The 60s Official Site Blog

Dedicated to the memory and history of the 60s from a personal and historical point of view.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Do You Remember "Where The Action Is?"

As summer continues to fade away and as I now look back to summers past from the days of my youth, I recall watching a program called "Where The Action Is." It was a weekly based music variety show hosted by Dick Clark and aired every week day afternoon on ABC during the 60s. It was created by Dick Clark as a spin-off of American Bandstand. Where The Action Is premiered on ABC on June 27, 1965, the summer before I started my senior year in high school. The theme song for the show was Freddy Cannon's song "Where The Action Is," which peaked on the Billboard charts at number 13. Click Here to play the theme song.

I watched as the music of my generation was playing with the artist who made it a hit on my TV screen from a beach or resort. Watching this show made me yearn to travel and see this country and the world. I dreamed I was part of Where The Action Is. At that time of my life, I had not been outside the state of Ohio. I really wanted to be where the party and fun was and a beach looked like it. I remember a segment they showed from a Hawaii location. Man did that get my juices flowing.

All of the telecasts were taped in black and white and were primarily shot on location across southern California although like I said, I do remember a Hawaii episode. The mainstay performers for the show were Paul Revere and The Raiders. (see the post below this one which was my previous post) After the show premiered and as I watched Paul Revere and The Raiders, I immediately bought their latest hit and their LP.

Some of the great recording artists who appeared on the show were enormous hit makers. The list includes:

Chad & Jeremy; Bobby Freeman; Dick and Dee Dee; Bobby Rydell; Frankie Avalon; Dee Dee Sharp; The Zombies; Jimmy Clanton; Steve Alaimo; Linda Scott; Jackie DeShannon; Eddie Hodges; The Shangri-Las; The Detergents; James Brown & The Famous Flames; Tommy Roe; Nino Tempo and April Stevens; The Byrds; Sonny & Cher; Del Shannon; The Drifters; Brian Hyland; Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs; Herman's Hermits; Lenny Welch; Sir Douglas Quintet; The Crystals; The Newbeats; Jackie Wilson; Jr. Walker & the All Stars; The Kinks; Freddy Cannon; Aretha Franklin; Joe Tex; The Dixie Cups; The Hondells; Major Lance; Ray Peterson; The Turtles; Paul Petersen; Gary U.S. Bonds; The Impressions; Duane Eddy; We Five; Barbara Lewis; Bobby Goldsboro; Donovan; The Lovin' Spoonful; Ike & Tina Turner; The Everly Brothers; The McCoys; Vic Dana; Billy Joe Royal; Neil Sedaka; Peter & Gordon; The Castaways; Brenda Holloway and so many more, too numerous to mention.

That is why I hurried home after school so I could watch my generation of performers perform the music I loved in what seemed like exotic locations to a small town boy from Ohio.

What saddened me most was the show was cancelled on March 31, 1967. All great things eventually come to an end, even summers and dreams.

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  • At 11:30 AM, Blogger Bruce Bad Trip said…

    Hey Carl - great blog. Isn't Paul Revere still playing casinos and cruises all over the place? "Where The Action Is" was truly a great show! I remember seeing ? and the Mysterians, who are also still playing and as rocking as ever. Please check out our blog when you can - maybe we can x-change links? thanks, Bruce Ciero I love surfboards. There's an inexplicable force that has always drawn me to them. Even as a child I was mesmerized by those sleek objects, whether they were lying in the sand shining brilliantly, or standing majestically in the local surf shop. And, as a four feet - something eleven-year-old kid, the ten feet of length always made them seem bigger than life. Colorful labels like Hobie, Greg Noll, Hansen, and others adorned these foam and fiberglass monoliths, giving them an identity and status among young surfers. I was hooked, lined and sinker-ed from the start - I guess you could call it "surfboard love at first sight". I immediately vowed to either wrangle the money out of my folks, or find a way to earn enough to buy my own board. Until then, I discovered that you could actually rent a surfboard by the hour from a local beach side motel, which was within biking distance from our neighborhood. I gathered up my change and a friend and we rode into the future.

    Fast forward a few years - I eventually bought my own surfboard, and learned a lot in the process. First, a little back-story: The late 60's was a time of change everywhere in the world, and it filtered down to the surfing world, too. We learned how to make our own boards out of necessity and a "stick it to the man" spirit. In other words, we were broke and bored teenage surfers. Surfboards at the time were expensive to kids like us, and the major manufacturers couldn't keep up, design-wise: they just weren't hip enough. The longer, straighter-riding boards of our fathers were giving way to shorter and more maneuverable rocket ship looking surf craft. A lot of people learned how to make the new style boards by cutting down the much larger and older long boards. My first "real" surfboard was made in a garage by the same underground process. I watched as a friend stripped the fiberglass off an old board, shaped the inner core of foam down to a sleek rocket, and re-fiberglass the whole thing. Viola. Now, I not only had a modern Indy car looking surfboard, I learned how to do what he did by looking over his shoulder. After that, I looked over a lot of shoulders (and cut down a lot of boards).

    Fast-forward forty more years. I'm still hooked on surfboards. Now I've got kids looking over my shoulder. We don't have to strip and cut down old surfboards anymore. The difference is that there are many different ways to make surfboards now. Today we utilize a lot of different materials and methods, all of which allows builders to produce boards for every style and budget. From the time honored and storied tradition of using wood such as koa, redwood, and balsa, and up through the status quo foam and fiberglass techniques, not a lot appears to have changed in the lay-persons eyes. But not only is every design possibility (old and new and a mix too) under the sun valid and possible, "green" technologies have also found a place amongst board builders. Vegetable based foam, bamboo cloth, epoxy resin that cleans up with soap and water, and even standard techniques to increase longevity are becoming industry standards. CNC machines have even made computer shaped boards an every day occurrence. But you can still get a handmade board if you look in the right places.

    Or, you can make your own. That's what this book is all about. Be careful, you may get hooked (just wait 'til you ride it!)...


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