September 7, 1967: Good Morning World

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(Pictured: Paul Revere and the Raiders.)

September 7, 1967, is a Thursday. The weather forecast for the northern half of the United States and the Pacific Coast is for fair skies, with rain possible across the south and into the Rocky Mountains. In Madison, Wisconsin, the predicted high is 79. President and Mrs. Johnson are at the LBJ Ranch in Texas through the weekend while Congress is on its Labor Day recess. The United Auto Workers launched a strike against Ford late last night; up to 159,000 union workers in 25 states may ultimately be affected by the strike. The strike will last for 68 days; workers at GM and Chrysler will stage brief walkouts as well. A million students in six states are idled by teachers’ strikes.

Walgreens stores in the Chicago area invite you to “save big on beer”: locally brewed Van Merritt is just 79 cents for a six-pack of cans. You can get a six-pack of Old Style in bottles for 92 cents or Budweiser in cans for $1.05. At the start of play today, four teams are in a virtual tie for first place in the American League: the Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins have identical records of 78-61; the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers are percentage points behind with identical records of 79-62. Tonight, the Twins and Red Sox both win, while the White Sox and Tigers are idle; the result leaves the Twins ahead of the Red Sox by .001; the Tigers and White Sox trail by one-half game. In the National League, the Cardinals, Cubs, and Giants all win; St. Louis maintains an 11-and-a-half game lead over the Cubs and Giants.

Two new TV series premiere opposite one another tonight: on ABC, Sally Field stars in The Flying Nun; on CBS, it’s the western Cimarron Strip starring Stuart Whitman. Several other new fall shows have already premiered this week, including Good Morning World, a sitcom set in a Los Angeles radio station, and He & She, starring Richard Benjamin and Paula Prentiss. (They have been a married couple in real life since 1961; 50 years from now, they will still be married.) New fall series to premiere this weekend include The Mothers-In-Law, The High Chaparral, and The Carol Burnett Show. Crime dramas Ironside and Mannix will debut next week. Also this weekend, NBC will air Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, starring the comedy team in a fast-paced variety special. The show’s high rating will prompt NBC to make it a regular series in January.

On the new survey coming out tomorrow at WLS in Chicago, Bobbie Gentry’s “Ode to Billie Joe” holds for another week at #1, just ahead of “Come Back When You Grow Up” by Bobby Vee and “Light My Fire” by the Doors. At #4 it’s “The Letter” by the Box Tops, up from #22 the week before. Two other songs are new in the Top 10: “I Had a Dream” by Paul Revere and the Raiders at #8 and “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison, up to #10 from #24 last week. Also in the Top 10: local favorite the Cryan’ Shames with “It Could Be We’re in Love,” “Never My Love” by the Association, “Reflections” by Diana Ross and the Supremes, and the double-A-sided hit “Pleasant Valley Sunday” and “Words” by the Monkees. There are 12 new songs on the survey this week: the highest debut is “Little Ole Man” by Bill Cosby at #20. WLS DJs Art Roberts and Larry Lujack will make personal appearances tomorrow night. Roberts will be the MC of a show at the Holiday Ballroom; Lujack will MC a record hop at Notre Dame High School and later, a show at the Rivoli Ballroom.

Perspective From the Present: I have recently been watching episodes of He & She on YouTube. It was a sophisticated, adult sitcom, a predecessor of shows like The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and several years ahead of its time, which helps to account for its demise after one season. A half-century later, it’s definitely worth watching.

Also: In September 1967, I had just started the second grade at Lincoln School, in Miss Jones’ class, although I would transfer to the newly opened Northside School in January. My second-grade report card includes the notation that I listen attentively and am considerate of others only some of the time, and there is also a note that says I need to work on expressing myself better in writing.


May 2, 1967: Name of the Game

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(Pictured: Frank and Nancy Sinatra in the studio, 1967.)

(Late correction below.)

May 2, 1967, was a Tuesday. Armed members of a militant group known as the Black Panthers interrupt a session of the California House of Representatives, which is debating a bill, supported by the National Rifle Association, that would forbid the carrying of loaded firearms in public places. The Panthers argue that blacks need to be armed to protect themselves against oppressive policing. Police stop more Panthers outside the capitol and confiscate 15 weapons. Remarkably, nobody is arrested. Elvis and Priscilla Presley spend their first full day as husband and wife after marrying yesterday in Las Vegas. Also yesterday, police in Chicago foiled an attempted airplane robbery that would have netted the two thieves a bag of stocks and bonds worth two million dollars. Also in Chicago, the combination of a strike by milk truck drivers and a lockout by dairies leads to milk shortages in the city. A UFO is spotted over Montezuma, Iowa. Martin Luther King speaks at Unionville High School in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, west of Philadelphia. Organizers ask him not to talk about Vietnam, or about controversial congressman Adam Clayton Powell.

The Toronto Maple Leafs win hockey’s Stanley Cup, beating Montreal 3-1 to take the series 4-2. It’s the fourth Cup in six seasons for the Leafs; 50 years later, they will not have won another. On a busy day of major-league baseball, the Cincinnati Reds lose to the Cardinals in St. Louis, 5-0, but still have the majors’ best record at 15-and-6. In the American League, the Washington Senators and Kansas City Athletics split a doubleheader. Both games end up 1-o. The CBS TV lineup tonight includes Daktari, The Red Skelton Hour, Petticoat Junction, and on an edition of CBS Reports, “The National Science Test.” CBS runs ads in newspapers with a form viewers can use to answer the questions that will be presented on the show. On NBC, it’s The Girl From U.N.C.L.E., Occasional Wife, and the movie Fame Is the Name of the Game, which will later be turned into a weekly series. ABC airs episodes of Combat!, The Invaders, Peyton Place, and The Fugitive.

