James Gleason Conzelman leaned back in his chair and stared thoughtfully at the ceiling, pondering the request. He was seated at his desk in the St. Louis headquarters of the D'Arcy Advertising Company, of which he is a vice-president. The office walls were filled with autographed photographs from half a dozen Supreme Court Justices, J. Edgar Hoover, Gene Tunney and Harold (Red) Grange, who had written: "I'd rather be hung on this office wall than any other one in the country."
Conzelman ran a hand through his mane of white hair. He whirled around in his chair and looked up at a framed color print of the first football game played for the national collegiate championship. The referee in the print wore a derby.
Conzelman suddenly got up and walked around the desk. "Follow me," he said.
He led the way down a corridor and out into the high-ceilinged reception room with its great photomurals of St. Louis scenes, through another door and down a long hall between glassed-in offices to the control room of the agency's own recording studios. Conzelman looked around and pointed to an unoccupied studio. "Anybody going to be using this one?" he asked the engineer at the control board.
"No, sir," said the engineer.
"Look, Coach," I said, using the form of address that clings to every man who has ever presided over a football scrimmage, "I didn't expect you to do this thing right now. It's just that it has become a sort of legend in sporting circles, and I wanted to get it straight. It doesn't have to be now. Maybe you would be free some evening. I mean, I hope you don't think I'd barge into a man's office and ask him to—."
Conzelman silenced me with a wave of his hand. He opened the door of the studio and walked directly to a piano at the far end. He sat down, rubbed his hands briskly and then boldly attacked the keyboard in a style that conjured up a vision of a short beer standing on the piano top. After a few introductory chords, he sang out in a brazen baritone:
"Now you've read about Casey Jones, the engineer,
"And of Bad Man Jesse James.
"You've read about the great jockey, Paul Revere,