Baby Boomer Chronicles (BBC): 1965

So for those of you that were around and conscious in 1965, what were you doing? Think hard and without going to Wikipedia, try to recall what events you remember.

I saw the inauguration of Lyndon Baines Johnson in January, 1965. It was all the more exciting as we watched this on our first color television set. It was a used model, 5 years old at the time and by today’s standards the color quality was atrocious. Green faces and purple shadows, constant adjusting of the fine tuning and “rabbit ears” that was ever so delicate. I did not have a great deal to say at the time about the event. I knew that my parents did not care for Barry Goldwater and I was pleased that things worked out the way that they wanted. I was vividly aware of the February, 1965 assassination of Malcolm X. My Mom kept copies of the ethnic Ebony and Jet magazines on the coffee table. Because of these magazines, I learned about the death of Nat King Cole early that year. Then there was the “walk in space” of Gemini Program astronaut, Ed White, that year, which mesmerized us all and stirred my interest in space travel. Motown was on the move and the British Invasion was taking hold on the music scene. We were crazy enough to buy one of those snap on screens that claimed that it would take a monochrome television set and make it show colors. The siblings and I would always argue about who was going to watch their programs on the color set rather than the black and white table model. When father settled it for us, he always said, when referring to the monochrome set, you still have two colors, black and white. Well there is my recap, what do you remember?

Here a couple of songs that got my attention, there were of course many more. The videos get my attention; hopefully you will enjoy them as well.

The video below from the Four Tops got my attention because of the superb quality of this that was obviously done so long ago. If you can look carefully you can see what the best dressed teens were wearing in about 1966, when this was recorded. The song was still one from 1965.

It's the Same Old Song by The Four Tops

This video, while the quality leaves much to be desired, was of a great song with so much energy. This snippet came from the ancient popular music variety show “Hullabaloo”. Check out that crazy girl in the cage above

It's Just Like Me by Paul Revere and the Raiders

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Comments 18 comments

Borsia profile image

Borsia 5 years ago from Currently, Philippines

Well Credence I predate you a bit so I remember exactly where I was sitting in my 3rd grade classroom and exactly what my much loved teacher was teaching us about (fractions) when the office runner called her out of class.

She returned a few minutes absolutely bawling her eyes out and had to sit down for a few minutes before she announced the assassination of JFK.

I remember my grandmother telling me that nothing good was going to come from LBJ. It wasn’t long after that he launched the insane Vietnam “police action”. It turns out that she hit it on the head with that prediction. I remember her saying “I told you so” when we found out that he was raiding Social Security to hide the cost of that war.

As for music I remember Ally Oop, El Paso, King of the Road and a number of others. The first record I ever bought was “The Lonely Bull” by Herb Alfred and the Tijuana Brass. Who could forget the “itsy bitsy tiny weenie yellow polka dot bikini” or the Flying Purple People Eater.

I used to sing 16 Tons to myself quite often.

I remember kids in school actually getting into fights about who was better; the Beatles or the Stones (of course I knew it was the Stones by a landslide).

We heard the Mo Town sounds and I loved Chuck Berry and Little Richard along with many others. But where I lived it was a balance between the British and the surf sounds, like the Beach Boys.

Credence2 profile image

Credence2 5 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Hi, Borsia, going back to November 22, 1963, I was in the 4th grade, we got the news from our gym teacher while we were eating lunch in the elementary school cafeteria. Me and a group of kids at the table looked at her in disbelief. I will bet you that no one alive and aware at that date and time did not remember where they were when they got the news. I had a birthday on the 24th, so much for the cake and ice-cream.

AS for LBJ, my father was terrified that as a southerner and Texan, he would recind all of JFK's initiatives in the civil rights arena. We were all pleasantly surprised as Lyndon had a quest to out-Kennedy Kennedy.

A Taste of Honey, that was 1965, if I recall, Herb Alpert and the Brass was certainly among the most memorable of groups during the period. I have collected a chronological pop series from Time Life Music that I stay adore.

