstutz, President and CEO, Indiana Humanities

 

"...does more to promote Indiana history..."

"Hoosier History Live does more to promote Indiana history than does any single source."

- Andrea Neal, Indianapolis author and educator

 

"...always a great show"

“Hoosier History Live is always a great show.  We did a small  sponsorship as a gesture of support, and I didn’t think a little history show would have much impact. But many people mentioned to me that they had heard our credit on the radio.”

- G.B. Landrigan, Realtor, Certified Residential Specialist

 

"...a great way to represent what I do..."

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my experiences with Nelson Price and the Hoosier History Live team. I feel being on the show was a great way to represent what I do with motorsports history. I am particularly excited by the show's new distribution through a podcast and making it accessible live through the Web.”

-Mark Dill, owner, FirstSuperSpeedway.com


"...great value to sponsors..."

"Hoosier History Live has amassed a vast library of content over the years, both with the show audio and newsletter material. I believe that the Hoosier History Live content has great value to sponsors and advertisers via widespread online distribution. Nowhere else do you find the fresh new material each week, the depth of stories, the richness of detail, and the long-term consistency."

- John McDonald, CEO, ClearObject in Fishers, Indiana, Inc. Magazine’s fastest-growing IT company in Indiana for 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

"...enthusiastic, curious and knowledgeable..."

 "Hoosier History Live is a perfect place to consider and reconsider history ... not just what happened in the past, but what it may mean in the present. Nelson Price is the perfect host: enthusiastic, curious and knowledgeable. Tune in to Hoosier History Live and be prepared to be surprised."

- James Still, playwright in residence, Indiana Repertory Theatre

"...I want to call in!..

"No, I haven't heard of another call-in talk radio show about history. Our airwaves are now full of the worst vitriol! Give me the phone number for the show. I want to call in!"

- Ken Burns, speaking at a preview of his film "The War" at Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation, April 18, 2007

"Another Hoosier History Live endorsement from a Hoosier in California ..."

"Hoosier History Live is a bright spot in my media constellation. I also frequently forward your weekly enewsletters to friends around the globe. I may now be a Californian, but my Hoosier interest is endless. The podcasts and streaming are good tools. By all means, persevere!"

- Tom Cochrun, former news anchor, WTHR-TV Channel 13 Indianapolis

 

"From a Hoosier who knows her books..."

"Fills a niche for the lover of Indiana history."

- Kathleen Madinger Angelone, retired bookstore owner

 

Podcast listening, and Hoosier History Live copyright policies

We still do a live radio show every Saturday from noon to one broadcasting on WICR 88.7, but more and more of our listeners are listening to our podcasts, which are basically audio copies of our live shows. Our website is www.hoosierhistorylive.org, and you can sign up at our website to get our free weekly newsletter.

At the top of our newsletter and website we put notice, and links, to our newly published podcasts. We also provide a link to ARCHIVES, which is a list of our past enewsletters and published podcasts.

If you have a preferred podcast provider like Apple Podcasts or Spotify, you can use their search function to call up Hoosier History Live as well. Look for the yellow Hoosier History Live logo.

We copyright our work, and we have a crew of very talented people putting it together. But we WANT you to share it! We believe that learning should be accessible to everyone! You are welcome to copy, link to, or forward any of our Hoosier History Live material. Just please do not edit it! Our underwriter logos and voiced credits are on our material; and these underwriters make our work possible. 


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