"Hot Time in the Hot City," is posted both on YouTube (click here) and the Hot Springs Baseball Trail website (click here).
The video features words, music and vocals by musician Frank Wilson of South Florida, who performs with a musical group called The Motown-Philly Express, a tribute band.
The lyrics were written from information compiled by nationally known baseball historians Tim Reid of Boca Raton, Fla.; Bill Jenkinson of Willow Grove, Pa.; Don Duren of Plano, Texas, and Mark Blauer and Mike Dugan of Hot Springs.
Those five did most of the deep research that resulted in the creation of The Hot Springs Historic Baseball Trail that documents the city as the Birthplace of Spring Baseball. The 26-stop Baseball Trail was opened and dedicated this spring.
Reid describes "Hot Time in the Hot City" as a gift to the city from the baseball historians, who call themselves the Hot Springs Baseball Historical Research Team. He especially credits the contributions of Blauer, one of the foremost authorities on Negro Leagues baseball.
Another video, "The Birthplace of Spring Baseball," (click here) has also just been added to the Hot Springs Historic Baseball Trail website (click here).
"The Historic Baseball Trail has generated international attention for Hot Springs since we opened it a little more than a month ago," said Steve Arrison, CEO of Visit Hot Springs, which sponsored creation of the new attraction. "The Trail's website has recorded visits from all over the United States, plus Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Japan, Mexico, Bangladesh, Switzerland, Germany and France.
"Places whose residents have accessed the Trail information via smartphones using the Quick Response Codes (QR codes) contained on the 26 plaques include, California, Utah, England, Florida, Illinois, Midland and New York City, as well as from inside Arkansas."
"Hot Time in the Hot City" details the role Hot Springs played as one of the only warm-weather cities where Negro Leagues players and managers could find accommodations and baseball fields where they could play and train.
"Not only did Hot Springs provide accommodations and attractions," Reid said, "but the city also enthusiastically encouraged and welcomed the Negro Leagues -- from the earliest days on."
Amidst historical scenes of the city and its attractions, Wilson's rollicking vocals hammer home visions of the day when "it took a little while to cross the [color] line" and before "now we're having fun and just playing the game." The old "Black Broadway" district along Malvern Avenue between what is now Convention Boulevard and East Grand Avenue, is shown in several scenes.
"Frank hails from Norristown, Pennsylvania, near Valley Forge, in the suburbs of Philadelphia," says historian Reid, who produced and directed the creation of the video in Miami, Fla. "The Greater Philadelphia area was a major hub of Negro Leagues baseball, and Frank's grandfathers used to regale him with stories of the great teams & players that played in the Philly area -- many of whom are documented as having visited and played in Hot Springs and who are honored on the Hot Springs Historic Baseball Trail plaques.
"Hot Time in the Hot City" pays homage to such immortals as Jackie Robinson, Henry Aaron, Larry Doby, Roy Campanella, Charlie Grant, John Henry, Cool Papa Bell, Oscar Johnston, Buck O'Neill, Superman Art Pennington, Satchel Paige and Lou Foster. It shows the Tugerson Brothers, who helped desegregate the Cotton States League by playing for the groundbreaking Hot Springs Bathers.
In a recitation of some of the famous Negro Leagues teams, there is a photo of Bill (Bojangles) Robinson, tap-dancing down Central Avenue in Hot Springs as part of his bringing his team, the Black Yankees, to town.
The video applauds teams such as the Kansas City Monarchs, the Homestead Grays, the Memphis Red Sox, the Detroit Stars, the Chicago Giants, the Pittsburgh Crawfords and others.
"'Hot Time in the Hot City' helps Hot Springs celebrate its role in the history of America's game," said Steve Arrison, CEO of Visit Hot Springs, which sponsored the creation of the Historic Baseball Trail. "The city's honored place in the historic Negro Leagues is something we are tremendously proud of and which we want the rest of the world to know about."
Credits at the close of the video extend thanks to Arrison and other local residents such as Visit Hot Springs' Chrissy Egleston, Liz Robbins, Orval Allbritton and Clyde Covington, all with the Garland County Historical Society.
"Also," Reid added, "invaluable information and assistance was provided by numerous African-American residents and former residents from Hot Springs, notably including hometown Negro Leagues star Superman Art Pennington and the Webb Family."