The Stones were always better, and after the Beatles are probably the most successful rock band ever. The Beatles was bubble gum in comparison.

I was amiss in not bringing in the "California Sound" represented by groups like the Beach Boys and Jan and Dean. I will put a neat live video of Jan and Dean performing the "Little Old Lady from Pasadena in my next tribute to the year 1964. I hope that you will drop by and share a memory or two at the time. Happy Holidays.

Auntie D profile image

Auntie D 5 years ago from California

In 1963 I was a mom with two small children and working my way through beauty school with my best friend taking care of them while during the day. JFK's death shocked everyone for days. By 1965 my husband and I had purchased 4 small houses and we spent whatever free hours we had working on them. Didn't have much free time but Herb Alpert was played often and we had all of his records. Nat King Cole was always a favorite, he was just soothing to listen to. I do remember Ally Oop so I guess I listened to music more than I remember but preferred "quiet" and my favorite was Johnny Mathis.

Credence2 profile image

Credence2 5 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Hi, Auntie, thanks for visiting. Yes, indeed, I do lament for the "old music". Nat King Cole was gifted with a one of kind voice. When you think of it, it has been almost half a century. Who would believe it. If you or I were living 50 years ago having this same conversation, we would be reminiscing about 1914....

GA Anderson profile image

GA Anderson 5 years ago from USA

@credence2 - fantastic idea for an article - really brought back some memories. Thanks

Oh yes, I remember Hullabaloo. We even has an under-21 club by that name in our small town, well not too small. But it had the block pedestals for dancers, colored lights and all

I owe you one for these few minutes of reminiscing.


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 5 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

GA, thanks for dropping by. Your comments will be my encouragement to continue the series.

Do you remember Shindig, a competing networks answer to Hullabaloo?

Again thanks for the kudos, I have figure will it be 1966 or 1964 that will be next....

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Justsilvie 5 years ago

I love your BBC Hubs, Creed,

In 1965, I was 13 and in Junior High School. My dad was stationed at Fort Hood Texas and I spent the summer at the NCO Club swimming pool were the juke box played songs that are still my favorites. The Rolling Stones, "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" was number one that year and it is on my mp3 players now too as is another top ten hit for that year The Temptations, "My Girl". I heard my first protest song. By Barry McGuire “Eve of Destruction” and I had a crush on a young GI named Max I met at the skating rink who gave me my first real kiss as he said Goodbye on his way to Vietnam.

I remember having friends who were all in the same boat as I. Being army brats we always faced the situation that our dads would get orders for Vietnam and sometimes the older brothers of our friends.

In fact most the young guys hanging out at the skating rink on the weekends were headed there. My dad of course thought these 18 year old were too old for me and I was not allowed to date yet, but teenagers always manage to stretch the rules somehow. They were really not so much older and still boys, not men. I am sure some of them did not come back, some that did are now living in the streets ignored by the politicians and the country they served and others living with the memories that no 18 year old should have to deal with. These boys probably helped form my views of war and politics as an adult.

I remember my teachers at school. Especially Mrs. Reese who never managed to get her hair put up right and always looked like she had dressed on the run, but was the best teacher I ever had and taught me what being an individual was and increased my love for reading and writing.

In fact I could probably fill up pages now that you have set the memory lose, but I will close and say “Enjoyed your hub very much” and I wish you and your wife A merry Christmas and a Happy and health 2012.

Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 5 years ago from North Carolina

Great year but not alot of memories for 1965 being a wee lad, although I do remember some songs and a trip with the folks to New York World's Fair...was that in '65 Cred? Anyway the songs are: I Got You Babe, Satisfaction, and all the Byrds hits. Happy Christmas time Cred! Maybe it'll snow in Hawaii for you with all the funny weather lately. Just rain here but still in the spirit!

Credence2 profile image

Credence2 5 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Hi, Justsilvie, thanks for reading and commenting. I hope that everything is kosher in your new home and that you are getting settled in to enjoy your retirement.

