I’ve always been a fan of the Moody Blues, but to be honest, I’ve never understood what the title of that album meant. However, I do believe it might be an apt title of this post because I have a tendency to think a lot, reflect a lot and and that usually ends up with me writing a lot of letters of apology for sins committed some 36 years after the fact. I remember contemplating what life would be like as I turned 50. And here I am, at the precipace of the half century mark and realizing it wasn’t at all how I had mentally constructed it all those decades ago.
My life is a melange of things. That’s no different than anyone else, I suppose but if you’ll induge me in this brief introspection (you only have 25 days left to ride this age focused, angst ridden storm out, Kids!!) I think of my youth and it all centers around the age of ten through mid-way 14. That was before life got so incredibly complicated and as a result, I cherish those carefree days. My past, with it being so focused on that particular era of my life, in is enrexorably connected to my life long friend, Cheryl and my sister, Karol.
And then there was the music.
AM radio was all we had back then and TV wise, we only got three channels–four if you included PBS, which we rarely did. We watched everythingl the intro, plot, conflicts–all that man versus man stuff–and we even knew the credits.
Bing Crosby Productions was at the helm of “Hogan’s Heroes”.
William Asher (who would later direct his wife, Elizabeth Montgomery in “Bewitched”) sat in a canvass chair in a beret, jodhpur, with a megaphone in hand on the set of “I Love Lucy”.
Wilbur Hatch conducted the Desi Arnaz Orchestra.
Color was by Deluxe; cinematograpy was handled by Karl Fruend and and of course, le San du Cosmetique, Max ‘By God’ Factor applied make up to the entire “Lucy” cast, including Bill Frawley…and that took some doing. You know, Willie was in the throws of abject acholohism when he co-starred in that iconic sit-com. Every once in a while, if you look down at “Fred’s” hands, you can see him battling the DTs. I’m talking real Hugh Beaumont caliber of shakes. He’d try to cover them up by placing his hands in his trouser pockets. You could still see the tremors through the pants. Well, it was either that or he was feeling cocky all day!!!!!
But I digress…
What I’m getting at is the fact that the years 1968 through the first half of 1973 are 24k gilded nemories for me. Memories keep us young and that said, I’m about to lay on you a Fountain of Youth via the written word and with video.
Karol is just under four years older than me. In The Glory Days, we used to do what the kid’s today call ‘hanging out”. As a reminder, we grew up in Small Town, Texas. We road around a lot. OPEC adored us. We’d get in Karol’s old 61 touquoise Dodge Dart, aptly named “Eunice”. We’d drive by people’s houses and honk madly. A couple of honks for a friend, multiple honks for best friends…..abject squealing and long, olfactory numbing horn blasts for boyfriends.
Although my father owned a successful Chrysler dealership, Pater always insisted that our first cars were older models. Much older models. Karol’s first horseless carriage had push button gears and a black painted metal dashboard that everyone scratched their names upon. Those unfamiliar with Eunice, or Karol or strange Kendrick ways, would get in the car and swear the car was named “Henry Gilley”.
We wore a lot of Hang Ten shirts, the early 70’s adolescent version of the Izod and inspired by the Bunch Brady.
We’d keep on, keep on, keep on wearing them all the time. Remember Hang Ten clothing with the embroidered feet?
Karol and I loved Hang Ten. We had shirts, pants; pant suits with button flies that looked like hands. We thought we were styling; real small town haute couture. We’d often don our Hang 2-Fives while watching Saturday morning cartoons.
Don’t EVEN try to lie about this, Karol! You know it’s true.
The intro to the Hardy Boys Show. Karol and I really dug the vest wearing, blond Hitler Youth lookin’ one.
This most memorable “Peter Pan Peanut Butter” commercial from 1972 features Her Majesty, Alan Suess. If you remember, he was the ascot wearing cast member on “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In”.
Way out, Daddy!
This Christmas commercial from 1971, features bubbly. It brings back bittersweet memories for my sister and me.
Yeah….booze…hooch….firewater…sauce. Sweet Lady Liver Killer.
Now, this golden moldy oldie is from 1965 and frankly, I can’t believe I found the intro on You Tube.
I was six and a big fan of the show, “Shenanigans”, a Saturday morning game show for kids. I even had the board game and all I remember is the theme song from this show and that the board game consisted of an obstacle course of sorts. It had a tiddly wink section you had win because if you didn’t you couldn’t progress , you wouldn’t win all the ‘shenanegans”, whatever those were. That part of the game was called Pie In The Sky.
“Shenanigans” was hosted by veteran star of stage and screen, a one Mr. Stubby Kaye. Picture him as a mid century Jack Black, only more Jewish.
This also goes way back and if anyone else remembers this Saturday morning show, I’ll force Karol to eat her hat. It’s “The Double Deckers”, which featured a bunch of kids in London who hung out in this old double decker bus in a lot or something. I think they solved crimes, or debated the subtext of the book, “Silas Marner” or argued the pros and cons of voting Labour vs. Conservative.
It was a politically correct show for the radical Sixties. It had a token Black child and the requisite Nerd King who was pudgy, wore glasses, smarter than everyone else, who’s play clothes consisted of britches (of an almost Fauntlerian style), a startched, button down shirt and a bow tie.
I’ll bet he hated gym class.
Remember “Love American Style” where ugly old cats like Milton Berle could mug it up with 60’s B-List actresses like Rosemary DeCamp?
The Cowsills sang the intro one year and then they were replaced with the Doodle Town Pipers or some shit.
I loved “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour”. This clip contains short clips and mostly vintage commercials from the late 60’s. Look carefully at the tux wearing men in the beginning. You’ll see a very young and very brunette Steve Martin along with Grammy Award winning composer Mason Williams. The big and tall hulking guy is “Super Dave Osborne”. All three were writers for the show.
Enjoy the commercials. You’ll be amazed at what the brain trusts on what Madison Avenue considered advertising in the 60’s. Signs of the times, I guess.
Here’s one you’ll remember. This commercial won all kinds of awards for it’s presentation. Remember the Gulf No-Kocks gasoline commercial? Crude? Yes. Archaic looking? Indubitively. Cutting edge for it’s time? Definitely. Animators used “stop motion” photography to make it look as though Gulf gulping commuters were all butt propelled.
THEE MOST obnoxious commercial ever produced:
Here’s one trippy, trippy floor wax commercial:
This takes me back. Animated ass and all!!!!
Candy coated popcorn, peanuts and a prize:
Rest in peace, Jack Gillford.
Coke….classic commercial. Dig it!
Tonight, on the ABC Movie of the WEEK:
We’ve Got To Get It On Again. I’ve been saying that since the summer of ’72
The Addrissi Brothers also sang the intro to “Nanny and The Professor”
I cannot account for the slow speed of this version. I guess it was from the album, “The Addrissi Brothers: The Quaalude Years”.
Don’t bother listening. It made me tired.
This one will take you back:
Well kids, that’ll do it for this traipse down Memory Lane. I’ll be back later with more commercials and TV intros. And providing you kept your High School and college Ousley’s to a minimum, you might even remember some of them.
In the meantime, I’m off to commune with Morpheus. My Gerital has run it’s course and my Sominex is kicking in.
Safe and restful sleep….sleep….sleep.