Tag Archives: Music et al

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 straight man.

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.

Who Smash Smothers Brothers

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.

Who Smash Smothers Brothers

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

Oh, that night!

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.

Keith Moon had rigged his drum set to explode. It did and the explosions cut Moon’s leg & singed Pete Townshend’s hair, along with doing damage to Townshend’s hearing.

Who Smash Smothers Brothers

Try try again

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.

Who Smash Smothers Brothers
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April 24 Music et al

April 24 Music et al

Doug Clifford

April 24, 1945: Doug Clifford of Creedance Clearwater Revival born.

April 24 Music et al

Bob Dylan

April 24, 1961: Harry Belafonte recorded “Midnight Special”. Bob Dylan played harmonica on the recording. It was Dylan’s first official recording and he received a $50 session fee. (see July 29)


April 24 Music et al

Runaway

April 24 Music et al

April 24 – May 21, 1961: “Runaway” by Del Shannon #1 Billboard Hot 100. Shannon and keyboardist Max Crook wrote the song.


April 24 Music et al

Game of Love

April 24 – 30, 1965: “Game of Love” by Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.


April 24 Music et al

Penultimate John and Paul

April 24, 1976: Paul and Linda McCartney spent the evening with John Lennon at his New York Dakota apartment and watched Saturday Night Live. Producer of the show Lorne Michaels made an offer on air asking The Beatles to turn up and play three songs live. Lennon and McCartney thought about taking a cab to the studio, but decided they were too tired. The next day was the last time John and Paul met. (see July 27)


April 24 Music et al

William “Billy” Zantzinger

April 24, 1991: William “Billy” Zantzinger–made infamous by Bob Dylan’s song, “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll,”  became front page news again. The Maryland Independent ran a story by reporter Kristi Hempel revealing that Zantzinger had been collecting rent for five years from several poor black families even though he no longer owned the houses where they lived. The county had foreclosed on the properties in 1986 because Zantzinger had failed to pay taxes on them. The houses, located in a place called Patuxent Woods, were battered wooden shacks, with no running water or toilets or even outhouses. The tenants had to dump their wastes in the woods, which polluted the water in their shallow hand-pumped wells. Not only had Zantzinger collected rent after losing the properties, he’d actually raised the rent, and he’d even taken some tenants to court for nonpayment. And won. (Guardian article on Zantzinger) (see June 5)

April 24 Music et al
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April 3 Music et al

April 3 Music et al

Howl

Allen Ginsberg

April 3 Music et al


April 3, 1955: the  American Civil Liberties Union announced it would defend Allen Ginsberg’s book Howl against obscenity charges. 


A few weeks earlier, U.S. Customs Department had seized 520 copies of the book arriving from England and arrested its publisher, Lawrence Ferlinghetti after undercover cops purchased “Howl” at his bookstore. (see Oct 7)


April 3 Music et al

Elvis Presley

Milton Berle Show

April 3 Music et al


April 3, 1956: Elvis Presley performed on “The Milton Berle Show.” The show was broadcast live from the aircraft carrier USS Hancock. Elvis played the songs “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Money, Honey,” and “Blue Suede Shoes.” An estimated 25% of the American population tuned in to hear him. (see Apr 4)


April 3 Music et al

Marcels

“Blue Moon”


From songfacts.comRichard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart began writing Blue Moon for the 1933 movie musical Hollywood Party, but it was cut from the film.


The following year, it was used in Manhattan Melodrama – starring Clark Gable, William Powell and Myrna Loy – where it was performed by Shirley Ross in a nightclub scene. The song was originally called “The Bad in Every Man,” befitting the story of Gable’s kind-hearted criminal, but was rejected by MGM until it was re-worked as “Blue Moon.”


Blue Moon” by the Marcels  was #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 from  April 3 – 23, 1961,



April 3 Music et al

John Lennon


April 3 Music et al


April 3, 1973: John Lennon  appealed the order to leave the United States by May 21 and sought to show that the Justice Department’s legal arguments in the action against him had made it “not just a John-and-Yoko case” but one where “many cases hinge on the outcome.”


Lennon’s fight to stay in the country will eventually lead to Preident Obama’s Deferred Action Policy.  (see 2016 2016 NPR story) (see “in May”)


April 3 Music et al
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