Category Archives: History

Who Smash Smothers Brothers

Who Smash Smothers Brothers

September 17, 1967

Tom and Dick

Who Smash Smothers Brothers

I had heard of the Smothers Brothers. They were a bit goofy and looked like they might be escapees from a barbershop quartet. They were actually brothers (unlike the Righteous Brothers) and the way Tom joked but didn't joke with Dick, his straightman. Of course, Dick was a pretty funny word to hear on TV in the 1960s.

Their show began on CBS at 9 PM on Sunday 5 February 1967.  They followed the still popular and influential Ed Sullivan Show. Such a lead in spot would seem to make their show a shoe in success, but keep in mind what was on NBC at the same time: Bonanza.

The underdog

Bonanza had been running for eight years already. A hugely popular show that made its viewers feel like cowboys who did the right thing at a time when making America great again was all the rage.

Poking fun at the Establishment was funny only to some Boomers, but for them, what fun it was.

Plus there was music. They had main stream performers like Jim Nabors, Jimmy Durante, siblings Frank and Nancy Sinatra, and Micky Rooney.

Underground music

For so-called "underground music" fans, seeing bands such as the Buffalo Springfield, Jefferson Airplane, the Turtles, the Blues Magoos, the Electric Prunes, and Simon and Garfunkel was a special treat. Such bands were not regularly seen on the few pre-cable TV stations typically available.

Who Smash Smothers Brothers

Who Smash Smothers Brothers

On September 17, 1967, The Who appeared on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. They played 2 songs, "I Can See For Miles" and "My Generation". At the end of “My Generation”, Pete Townshend started smashing his amp and Keith Moon had his drum set rigged to explode which did cut Moon’s leg & singed Pete Townshend’s hair, along with doing damage to Townshend’s hearing.

The story is apparently (and not surprisingly) that Keith Moon wanted to have an explosion at the end of their performance. In rehearsals, the explosion wasn't big enough and he asked for something bigger. It was increased, but Keith added more.

And history was made.

Here is a 2016 Rolling Stone magazine look-back at the event.

September 15 Music et al

September 15 Music et al

Pendletons aka, the Beach Boys

September 15, 1961, the Pendletons,  from Hawthorne, California, attended their first real recording session at Hite Morgan's studio in Los Angeles. The band recorded 'Surfin'. They soon changed their name to the Beach Boys. (see Dec 8)

Four Seasons

September 15 – October 19, 1962: “Sherry” by the Four Seasons #1 Billboard Hot 100. Written by Bob Gaudio

From Wikipedia: According to Gaudio, the song took about 15 minutes to write and was originally titled "Jackie Baby" (in honor of then-First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy). In a 1968 interview, Gaudio said that the song was inspired by the 1961 Bruce Channel hit "Hey! Baby".

At the studio, the name was changed to "Terri Baby", and eventually to "Sherry", the name of the daughter of Gaudio's best friend, New York DJ Jack Spector. One of the names that Gaudio pondered for the song was "Peri Baby," which was the name of the record label for which Bob Crewe worked, named after the label owner's daughter.
September 15 Music et al

Otis Redding

September 15, 1965: Otis Redding released his Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul containing his composition “Respect”

From AllMusic:  "Otis Redding's third album, and his first fully realized album, presents his talent unfettered, his direction clear, and his confidence emboldened, with fully half the songs representing a reach that extended his musical grasp. More than a quarter of this album is given over to Redding's versions of songs by Sam Cooke, his idol, who had died the previous December, and all three are worth owning and hearing. Two of them, "A Change Is Gonna Come" and "Shake," are every bit as essential as any soul recordings ever made, and while they (and much of this album) have reappeared on several anthologies, it's useful to hear the songs from those sessions juxtaposed with each other, and with "Wonderful World," which is seldom compiled elsewhere."

