While coming into work this Thursday morning, I was listening to Sirius XM 60’s On 6 with DJ Phlash Phelps and in the song rotation up comes “Yesterday’s Gone” by the British duo Chad & Jeremy. This song hit the Billboard Top 40 in the summer of 1964; it topped at number 21 followed by their only top 10 hit, “A Summer Song”, in the fall of 1964. This reminded me of an appearance the guys made on CBS’s Dick Van Dyke Show on February 10, 1965 called “The Redcoats Are Coming”, portraying two British singers appearing on the Alan Brady Show and causing commotion for everyone, especially Rob Petrie (Van Dyke). The rock group The Standells made an appearance on The Munsters on CBS in 1966 as house guests of Herman and Lilly Munster.
Since the 1930’s, musicians and the record industry have used other entertainment media to reach audiences about their artists. When the movies went from being silent to talkies, many artists and their orchestras performed their work on film as a trailer before the main attraction. Network radio had artists like Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Kate Smith, and Paul Whiteman and his orchestra. When TV came along, the public could for the first time see and hear performers live as it happened. As the rock and roll age got started, young up and coming artists started appearing on TV and film. Ricky Nelson, son of Ozzie and Harriet Nelson, performed his latest hit each week on their show on ABC. Elvis Presley appeared on TV and made numerous motion pictures. During the 60’s, NBC had a rock and roll show called Hullabaloo in prime time from 1965-1966. ABC aired Shindig from 1964-1966 with host Jimmy O’Neill. And of course shows like The Ed Sullivan Show on CBS (The Beatles and The Doors) and The Hollywood Palace on ABC (Ed Wynn introducing Paul Revere & The Raiders in 1966). Then a group of guys assembled together by producer Don Kirshner and produced by Screen Gems Television appeared on the scene: The Monkees. In the 1970’s, NBC aired The Midnight Special on Friday nights from 1972-1981 with Wolfman Jack appearing who was also a DJ at WNBC Radio in New York City (WNBC is now WFAN SportsRadio 66 owned by CBS).
In today’s world, all of the traditional media still give musical performers great exposure but all of that is enhanced on a daily basis thanks to the Internet, digital and social media. No more record stores. You can still play vinyl records if you have a record player. One major radio company in America also owns a outdoor venue company as a platform for today’s artists. But the format du jour is just buying a song that you want on iTunes and load it on your phone.
In today’s world, some artist always is facebooking or tweeting about something going on…sometimes good and sometimes not so good. Some artists believe that bad press ends being good press (that’s debatable). When I look around at people at the shopping malls or the grocery store, everyone is glued to their phone either talking or checking Facebook and Twitter. I admit that I am addicted to as well!
However, one bastion of society wants us to put the phone down, stop facebooking and tweeting, and then turn it off while on their premises, and that is the private country club business. For example, at Brook Hollow Golf Club in Dallas, off of Harry Hines Blvd., it is against club rules to not only use your personal phone or computer inside the Clubhouse but also prohibited from having it ring on the golf course itself (you can use it outside and on the course, just no obnoxious rings). This club was founded in 1920 and will celebrate its 100th anniversary in six years. With only a little over 400 members, existing members get their kids on the membership waiting list when they are born. The Club has a website but unless you are a member, not much information is revealed on the home page.
Some things never change! See you next time.