Joanne Rogers – 2018

Mrs. Fred Rogers, Joanne Rogers, reflects on the 50th Anniversary of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood as produced at WQED and her 50 year marriage to Mr. Rogers. She talks about the new documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” the puppets in the Neighborhood and who they represent, early WQED history from 1954, the plans and script for a forthcoming film with Tom Hanks, many of the musical people in the program including Van Cliburn, the Metroplitan Opera’s John Reardon and Officer Clemmons, Francoise Clemmons as well as her love of playing the piano and learning how to play with Hungarian virtuoso Ernst von Dohnanyi. Exactly how she met Fred at Rollins College in Florida, whether the Neighborhood was derived from the Ten Commandments, when the sweater got into the program and where they are today. She also remembers Fred’s work on the first broadcast on NBC of “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” working on the Kate Smith Hour, and with Gabby Hayes who gave the advice of “thinking of one little buckaroo out there.”