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La Floridiana by Will Moriaty
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Part Two: Mid 1960's: 1964-1966

November 22, 1963:
In many ways the early sixties ended here and the mid and late sixties were born. This was the day that many American's dreams ended. The unbridled optimism of post World War Two America came crashing down to earth with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas. It was a time of lost innocence. Suddenly the technology that made post World War Two American's feel invulnerable made them felt exceptionally vulnerable as they witnessed a murder of the highest order on their TV screens. I remember well as an eight-year-old boy sitting with my sister in our Seven Corners, Virginia apartment and watching live TV of Jack Ruby shoot Lee Harvey Oswald dead.

Yes, the unbridled optimism of post World War Two was crashing and burning as race riots engulfed the nation as a result of over one hundred years of racial divide. War in Viet Nam was escalating. Piston aircraft were being replaced by faster, sleeker and more modern jets. Television sets were changing from black and white to color at a dizzying rate. The Cold War and Space Age still marched ahead relentlessly.

But November 22, 1963 happened.

Now Americans were looking less toward the stars and more toward themselves.


Rock N' Roll: The British Invasion, Garage Bands, Surf, Camp
No one singular event did more to change American and Free World popular culture more than the introduction of the Fab Four from Liverpool, England. They were the singular event that revitalized the relatively new form of popular music known as rock n roll. Once Beatlemania swept the country, fashion changed almost overnight. It was becoming obvious that this was the Big Band era generation's Waterloo. Almost overnight that greatest of American generations who endured the Great Depression and the Second World War found themselves passing the baton to their offspring, the Baby Boomers. Even wildly popular acts such as Elvis Presley, Fabian, and others from the 50's and 60's became passe overnight. Seemingly all boys wanted to grow their hair longer and be a rock n roll star just like John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, the Beatles. And seemingly all girls couldn't get enough of the Fab Four.

The Beatles:
"Twist and Shout", 1964
I remember watching the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show as a nine year. My aunt and mother cringed and uttered "they're going to destroy the youth of our nation!" In retrospect they may have partially been right.

Dusty Springfield:
"I Only Want to Be With You", 1964
The Beatles opened the musical flood gates for what would become known as "the British Invasion". Not since the Revolutionary War had so many Brits had such an influence on American life. British bands and acts of every kind monopolized America's airwaves. There were long hair bands in suits and ties such as Gerry and the Pacemakers, Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders, The Searchers, the Dave Clark Five, Herman's Hermits, Freddy and the Dreamers, duos such as Peter and Gordon and Chad and Jeremy , mods like The Who and The Kinks, and of course bad boys all, the Rolling Stones. Female vocalists from across the pond also became wildly popular in the States as evidenced by the incredible success of the "Queen of White Soul", Dusty Springfield, one of the finest vocalists to have ever lived.

Petula Clark:
"Downtown", 1964
From the British series "Top of the Pops", Petula Clark was another popular British songstress and this was her largest hit. Interestingly, the series was filmed in color when most TV shows were still black and white.

The Kinks:
"You Really Got Me", 1964
The Kinks were a prelude of things to come. Sporting longer hair than the Beatles and dressing in Beau Brummel mod fashion, the Kinks were originators of what has come to be known as "the wall of sound" with their distinctive three chord bass, lead and rhythm guitar rifts, particularly noticeable in this song and their next hit "All Day and All of the Night".

"Tired of Waiting", 1964
Seen here making their first American appearance on the ABC TV show "Shindig" which debuted in September 1964 and ran until January 1966. The show was hosted by L.A. D.J. Jimmy O'Neil, seen at the end of this song, looking and acting twenty years backdated to The Kinks. I was an even bigger fan of the syndicated music series of that era, "The Lloyd Thaxton Show".

The Seeds:
"Can't Seem To Make You Mine", 1965
From Dick Clark's ABC series "American Bandstand", the Seeds were the quintessential American garage band. Deemed by some as "the American Rolling Stones", this clip of that inbred white trash hillbilly singer from L.A. howling at the end of each stanza is so bad that it's good! Dig the organ player's ponytail. Pretty gutsy for that era (although two members of America's rock band Paul Revere and the Raiders also had such a doo at that time.)

