Julia and I were both born in 1970 and often have spirited conversations about how lucky we were to grow up in that decade. I’m sure everyone looks back on their first 10 years of life with the same fondness and argues that was “the best time to be a kid” but children of the 70’s know they are right! Just kidding, mostly.

In most ways children still had the all American, innocent experience. For example, I grew up in a simple two bedroom house, one telephone (rotary!), one TV with about 7 channels and no remote control, no computer, no internet, no video games, just a few toys and it was GREAT. My mom would send me on my way not expecting to hear from me until dinner. My days were filled with adventure as I would ride my Schwinn Stingray for miles. Nights were no less active. The neighborhood kids would eat as quickly as possible so we could meet up for a few hours of ghost in the graveyard before finally collapsing in our beds dreaming of the day’s activities. Perfect!

Gigglesnort HotelI kind of went off on a little bit of a tangent there because I actually meant to talk about how weird the kid’s TV programming was. If you grew up in the Chicago area just think Gigglesnort Hotel. Side note: my favorite description of Gigglesnort Hotel is “Gigglesnort Hotel was utterly Satanic. There was nothing cute or funny about it – it was horrifying and wrong.” Programming was not just weird but much of the “kid’s” shows took a decidedly adult approach that, looking back, I find to be wonderful. The Electric Company is a great example of this. Sure, it was clearly a children’s show but with cast members like Morgan Freeman, Rita Moreno, Bill Cosby, Mel Brooks, Joan Rivers and Gene Wilder just how “wacky” could it be?

And who could forget the impact of Schoolhouse Rock? I recently heard a song from Schoolhouse Rock that I had forgotten about but as soon as I heard it (on LuxuriaMusic.com) a flood of memories came rushing in. The song is Figure Eight performed by Blossom Dearie, a Jazz singer and pianist who has recorded for Verve and Capitol Records. Watching this clip for the first time in 20 years reminded me how lucky I was to be exposed to grown up music as often as I was. Just try and imagine A Charlie Brown Christmas with Barney style music rather than the brilliant Vince Guaraldi Trio score. Figure Eight is borderline creepy but that is what makes it so great, just like the rest of the 70’s.

Advertisements