The '60s at 50

12.15.2014

December 1964: Bob Hope in Vietnam


The comedian, who had entertained U.S. troops during World War II and the Korean War, makes his first USO tour of military bases in Vietnam. Segments from the trip were shown on NBC the following January during "The Bob Hope Christmas Special." Hope would continue the holiday tours until 1972.
     -- Stars and Stripes photo from Tan Son Nuht Airport

* "Bob Hope brings Christmas cheer to troops in Vietnam" (Stars and Stripes, December 26, 1964): @
* "The Bob Hope Show; Christmas Day - 1964; Vinh Long, Vietnam" (vinhlongoutlaws.com): @
* "Hope Indomitable" (Associated Press, December 25): @
* Video from Da Nang Air Base (no sound): @
* Video from Camp Enari (no sound): @
* Front and back covers from "On The Road To Vietnam" (1965): @ and @
* Audio from Bien Hoa: @
* "Bob Hope's Vietnam Christmas Tours" (www.history.net): @
* "On the Road: USO Shows -- Bob Hope and American Variety" (Library of Congress): @
* "Entertaining Troops" (www.bobhope.com): @
* Excerpt from "Bob Hope: A Life in Comedy" (William Robert Faith, 1982): @

12.14.2014

1964: Year in review

Top stories of the year, from the Associated Press (link to story: @)

1. Political campaign and election.
2. Khrushchev's ouster.
3. Civil rights
4. Alaska earthquake
5. Viet Nam
6. Red China's A-bomb.
7. Warren report.
8. Violence in Congo
9. President's legislative program.
10. Legislative reapportionment.

From United Press International (link to story: @)

1. Johnson landslide.
2. Khrushchev deposed.
3. Civil Rights act becomes law.
4. War in Viet Nam; U.S. retaliates in Tonkin Bay.
5. Communist China detonates its first nuclear device.
6. Goldwater captures GOP nomination.
7. Negro rioting in northern cities.
8. Warren report finds Oswald alone planned and executed JFK assassination.
9. U.S. surgeon general finds cigarettes a health hazard.
10. Vatican Council ratifies new church practices and attitudes.

* "There Was Steady Progress in Sticky 1964" (Associated Press): @
* "Events of 1964" (Summaries and audio, United Press International): @
* "Year in Review" (newsreels; from Journal TV): @
* "Review of 1964" (newsreel; from British Pathe): @
* Billboard Top 100 songs (www.bobborst.com): @
* "1964: The World 50 Years Ago" (photos; from The Atlantic): @
* "The Last Innocent Year: America in 1964 -- The Beginning of the 'Sixties' " (Jon Margolis, 1999): @ 

12.05.2014

December 1964-February 1965: Phil Spector's 'Wall of Sound'


On December 5, 1964, The Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'," written by Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil and Phil Spector and produced by Spector, first appears on the Billboard music charts at No. 124. It would spend two weeks at No. 1 in February 1965. (In 1999, BMI listed the song as the one most often played on American radio and television in the 20th century, with some 8 million plays.)

     The term "Wall of Sound" became associated with this song in particular and Spector's dense, layered production in general. Time magazine described it in the February 19, 1965 issue, before the term "Wall of Sound" took hold: "Spector Sound, as it's called in the industry, is marked by a throbbing, sledgehammer beat, intensified by multiplying the usual number of rhythm instruments and boosting the volume. Spectral orchestration, undulating with shimmering climaxes, is far more polished, varied and broadly rooted than the general run of rock 'n' roll. In Lovin' Feelin', Spector used two basses, three electric guitars, three pianos, a harpsichord, twelve violins, a ten-voice chorus and four brawny percussionists. His vocalists, a pair of 23-year-old white Californians who call themselves the Righteous Brothers, imitate the Negro gospel wail, a sound that Spector prizes as the 'soulful yearning that every teen-ager understands.' "


     The term itself was not new, having been used in the 19th century to describe Richard Wagner's Bayreuth Festspielhaus opera house and in the 1950s to describe Stan Kenton's jazz band.  According to the book "He's a Rebel" (linked below), it became shorthand for Spector's production style after Andrew Loog Oldham, manager and producer of The Rolling Stones, took out advertisements in British music magazines praising "Lovin' Feelin'." (The article above, by Derek Johnson for the New Musical Express issue of July 31, 1964, shows the term used to describe another Spector record.)