"Pushin Too Hard", 1967
From the NBC TV show "The Mothers In Laws" starring Eve Arden and Kaye Ballard, the Seeds demonstrated how they lost the suit and ties and really started to look shabby and, well, er, "seedy". Are you folks starting to notice a decided decline in behavior and dress mode here yet? The pained and perplexed looks on the parents with the go-go dancing daughter is priceless, er I mean, "gassy"!

The Beach Boys:
"I Get Around?", 1964
The Beach Boys held strong through the entire British Invasion singing the virtues of Southern California in their inimitable harmonious surf style. You gotta love the faux SoCal palms in the background!

Question Mark and the Mysterians:
"96 Tears", 1965
From the ABC daily weekday rock n roll daytime series by Dick Clark, "Where The Action Is", Question Mark and the Mysterians were the first Mexican-American garage band to hit it big. The "Where The Action Is" theme song was sung by Freddy "Boom Boom" Cannon. This video is dedicated to my cousin Dave Markwood a native of the same city as the Boyz from South Saginaw, Michigan seen in this video.

The Outsiders:
"Time Won't Let Me", 1966
From the ABC daytime series by Dick Clark, "Where The Action Is". The Outsiders were yet another example Garage Band, this one being from Bean Town. Another Boston garage band of that era was the Standells with their hit "Dirty Water". Notice less suits and ties than in Part One of our Sixties series?

Nancy Sinatra:
"These Boots Are Made for Walkin' ", 1966
All I can say is, what a priceless video! Vintage mid-'60s! Old Blue Eyes must have been proud! Nancy Sinatra did for radio what "Batman" did for TV. She truly made the airwaves campy with this unique go-go number!

"Red Rubber Ball", 1966
A group of frat boys from Pennsylvania, Cyrkle was an opening act for the Beatles in their final American appearances in 1966. This was their biggest hit single and many credit them as ushering in "Sunshine Rock", a harmonious form with upbeat tempos and messages as ably demonstrated by bands such as the Association, the Fifth Dimension, the Buckinghams, Spanky and Our Gang and the Hollies.

"Turn Down Day", 1966
That drummer is so 60's! Was he the dweeby guy in the Hai Karate ads?

Folk and Country

Bobbie Gentry:
While the British Invasion and garage bands were wowing teenagers in middle class white suburbs and cities, country and western was still the most popular music for rural white Americans. As noted in Part One, radio was much less compartmentalized than today, so it was not unusual to hear Porter Waggoner or Bill Anderson on the AT 40 play list along with Louis Armstrong, the Dave Clark Five, and Petula Clark. In this video, the beautiful country artist Bobbie Gentry sings the haunting and wonderfully composed "Ode to Billie Joe".
"Ode to Billy Joe", 1964


Bob Dylan: Possibly as or more powerful an influence on American culture was the effect of folk music. This was the music that tackled the social issues that the commercial pop forms were terrified to address. This was the music that had less influence on popular culture than it did on a rising counter culture. It was a popular form of song with college students and free thinkers. It opened avenues of dialog about racial and social inequality, about the horror of war and the virtue of altered reality. Although this was a large movement with many spokespeople such as Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Peter, Paul and Mary, Simon and Garfunkel, the Kingston Trio, the Smothers Brothers and numerous others, its point man was Bob Dylan. With his at times parable like lyrics, Dylan was probably as larger or larger an influence on American youth culture than the Beatles. He even inspired acid rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix to wear his hair in a Dylan hair cut. This is a video of Dylan performing his most famous song, "Like A Rolling Stone". "Like A Rolling Stone", 1965


Simon and Garfunkel: "Sounds of Silence", 1965
Simon and Garfunkel had a very unique sound that was gentle on the ears but lyrically scathing at times. From this beautifully ballad come the lyrics that would inspire the heavy metal band Rush some fifteen years later with "And the words of the Prophets were written on the subway walls and tenement halls".

All That Jazz: Cool, New Orleans, Herb Alpert, European, Bossa Nova

Jazz has never been a mainstream form of music in America and never probably will be. But since its creation it has always adapted and persisted. This is undoubtedly the most integrated form of music in America, even from its beginnings. Through the British Invasion and segregation, beautiful sounds of jazz could be hear in smoke filled cocktail lounges around the country. Here is a look at some of those great jazz musicians of the mid 60's.

