Fifty three years ago this week, a 21-year-old rock-and-roll musician named Ulysses Baxter made history in Colorado Springs. On hands and knees, with a wooden salad spoon affixed to his nose, he ascended Pikes Peak--pushing a peanut the entire way.
His incredible journey--which lasted eight days--was documented by newspapers, radio, and TV stations across the country, and helped propel Baxter and his music into the national spotlight. Though he wasn't the first to push a peanut up the mountain (that title belongs to Bill Williams, a Texan who pulled it off in 1929), his endeavor garnered unprecedented fanfare and media attention.
Nevertheless, Baxter's feat is scarcely remembered today. A plaque that once commemorated his accomplishment no longer hangs in Manitou Springs. The only evidence of his voyage that remains is a handful of newspaper clippings and the original peanut, which sits in a small display at the Manitou Springs Heritage Center.
Oh, and then there's Ulysses Baxter himself.
Baxter is 74 years old, living in his hometown of Oklahoma City. In this segment from this month's episode of Air Check, we speak with him about his strange and awe-inspiring feat, and ask him how it changed his life.
Featured below are a few of Baxter's songs from the 1960s: