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Wash Your Hands With Bill

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

And now we turn to public service with a segment we call Wash Your Hands With Bill because singing "Happy Birthday" to yourself twice just doesn't cut it. Now, this week, Bill Kurtis has brought along a friend to help him out. It is Josh Kantor, the official organist of the Boston Red Sox and Fenway Park.

Welcome to WAIT WAIT, Josh.

JOSH KANTOR: Thanks for having me, Peter.

SAGAL: So a lot of people are wondering, what does a baseball stadium organist do when there's no baseball? Do you play - like, play organ to accompany chores around the house?

KANTOR: If there's no game to play on, I still play anyway. But what some friends advised me to do was to just hit the go button on the livestream while I do it. And I've been doing that every day since the baseball season was supposed to have started three weeks ago.

SAGAL: That's...

KANTOR: And I'm raising money for local food banks in the process.

SAGAL: So you're doing daily livestream concerts from your house.

KANTOR: Yes - and taking requests on a live chat.

SAGAL: What is the strangest thing that you've been asked so far to play on your organ?

KANTOR: I mean, I do get a variety of strange things. You know, every once in a while, someone will want to hear, like, a free jazz - you know, like an Ornette Coleman kind of thing.

(LAUGHTER)

KANTOR: Usually, the strangest requests are not the ones that are - it's not the song itself, it's the story behind the song. So someone will say, I just got engaged, and our song is "God Only Knows" by the Beach Boys. Could you play it for us? And it's, like, A, it's a beautiful song. B, the very first lyric of the song is, I may not always love you. And that's what you're asking me to play to your...

(LAUGHTER)

KANTOR: ...You know, to your new fiancee? But sure, I'll play it if that's what you really want.

SAGAL: Lovely. Well, Josh, we have asked you here, of course, to help with Bill as he helps America wash their hands. So, Bill and Josh, take it away.

BILL KURTIS: Here we go, Josh.

KANTOR: (Playing organ).

KURTIS: And a one and a two and a three. (Singing) Take me out the ball game. Take me right to the sink.

NEGIN FARSAD: (Laughter).

KURTIS: (Singing) Buy me some anti-bacterial gel. I'll follow that up with has squirt of Purell. Then it's root, root, root with my mask on. Please don't sit next to me.

PETER SAGAL, BILL KURTIS AND PANELISTS: (Singing) For it's one, two, three, four, five, six feet away at the new ball game.

SAGAL: Yay.

FARSAD: I think that was horrible.

SAGAL: Brings you right back to Fenway, doesn't it, Josh?

ADAM FELBER: Play nothing.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Josh Kantor is the organist at Fenway Park and for the Boston Red Sox, and he is doing a free organ concert every day. Josh, how do people find that?

KANTOR: 7th-Inning Stretch 2020 on Facebook.

SAGAL: Josh, thank you so much.

KANTOR: All right. Thanks, everybody.

SAGAL: And, of course, thank you, Bill.

(SOUNDBITE OF UNIDENTIFIED ARTIST'S PERFORMANCE OF WILLIAM HUNG'S "TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME")

SAGAL: Coming up, hear about parenting styles of the rich and famous in our Bluff the Listener game. Call 1-888-WAIT-WAIT to play. We'll be back in a minute with more of WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME from NPR. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.


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