John Coltrane:
"Afro Blue", 1963
A gorgeous song by one of jazz's most celebrated acts, the John Coltrane Quartet which consisted of John Coltrane, McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison and Elvin Jones. What I want to know is who's the white dude sittin' at the end of the piano?

"Hackensack (Rifftide), 1964
John Coltrane and Stan Getz a tune claimed by both Thelonius Monk (Hackensack) and Coleman Hawkins (Rifftide). Oscar Peterson sits in on piano with the incomparable rhythm section of Paul Chambers (bass) and Jimmy Cobb (drums).

Burt Bacharach:
One of the most influential musical pop artists of our times was Burt Bacharach, whose music now spans generations and covers many genre. Almost every major musician of any genre of music has probably done a cover of a Bacharach song. Although panned by many critics as one of the most sexist tunes ever penned, "Wives and Lovers" stands as one of Bacharach's prettiest jazz-like melodies.
"Wives and Lovers"


"What the World Needs Now", 1964
Performed on the ABC TV show "Shindig" by Jackie DeShannon Compared to "Wives and Lovers" this is probably one of his poignant and profound songs (if you can get through the weird syncopated dance steps by DeShannon and the Shindig dancers).

"The Look of Love", 1967
Performed by Dusty Springfield What can I say? When I'm done hearing this song I am totally left breathless and emotionally drained by the beauty of Dusty Springfield's voice, so filled with longing, passion and desire. My favorite Bacharach composition, this was Springfield's last major hit having been in the movie "Casino Royale".

Antonio Carlos (Tom) Jobim:
Antonio Carlos Jobim was one of the progenitors of a Brazilian form of music that came to be known as "Bossa-Nova". Generally a slowed down version of Samba, Bossa-Nova was heavily reliant on complex rhythms executed with acoustic guitar, generally backed up with sax, piano and percussion. It was an exceptionally romantic and sensual sounding music, especially when sung by performers such as Astrud Gilberto or Lani Hall and Janis Hansen with Sergio Mendes and Brasil 66. Antonio Carlos Jobim ranks as one of my most beloved and respected artists, his songs ranking to me as some of the most beautiful ever performed.

"One Note Samba", 1963
Performed by The Springfields, 1963 Prior to Dusty Springfield hitting it big with her solo act and song "I Only Wanna Be With You" in late 1963, she and her brother and a friend sang as The Springfields from 1958 to 1963. Shown here is a rare video tape of the Springfields performing Jobim's "One Note Samba". Wonderfully harmonious, the threesome do an admirable of keeping the song in its Portuguese tongue.

Performed by Laurindo Almeida and the Modern Jazz Quartet, 1964
This is Bossa-Nova as God (and Antonio Carlos Jobim ans Joao Gilberto) meant it to be. Brazilian Spanish Classic Guitarist Laurindo Almeda is seen performing this beautiful song with the Modern Jazz Quartet. One of the most gorgeous guitar solo renditions I have ever had the pleasure to hear, this video is beautifully choreographed. Dig that well dressed, well behaved audience.

"Wave", (1967): Tribute to Antonio Carlos (Tom) Jobim, Midi Guitar Demo
Not my favorite version musically of what is possibly my favorite song, but a wonderful tribute to an incredible artist.

Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto: Getz/Gilberto, 1964
It can not be emphasized enough of the profound effect that the emerging jet age of commercial aviation had on American society. Anyplace in the world could be reached faster and better than ever before. And one of the by-products of this was that America's popular culture could not get enough of exotic sounds from what were once far away lands. America's TV and radio waves began to broadcast the most international and cosmopolitan sounds by the mid 1960's in its history as a result of this revolution in transportation. One of the most significant of these imported sounds were that of Brazil's "Bossa-Nova". Joao Gilberto is credited with being the father of this incredibly complex and sensual form of music. As American's are often wont to do, this beautiful sounding form of music was often relegated to sappy elevator muzak or chided in songs such as Eydie Gormet's "Blame It on the Bossa-Nova". But Big Band trombone player Stan Getz got it. This "Cool Jazz" artist who played with greats such as Nat King Cole, Jimmy Dorsey, Lionel Hampton, Stan Kenton and Benny Goodman, Getz recorded "Jazz Samba" in 1962. In 1963 he began recording with Antonio Carlos Jobim, Joao Gilberto and his wife Astrud Gilberto. The result was the landmark album "Getz/Gilberto" which launched the Bossa-Nova sound to stellar heights in the United States. The album's number one hit "The Girl from Ipanema" won a 1964 Grammy Award and the albums' two Grammy Awards even bested the Beatles "A Hard Day's Night" propelling Bossa-Nova and latin jazz into the American mainstream. Here are three songs from that incredible collaboration:

