Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers

Saturday, December 31, 2016

How Many of These New Year's Eve Hosts Do You Remember?

While it seems as if half of America is crammed into Times Square every December 31, the fact is the crowd represents a teeny, tiny fraction of the population. Most of us watch the New Year arrive on television. It's a tradition nearly as old as the medium itself.
To many, Dick Clark is the first name that comes to mind when discussing the broadcast history of the holiday. However, not only were there other icons before him, Clark was not even the first host of his own New Year's Rockin' Eve.
As another new year arrives, we thought we'd take a flip through the channels of the past and remember the many TV hosts of New Year's Eve history. 
With the advent of cable, the options proliferated greatly in the 1990s. We're going to stick with the classics, from the earliest days of broadcasting the ball drop to the dawn of the 1980s. 
Which host did your family watch? Who was your favorite?
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In Memoriam: The TV Stars We Lost in 2016

This year was not kind to our pop culture icons. In the world of music, once-in-a-generation talents like David Bowie, Prince and Leonard Cohen shockingly left us. We lost the first American to orbit earth in John Glenn, a former first lady in Nancy Reagan, and a sports icon in Muhammad Ali.

The television world said goodbye to some beloved actors and creators, as well. Sitcom stars, cartoon voices and captivating dramatic thespians passed away. Fans of the The Patty Duke Show were especially hard hit, as the show's father and daughter died within weeks of each other, as well as some notable boys from the sitcom. The Bradys lost a mother, and a superhero died.

Lest we forget these adored performers, here is a recap of the obituaries we have run in 2016. Alas, we could not include everyone. May they all rest in peace.

To keep reading this article, click here.

Friday, December 30, 2016

50 Years Ago: 8 Groundbreaking TV Shows from 1966

1966 was a big year for television. Industry titans like Andy Griffith, Lucille Ball and Jackie Gleason reigned supreme. There was an impressive slate of newcomers too, with stars like Phyllis Diller, Gary Moore and Jean Arthur getting their own shows in competitive time slots. 
But you don't remember those ones, do you? Instead, it was the crop of underdogs that broke through to have high ratings and a lasting legacy. 
This past year year, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of favorites like Star Trek, Batman and more. 
Here's why they were important. 
To keep reading this article, click here.

50 Years Ago: The Top 10 Movies

Characters that appeared on the silver screen fifty years ago like Batman and Alfie have returned to the box office in modern times. Yet neither Batman nor Alfie were among the top grossing films of 1966. Fantastic VoyageThe Endless SummerOur Man Flint and Fahrenheit 451 failed to crack the top ten, too.
Here are the ten biggest flicks of 1966. How many of them have you seen?
To continue reading this article, click here.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

50 Years Ago: Some One-Hit Wonders of 1966

The thing with one-hit wonders is that they are rarely, technically, mere one-hit wonders. 
When a band scores a massive pop hit, the momentum is usually enough to get its follow-up single on the charts. When you rewind the pop clock all the way back to 1966, it gets even messier, as the industry was just so different, and certain acts scored regional hits.
Still, in hindsight, half a decade later, a band that managed to land a few songs in Billboard is remembered for that one defining, high-climbing song. The Top 10 national smash overshadows the rest as years pass. History tends to turn two-hit wonders into one-hit wonders.
Here are some of our favorite short-lived sensations of 1966.
To continue reading this article, click here.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

50 Years Ago: 8 Great Sporting Events from 1966

Every year, records are broken in sports. Rules change, equipment improves and athletes get a little bigger, a little faster. 
Still, 1966 was a pretty landmark year in sporting. Barriers were smashed, historic games took place and the most dominating league in American athletics was born. There was even a major motion picture made about the first entry on our biggest sporting events from fifty years ago.
To continue reading this article, click here.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Some Flashback Facts from the Year 1966

The year 1966 was an eventful year. 

Like any other year some events were good, some weren't. Some events were memorable and some events we prefer to just forget.

Here's a look back at some of the things in history and culture 50 years ago.

To keep reading this article, click here.

Monday, December 26, 2016

The Exorcist Opens (1973)

On this day in 1973, The Exorcist, a horror film starring the actress Linda Blair as a girl possessed by an evil spirit, makes its debut in theaters; it will go on to earn a reputation as one of the scariest movies in history. 

The Exorcist was based on William Peter Blatty’s 1971 novel of the same name, about the last sanctioned Catholic exorcism to take place in the United States, in the late 1940s. 

In the film, Blair played Regan, a sweet 12-year-old girl who begins suffering bouts of bizarre behavior. When her concerned mother (Ellen Burstyn), contacts a priest, he recommends performing an exorcism. Max Von Sydow and Jason Miller played the two priests who eventually conduct the exorcism at the home where Regan is living in the Georgetown section of Washington, D.C.

