History Book – Pioneers in exploration, music, and animation


NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Monday, November 23rd. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. Coming up next: the WORLD History Book. This week, explorers and pioneers. Our guide is WORLD senior correspondent Katie Gaultney.

KATIE GAULTNEY, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Proverbs 16:9 reminds us, “A man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.” That spiritual truth finds a historical parallel in Porteguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan. He providentially discovered a sea route connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans 500 years ago. 

AUDIO: [WOODEN SHIP AT SEA]

Magellan and his fleet were sailing along the Atlantic coast of South America when a raging storm forced the ships into a bay. The diversion revealed a shortcut from the mainland of South America to the Tierra del Fuego archipelago off its southern coast. It’s a treacherous route, oftening narrowing along its 350-mile length, with a strong current that has led plenty to a watery grave. 

The Institution of Engineering and Technology explained in a documentary how Magellan hoped this unexpected detour would provide quicker access to the profitable goods on the Spice Islands. 

CLIP: Magellan had no conception of the vastness of the Pacific Ocean, and he imagined that South America was separated from the Spice Islands by a small sea, which he expected to cross in as little as three or four days. In reality, the fleet spent three months and 20 days at sea before reaching the Philippines. 

It marked the first documented European contact with the Philippines, and Magellan spent his time there converting the locals to Christianity. He ultimately was killed by the leader of a native tribe. His crew completed the remainder of the journey after his death, making it the first circumnavigation of the globe.

MUSIC: [BABY BABY, AMY GRANT]

And now we jump ahead to wish a very happy 60th birthday to the “Queen of Christian Pop,” Amy Grant. She turns 60 on November 25.

MUSIC: [ARE YOU LIVING IN AN OLD MAN’S RUBBLE, AMY GRANT]

Grant signed her first recording contract when she was just 15 years old. She enjoyed a successful career as a contemporary Christian music artist before crossing over to pop music in the 1980s and 90s. 

Here she is talking to Today Show host Jane Pauley about the difficulties of transitioning from CCM to pop. 

PAULEY: You were talking about how you were not getting airplay on top 40 radio. Have you cracked it yet?
GRANT: We got our first top 40 song this month, a song called “Find a Way…”
PAULEY: Well, congratulations… 

MUSIC: [LOVE WILL FIND A WAY, AMY GRANT]

Over her 43-year career, she has collaborated with artists from Michael W. Smith…

MUSIC: [FRIENDS, AMY GRANT AND MICHAEL W SMITH]

…to Art Garfunkel. 

MUSIC: [WORD FROM AN OLD SPANISH CAROL, AMY GRANT AND ART GARFUNKEL]

But occasional brushes with controversy have checkered her decades in the spotlight. 

MUSIC: [ALWAYS, AMY GRANT AND GARY CHAPMAN]

Her transition to secular music—then back to Christian—left some fans with a bad taste in their mouths. And she surprised many with her divorce from Gary Chapman in 1999, and her marriage to country music star Vince Gill a year later. 

She underwent surgery in June and has had a few months to heal up before this milestone birthday. Now, let’s let Michael W. Smith sing “Happy Birthday,” as he did with the band and crew in 2014, when they were rehearsing for an upcoming tour. 

MUSIC: [HAPPY BIRTHDAY]

And we’ll round out this week’s lineup with a playful entry: The release of Toy Story 25 years ago this week. 

MUSIC: [YOU’VE GOT A FRIEND IN ME, RANDY NEWMAN]

It marked an achievement in filmmaking by becoming the first feature-length movie created entirely of computer-generated imagery. The inaugural installment of the Toy Story franchise introduced characters Woody, an old West sheriff played by Tom Hanks, and Buzz Lightyear, space ranger, voiced by Tim Allen. The two have a rocky relationship starting out. 

CLIP: You are a toy! You aren’t the real Buzz Lightyear, you’re an action figure! You are a child’s plaything!/ You are a sad, strange little man, and you have my pity. Farewell! 

The story of little Andy and his favorite toys warmed a lot of hearts over the last quarter-century—and generated a lot of coin. Tihe now four installments in the Toy Story franchise have made just over a billion dollars at the box office, and they’ve won plenty of awards.  

KALING: And the Oscar goes to… Toy Story 4.

By now, we’re used to seeing computer animation. But it truly was a pioneering technology in 1995. Now, animators have taken that initial animation technology and run with it… to infinity and beyond.

MUSIC: [YOU’VE GOT A FRIEND IN ME, RANDY NEWMAN]

That’s this week’s History Book. I’m Katie Gaultney.


(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File) In this Oct. 15, 2019 file photo, singer Amy Grant performs during the Dove Awards in Nashville, Tenn. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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