You were a little older than I at that time, but we are not too far apart. Weren't the Stones the greatest? I still think that they were the greatest rock band of the decade, hands down. Mick is still out doing performances from what I hear. All during the summer of 1965 the song "Satisfaction" was on the radio. My spouse still plays "Eve of Destruction', so I have heard that song within the last week. Ah, to be 13 again, life was so much simpler, so it appeared, back then.

You were in the thick of things, in the midst of a on going war where much of the protest was to occur 2 to 3 years later, but the seeds have been sown. We all know that boys mature more slowly. At 17 attending the Air Force Academy Preparatory school in Colorado Springs, most of us did not rate girls much older than 15. So, yeah, I remember. I am pleased that you made the detour to visit me at BBC and I will look forward to your visit in the future. Happy holidays and a prosperous 2012 to you and the family, as well. Cred2

Credence2 profile image

Credence2 5 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Hey, Alastar, thanks for coming by, I knew that you would not miss the party.

Without looking it up, I believe the Worlds Fair in New York was started in 1964. It must have been quite an experience for a young fellow. Sonny and Cher and all the rest, it was a great year for music. Thanks for your inspiration, I am going to carry on with the series.

Not to rub it in Alastar, but we do not have any snow in the forecast, but it has been raining cats and dogs. The nights are still in the mid sixties and I have not had to close anything up. After a year out here it has already become difficult to relate to Winter, but no worries. It is here for you if you ever decide to come out. Happy Holidays and a prosperous 2012 to you


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Great memories musically. And my family went to the World's Fair on the way to Athens Greece where we spent the next three years. My father was Air Force and stationed at a base there. Best deployment ever. No TV access for three years, so music was everything. :)

Credence2 profile image

Credence2 5 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Hi, phdast7, weren't them the days? Has it been so long? The music defined the times. I am glad that you chose to walk down this bit of memory lane with us and hope to see you again... Cred2

feenix profile image

feenix 5 years ago

Hello, Credence2,

In October, 1965, I was a 19-year-old South-Central L.A. "Low Rider" and gang member who got drafted into the United States Army.

I was a real hip young dude back then who had a whole lot of heart, and that is one of the primary reasons why today, I am not a weak-ass little liberal punk who is madly in love with a chump like Barack Obama.

Credence2 profile image

Credence2 5 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Feenix, Glad you enjoyed coming by, I am glad that I did not turn out to be a brooding rightwing ditto head that needs to get back on the wagon or get back on the battery of medications. Intelligence trumps bravado, everytime! May the Saints be praised!

feenix profile image

feenix 5 years ago

Hello, Credence2,

Yeah, I am afflicted with some very serious psychological and emotional disorders, and I was addicted to alcohol and street drugs for many years.

And the reason why all of that is the case is opposite of the ways in which a whole lot of soft little dudes have conducted their lives, I always went way out on limbs -- for God and my country -- that ended up breaking off from the tree.

And so far as all of the medications that I have to take today to deal with my PTSD and so forth, I wear that as a badge of honor.

So, yes, I am all F'd up and I earned it.

Credence2 profile image

Credence2 5 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

I hear you feenix, but am I bad and lily livered because I avoided it? Many of us "soft dudes" have attained to success without the pain and the lessons associated with your experience, is that not preferable? I can't compare with your record of service, but there was no guarantee that during my time of miliary service that I would not have beencalled to duty in the same way. I am glad and smart to have avoided life's land mines, not soft. Your badge of honor is well earned, but not a reason to hold everybody else in contempt.

This is supposed to be a 'fun' hub, so have a little fun already!

feenix profile image

feenix 5 years ago

Hey, Cred,

I agree with everything you said. And because I am well aware of what the military is all about, I know that each spoke in the wheel is just as important as each one of the others. In other words, an infantry troop like I was is not on a higher plain than someone who serves way back in the rear.

And I apologize for getting carried away because you are exactly right -- this is, in fact, a fun hub.

Oftentimes, I have to remind myself to lighten up.

Credence2 profile image

Credence2 5 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Feenix, thanks for taking the time to come by and clear this up. Your apology is most graciously accepted.


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