Saturday, February 16, 2013

A Wednesday in 1970

Wednesday, September 9th, 1970

Again I was in school but our school had no cafateria so I either ate at an uptown restaurant or ran the three and a half blocks home for a quick lunch. On those occasions when I ran home, I'd generally catch a few minutes of Bob Braun and Nick Clooney's mid-day shows before I had to race back.

DARK SHADOWS at 4, as usual. After that, the routine generally followed yesterday's until primetime.

At 7:30. Billy Graham usurped ABC broadcasts on Channel 12 again. THE VIRGINIAN presented a rerun from 7 full years earlier, all because it featured Robert Redford who, in 1970, had just achieved superstardom with BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID. That wouldn't have mattered to me yet, though, so I probably watched the final episode of the Hanna-Barbera animated sitcom WHERE'S HUDDLES? instead.

At 8 PM, channel 9 offered what appears to have been a syndicated special of black music starring BB King and Sly and the Family Stone. Once again, my tastes had not yet reached that level. I probably tuned out for a while and let my parents watch whatever.

At 8:30, my choice would have been between ROOM 222 and THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES. In its 8th season I believe by that point, the TV GUIDE didn't even bother to list the show's whole title--just...HILLBILLIES.

Not to be one-upped by rival evangelist Billy Graham, Oral Roberts, at the time a favorite of my friend Doug and his family, cut off network programming on Channel 12 at 9. Specifically, an episode of THE EVERLY BROTHERS variety series.

Broadway Diva Carol Channing had a musical comedy network special on NBC featuring an unlikely guest list that included Sir Ralph Richardson, Sir John Gielgud, Art Carney and MY THREE SONS' Fred MacMurray. I'd be willing to bet, though, that we opted for the rerun of Chad Everett's MEDICAL CENTER that featured the acting debut of football star and future infamous celebrity OJ Simpson.

At 10 PM, President Nixon interrupted everything on every channel (as he often did!) with a brief message on behalf of "The United Community Fund."The only ting not affected was NET which presented a controversial documentary, HOMOSEXUALITY IN MEN AND WOMEN.

Still, Nixon was gone by 10:05 and we were left with the choice of HAWAII 5-0, The Americas Cup boat races or, from ABC, a rerun of the CBS episode of THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS COMEDY HOUR that had aired during the 1968 musicians strike. George harrison, Donovan and Jennifer Warnes (Warren then) appear along with Howard Hesseman's comedy group, The Committee. That would probably have been what we watched as we weren't boating enthusiasts and didn't normally catch  Jack Lord's now-classic (and revived) cop show.

Off to bed for me, missing the late night talk show guests Joel Grey, Bernadette Peters (whom I didn't even hear of until a couple of years later), George Maharis, Totie Fields, Karen Valentine and Mickey Rooney.

Had I been aware of how cool it was, I might have begged to stay up to catch the great Clifton Webb in his signature role in MISTER BELVEDERE RINGS THE BELL. As it is, it would be another dozen years before I discovered Webb.

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