Gladys Goodding

From BR Bullpen

Gladys Goodding

Biographical Information[edit]

Gladys Goodding was the long-time organist at Ebbets Field, the home of the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Born in Missouri, she learned to play the piano from her mother, who was a music teacher, but after the death of her parents spent some years in an orphanage in St. Louis, MO. She then began performing light opera and musical theater around the Midwest, was married and had two children. However, after a divorce in 1923, she moved to New York, NY where she became a full-time organist in movie theaters, accompanying the projection of silent films. She also performed in orchestras and on radio programs.

Her big break came when she was hired to be an organist at Madison Square Garden, working the hockey games of the New York Rangers and the regular boxing fights beings staged there. She would also work games of basketball's New York Knicks. She said she enjoyed all sports but her favorite was baseball, and in 1942, she got a chance to become the resident organist at Ebbets Field when the team installed a permanent organ in the ballpark.

Her duties included playing and singing the National Anthem before games and performing incidental music, working in music related to the various players, requests from them, and also "Happy Birthday" whenever appropriate. In 1947 she wrote and recorded "Follow the Dodgers", which became the team's official anthem. She remained with the team until it left Brooklyn, NY for Los Angeles, CA after the 1957 season and became very famous as a fixture of the team, much like super fan Hilda Chester, especially after the advent of television broadcasts. After the team's departure, she continued to work at Madison Square Garden, and had worked a Knicks game there a few days before her death in November 1963, the victim of a heart attack at the age of 70.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Rob Edelman: "Gladys Goodding, Ebbets Field Organ Queen", Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Volume 46, Number 2 (Fall 2017), pp. 65-69.

Related Sites[edit]