Baby Boomer Chronicles (BBC): 1964
Welcome back to the Baby Boomer Chronicles, the other BBC.
Who among you have vivid memories of 1964? Do you remember what was happening in your life at the time? Think hard and without going to Wikipedia, try to recall what events you remember.
In January, 1964, America was a nation still in mourning over the death of John Kennedy the previous November. For a kid in grade school, as with most children, everything was alive and vivid. I don’t know if they do this anymore, but Valentine’s Day was memorable. We would send these cards to our classmates with the little heart shaped candies with messages inscribed on them. You knew when any of the girls had a crush on you; they would give you a card. My father was a lightweight boxer and we listened intently to the radio that month while then Cassius Clay (now Mohammed Ali, had a boxing match in February against Sonny Liston.
Yes, I remember those long lazy days of summer. The last day for school before summer vacation was a bigger day than Christmas. Who can forget the Big Chief tablets and the cigar boxes where we kept all of our school supplies? How many of your remember when PBS (Public Broadcast System) was once called NET (National Educational Television)? Summers consisted of apple trees, bee stings and tree houses. Long before everybody got into a fit about air pollution, we regularly used our concrete incinerator in the back yard. February, 1964, saw the rise of those 4 mop top guys, The Beatles. They had more hits on the chart in the early part of that year. We all went around humming their melodies. My mom has always been so contemporary in her life. She kept that old vintage 1930’s radio in the basement tuned to 95 KIMN, Denver’s preeminent rock and roll station. I was terrified with TV programs like the “Outer Limits” and Boris Karloff’s “Thriller.”
Believe it or not, I distinctly remember the announcement of the death of General Douglas McArthur over the radio while the family was on a road trip. We went to the drive-in frequently so that Mom could catch the latest Elvis Presley film. In this case, it was the fun musical “Kissing Cousins”. Our idea of recreation was going to the Stapleton Airport and watching the take-off and landings of airplanes. The brooding sounds of “The Animals” caught my attention at the time. I also could not end the year without mentioning the death of Sam Cooke, who my mother was an avid fan of, in December of that year. While I did not pay a great deal of attention to the political contest between Barry Goldwater and Lyndon Johnson that year, I did remember this television political ad. Maybe many of you may have seen it when it was in vogue or sometime afterwards.
Lyndon Johnson 1964 Campaign Ad
Well, there is my recap, what do you remember?
Here is a link immediately below, with 100 top pop songs for the year. I am sure that you will find your “Bread and Butter”(The Newbeats, 1964).
This is a song, I guess I just liked, can’t explain why, I just did. This performance was televised in 1965, but I recall hearing it during the Spring and Summer of 1964.The video quality is quite stunning.
Little Children: Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas (1964)
I could not forget the “California Sound”. Here is a song performed by one of the greatest of its emissaries, Jan and Dean, as part of the Dean Martin Show also performed in 1965. Has it been so long, look how young they were. One of the guys sporting was sporting a skateboard, which was one of the fads of the time. I hope that you like this one, I always did. I apologize for the relatively small image.