* "Bill Medley on Phil Spector" (JazzWax, 2012): @
* Article from The Pop History Dig: @
* Earlier post on "Blue-eyed soul": @
* "The First Tycoon of Teen" (Tom Wolfe, January 1965): @
* "The Sound Flowed Out of Old Music Streams" (Life magazine, May 21, 1965): @
* "He's a Rebel: Phil Spector, Rock and Roll's Legendary Producer" (Mark Ribowsky, 1989): @
* "Sonic Alchemy: Visionary Music Producers and Their Maverick Recordings" (David N. Howard, 2004): @
* "The Producer as Composer: Shaping the Sounds of Popular Music" (Virgil Moorefield, 2005): @
* "Tearing Down The Wall of Sound: The Rise and Fall of Phil Spector" (Mick Brown, 2007): @
* "Rolling Stoned" (Andrew Loog Oldham, 2011): @
* "Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Story of Modern Pop" (Bob Stanley, 2013): @ 

11.27.2014

Friday, November 27, 1964: Operation Moneybags

     British soldiers are given LSD as part of research into how the drug might affect their capabilities as well as military operations. From the Imperial War Museum's description of the filmed summary (link: @):
     Introductory title places trial in context of recent research to discover chemical agents able to incapacitate enemy forces but with negligible risk of fatal casualties. ... One Marine in state of distress is comforted by nurse, while others smile and laugh hysterically, one attempting to cut down a tree with his spade, and another climbing the tree. ... After exercise Marines rest in bed in Porton ward ... One very distressed Marine is held by duffel coated doctor and scientist, muttering "I am not going to die."  Cut back to end of the exercise, with Marines departing by truck, before concluding title states that despite promising results of experiment, further research is needed into methods of disseminating drug, the effects of larger doses and establishing economical production techniques. "Despite these and other problems, LSD is regarded in the light of present knowledge as one of the drugs which merits more detailed examination and testing."

* Short clip from film: @
* Excerpt from "Albion Dreaming: A Popular History of LSD in Britain" (Andy Roberts, 2012): @
* House of Commons communications (1995): @
* "Drugged and Duped" (Rob Evans, The Guardian newspaper, March 14, 2002): @
* "Weapons Against the Mind" (Dr. W.M. Hollyhock, New Scientist magazine, April 22, 1965): @ 

11.20.2014

1964: 'The Prospect of Immortality'



Robert C.W. Ettinger's book about the promise of cryonics is published by Doubleday. From the opening chapter:

     Most of now living have a chance for personal, physical immortality.
     This remarkable proposition -- which may soon become a pivot of personal and national life -- is easily understood by joining one established fact to one reasonable assumption.
     The fact: At very low temperatures it is possible, right now, to preserve dead people with essentially no deterioration, indefinitely. (Details and references will be supplied.)
     The assumption: If civilization endures, medical science should eventually be able to repair almost any damage to the human body, including freezing damage and senile debility or other cause of death. (Definite reasons for such optimism will be given.)
     Hence we need only arrange to have our bodies, after we die, stored in suitable freezers against the time when science may be able to help us. No matter what kills us, whether old age or disease, and even if freezing techniques are still crude when we die, sooner or later our friends of the future should be equal to the task of reviving and curing us. This is the essence of the main argument.
     The arrangements will no doubt be handled at first by individuals, then by private companies and perhaps later by the Social Security system.

* Complete text of book: @
* Ettinger biography (from Cryonics Institute): @
* "Robert Ettinger Cryptopreserved" (The Cryonics Society, 2011): @
* "Can 'Deep Freeze' Conquer Death?" (Ettinger, Ebony magazine, January 1966): @
* "The Iceman" (Jill Lepore, The New Yorker, January 25, 2010): @ 

11.15.2014

Sunday, November 15, 1964: 'Don't trust anyone over 30'



Jack Weinberg, whose arrest on October 1 helped ignite the Free Speech Movement at the University of California Berkeley, is quoted in a San Francisco Chronicle article written by James Benet:

"We have a saying in the movement that you can't trust anyone over 30."

The quote was reprinted by Chronicle columnist Ralph J. Gleason and soon became a slogan of the counterculture. (It was often shortened to "Don't trust anyone over 30.")

