A look back at 150 (fifty from each decade) of the essential subjects from each of the exciting decades of change ... the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s! Fifty Favs provides a detailed summary of the leading Pop Culture topics---the people, music, sports, movies, and events of those fabulous decades of Americana that many of us fondly remember. Available in paperback or electronic book. Please visit the author's website at www.50favs.com
Introduction Having grown up in three of perhaps the most diverse and exciting decades of all time, and being nostalgic to begin with, I thought it appropriate to present a list of fifty of the “essential” subjects of each of those decades … the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. The list contains most or all of the most well-known people, places, and occurrences of those decades, bad or good. Of course, with the selection limited to fifty (150 total), there were many subjects that were left off the compilation: for example, the movies Cool Hand Luke, Easy Rider, and Love Story; the toppling of the Berlin Wall; Culture Club and KC and the Sunshine Band; the Pan Am Flight disaster; Johnny Carson; Martin Luther King Jr.; Stevie Wonder; the death of Elvis Presley; and so on. (Although the Vietnam War does not have its own write-up, as such, I refer to it numerous times.) These, and many others, are worthy of inclusion, but they also had a lot of competition. Most of the book focuses on the entertainment industry, whether it is sports, movies, television, or music. Because I thought it was important to include also some of the not-so-pleasant events of those thirty years, however, I had to decide which of these I would leave off this book. Perhaps, I could reassemble them for a second collection of the decades’ popular topics. For now, I present what I believe to be a fundamental, amusing, and very informative collection of mostly well-remembered subjects of those decades (many of which I referred to in my first book and were a part of my upbringing in the semi-autobiographical Late Boomer: the Things I Grew Up With), providing brief summaries of each that not only should bring back memories, but also be revelations for those not so familiar---What a period! Have fun! 1960s: From Munsters to Mustangs Color Television Although it may seem to many that television has been with us for a hundred years, the age of television generally did not really begin until the late 1940s. As with other early electronics, the first TV sets were rather crude and bulky (to house the large array of wiring, tubes, and other components) and they had very small screens, about thirteen inches diagonally. It was quite a novelty, nonetheless, and created a sensation for an American public coming off World War II. At first, most households did not include the rather expensive device, and citizens would flock to the homes of neighbors and family members, or to retail establishments to watch their favorite programs. Each week they looked forward to being entertained by Milton Berle, Arthur Godfrey, Lucille Ball, and William Boyd as “Hopalong Cassidy”. The fact that the images shown before them were monochrome, or black and white, mattered little. While the novelty of television enamored viewers---many in Hollywood, perhaps in denial, dismissed it as merely a “fad”---the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), for one, knew television was here to stay. It looked to the future and began to make inroads with the development of color television during the 1950s. Along with the introduction of color sets to the public in the late *50s were the first programs broadcast in color; however, while most households had a TV set by then, very few had the more-expensive color sets, which became the new innovation. As more programs were filmed chromatically, including Bonanza (sponsored by RCA) and Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color, so, naturally, was the increase in demand and manufacture of those sets. The inevitable transition to the life-like hues really accelerated during the mid-1960s. In 1966, NBC became “The Full Color Network”. In fact, all the networks’ new shows were now in color and any renewed ones that were in black-and-white the prior season were all but converted. ABC, CBS, and NBC made sure viewers were well aware that (if they had a color TV) what they were about to watch would be “In Color”, like the advertising of a “new and improved* household product. They figured it was time, and there was no turning back. By then, a majority of theatrical motion pictures were in Technicolor or Deluxe anyway, and TV wanted to retain its competitiveness, which also had been countered by the advent of the widescreen motion picture presentations since 1953. American companies RCA, Magnavox, Zenith, Sylvania, Admiral, Quasar, and other makes would predominately supply the demand for such sets, whether they were your furniture-style console models or portable ones. By the 1970s, color TVs were just about as common in American homes as refrigerators.
Nostalgic at an unusually young age, Mr. Del Bianco was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut during the early 1960s, at the tail-end of the baby boomer generation. He grew up in Trumbull, Connecticut, experiencing and appreciating all the changes in society that took place during the 1960s, '70s, and '80s.