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Baby Boomer Chronicles (BBC): 1964

Updated on November 16, 2012

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.


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    • Credence2 profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

      Hi, Sunshine, this has been a strange day of coincidences, I met with a fellow that attended my Denver area high school and I meet with you. We just moved to the Space Coast area of Florida within the last 4 months and I see that you are a neighbor. Thanks for reading, lets have a little fun going to and fro down memory lane. You still are a 'baby boomer' so that makes a native.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Great layout for your blast from the past hubs! I was just a year old so I have no memories of 1964, but I continue to feel sad for the assassination of JFK.

    • Credence2 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

      Hi, Chris, sorry you missed out on the fun. Thanks for coming to the party. It truly was another world, and from the perspective of a youngster, a simpler one. You have always a standing invitation to drop by, say hello and share our reminiscing of times past. Regards Cred2

    • Credence2 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

      Thanks for clearing that up, JT. Oh, yes the eonomy is more akin to 1939 than 1964, when we all were doing pretty well. Best regards, Cred2

    • CMerritt profile image

      Chris Merritt 

      7 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

      Credence, I was only four at that time, but I can relate to everything you wrote about...

      This is a fun hub, I love to look back on those seems as if it was a completly different world then.

      I vote up and across the board on this one.


    • JT Walters profile image

      JT Walters 

      7 years ago from Florida

      Hi Cred2,

      1939 economically looks very much like 2011 and not 1964. There was also a tremmendous amount of opportunity in 1964 and there is none now. We are supposedly leaving a war and in 1964 Vietnam was just getting fired up. The war protests were alive and well where peaceful protestors are getting pepper sprayed now. The clothes were cooler. The music was better and there wasn't this entire class seperation between the wealthy and the poor. 2011 is much more like 1939 then 2011 with all the political uncertainity. It also reminds me of 1900 as well.

      Happy New Year Cred2.


    • Credence2 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

      Hi, FJ, it is nice to see you again. I trust that you are enjoying the holiday season...

      I am with you, I feel sorry for the kids. Everybody has to grow up so fast. My parents were more likely to tan your hide with Benjamin Spock's child rearing book than to read it. My father had an adage next to the strap that he frequently used, "a hard head made for a soft behind" Media today is ubiquitous, even 10 years olds have cell phones. Iknow that I got 'brained' if I was using the phone without permission. It is hard to shelter children from so much of the harsh reality outside and they have so little precious time to be children and have a childhood. Once We are adults, most of us look fondly upon childhood and subconsciously try to return to it, with its less responsibility and anxieties. But, I will say that retirement is almost the next best thing.

      Jim, Best wishes for a prosperous 2012

    • Credence2 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

      Hi, JT, it is ok if you missed the boat the first time, we have docked again and welcome you aboard. Thanks for reading and commenting. I am curious though, how are we more like 1939 today, when compared with 1964?


    • FitnezzJim profile image


      7 years ago from Fredericksburg, Virginia

      I remember the last two songs but not the commercial, which is odd since I do remember the day Kennedy was shot.

      I noted the contrast between 'children are to be seen and not heard' which was taught universally back then (or so it seemed to me) and the new teachings of today, where children are supposed to re-educate their parents.

      Seems sad to me, But I'm willing to bet the children are all for it.

    • JT Walters profile image

      JT Walters 

      7 years ago from Florida


      Wasn't around in 1964 but I enjoyed the article. Unfortunatley it is more like 1939 in this country then 1964.

      Thanks for sharing that era with someone who was not priviledged enough to enjoy it.

      Always wonderful to read you my friend.


    • Credence2 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

      Hi, Uninvited Writer, thanks for the visit, of course it goes without saying that you "belong". Little Children had a melody that stuck with you and reminded me so much of the relative simplicity of our times and the world around us. I am looking forward to your next visit..


    • Uninvited Writer profile image

      Susan Keeping 

      7 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

      Little Children was a big favourite of mine as a kid. I was born in 1956 so am right in the middle of the BBC :)

    • Credence2 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

      Hi, Alastar, thanks for droppin in. I remember all of the Outer Limits episodes, it used to come on Friday nights on ABC. It always scared the living $#%# out me when I was a kid. I would always wonder if there were aliens hiding in the lint in the corner of the room. I am glad that you enjoyed the ride. As always, visit again.

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Cred. Indeed that daisy ad swung the election to LBJ. 1964 is the year I remember the Beatles even being a little fella. Loved the Outer Limits too. Do you remember the episode with the space ants that had human heads? Anyways, thanks for the trip back with another great BBC!


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