Here’s a little Hatch Shell history:
1929 – The Boston Pops start the free concerts in the Esplanade
1974 – The 1812 Overture, church bells, cannon, and fireworks are added to the free concert on July 4.
1976 – Bicentennial brings out big crowds.
1984 – PBS televises the event.
2003 – CBS takes over the TV, reducing it to a one-hour broadcast. CBS moves the 1812 Overture out of the hour broadcast, placing a 35-minute gap between the cannons and the fireworks.
Since the CBS takeover, the Overture has been separated from the fireworks and banished to the pre-TV hours, and the Pops have been relegated to background players for the likes of Toby Keith and Craig Ferguson.
So how do we get our party back? I mean, I have nothing against comedians from Glasgow and country singers from Oklahoma, but there’s a time and a place for everything.
According to Ferguson, the Fourth of July in Boston is “St. Patrick’s day with explosives.” Is that what it is? Is that how we want to represent ourselves? Was that even funny?
And how many of us are walking around with Toby Keith on our iPods. I mean, how many of us even knew who Toby Keith was?
So, dear readers, here’s the two questions for the BMG family.
1. Who should be the host and singer for next year’s BOSTON celebration?
2. How do we take back our BOSTON celebration?