To keep reading this article, click here.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

The 12 Gifting Ghosts of Christmas Past - The Toys KIds Had to Have in the 1970s

The digital age arrived in the Seventies. In the prior decade, children played with simpler toys. 
The hot presents of the 1960s included dolls, balls, kitchen appliances and soldiers. But as electronic pop music began to creep its way on the radio, and as androids populated television shows like The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman, kids turned to the future with their video games, robots and space men.
Still, the simple pleasure of a ball — or a single rock — retained its allure.
These popular toys made their debut between 1970 and 1979.
To keep reading this article, click here.

Friday, December 23, 2016

The 12 Gifting Ghosts of Christmas Past - Toys Kids Had to Have in the 60s

Let's face it, kids just wanted to be little adults in the 1960s. From small kitchen appliances to baby dolls, the toys of that era were pretty mature.
Well, now the joke's on us. We would give anything to play with an Easy-Bake Oven again instead of cook dinner for our families. 
These were the toys every kid wanted to find underneath the tree Christmas morning in the 1960s. 
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Thursday, December 22, 2016

The 12 Ghosting Gifts of Christmas Past - 10 Toys Kids Had to Have in the 1950s

Before Santa was stuffing the latest electronics into stockings on Christmas Eve, he was gifting kids with simple treasures.T

The Fifties were a decade that saw some of the greatest and most enduring toys hit the market. Hula hoops, Barbies and Matchbox cars first found their way under the tree on Christmas mornings in the 1950s.

These were some of the most popular Christmas gifts back then. Do you remember waking up to any of these presents.
To continue reading this article, click here.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The 12 Gifting Ghosts of Christmas Past - Vintage Traditions

Christmas traditions have changed significantly over the centuries, which isn't such a bad thing, as that means we no longer have to put a boar's head on the table and eat pies made of mutton and raisins. Even within our lifetimes, popular practices of the yuletide season have come and gone.
Decorations from our childhood may no longer be trendy, but adhering to those traditions is what connects us to our family and our past. That's part of the fun of watching Christmas episodes of classic television shows — seeing how the holiday was celebrated in the mid-century. So as the calendar page again turns to December, let's take a look at Christmas traditions that were all the rage in the youth of Boomers. 
How many do you still use? Did we miss anything?
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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The 12 Gifting Ghosts of Christmas Past - Live-Action Specials from the 70s

The 1970s were a decade rich with variety shows and holiday specials. It's no wonder that when the Yuletide rolled around, every family-friendly pop star and crooner seemed to show up on TV with an hour of caroling celebrities. Everyone from Johnny Cash to the Captain and Tennille hosted holiday extravaganzas.
We've gathered a dozen of our favorites from the era. 
Did you watch any of these while trimming the tree?
To continue reading this article, click here.

Monday, December 19, 2016

The 12 Gifting Ghosts of Christmas Past - Memorable Holiday Episodes of TV Shows

Here are 34 of the best Christmas episodes of all-time courtesy of MeTV.

To check them out and see if yours made the list, click here.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

The 12 Gifting Ghosts of Christmas Past - Ranking the Nostalgic Holiday Specials

Why is it that we only watch a few classic Christmas specials every year? Well, according to a recent report from NPR, it might just be because a lot of them aren't that good.
Out of the hundreds of TV specials that have premiered every December since the 1950s, it seems like only a few consistently make it to primetime every year. Could it be that maybe we just want a dash of nostalgia along with our eggnog?
Now we are taking the best of the best, the Christmas specials from our childhoods, and ranking them here. Will Frosty melt under the pressure — or will the Grinch steal first place?
To continue reading this article, click here.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

12 Gifting Ghosts of Christmas Past - A Charlie Brown Christmas

Most Christmas specials from the 1960s were based on classic pieces of literature or famous Christmas songs. A Charlie Brown Christmas broke that tradition by using famous cartoon characters to create an original story.
Before the special aired, it looked like it was going to be a disaster. Production was rushed and over budget. The network didn't like it. The animators feared they ruined the Peanuts brand.
None of their worries mattered, though, as A Charlie Brown Christmas became an instant classic. Celebrating its 51st anniversary this year, the special has become a holiday tradition for families around the country. 
To continue reading this article, click here.

Friday, December 16, 2016

12 Gifting Ghosts of Christmas Past - Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer

The 1960s produced some of the most revered holiday specials of all time, including A Charlie Brown Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas! and Frosty the Snowman. But it all started with Rudolph. 
On this day 52 years ago, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer debuted in primetime on NBC. It has run every year since, making it a family tradition. Perhaps you watched this special as a kid, watched it with your kids growing up — or maybe even watch it with your grandkids now. 
To put it simply, it's just not the holiday season without this stop-motion special. The next time you watch it, remember these 10 facts. 
To continue reading this article, click here.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

12 Gifting Ghosts of Christmas Past - How the Grinch Stole Christmas

It's a tradition for many families across the country to gather around the television during the holiday season and watch popular specials from yesteryear. Children who watched programs like Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in the 1960s watched it again with their kids as they grew older — and perhaps even watch them now with their grandchildren. 
This year marks the 50th anniversary of How the Grinch Stole Christmas! That means we've had five decades of Dr. Seuss' green monster shaking up Christmas.
When you watch the special this year with your families, impress them with these eight facts. 
To continue reading this article, click here.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