Fear of Rock

September 15, 1970:Vice President Spiro Agnew stated that  American youth were being destroyed by rock music, the drug culture, and underground newspapers. (see March 27, 1971)

September 15 Music et al

September 7 Peace Love Activism

September 7 Peace Love Activism

Technological Milestone

September 7, 1927:  TV pioneer Philo T. Farnsworth succeeded in transmitting an image through purely electronic means by using a device called an image dissector. (see July 7, 1928)

Cold War

September 7 Peace Love Activism

September 7, 1953: following the March 5 death of Joseph Stalin, Nikita Khrushchev becomes leader of the Soviet Communist Party. His main rival, Lavrentiy Beria, was executed in December. (see Nov 13)


Daughters of Bilitis
September 7, 1957: The Daughters of Bilitis, the first openly lesbian activist organization in the U.S (founded on September 21, 1955) held its first meeting on this date in New York City. The Daughters of Bilitis sponsored a lesbian and gay rights conference in New York City, on June 20, 1964, at which two doctors attacked the idea that homosexuality was a disease. (see January 13, 1958)
Trail Life USA

September 7 Peace Love Activism

September 7, 2013: Trail Life USA formed for those who disagreed with the Boy Scouts of America  decision to allow openly gay Scouts. The group stated that it was founded to “counter the ‘moral free fall’ of the nation, and raise a generation of faithful husbands, fathers, citizens and leaders.” It added, “The genesis of the new group was the [Boy Scouts of America] leadership’s closely watched decision in May to change its membership policy and admit youth regardless of their sexual orientation or sexual preference.” (Trail Life core values) (LGBTQ, see Oct 18; BSA, see February 27, 2014)

Nuclear/Chemical News

September 7, 1964: the most famous of all campaign commercials, known as the “Daisy Girl” ad, ran only once as a paid advertisement, during an NBC broadcast of Monday Night at the Movies. Without any explanatory words, the ad used a simple and powerful cinematic device, juxtaposing a scene of a little girl happily picking petals off of a flower and an ominous countdown to a nuclear explosion. The ad was created by the innovative agency Doyle Dane Bernbach, known for its conceptual, minimal, and modern approach to advertising. The memorable soundtrack was created by Tony Schwartz, an advertising pioneer famous for his work with sound, including anthropological recordings of audio from cultures around the world. The frightening ad was instantly perceived as a portrayal of Barry Goldwater as an extremist. In fact, the Republican National Committee spelled this out by saying, “This ad implies that Senator Goldwater is a reckless man and Lyndon Johnson is a careful man.” That was precisely the intent; in a memo to President Johnson on September 13, Bill Moyers wrote, “The idea was not to let him get away with building a moderate image and to put him on the defensive before the campaign is old.”

The ad was replayed in its entirety on ABC’s and CBS’s nightly news shows, amplifying its impact. (see Oct 16)


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September 7, 1965:  US Marine Corps Lance Corporal Richard B Fitzgibbon, III killed in action from an explosive device while serving in Quang Tin, South Vietnam. He was the son of Richard B Fitzgibbon, Jr, the first US casualty in Vietnam. (see Sept 11)


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September 7, 1968:  New York Radical Women protested the Miss America contest in Atlantic City by picketing, yelling “Women's Liberation!,” and throwing bras and garter belts into a trashcan. Although nothing was actually burned, the event brings the feminist movement media attention and begins the “bra-burner” stereotype. (see Nov 5)
September 7 Peace Love Activism

Black History

Joseph Woodrow Hatchett
September 7, 1976: Joseph Woodrow Hatchett was elected to a seat on the Florida Supreme Court, becoming the first black person elected to any statewide office in the South since the end of Reconstruction nearly a century before. A year earlier, in September 1975, Governor Rubin Askew appointed Judge Hatchett to a seat on the Court, making him the first black Florida Supreme Court justice in state history. (see Sept 28)

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September 7, 1986: Desmond Tutu became the first Black Anglican Church bishop in South Africa. (see December 7, 1988)

Cultural Milestone

September 7, 1979: ESPN made its cable TV debut. (see June 1, 1980)

Iraq War II

September 7, 2004:  death toll of U.S. soldiers in Iraq reached 1,000 [, 9/8/04] (see Oct 7)

Sexual Abuse of Children

September 7, 2007: the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego agreed to pay $198m to settle 144 claims of sexual abuse by clergy. (see May 2009)

John Lennon assassination

September 7, 2010: Mark David Chapman was denied parole for the sixth time. Chapman, being held at Attica Correctional Facility in New York State, will remain imprisoned for at least two more years. (see August 22, 2012)

Terry Jones bigotry

September 7, 2010:  Jones says he "understands the government's concerns, but plans to go forward with the burning." He left "the door open to change his mind, however, saying that he was still praying about his decision. (see Sept 8)

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