‘The Whole Damn Crew: The Martin Quigley Story’
Martin Peter Quigley’s work touched first Kansas City, then New York, and finally his beloved St. Louis, and to some extent, America and the world, but whether he was diving out of a flaming B-24 bomber, helping the Ford Foundation raise funds, running a charity to help poor St. Louis kids get new shoes, mentoring young up-and-coming St. Louis writers, or promoting the St. Louis Cardinals, Martin, who died in 2000, was also the author of nine books -- including Joe Garagiola’s first memoir, “Baseball is a Funny Game ,” -- a poet, playwright, journalist, pr guy, patron of the arts and a St. Louis treasure.
“Quig,” as he was known, also was the first manager of St. Louis’ own KETC public television station in 1954. A civic leader, he promoted the City of St. Louis and served on several civic boards. He was a leader in making the St. Louis Bicentennial celebration in 1964 a huge success, and was the author of a history, “St. Louis: A Fond Look Back” that year. Around the same time, he co-wrote the book for the musical, “Molly Darling,” the only locally written musical ever staged at The Muny. He was a supporter and frequent visitor to the old Gaslight Square, and he wrote the book for another musical, “The Raspberry Queen,” which was staged at the old Crystal Palace cabaret. An avid softball player, Quig created several teams in the area.
A locally produced documentary on his life is under way, sponsored by the Press Club of Metropolitan St. Louis. He was a co-founder and the organization’s first president in 1954. The script is complete and will be narrated by the popular Ron Elz, of KMOX radio and Johnny Rabbitt fame, and directed by the talented St. Louis-based filmmaker Eric Butler. The film is being produced by Quig’s daughter, Catherine (Katy) Gurley, a local journalist and former St. Louis Globe-Democrat reporter, who wrote the script. No one is being paid for working on this film. It is a true labor of love for a man who gave much to the St. Louis he cherished and grew up in.
The Press Club helped fund the film initially, but Ms. Gurley is seeking $3,500 more to pay for copyright permissions for jazz music to be woven through the film. Quig was a jazz lover and historian, and authentic music will be an integral part of the film.
Contributors of any amount will be listed in a poster about the film at its opening in September and will be invited to attend the opening night and reception free of charge. Contributors of $50 or more will receive a DVD of the film.
If you’re a long-time St. Louisan, Quig touched your life in ways you might not realize with his many contributions to all things civic in St. Louis between the 1950s to the 1980s.
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