Monday, April 20, 2020

1960 or Thereabouts: Celebrating 60 Years

Cathy's Clown, Released in April, 1960 by The Everly Brothers goes to #1 for 5 weeks on the Billboard Top 100
In 1960 -
The Beatles, 1960
  • The Beatles make their debut under this name in Hamburg, Germany, beginning a 48-night residency at the Indra club. The band at the time comprises John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Stu Sutcliffe on bass and Pete Best on drums.
  • In Greensboro, North Carolina, four black students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University begin a sit-in at a segregated Woolworth's lunch counter. Although they are refused service, they are allowed to stay at the counter. The event triggers many similar non-violent protests throughout the Southern United States, and six months later, the original four protesters are served lunch at the same counter.
  • Elvis Presley returns home from Germany to the United States, after being away on military duty for 2 years.
  • Several Soviet surface-to-air missiles shoot down an American Lockheed U-2 spy plane. Its pilot, Francis Gary Powers of the Central Intelligence Agency, is captured.
  • The Flintstones, My Three Sons, The Andy Griffith Show, Route 66, and The Bugs Bunny Show aired their first season.
  • Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev pounds his shoe on a table at a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, his way of protesting the discussion of the Soviet Union's policies toward Eastern Europe.
  • For the first time, Mary Martin's Peter Pan is presented as a stand-alone 2-hour special on NBC, instead of as part of an anthology series. This version, rather than being presented live, is shown on videotape, enabling NBC to repeat it as often as they wish without having to restage it. Although nearly all of the adult actors repeat their original Broadway roles, all of the original children have, ironically, outgrown their roles and are replaced by new actors.
  • 1960 United States presidential election: In a close race, Democratic U. S. Senator John F. Kennedy is elected over Republican U. S. Vice President Richard Nixon, to become (at 43) the second youngest man to serve as President of the United States, and the youngest man elected to this position.
  • 14-year-old Neil Young forms his first band in Junior High, The Jades in Winnipeg, Canada. Source: Various Wikipedia articles

Fern McIntosh, Sunday School Teacher
(in front of the window) Grace Baptist Church, 1959
In 1960, I was five years old and at that time probably didn't know any of the songs on the playlist this week as my primary exposure to music was pretty much a Baptist church gathering, starting with...
Jesus loves me this I know
For the Bible tells me so
Little ones to Him belong
They are weak but He is strong

I do remember a firecracker redhead kid who moved to Santa Maria in 1960 named Billy DeVoe who routinely disrupted my Sunday school class pretty much from kindergarten through high school. I am thankful that a strong Jesus did in fact bring us together as we remain best friends some sixty years down the road.

Doug & Bill - The College Years
However since our college years, we have both come to doubt the fantastical stories and religious fervor that attracted a good number of adult odd-balls and goof-balls from our town to congregate. As adults ourselves, we would never socially mix with such a fearful and loathing group of people lead by Franklin Graham-like ministers, including a string of creepy youth/music ministers who probably turned a good number of our peers around to end up playing for the agnostic team. My disruptive friend was in fact the only 'normal' thing I took from that place. By the way, who in their right mind would sit in those extremely hard pews for hours at a time, listening to a guy who believes three guys are thrown into a large fiery furnace and are just walking around inside the furnaceI believe in miracles/ where you from/ you sexy thing...

My other thoughts about 1960 or thereabouts take me back to 300 West Sunset in Santa Maria, CA. Specifically, the time my dad started digging a six foot hole and trench from inside of our house in the hallway heater closet, to underneath the middle of the living room. Now before you make the leap that my dad was bat-shit crazy, let me provide a little context. 

Steve and Stephanie
with their brother
(dad was the barber too
for the boys haircuts)
In talking with my mother and younger (twin) brother and sister this past week, we think it probably was more around 1962 because I would have been seven and the twins around five. This also is the timing of the Cuban Missile Crisis as one of our neighbors down the street had actually dug and built a bomb shelter underneath their front yard. Okay, now THAT DAD was bat-shit crazy, but my dad was just a Baptist.

In the early 60's, my dad climbed telephones poles for General Telephone Company and my mom was a housewife. They didn't have a lot of money when they bought the Sunset house for $13,500 in 1956, and later discovered the hot water leak underneath their concrete slab somewhere between 1960-62. I wish my dad were here to tell us the exact timeline, but he's eternally on a back nine foursome with the father, son and the holy ghost...

Buddy McIntosh
Anyway, my mom tells me the living room floor kept getting warmer and warmer and the hot water in the sinks and bathrooms were down to a trickle. There definitely was a hot water leak, and my dad without means to pay an expensive plumbing bill much less hire a lawyer, became a plumber. My dad could do anything, he could be a mechanic, carpenter or any general fix-it man depending on the breakdown. So my dad enlists my uncle's Skeet and Leslie, and they take out the heater and start digging this huge hole in our hallway and piling a mountain of dirt on a large army tarp in the backyard (thanks Steve for that specific dirt memory).

So what do you think the neighborhood was thinking, as my mom recalls, "word spread quickly."
"Bud's gone crazy! He's building a bomb shelter underneath his house!" 

Here's my outstanding memory of that event in time- I'm standing in the hallway looking down at my dad in the hole (with his head below ground level) and he's smiling up to me. The black and white TV is on in the living room with Dizzy Dean and Pee Wee Reese calling a baseball game, sponsored by Falstaff Beer. I love how Diz would turn to Pee Wee and call him, "podnuh."



The Playlist this week was a fun task of mixing 1960 pop, folk, R&B, country, jazz and new TV show themes all together in 60 songs. Some of these songs you'll recognize as 70's hits made famous as covers from these 1960 originals. Enjoy and stay well my friends.



Note - The Theme for Bonanza actually started as a TV show in 1959. Also in 1959, The Dave Brubeck Quartet's Take 5I just couldn't let those two not be part of this collection of songs. 

Wikipedia References - 

    No comments:

    Post a Comment

    For writing a hassle free comment quickly, choose Anonymous and then write your name at the end if you choose.