In 1970, Weinberg told The Washington Post: "I was being interviewed by this guy, and he was, or seemed to be, saying something that was bothering me. He was probing into the question of weren't there outside adults manipulating us. There was the implication of a 'Communist conspiracy.' That was infuriating, so I said the thing about not trusting anyone over 30 as a kind of taunt. I was trying to tell him there weren't any graybeards manipulating us." (Link to article: @)

Note: While I have not seen the original article in print or online, the source and date comes from Ralph Keyes' book "I Love It When You Talk Retro" (2009). Keyes also writes in "Nice Guys Finish Seventh" (1992): "Twenty-six years later, now long past 30 himself, Weinberg told me that those words just occurred to him on the spot. He thought they were original to him. Calling them a "movement saying" was his way of trying to give the motto more zing. ... Weinberg's generational redlining touched a nerve among over-thirties. It confirmed their worst fears about how they were perceived by their children. When student activists realized how much this motto bugged their elders, many began to chant 'Don't trust anyone over thirty' in earnest. Before long this became the defining slogan of an era when surly youths were seen as rudely elbowing their parents aside. In Weinberg's words, 'The phrase just resonated.' "

     -- Photo of Jack Weinberg by Harvey Richards

* As mentioned in "We Shall Overcome" (Ramparts magazine, April 1965): @
* "Boom! Talking About the Sixties" (Tom Brokaw, 2007, interview with Weinberg begins on page 591): @
* "What Happened at Berkeley" (Saturday Review magazine, January 16, 1965): @
* "Free Speech Movement Press Bibliography" (btstack.com): @ 

11.11.2014

1964: Gentrification

Writing in the book "London: Aspects of Change," British sociologist Ruth Glass coins the term and explains the concept:

     One by one, many of the working class quarters of London have been invaded by the middle classes -- upper and lower. Shabby, modest mews and cottages -- two rooms up and two down -- have been taken over, when their leases have expired, and have become elegant, expensive residences. Larger Victorian houses, downgraded in an earlier or recent periods -- which were used as lodging houses or were otherwise in multiple occupation -- have been upgraded once again. Nowadays, many of these houses are being sub-divided into costly flats or "houselets" (in terms of the new real estate snob jargon). The current social status and value of such dwellings are frequently in inverse relation to their size, and in any case enormously inflated by comparison with previous levels in their neighbourhoods. Once this process of "gentrification" starts in a district, it goes on rapidly until all or most of the original working class occupiers are displaced, and the whole social character of the district is changed.

* Text of Glass' essay (from "The Gentrification Debates: A Reader," edited by Japonica Brown-Saracino, 2013): @
* Glass biography (from Oxford Dictionary of National Biography): @
* "Gentrification" (Oxford Bibliographies): @
* "The New Urban Frontier: Gentrification and the Revanchist City" (Neil Smith, 2005): @
* "There Goes the 'Hood: Views of Gentrification from the Ground Up" (Lance Freeman, 2006): @
* "Gentrification" (Loretta Lees, Tom Slater and Elvin Wyly, 2008): @
* "As 'Gentrification' Turns 50, Tracing Its Nebulous History" (curbed.com, 2014): @

11.04.2014

Tuesday, November 3, 1964: Pay television

Californians have voted to outlaw pay television and, in the process, dealt a crippling blow to the ambitious firm that hoped to pioneer the medium across the nation.
     Sylvester L. (Pat) Weaver, president of Subscription Television, Inc., now operating in Los Angeles and San Francisco, declined comment until more votes are counted.
     But a spokesman for the firm said the defeat, by a better than 2 to 1 margin, will be appealed in the courts.
     "You can't vote down free enterprise," said the spokesman. "It's patently unconstitutional, clearly a violation of the First Amendment."
     Proposition 15, an initiative backed by a $1.5 million kitty from theater owners, declared pay TV "contrary to public policy."
     A leader of the fight against pay TV was Eugene V. Klein, president of National General Corporation, which operates 217 theaters, mostly in California.
     "It's obvious that the people of California are for free TV to pay TV.  Californians find it obnoxious to pay $1.50 to watch the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants while the rest of the country gets their baseball on free TV," said Klein.
     The subscription system transmits its program by coaxial cable to a little box which attaches to the customer's regular TV set. There are three channels. Picture, quality and sound are of high caliber.
     The box permits reception of sound and picture and sends back impulses so the firm can know by electronic bookkeeping how much to bill subscribers.
     -- Associated Press, November 4
     -- Image from campaign against pay TV  (videos: @ and @)