"The Girl From Ipanema"
Written by Antonio Carlos Jobim. The song is sung by Astrud Gilberto, wife of Joao Gilberto in English, while Joao sings the introduction in Portuguese. I think you'll agree, this is one of the weirdest videos ever made (what's with the lady with blue hair?), but I love the shots of Getz and his band.

Written by Antonio Carlos Jobim. Sung by Astrud Gilberto and Joao Gilberto.

Wes Montgomery:
Wes Montgomery was to the jazz guitar what Dave Brubeck and Oscar Peterson were to the jazz piano, what John Coltrane was to the saxophone, and on and on. Possibly the most notable jazz guitarist since Django Reinhardt, Montgomery, who rarely used a pick on his electric guitar, played exceptionally fast paced rhythms. He influenced many guitarists and musicians, notably Donald Fagan of Steely Dan, Bob Welch of Fleetwood Mac and innumerable jazz guitarists such as Lee Ritenour.

"Jingles", 1965
Classic sounding Wes Montgomery. Wouldn't you love to see these hep cats play in a smoky lounge even if you didn't smoke or drink?

"Round Midnight", 1965
Penned by the immortal Theloniuos Monk, this is Montgomery's cover of this classic tune.Cocktail time at the Kit Kat Klub!

Horst Jankowski:
"A Walk in the Black Forest", 1965
Not only was a British Invasion in the works, but two major artists from Germany were also dominating the airwaves. Horst Jankowski and Bert Kaempfert both scored hits during the mid 60's in the United States. Both artists had a very upbeat symphonic sound. Of the two, Kaempfert had more hits in the U.S,. but Jankowski's classic number one hit from the summer of 1965, "A Walk in the Black Forest", is a beautiful song that made great use of the emerging art of stereo phonics. This original version is shown being played on a 1963 RCA Victor stereo phonograph.I remember in the summer of 1965 visiting the atomic ranch house of my mother's dear friends the Dillons who lived in Annandale, Virginia who played this very same album on their 1963 RCA Victor stereo phonograph while I was there!

Bert Kaempfert:
As mentioned above, stereo was an emerging force in how music was listened to in the 1960's. As only FM stations could broadcast in stereo, chances were very good that the first stereo songs you heard were not rock n roll, but were the easy listening sounds of Ray Coniff, Percy Faith, Lawrence Welk, Horst Jankowski or Bert Kaempfert. The reason for this was quite simple. The large array of instruments used in their orchestras lend themselves well to stereo (i.e. horn sections of the left speaker, piano and violins on the right speaker). Bert Kaempfert's upbeat orchestral songs were no exception and found great play on American stereos in the mid and late 1960's.

"Medley", 1967
This is a medley of Kaempfert's most well known songs, this being the second color TV broadcast in German history in 1967. In sequence the band is playing "African Beat", "Wonderland by Night", "A Swingin Safari" and a beautiful rendition of his most well known song, "Strangers in the Night". I remember the song "A Swingin Safari" being used in the summer of 1965 on an ABC TV game show called "Omnibus". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKdcMYRhUeA&feature=related "Zambesi", 1965
Any similarity between this and the "Teaberry Shuffle" or the music of Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass.is strictly coincidental!

Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass:
One of the most influential popular entertainers of the 1960's was the incredible Los Angeles, California native Herb Alpert. At age eight he learned to play trumpet, and by his teens he was giving concerts at local high schools. Graduating from Fairfax High School in 1952, Alpert then went into the Army. After his stint, he met Lou Adler in 1957 and helped pen such hits as Sam Cooke's 1960 song "What A Wonderful World". Using his own finances, he recorded his first major hit "Lonely Bull" in 1962. This song was inspired by a bull fight that he saw in Tijuana, Mexico. It, along with the Mexican town's mariachi bands inspired him to form his own mariachi band to accompany his trumpet. This group formed in 1965 would be known as the Tijuana Brass. Shortly after the success of "Lonely Bull", he and his recording partner Jerry Moss formed A and M records and from this company and Alpert's musical genius came a profusion of hits that probably did more to bring respectability of latin sound to mainstream America than any other force. By 1966, Alpert and Moss's A and M records had sold 72 million albums. From here Alpert had a profusion of television shows, both weekly or as specials. In addition, Alpert's A and M records introduced the Bossa-Nova sounds of Sergio Mendes and Brasil 66 to America.

"A Taste of Honey", 1966
This is an orchestral version from one of his TV specials on the NBC network from 1966 featuring his most famous song.

"What Now My Love?", 1967
Possibly Alpert's most beautiful song. This great video features lots of Charlie Chaplins as the A and M recording studios were where Chaplin filmed most of his silent movies. There is a definite Beatlesque quality to this video.

"Mame", 1968
Herb Alpert and Louis Armstrong together. Wow!

"Slick", 1968
In one of his most cool numbers, Alpert returns to his high school and his band belts out this tune amidst some incredible athletics. Watch Herb Alpert almost get beaned for real by a line drive.

Sergio Mendes and Brasil 66:
Brazilian Bossa-Nova artist Sergio Mendes got his biggest break from the A and M album "Herb Alpert Presents Sergio Mendes and Brasil 66". Mendes had a very jazz like style of Bossa-Nova that was more hard edged than the works of Jobim or Gilberto. Flanked by two beautiful American women in pink and orange mini skirts, the beautiful voices of Lani Hall and Janis Hansen were unique in that neither of the two women could speak a lick of Portuguese, the language of Brazil. They were taught Mendes's lyrics phonetically and after years of singing, Lani Hall would go on to become an accomplished singer of Latin songs.

"Mas Que Nada", 1966
Written by Jorge Ben. This is Mendes's most famous song. The lovely lady on the left is Lani Hall. Hall had been with the group until 1971 before setting out on a solo singing career and marrying Herb Alpert.The pretty woman on the right is Janis Hansen who left the group in 1968 to pursue acting. Between 1971 and 1975 Hansen portrayed Felix Unger's wife Gloria in the ABC TV comedy "The Odd Couple".

Girl Groups and Incredible Femme Fashions:

One of the most incredible things about the 1960's was the revolution in fashion, These girl group videos give the best glimpses of these often outlandish and unforgettable fashions.

Gloria Jones:
"Tainted Love", 1964
It would rake another 18 years for this song to hit the big time when covered by the British New wave band Softsell

The Beattle-Ettes:
"Only Seventeen", 1964

The Bootles:
"I'll Let You Hold My Hand", 1964
A girl's answer to John Lennon's desires! Great shots of mid-60's girl groups from around the world!

Jeannie and the Big Guys:
"I Want You", 1964
Incredible mid 60's mod fashions and some good Liverpool rock n roll!

The Birdies:
"The Hucklebuck '65", 1965
Incredible mid-60's fashion shots!

Universal Newsreel, 1965:
Pop Fashions of the mid-60's. Those girls WERE making spectacles of themselves!

The What Four:
"I'm Gonna Destroy that Boy", 1966
With a name like mangled baby ducks it's gotta be good, and that goes for this song's title too!

Patti's Groove:
"It Won't Last Long", 1966
The mid 60's and its incredible fashions didn't last long enough!

Pop Culture

Aluminum Christmas Tree:
My family had one of these dolled up pipe cleaners from 1962 to 1964. What about yours?

Movie: "The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed Up Zombies", 1964
Most drive-in theater fare by the mid-'60s was becoming cheesier and sleazier as evidenced by "The World's First Monster Musical" by low budget film mogul Ray Dennis Steckler

Television Show: Gilligan's Island, 1964
One of America's most popular TV shows in history was Gilligan's Island. Running from 1964 to 1967 this CBS comedy featured Bob Denver as Gilligan; Alan Hale Jr.as Jonas Grumby, the Skipper; Tina Louise as actress Ginger Grant; Russell Johnson as Professor Roy Hinkley; Dawn Wells as Mary Anne Summers, Natalie Schaefer as Eunice "Lovey" Wentworth Howell, and Jim Backus and Thurston Howell the Third" . Theme by George Wyle, Sherwood Schartz and performed by the Wellingtons. What book did the Professor author? "Rust, the Real Red Menace!"

