The Sixties: A Decade That Changed The World
Some of you might be wondering where the inspiration comes from to write five articles every week. Sometimes it comes right out of left field. My wife and I had lunch today at one of our favorite eateries, and the bill was $9.50.
To most people the number 950 would have little meaning other than its real close to 1,000. But to anyone who was a rock n’ roll loving teenager in the 60’s would know Wolfman Jack’s, PO Box number.
Wolfman Jack was one of the best known rock and roll DJ’s of the 1960’s and 70’s. He sold every conceivable product from his 50,000-watt powerhouse soul station just over the border in Tijuana, Mexico. At night the signal reached as far north as Chicago, Seattle and New York City. Every kid in America that was into music knew Wolfman Jack.
Whether you ordered the copper coated pan and pencil set, or the miraculous hair growth formula, you always sent your check or money order to the same place — Box 950, Del Rio, Texas. Zip Codes weren’t invented yet.
Sixties Movies: They Don’t Make Em’ Like This Anymore
Some people would argue that the 1930’s and 40’s was the Golden Age of Movies. While some great films and great performers contributed to those decades the 60’s produced some very notable films as well. Here are just a few.
- Psycho (1960)
- The Apartment (1960)
- The Hustler (1961)
- To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
- Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
- 8½ (1963)
- Goldfinger (1964)
- Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
- The Sound of Music (1965)
- The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
- The Graduate (1967)
- Planet of the Apes (1968)
- Rosemary's Baby (1968)
- Midnight Cowboy (1969) The only “X” rated movie to win Best Picture. Tame by today’s standards.
- Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
Hit Music of the Sixties:
Elvis, The Beatles, Beach Boys, Rolling Stones, and many others truly changed the way music was written, played, and distributed. Every major city had a Top Forty big name DJ spinning the platters. Number one songs of the 1960’s included:
- "Theme from A Summer Place" Percy Faith (1960)
- "Tossin' and Turnin'” Bobby Lewis (1961)
- "Stranger on the Shore" Acker Bilk (1962)
- "Sugar Shack" The Fireballs (1963)
- "I Want to Hold Your Hand" The Beatles (1964)
- "Wooly Bully" Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs (1965)
- "Ballad of the Green Berets" SSgt. Barry Sadler (1966)
- "To Sir, with Love" Lulu (1967)
- "Hey Jude" The Beatles (1968)
- "Sugar, Sugar" The Archies (1969)
Some Final Thoughts
I suppose everyone looks back on their youth thinking it was a great time to be alive. But for those of us who lived through those times notice that the movies, music, and the emergence of the youth movement, laid the foundation for those who followed to enjoy youth in a whole new way.
We led the anti-establishment crowd long before there was an Occupy Wall Street. Free love, burn your “draft card” (what’s a draft card?), war protests, burn your bra, women’s lib, tune in, turn on and drop out. “Don’t trust anyone over 30!”
Hard to make much of a case for any other decade that had such a profound effect on the culture and so effectively changed the youth of this country. Did the changes that came out of the sixties make us better or worse? If you lived through it there is probably only one thing you can say, “Damn I was Lucky!!”
What’s your favorite 10-year period and why?