By Wayne Cabot, WCBS 880

Why would anyone care about the birthday of a man who died hundreds of years ago, and who was lightly regarded in his own time? That is how Charles Osgood began a lovingly composed, beautifully produced bit of storytelling about Johann Sebastian Bach.

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Osgood’s report for Bach’s 300th birthday aired nearly 30 years ago on WCBS and the CBS Radio Network. It was so memorable, so compelling, that several WCBS staffers asked Osgood about it when he visited our newsroom recently.

Yes he remembered it, but didn’t have a copy.

We do.

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And it’s right here. And very worth a listen. In it, Osgood gives a Bach piano lesson of sorts, demonstrating what his left hand and right hand are doing while playing a Bach composition.

It aired as part of a CBS Radio Network program called “Newsmark” produced by the Radio Specialty Broadcasts unit during the 1980s. It was a monthly series, broadcast on Sunday nights. Newsmark won its share of awards, but was a victim of changing times, budgets and license requirements. Mary Lou Teel , now with CBS Sunday Morning, did some Newsmarks. The broadcast was run by Norman Morris, the senior producer for the unit. We believe Norman did the Bach piece with Charlie.

Newsmark drew from correspondents across CBS News including Charles Kuralt, Dan Rather, Bill Moyers, Ray Brady, and Fred Graham.

And now, Charles Osgood and Bach: The Numbers Man.

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