Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC — VOA’s radio magazine in Special English.
This is Doug Johnson. On our program today we:
Play some music written by Richard Rogers ...
Answer a listener’s question about “Chinatown” ...
And report about the growing popularity of soccer football in the United States.
Soccer in the U.S.
On Sunday, June thirtieth, an important soccer football game will be played in the city of Yokohama, Japan. That game will decide the World Cup champion of soccer football. Americans are becoming more interested in this great international game. Steve Ember explains.
In its first game in the World Cup matches this year, the United States defeated a strong team from Portugal by a score of three-to-two. That is the first time a United States team had scored three points in World Cup competition since a game in nineteen-thirty against Paraguay.
The American team finally lost to Germany, one to nothing, in a very close quarterfinal game. American soccer fans were happy about the results. It was the best an American team had done in more than seventy years in World Cup competition.
However, most of the American public showed little interest. Many people in the United States still have no idea how important the World Cup soccer championship games are to the rest of the world. Many Americans do not know how the game is played.
The American public has never shown much interest in soccer. Sports experts say this is only true of older Americans. They never played soccer when they were children. They did not grow up with the sport as people in other countries have. Sports like American football, baseball and basketball have always been much more popular.
The United States Soccer Federation says about eighteen-million people today play soccer in the United States. But those who play are very young. Seventy-eight percent are under the age of eighteen. Sports experts say it is these children who are making the sport popular in the United States. The experts say soccer has become popular with children because almost anyone can play. There are teams for girls, boys, older children and young adults.
Many Americans are becoming interested in soccer because their children play. This has produced the new American expression “Soccer Mom.” This is a mother who spends a lot of time driving her children to soccer games in the family car.
The United States Soccer Federation says it is helping children improve their playing skills. It provides special training for young players at soccer camps during the summer.
Federation officials say the United States may one day have a World Cup champion team, but it will be sometime in the future. Soccer fans in the United States will have to wait until young soccer players grow up playing the world’s most popular sport.
Our VOA listener question this week comes from Vietnam. Chung Tanquoc asks about Chinatown.
Many large cities in the United States and around the world have an ethnic area called Chinatown. Each was settled by people who came from China.
For example, Chinatown in San Francisco, California, began in the eighteen-forties. Gold had been discovered in California. Chinese immigrants came to America in search of wealth. They settled in an area that later became known as Chinatown. Nearly all the immigrants were men. Their hard work was quickly recognized. In eighteen-fifty, San Francisco Mayor John Geary held a ceremony honoring Chinese efforts to improve the city. Today, Chinatown is a leading cultural influence in San Francisco. Many people visit the area.
Chinatowns were also established in cities in the western states of Oregon and Washington during the middle of the nineteenth century. Many Chinese settlers in these areas helped build the first railroad system across the United States. However, after the work ended in eighteen-sixty-nine, many Chinese moved to the eastern and middle parts of the United States.
The first Chinese immigrants arrived in Chicago, Illinois, in the eighteen-seventies. Many of these first immigrants opened clothes-cleaning businesses and low-cost eating places. Chicago’s Chinatown has grown over the years. The largest number of immigrants came after communists took control of mainland China in nineteen-forty-eight.
Chinatowns also can be found in cities outside the United States. For example, the first Chinese settlers in London arrived in the late eighteenth century. They were men who worked for the East India Company. Later, Chinese immigrants operated small stores and eating places that were visited by Chinese sailors traveling through the city. Today, many people visit London’s Chinatown. It has special Chinese Gates and walking areas for visitors.
Chinatowns around the world are not only places where Chinese people live and work. They are also places where visitors can learn more about Chinese culture and traditions.
June twenty-eighth is the one-hundredth anniversary of the birth of one of the most successful writers of Broadway show music. Richard Rodgers was born in New York City in nineteen-oh-two. He died in nineteen-seventy-nine. Mary Tillotson has more.
Richard Rodgers wrote about forty Broadway musical plays, ten movie musicals, and two television musicals. He also wrote music for television and the ballet. He won many awards for his work.
His first Broadway show was “Garrick Gaities” in nineteen-twenty-five. He wrote the music. Lorenz Hart wrote the words. Rodgers and Hart worked together on twenty-five other shows, including “Pal Joey” in nineteen-forty. It was later made into a movie.
One of the most popular songs from “Pal Joey” is “The Lady Is a Tramp.” Frank Sinatra played Joey in the movie. He sings the famous song.
((THE LADY IS A TRAMP))
Richard Rodgers later created nine popular Broadway shows with Oscar Hammerstein. They were the most successful songwriting team in Broadway history.
Their first show opened in nineteen-forty-three. That show is now being performed again on Broadway in New York City. It is called “Oklahoma.” Here is the title song.
Richard Rodgers also wrote both the words and music for Broadway shows. Perhaps the best known of these is “No Strings.” It opened on Broadway in nineteen-sixty-two. The title describes the idea of love without responsibility. It also means that Rogers did not use any string instruments in the orchestra.
We leave you now with a song from Richard Rodgers’ show, “No Strings,” performed by Richard Kiley and Diahann (di-ANNE) Carroll. It is called “The Sweetest Sounds.”
((THE SWEETEST SOUNDS))
This is Doug Johnson. I hope you enjoyed our program today. And I hope you will join us again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC — VOA’s radio magazine in Special English.
This AMERICAN MOSAIC program was written by Jill Moss, Nancy Steinbach and Paul Thompson. And our producer was Paul Thompson.