A Beach Boys Extravaganza!

Air Date: November 13, 1965

Notable Cast

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Not unlike our America of 2020, in 1965 the American culture was experiencing shock waves. America’s “Bloody Sunday” was on March 7, 1965 and in August of that year. Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act in response to civil protest spreading throughout the country, prompted by systemic discrimination. The U.S had also begun increasing it’s forces in Vietnam, and America’s youth reacted to the military draft that brought the conflict to their neighborhoods. Music, too, was changing and it was at that point of intersection that America’s culture, young and old, often came together in unity.

In 1965, no two entertainers could better represent the old guard of radio, film and television than Bob Hope and Jack Benny. Few American musical acts at the time were having a bigger impact on the music than the Beach Boys. Bringing these talents together on network TV in prime time represented the recognition that cultural changes were a part of our future. Here was early recognition that music invented by the youth of the time would fortify the nation through the coming decades of stress and change.

The Beach Boys were known to American households for some time by 1965. The British Invasion in music was underway and shaping American tastes, but the Beach Boys represented the best of American Rock and Roll at the time.  They released their first album, Surfin’ Safari, in 1962.  In January of 1963 they had their first top-10 single, “Surfin’ USA.” The song, “California Girls,” performed in this clip, would become a rock anthem and along with 4 other Beach Boys’ songs, was included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’sTop 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll.

“Barbara Ann,” performed at the end of the clip had just been released. In September of 1965. they recorded the cover of a 1961 Fred Fassert song previously released by The Regents.” It appeared on their album, “Beach Boys’ Party!,” and was released as a single from that album. The single didn’t enter the Billboard  top 100 singles chart until the first week in January 1966, so this performance was the first time many Americans heard this song. The hit would go on to reach No. 13 on the Billboard charts.

In this Classic TV Clip, the Beach Boys perform California Girls, Barbara Ann, and do a skit with Jack Benny and Bob Hope. From the November 13, 1965 airing of the Jack Benny Hour on NBC.

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