Oh, does that bring back memories!
Dick Clark’s American Bandstand! Wow! It was soooo much fun to watch those teens dancing and listen to all the wonderful music. I was a shy country girl and couldn’t even imagine what it might be like to dance on national television!
Dick Clark started hosting Bandstand in 1956. I was only eight years old!! The fact that the doctrine in my little church frowned on dancing – I never did really understand why – likely made Bandstand even more fascinating. And it wasn’t just me! According to Groovy History, “Young people everywhere thought they had died and gone to heaven when Dick Clark introduced the American Bandstand television music show.”
On Bandstand Dick Clark provided an opportunity for audience members to give their opinions of songs, on a scale of 35 to 98. As Groovy History tells us, “A song usually got a better rating if it had a beat that was easy to dance to…If a song makes you feel like dancing, it has to be great!” I would definitely agree!
With Bandstand Boogie by Les Elgart as its theme song, American Bandstand over time introduced us to the likes of Roy Orbison, the Beach Boys, Chubby Checker, The Silhouettes, Fabian, Little Richard, and even a very young Michael Jackson.
If you’re a septuagenarian like me – or even if you’re not! – take a look at a few of these videos. They might just bring a smile to your face! (Who couldn’t use more smiles, y’all?)
Little Richard – Long Tall Sally and Tutti Frutti – 1957
Dion & the Belmonts – I Wonder Why – 1958
The Chordettes – Lollipop and Mr. Sandman – 1958
Chuck Berry – Sweet Little Sixteen – 1958
Danny and the Juniors – At the Hop – 1958
Jackie Wilson – Lonely Teardrops – 1959
Bobby Rydell – Wild One – 1960 (vocal only)
Chubby Checker – The Twist – 1960
Little Eva – The Locomotion – 1962 This is MY personal favorite!
Peggy March – I Will Follow Him – 1963
Roy Orbison – Pretty Woman – 1966
The Diamonds – The Stroll – 1968
The Jackson Five – I Want You Back – 1970
The Silhouettes – Get a Job – 1973
The list could go on and on! Now that we’re thinking about great old music, how about a couple more songs from 1956. While these tunes are not from Bandstand, I know you’ll enjoy them. They’re by a singer who needs no introduction!
Blue Suede Shoes
I hope you’ve enjoyed this journey down memory lane, my friends. Anybody out there want to do The Locomotion with me??? Just sayin’!!!
I couldn’t have done it without you!
I’ll get right to the point today, everyone. Our body parts don’t look like they used to! Pick a body part, any body part. All together now….Waaaahhhh!!! Boo hoo!!! Sniff sniff!! (Onomatopoeia anyone?) It is what it is, and we’re not particularly happy about it.
I’m not here to sell you a magic potion, lotion, cream or device that will bring back the easy outward beauty of youth. We all know that can’t happen. I’m here today to help us all not simply accept ourselves as we are but, more importantly, actually love ourselves as we are…all body parts included!
Here’s an example. As we age women often have “a problem” with their hands and arms (think age spots and bat wings!). Not long ago as I pondered my old hands and old arms I suddenly realized how very, very thankful I am for them.
These hands once touched so many people I love who have gone on to heaven before me…my Mom, my Dad, Munner (my grandma), Pap (my grandpa), my big brother Tim. These hands once touched the silky newborn faces of my now-grown daughters and nearly-grown grandsons…and my arms encircled them and lifted them up when they cried. With my old hands I have made pies and cookies and cakes and other goodies for my family and friends to enjoy. These hands have felt the smoothness of a handsome horse’s back, the prickly stem of a beautiful rose, and the sweet softness of a beloved dog’s floppy ears. And so much more…
Yes, I am so lucky to have these arms and hands…and all the other parts of my no-longer-young body. I’m grateful that my old heart still beats, allowing me to be a part of this good life for however long that will be. That truly is a gift.
We’ve all heard the saying, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Well, this beholder is feeling new appreciation and seeing beauty where I didn’t see it before.
Thank you, arms! Thank you, hands! I love you, my old friends. Oh, the memories. I simply couldn’t have done it without you!
Margaritas and so much more!
In Sound of Music Julie Andrews sang about raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, and even bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens. Well, those are all great…but they’re not my favorite things!!
My list goes something like this:
- Front porches and porch swings. No home should be without them.
- My Cousin Vinny. It always makes me laugh!
- The Locomotion. Oh my goodness. I sure love to “do The Locomotion”!
- Iridescent jewelry. It makes me happy just to look at it…and when I wear it.
- San Francisco. I think I did leave a little piece of my heart there.
- Pizza. I grab a slice at my favorite pizza place whenever I’m in the neighborhood.
- Pretty Woman. My “most watched” movie for sure!
- Rocking chairs. How could we care for precious grandchildren — or great-grandchildren! — without one?
- Margaritas. Straight up, with salt. Yum!
- Pepsi. While I love margaritas, those are often few and far between. Pepsi, on the other hand, is usually close at hand.
- Beautiful rolling hills. I grew up surrounded by hills and I do miss them when they’re not nearby.
- Black clothes. Can’t help myself!
- Salzburg, Austria. When I flew out of magnificent Salzburg many years ago I had tears in my eyes…
- Dancing. Where the heck can a 70 year go to dance these days?
- Murder mystery novels. David Baldacci, Harlan Coben, Michael Connelly and J. D. Robb come to mind.
- Old time rock ’n’ roll. We do know that “today’s music ain’t got the same soul”!
I could go on and on. I could even make a list of more serious favorites; being a grandmother would definitely top that list! But enough for today.
As Julie Andrews tells us, “When I’m feeling sad, I simply remember my favorite things and then I don’t feel so bad.” Hey, it really does work!
So I ask: What are a few of your favorite things???
I’ve heard it said that 60 is the new 50. Hmmm. And did you know there’s actually a French film entitled 50 is the New 30? (A romantic comedy of course!) I do absolutely appreciate those perspectives. After all, we look and act much younger than our parents and grandparents did at our age, right? Well, maybe! So, we could proclaim that 70 is the new 60…or even 70 is the new 50. (Remember, we’re optimists!) But wait a minute…
As much as the number 70 can be a bit frightening in terms of age, I have been on this good earth for 70 years. I deserve credit for that!
If I wasn’t 70 I wouldn’t remember that crank phone on the kitchen wall when I was a kid…and our “phone number” being two longs and a short. (My grandparents’ was three shorts!) I wouldn’t have memories of watching Sky King, Hopalong Cassidy, or The Lone Ranger on Saturday mornings with my brother Tim. I wouldn’t have the memory of holding my precious grandmother’s hand as she cried at the sight of her father’s work boots hanging in “Pap’s shanty” after he passed away. And I wouldn’t remember sitting in study hall in high school and learning that President Kennedy had been shot and killed. Or − on a much lighter note – how about seeing Elvis Presley making his first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1956? Woo hoo! Those old memories are all a part of me.
Would it be nice to be 50 again? Or be 60 again? Sure. But I’m not and I won’t be. I’m 70 and proud. 70 is what we make it. Bring it on!