12 Gifting Ghosts of Christmas Past - #1's of the 70's

Ah, December! Snow is in the air (in most places), lights are on the trees and carols are playing in every retail store. Yet, the season is not all about Christmas songs.
In fact, the tune-topping Billboard's Hot 100 on December 25 is rarely a holiday number. 
In the 1970s, it was business as usual at the end of year. Or, well, disco as usual. Let's take a look and listen to the No. 1 hits during the Yuletide seasons of the decade.
Do you remember trimming the tree or ripping open presents to these smashes?
To continue reading this article, click here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

12 Gifting Ghosts of Christmas Past - Christmas Trees

Do you prefer a real tree or a fake tree? It's the Ginger versus Mary Ann debate of Christmas decorating. 
How you answer the question just might rely on the era in which you grew up. Throughout the 20th century, tastes in tannenbaums changed with the trends of the decades. The postwar era of plastics ushered in a new future of artificial evergreens. Trees changed colors with the times, as the flocking fad came and went.
Television played a major part in the evolution of the American Xmas tree, too. Let's take a brief stroll through the Christmas trees our our past. Which kind did your family have?
To continue reading this article, click here.

Friday, December 9, 2016

On This Date in Boomer History - Helen Reddy Helps Women Roar (1972)

On Dec. 9, 1972, the number 1 song in the country was Helen Reddy's "I Am Woman."

Nothing in her professional credentials suggested the Australian pop singer Reddy as a feminist icon prior to 1972. 

She’d made her way to the United States from her native Australia on her own to pursue stardom, and she’d paid her dues working on the periphery of the music business for a number of years before making a breakthrough.

To continue reading this article from the History Channel, click here.

Here is the song ...

And here are the lyrics.
I am woman, hear me roar
In numbers too big to ignore
And I know too much to go back an' pretend
'Cause I've heard it all before
And I've been down there on the floor
No one's ever gonna keep me down again
Oh yes I am wise
But it's wisdom born of pain
Yes, I've paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to, I can do anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman
You can bend but never break me
'Cause it only serves to make me
More determined to achieve my final goal
And I come back even stronger
Not a novice any longer
'Cause you've deepened the conviction in my soul
Oh yes I am wise
But it's wisdom born of pain
Yes, I've paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to, I can do anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman
I am woman watch me grow
See me standing toe to toe
As I spread my lovin' arms across the land
But I'm still an embryo
With a long long way to go
Until I make my brother understand
Oh yes I am wise
But it's wisdom born of pain
Yes, I've paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to I can face anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman
Oh, I am woman
I am invincible
I am strong
I am woman
I am invincible
I am strong
I am woman

Thursday, December 8, 2016

On This Date in Baby Boomer History - John Lennon Is Killed (1980)

There are many murderous memorial dates for us Baby Boomers that prompt us to remember exactly where we were when we first heard the tragic news. JFK. Martin Luther King. Malcolm X. Bobby Kennedy.

And many of us, including me, can add John Lennon to that list. I had just finished practicing with the band I was in at the time on Dec. 8, 1980 and was home watching Monday Night Football. The legendary Howard Cossel announced Lennon's death during the game.

Lennon was shot by Mark David Chapman as the 40-year-old former Beatle was entering the luxury Manhattan apartment building where he lived with artist wife Yoko Ono. Lennon was rushed to the hospital, but died en route.

Lennon's death struck me particularly hard. He had always been my favorite Beatle and I knew immediately that not only would the Beatles never perform again, but Lennon's violent death signaled an official closing to an era that had once promised peace and love.

Encore 1
Howard Cossel delivers the news of John Lennon's death.

Encore 2
John Lennon's last interview in Rolling Stone, given just 3 days before he died.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

On This Date in Baby Boomer History - The Man Behind the Disney Dream Is Born (1901)

On December 5th, 1901, Walt Disney, the creator of Mickey Mouse and the Disney empire, was born.

There is perhaps no more universally beloved fictional character than Mickey Mouse. But it's hard to imagine Mickey inspiring such cuddly feelings if his name was Mortimer Mouse. Which, for all of Walt Disney's genius, was the name he was originally going to go with for the mouse that would become the centerpiece of his empire. 

But as we all know, behind every great man, there's a woman. Walt's wife, Lillian Disney, convinced him that Mickey might be a better name than the one she felt was too pompous. 

Meanwhile, Walt used the Mortimer name down the line, making him Mickey's rival.

And Mickey's land sprang from Walt watching a merry-go-round.

One day, Disney was watching his daughters ride the merry-go-round at Griffith Park in Los Angeles thinking the same thing as many parents in that exact same spot: This is colossally boring. 

It was right there that Disney says he had the inspiration for his theme park. He wanted an amusement park where both kids and parents could have fun. It was such a pivotal moment for him that he took the bench and put it on display at Disneyland's Opera House. Seems safe to say, he achieved his initial objective.