The Beach Boys open a tour of Ireland in Dublin. Carl Wilson misses the show, apparently due to illness. having been arrested for draft evasion in New York last week. He’s released on bond today, and will rejoin the band later in the week. Sam and Dave perform in Stockholm, Sweden. A short-lived club, the Rock Garden, closes in San Francisco. During its five weeks of operation, it hosted shows by Big Brother and the Holding Company, Love, the Grateful Dead, the Steve Miller Blues Band, the Buffalo Springfield, and Country Joe and the Fish. It later becomes a Latin jazz club and a soul-music club. Club-goers in Chicago can hear jazz singer Barbara McNair at the College Inn and the Mongo Santamaria Septet at the London House. In London, England, Nancy Sinatra records the theme song for the James Bond movie You Only Live Twice. It appears in the movie, although the version of the song released as a single will be recorded later, in Los Angeles.

At WABC in New York, Nancy’s duet with her father, “Something Stupid,” hits #1 on the new All-American survey. Last week’s #1, “Happy Together” by the Turtles, falls to #2. “The Happening” by the Supremes is at #3, just ahead of a new entry in the Top 10, “I Got Rhythm” by the Happenings (#4), and “Groovin'” by the Young Rascals (#5). Also new in the Top 10: “Close Your Eyes” by Peaches and Herb. “Respect” by Aretha Franklin is new on the survey at #14. “Respect” was a WABC Pick Hit last week. This week’s Pick Hit is “The Congressional Record” by the Hardly Worthit Players. One of the players, Bill Minkin, had charted twice earlier in the year as Senator Bobby with novelty versions of “Wild Thing” and “Mellow Yellow.”

Perspective From the Present: Even though this blog featured a 1967 post just a couple of weeks ago, there’s no harm in going back to that particular well so soon. Every day, it seems, we learn about something else that’s been part of our lives for exactly half-a-century. The world we live in today was born during the 1960s, and that fact comes home day by day, anniversary by anniversary.

(Correction to Carl Wilson story, about which my original sources were unclear, courtesy of the new Twitter feature Peace and Love, tweeting the summer of 1967 from a Wisconsin perspective, curated by our friend Jeff Ash.)

April 16, 1967: The Happening

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(Pictured: Roger Waters, Nick Mason, Syd Barrett, and Rick Wright of Pink Floyd, 1967.)

April 16, 1967, is a Sunday. The top story in the Sunday newspapers regards the massive anti-Vietnam protests held in New York and San Francisco yesterday; in New York, over 300,000 were said to have attended. More mass protests are scheduled for tomorrow, including Washington, D.C. The current edition of Look magazine features an article called “The Student Revolt,” but its cover features Britain’s Prince Philip and Prince Charles. Students are not the only ones angry. In an interview published this weekend, civil rights leader Martin Luther King warns that at least 10 cities “could explode in racial violence this summer.” Today, King delivers a sermon titled, “Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam.” Preparations continue for Monday’s launch of the unmanned Surveyor III spacecraft, which will land on the moon, take photos, and sample the lunar soil. Future pro football player Chuck Evans is born. The Cincinnati Nature Center opens.

Led by center Wilt Chamberlain’s 38 rebounds, the Philadelphia 76ers beat the San Francisco Warriors 126-95 to take a 2-0 lead in the NBA finals; one week from tomorrow, the 76ers will win the championship. The Chicago White Sox sweep a doubleheader from the Washington Senators; the second game goes 16 innings. The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox play 18 innings, with the Yankees finally winning the six-hour game 7-6. The Grateful Dead plays the Kaleidoscope in Los Angeles, Pink Floyd plays Bethnal Green in London, the Buffalo Springfield plays San Francisco, the Yardbirds play Lolland, Denmark, the Duke Ellington Orchestra plays Cleveland, the Beach Boys and Tommy James play Pittsburgh, and the Electric Prunes appear on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. Other shows on TV tonight include Lassie, Bonanza, Hey Landlord, and The FBI.

At WLS in Chicago, three Midwestern acts are in the Top 10 of the current Silver Dollar Survey: the Buckinghams and the Cryan’ Shames from Chicago with “Don’t You Care” and “Mr. Unreliable” at #6 and #7 respectively, and 2 of Clubs from Cincinnati with “Walk Tall” at #9. The top song belongs to the Monkees, however, with “A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You,” which knocked last week’s #1 song, “Happy Together” by the Turtles, to #2. “Somethin’ Stupid” by Frank and Nancy Sinatra is at #3. “On a Carousel” by the Hollies leaps into the Top Ten at #4. Also hot: “You Got What It Takes” by the Dave Clark Five, “The Happening” by the Supremes, and “Somebody to Love” by the Jefferson Airplane.

A seven-year-old in Wisconsin hears none of this. One day this spring—perhaps in April—his first-grade teacher, fighting off laryngitis, decides to turn over parts of her lessons to some of her students. He teaches a math lesson that involves addition with the number nine. It’s the first teaching he’s ever done, but it won’t be the last.