* California ballot proposition, 1964 (University of California Hastings Law Library): @
* "The Box: Will it revolutionize TV, reshape the movies, retune the American mind?" (Life magazine, July 17, 1964): @
* "Pay TV: The Day The Money Stopped" (New York Times, November 15): @
* "Stupid Question, Stupid Answer" (Life, November 20): @
* "California High Court Voids Ban on Pay TV" (United Press International, March 3, 1966): @
* "Court Hits California Pay-TV Ban" (Associated Press, October 10, 1966): @
* "Pay Television" (Museum of Broadcast Communications): @
* "Hollywood in the Age of Television" (edited by Tino Balio, 1990): @ 
* "The Rise of Cable Programming in the United States: Evolution or Revolution" (Megan Mullen, 2003): @

11.03.2014

Tuesday, November 3, 1964: U.S. presidential election



The nation gave Lyndon B. Johnson a thundering go-ahead for his broad welfare and co-existence programs today after he rocked Barry Goldwater with the worst drubbing any man has taken since Alf Landon.
     Topping Franklin D. Roosevelt on his 1936 rout of Landon, President Johnson took Maine and Vermont, too, last bastions of granite Republicanism, in a sweep of 44 states and the District of Columbia. Riding the tide as his beaming running-mate was Sen. Hubert Humphrey (D-Minn.).
     Goldwater's cry for a return to conservatism was shouted down across the nation. He scooped up only his own Arizona and a tier of brooding Deep South states that behaved much the same way in 1948 when they sulked in the Dixiecrat tent.
     -- The Miami News
     -- Map from http://geoelections.free.fr/

* Summary (Presidential Campaigns & Elections): @
* Results (Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections): @
* "The Johnson Landslide" (newsreel; from C-SPAN): @
* Life magazine, November 13: @ 

11.01.2014

November 1964: 'The Paranoid Style in American Politics'

     Richard Hofstadter delivered the first version of "The Paranoid Style in American Politics" as a Herbert Spencer Lecture at Oxford University in November 1963, the same month that President John F. Kennedy was murdered; an abridged version appeared in Harper's Magazine the following year. The lecture had grown out of Hofstadter's long-standing apprehensions about the rise of American right-wing extremism after World War II -- most conspicuously the McCarthyite hysteria of the early 1950s but also the profusion of new right-wing organizations such as the John Birch Society. ... 
     Hofstadter discovered a chronic, rancid syndrome in our political life that he called, loosely, "paranoid." The paranoid style, he contended, had long afflicted radical movements on the left as well as the right, and had even touched some good causes, including the antislavery movement. Usually, however, it appeared in bad ones. ...
     Hofstadter studied the Goldwater campaign closely and wrote an essay about its worrisome paranoid emanations. ... To read these selections today is to see a devoted liberal of moderate disposition aroused by his realization that, despite Goldwater's crushing defeat in 1964, some of the worst distempers of American democracy had become, as he wrote, "a formidable force in our politics" -- and, quite possibly, a permanent one.
     -- From the forward to "The Paranoid Style in American Politics and Other Essays" (2008 reissue)

* As printed in Harper's Magazine (November 1964): @
* As printed by Harvard University Press (1996): @
* "A Long View: Goldwater in History" (Hofstadter, The New York Review of Books, October 1964): @
* "Richard Hofstadter: A Reading List" (New York Times, 2006): @
* "Why Richard Hofstadter is Still Worth Reading but Not for the Reasons the Critics Have in Mind" (Jon Weiner, University of California, Irvine, 2006): @
* "Richard Hofstadter: An Intellectual Biography" (David S. Brown, 2006): @ 

10.30.2014

Friday, October 30, 1964: Buffalo wings


Buffalo chicken wings are divided into two pieces (the wingtips discarded), then fried and coated with a mild, oil-based hot sauce; and served with blue cheese dressing and celery sticks. They were invented by Teressa Bellissimo October 30, 1964, at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York ... No food origin story is ever simple, and even this recent and well-recorded event has three versions: 1. The wings were a spontaneous snack for Bellissimo's son Frank and friends; 2. The wings were a Friday-midnight inspiration for Catholic customers who had not had meat all day; 3. The wings had been delivered in error instead of necks and backs for spaghetti sauce or stock, and were salvaged as appetizers.
     -- Image from Anchor Bar menu