Television Show: The Addams Family, 1964
From 1964 to1966 this ABC TV Friday night warped and dark comedy based on the Charles Adams cartoon series featured John Astin as Gomez Adams, Carolyn Jones as his wife Mortician, Jackie Coogan as their Uncle Fester and Ted Cassidy as their butler Lurch. Theme by Vic Mizzy.

Television Ad: National Airlines, Miami Go-Go, 1964
A heart-wrencher to me as my late brother flew National Boeing 727 jets (as seen in this ad) and was stationed in Miami. Great shots of Miami Beach circa 1964 with an aerial pan of the Fontainebleau.

Television Ad: Braniff Airlines Mod New Look, ("The End of the Plain Plane") 1965
I remember how mod and avant-garde looking the aircraft of Braniff Airlines looked after 1965. One of their DC-8's was even painted by artist Alexander Calder! I also remember colors they used that seemed somehow wrong or unnatural like the "Baby-puke green" and "Dog-crap yellow" schemes. Ya gotta hand them an award for originality nevertheless.

Movie: Monster A-Go-Go, 1965
Compelling in its mindlessness "and pretty girls". "When you walk out you'll wonder what you've seen". Amen!

Television Ad: 1965 Chevrolet Commercial
The new Chevrolet's for 1965 are seen being pimped by "Bonanza" stars Lorne Greene, Pernell Roberts, Dan Blocker and Michael Landon, "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." star Robert Vaughan, and "Bewitched" stars Elizabeth Montgomery, Agnes Morehead and Dick York.

Television Show: The Wild, Wild West, 1965
This Friday night show telecast on the CBS network from 1965 to 1968 featured Robert Conrad as secret agent Jim West, Ross Martin as his sidekick Artemis Gordon. An incredible hybrid melding the Old West with science fiction and British spy themes, this was undoubtedly one of the most entertaining shows on TV. Theme by Richard Markowitz.

Movie: Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster, 1965
Filmed in "Futurama", this grade Z klassik was also filmed at Cape Kennedy in Florida and along the beaches in Puerto Rico Bad spy music, bad make up and bad acting make for a bad movie.

Television Show: Green Acres, 1965
One of my favorite shows of all time, this hayseed comedy was almost surrealistic. featuring Eddie Albert as the ever dogged farmer and husband Oliver Wendell Douglas, Eva Gabor as his beautiful wife Lisa, Pat Butram as the country con-artist Mr. Haney, Alvie Moore as the absent-minded county agent Hank Kimball, and Frank Cady as the grocer Mr. Drucker. This series ran on CBS from 1965 to1971 Theme by Vic Mizzy and performed by Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor

Television Show, Get Smart, 1965
Due to the success of the James Bond movies, spies were all the rage in the 1960's, so producer Mel Brooks decided to have his own fun spin on the phenomena through the creation of the NBC TV comedy "Get Smart". Starring Don Adams as Agent Maxwell Smart, the cute as a bug in a rug Barbara Feldon as Agent 99 and Edward Platte as the Chief, this series ran from 1965 to1970, its last season being on CBS. Wonderfully written by Buck Henry, the series was color from its first to last year.Theme by Irving Szathmary.

Television Show: CBS Network Sales Presentation, Lost In Space, 1965
Irwin Allen's second stab at TV was "Lost In Space". Taking place in the future in 1997, Guy Williams played Professor John Robinson, June Lockhart his wife Maureen, Angela Cartwright as daughter Penny, Billy Mumy as son Will, Marta Kristen as other daughter Judy, Mark Godard as Major Don West, and Jonathan Harris as the despicable Dr. Zachary Smith. Based on The Space Family Robinson, this show which ran on CBS TV from 1965 to 1968 featured the music themes by John Williams

Television Show: The Avengers, 1965
Broadcast on the BBC from 1961 to1969, the Avengers reached American shores when broadcast as a summer series in 1965 through 1966 on ABC TV. That version featured Patrick Macnee as John Steed and the beautiful Diana Rigg as Emma Peel. Riding on the wave of James Bond and other British spy shows such as Patrick McGoohan's Danger Man (a.k.a. Secret Agent), the great theme song is by Laurie Johnson

