MTV correctly tells us we should appreciate the year 1962. Why? Most of us were very small children then, many of us wasn’t even born then, and unless you heard their stuff in a TV commercial or was featured on Guitar Hero, don’t have a clue as to who these things are.
In 1962 some of the greatest things in pop culture were discovered for the first time in America and have lasted in some way to be still current and wanted and needed for the past 50 years. No, I am not talking about the Cuban missal crisis, or John Glen orbiting the earth in a spaceship for the first time, or the registration of the first Black person to register at the 100 year old Oxford University during segregation in America even though all these things happened during 1962.
The year brought new stores like Wal-Mart and K Mart. How did anyone ever survive before these stores came to provide us with cheap crap? Ok, lets go back to icons in entertainment. It was the year that the Rolling Stones performed their shows here in America. Even a first in the art world was revealed in 1962 when Andy Warhol painted his famous Campbell soup can and called it art. People have been looking at that painting for years scratching their head and wondering why it is so famous.
It is the year that Johnny Carson took over the Tonight Show. That is significant in that late night talk shows are still copying his format with the host hiding behind a desk while interviewing a guest. They still copy a short monologue of jokes in front of the curtain and a series of comedy skits or videos. The same format. Most recently copied by funny guy Jimmy Fallon who now wears a starched suit every night too.
Then there are the literary firsts like Author Rachel Carson who wrote “Silver Spring” a famous book about the rise in the environmental movement. Before this, our crops were being sprayed with insecticides . There wasn’t anything in the supermarkets then called organically grown and most of our produce was sprayed with poisons. This book inspired in 1962 a new and safer way to eat our fruits and vegetables.
Can you imagine 2062? I doubt all the reality shows will still be around like” The Jersey Shore” or even all the vocal competition drama like “American Idol .” But then we had a brand new Comic Book Hero in 1962 at 12 cents a copy Spider Man arrived. Now, the wall crawler is a Broadway Musical, a big budget Movie series, and a Theme park ride.