* Anchor Bar website: @
* Entry from "Atlas of Popular Culture in the Northeastern United States" (click on "Buffalo Wings"): @
* Entry from "The Story Behind the Dish: Classic American Foods" (Mark McWilliams, 2002): @
* Entry from "Frommer's 500 Places for Food and Wine Lovers" (Holly Hughes, 2009): @
* "An Attempt to Compile a Short History of the Buffalo Chicken Wing" (Calvin Trillin, The New Yorker, August 1980): @ 

10.28.2014

Wednesday-Thursday, October 28-29, 1964: 'T.A.M.I. Show'



Filmed over two days at the Santa Monica (Calif.) Civic Auditorium, "The T.A.M.I. Show" (short for  Teenage Awards Music International or Teen Age Music International) featured some of the biggest stars in rock and pop music, including The Rolling Stones, James Brown and the Flames, The Supremes, The Beach Boys and Lesley Gore. It was released in theaters in December 1964.

* Movie trailer: @
* Summary from New York Times: @
* "14 Things You Didn't Know About Epic Rock Doc The T.A.M.I. Show" (Esquire magazine, 2014): @
* "The Rock Concert That Captured an Era" (Smithsonian magazine, 2010): @
* "The T.A.M.I. Show: A Groundbreaking '60s Concert" (NPR, 2010): @
* "DVD Review: The T.A.M.I. Show" (PopDose, 2010): @
* "The TAMI Show Remembered on Its 40th Anniversary" (Stephen Rosen, Indiewire, 2004): @
* "TAMI, Electronovision's Latest, Gets N.Y. Showing" (Billboard magazine, November 21, 1964): @

10.27.2014

Tuesday, October 27, 1964: 'A Time for Choosing'



On October 27, 1964, future president Ronald Reagan delivered a 30-minute television campaign speech for Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater. Later titled the "A Time for Choosing" speech, it raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Goldwater campaign and helped launch Reagan's political career.
     -- Summary by C-SPAN
Note: The speech, televised by NBC, had been taped a week earlier and was more a reflection of Reagan's own political views than it was an explicit endorsement of Goldwater. Estimates of how much money it raised vary widely, with some saying it ran into the millions.

* Watch the speech (video from Reagan Foundation): @
* Transcript (Reagan Foundation): @
* "Why Ronald Reagan's 'A Time for Choosing' endures after all this time" (Stephen F. Hayward, for The Washingon Post, October 2013): @
* "Ronald Reagan and 'A Time for Choosing' " (Los Angeles Times, February 2011): @
* "The Myth of Reagan's GOP convention speech in 1964" (National Constitution Center): @
* "Rendevous with Destiny" (from GE): @
* Excerpt from "The Right Moment: Ronald Reagan's First Victory and the Decisive Turning Point in American Politics" (Matthew Dallek, 2000): @

10.22.2014

Thursday, October 22, 1964: 'Choice'



Supporters of Senator Barry Goldwater have produced a television film featuring semi-nude dancing girls, pornographyic magazine covers, street riots and a girl in a topless swim suit to show the "moral decay" of the nation since President Johnson took office. The film called Choice was reported to be the idea of Mothers for Moral America, a group backing the Republican Presidential candidate in the election campaign. ... The film will be shown jointly by the Mothers for Moral American and Citizens for Goldwater-Miller to the press at the national press club today. It is also due to be shown over a national television network today. (Full story: @)
     Note: "Choice" never aired. Goldwater himself repudiated the film once he saw it. 
     
-- Photo of newspaper clipping from CONELRAD (link below)

* Watch the film (video posted by CONELRAD): @
* "Goldwater Rejects Supporters' Film as 'Nothing but Racist' " (The Milwaukee Journal, October 22): @
* " 'Choice' (1964): The Scrapook" (CONELRAD; includes links to related entries): @
* "Barry Goldwater's Mothers for Moral America" (CONELRAD): @
* "The First Days of the Loaded Political Image" (New York Times, September 1996): @
* Excerpt from "Packaging the Presidency: A History and Criticism of Presidential Campaign Advertising" (Kathleen Hall Jamieson, 1996; begins on page 212): @
* Excerpt from "A Glorious Disaster: Barry Goldwater's Presidential Campaign and the Origins of the Conservative Movement" (J. William Middendorf II): @
* Excerpt from "Mothers of Conservatism: Women and the Postwar Right" (Michelle M. Nickerson, 2012): @
* Excerpt from "Barry Goldwater and the Remaking of American Political Landscape" (2013): @ 

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