Television Show: Batman: Catwoman and Batman Love Affair, 1966
As a kid I never took note of the sexual tension between Batman and Catwoman, but as an adult, all I can do is say "Wow!" Featured is Adam West as the Caped Crusader, Burt Ward as his Boy Wonder Robin and the cat-like inimitable Julie Newmar as the Catwoman. Dig the Tiki statue in one of the background scenes! "Catwoman you are NOT a nice person!" The song "California Nights" was sung by Leslie Gore Lesley. Gore sang this on Batman in 1967, when she played the role of Pussycat, who was Catwoman's evil helper. Her uncle, Howie Horowitz, was the show's producer.

Movie: Trailer, "Batman", 1966
No TV show probably gained faster acclaim than ABC's "Batman". It was the first TV show to take the relatively new technology of color to extremes never seen before. Often shot at crooked angles to simulate comic book illustrations, as it was derived from the National Periodical Publication line of Superman-DC Comics, this was also America's first most heavily hyped and over marketed shows. This series which actually made fun of the comic had an off-beat humor known as camp. Debuting in January 1966 as a twice weekly series, by the summer a full length movie was ready for distribution. In addition to Adam West and Burt Ward, it featured Frank Gorshin as the Riddler, Burgess Meredith as the Penguin, Lee Meriwether as the Catwoman, and Cesar Romero as the Joker. Theme by Neil Hefti (who also penned the theme to the "Odd Couple")

Movie: "Batman", Scene: "Some Days You Just Can't Get Rid of A Bomb!" 1966
"They may be drinkers Robin, but they are human beings!"

Television Show, Star Trek, "Exotica in Space", 1966
Sort of like how I was too young to see the sexual tension between Batman and Catwoman, I never really knew just how risque the original "Star Trek" series could be at times. A much more adult themed science fiction series than CBS's "Lost in Space", this NBC series which ran from 1966 to 1969 tackled many civil rights and anti war issues. Starring William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk, Leonard Nimoy as Lt. Spock, DeForest Kelly as Dr. Leonard McCoy, James Doohan as Lt. Commander Scott, George Takei as Lt. Sulu, and Nichelle Nichols as Lt. Uhura.


Chances are real good that you may have grown up during the 1960's in a mid-century modern ranch house like some of the exquisite examples shown in these videos below.

John Lautner, Father of "Googie" (a.k.a. "Populuxe" and "Doo Wop")
"Comfortably Numb" performed by Pink Floyd

The Stahl House, Hollywood Hills, California

An Eichler Neighborhood, San Jose, California, Part One
I think one level houses are pretty neat too sweetheart!

An Eichler Neighborhood, San Jose, California, Part Two

A Gorgeous Eichler House, Palo Alto, California
Only 1.2 million bucks!

Mid-Century Designs Still Cool Today:

Mid-Century Modern Home, Palm Springs, California

Mid-Century Modern House, Key West, Florida
Cool song huh? I always admired this place when I jogged down Seidenberg Ave. in Key West.

Mid-Century Modern House, Spokane, Washington
On the other side of the continent from Key West is this gem of atomic ranch origin!

Mid-Century Modern House, Charlotte, North Carolina
Closer to home for those who also like four seasons.

Atomic Ranch Magazine:
Subscribe. Be One of Us! Subscribe. Be One of Us! Subscribe. Be One of Us!

A Glimpse Into the Future:
Jimi Hendrix, "Midnight", 1969:
Hair's grown longer, skirts have grown shorter, music gets louder. Violence continues to mar the dream. Student protest, civil rights, Viet Nam, passing of the baton. The 1960's as they end will be unrecognizable compared to how they began, the changes were that sudden and profound, all in the third and final series

Stayed Tuned for Part Three, the Late Sixties: 1967-1969! Tune in, Turn On and Drop Out in William Moriaty's YOU TUBE MUSIC, ARCHITECTURE AND POP CULTURE OF THE SIXTIES!

"La Floridiana" is ©2008 by William Moriaty.  Webpage design and all graphics herein (except where otherwise noted) are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2008 by Nolan B. Canova.