Baby Boomer Chronicles (BBC) 1960’s TV: the Creative and the Corny- Introduction

When we watch current television entertainment today, each of the networks are in a race to see who can lace more of their dramatic programming dialogue with adult language, words that are not the most coarse, but language not generally used in polite company. The programs deal with more adult themes and are filled with violent images. I don’t know if I like seeing decapitated heads or bullet ridden bodies each week. Don’t get me wrong, these shows are well done, but they are hard hitting and quite graphic. But this is now, then, the 1960’s, television was different and much more innocent by whatever standards you wish to use. Let’s go back to a time and have a little fun when TV was more fun, if not considered ‘corny’ today.

Madison Avenue must have been working overtime in those days. Cigarette advertising was overwhelming and many of the jingles for certain brands stuck with you, they did me, anyway, to this very day.

“Winston tastes good like a cigarette should”

(The Flintstones even got into the act, see this video)

“Come up; come all the way up to Kool”. This little penguin was the product icon.

“You can take Salem out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of Salem”

We cannot forget that during this period the women movement came into vogue. Now they had a brand of cigarettes directed at them,” Virginia Slims”

Who can forget the Benson and Hedges commercial with the foot long cigarette that the smoker always caught in elevators when the doors closed.

The Flinstones get into the act

TV was not so much a window on the world but more of the world as viewed from a carnival funhouse mirror. It was ‘us’ and the world as we wanted to see them, which had nothing to do with reality. This was a turbulent decade and none of that was reflected in television programming until the last year or two of the decade.

Growing up during this time, there were a lot of television programs available but from a child perspective there were some that I would not miss and there were others that I found corny even during the time they were on the air. In this series of articles I will address these programs from a child’s eye, lending adult commentary when appropriate. I have made my evaluation based on the way I saw the programs during that time and not as an adult.

This is the first in a series of three or four articles. For many of us, this is nostalgic. If you are too young to have been involved, come along for the ride anyway.

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6 comments

poorconservative1 profile image

poorconservative1 5 years ago

Fantastic, absolutely fantastic. That was very nostalgic and I enjoyed it, Thank you. Being someone that was born in the sixties and growing up in a household with a liberal mother and a blue dog father and being introduced to television at a very young age (my mother used to use it as a baby sitter, I am a first generation Sesame Street watcher, by the way did anyone ever tell those kids how to get to Sesame Street? LOL) it's nice to see that those times are not completely forgotten. Even though it was a time that many staunch conservatives would love to forget. But not I. It was a very turbulent time for our country but I honestly believe that it was a necessary part of our growth as a nation. And even though, looking back, I disagree with some of the political decisions that were made (Lyndon B. Johnson and his war on poverty crap in particular) I wouldn't change it, even if I could. But to be completely honest the sixties are a little bit vague for me, being born in 1963 a mere one month and nine days after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. I do remember some but not a great deal about that era. But I do remember the aftermath of the sixties. The 1970s. I remember the resignation of Richard M. Nixon, I remember parents complaining about rock & roll music (Led Zeppelin in particular) and I remember that the bicentennial was upon us. But that was another era. Sorry I tend to ramble or 'ramble on' as Led Zeppelin sang. But like I said, I enjoyed that Thank you I voted this Hub Up.

Chuck


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 5 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Hi, Chuck, thanks for your response. I had a conservative workmate while working for the feds in Colorado and we always debated. he said that the sixties where anathema and he wished that they never happened. But I told him that they had to happened there were boiling pots of unsettled issues that lie beneath the veneer of peace, harmony and prosperity associated with the fifties. Structural inequities in society, civil rights-how long did you think people were going to continue sitting in the back of the bus or not be allowed to vote? Only 'parents' did not like Led Zepplelin. I read earlier in one of your articles that it is natural and inevitable that life would not be fair. But in the interests of maintaining the system longer, everyone needs to compete in the game with as much an equal amount of chips as possible. We certainly do wish to have the kind of discontent we see in Egypt or Libya, when too much of the wealth is in the hands of too few. You got me ramblin' now. Thanks for the comments, we will talk again.


Justsilvie 5 years ago

You really are taking me down memory lane! The sixties were turbulent and exciting when you look back, they world changed in a major way during that decade or maybe everyone feels like that about their teenage years.

My memories are so lucid about that period. I remember earning 50 cents an hour babysitting, 25 cent gas, 50 cent cigarettes (we all thought we were cool and you had to be cool, so you tried it) my first kiss (Max as he was leaving for Vietnam) my first REAL date (that meant he had a car), the music and dancing until we dropped.

Going steady and wearing someone’s High school ring on a chain around your neck or their letterman jacket, (if their mom did not throw a fit).

Thinking Ozzie and Harriet and the Donna Reed Show was an example of the perfect American family.

Integrated School! We Army Brats were years ahead on this one. The WAR and my dad reminding me I was a daughter of a soldier when I told him what I thought.

Ooooppp sorry did not mean to write a Hub. Anyways you really should keep writing on this subject! You do it so well.

P.S. My dad made us watch the Flintstones every week. He loved Fred.


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 5 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Justsilvie, we remember a time when everybody that was anybody smoked. Its almost 50 years and we have had a sea change in attitudes. I am proud to have been a part of this tumultuous period in history and can tell my progeny about it. Yeah, I remember baby sitting for 50 cents an hour, the hi-fi sets, the 45 rpm records. 'Going steady'? Haven't heard that in a long time! The sixties had a lot of those 'perfect family' shows representing an America that was more cohesive. Even the 'Munsters' were an all American family. Check out my take on the corniest shows and see if they do not tickle your funny bone.. Thanks for the compliment, I have been told be many that I have a fixation with the past, but it is so interesting to watch things change before your eyes. How quickly we forget.

Your dad made you watch the Flintstones? That was primetime on ABC during the middle 1960's. Fred represented everyman, an animated Ralph Kramden. He was squarely part of the working class right down to his lunch bucket. Remember Fred's job at the rock quarry? The sanctity of the family was the overriding theme of these programs. Thanks for your comments and look forward to seeing to speaking with you again. Cred2


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 5 years ago from North Carolina

Cred2, 'I'd walk a mile for a Camel' could be I'd walk a mile to read this awesome series the 'Baby Boomer Chronicles' Your thought, 'TV was not so much a window on the world but more of the world as viewed from a carnival fun house mirror' is the best description I've ever read about it. Those were the TV days from The Little Rascals and Tarzan on Saturday, to Shock Theater on at 11:30 every Friday night. And the sit-coms were the epitome of imaginative fun. On and on. Thanks for bringing the memories to it here again on the HP.


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 5 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Alastar, thanks for the comment. That Camel slogan goes back a long time. I am glad that we are able to share the fun and good times. See you around the Hub, Cred2

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