Saturday, December 7, 2013

Observations – End Of The Year, Going Back 50 More

My take is that 1963 was a pivotal year for those of us living in the U.S.  The Sixties weren’t quite in full force, but the assassination of our President was first in a tragic trio of murders that changed the way we looked at our lives. Civil Rights had finally punched through to the national conscience. And soon we would discover we were escalating a foolish and immoral war in Vietnam that would divide the nation. The Beetles and Stones had just reached our shores and hadn’t introduced the wonderfully shocking “Summer of Love.” Culturally, speaking though, Americans had not yet grasped what the decade was all about in 1963. For the most part, we were still holding onto our innocence and ignorance. The following lists may provide some insight into what we were thinking just before the world changed.

Best Selling Fiction (As of December 29, 1963, NYT)

1. The Group, Mary McCarthy
2. The Venetian Affair, Helen MacInnes
3. Caravan, James Michener
4. The Shoes of a Fisherman, Morris L. West
5. The Living Reed, Pearl S. Buck
6. The Hat on the Bed, John O’Hara
7. On Our Majesty’s Secret Service, Ian Fleming
8. The Battle of Villa Fiorita, Rumer Godden
9. The Three Sirens, Irving Wallace
10. Ice Station Zebra, Alistair MacLean

Top Ten Grossing Movies (1963)

1. Cleopatra
2. How The West Was Won
3. It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
4. Tom Jones
5. Irma La Deuce
6. Sword in the Stone
7. Son of Flubber
8. The Birds
9. Dr. No
10. The V.I.P.s

Top Ten Rated TV Shows

1. Beverly Hillbillies
2. Bonanza
3. The Dick Van Dyke Show
4. Petticoat Junction
5. The Andy Griffith Show
6. The Lucy Show
7. Candid Camera
8. The Ed Sullivan Show
9. The Danny Thomas Show
10. My Favorite Martian

Top Ten Best Selling Records (1963)

1. Sugar Shack, Jimmy Gilmer & the Fireballs
2. Surfin’ in the USA, Beach Boys
3. The End of the World, Skeeter Davis
4. Rhythm of the Rain, Cascades
5. He’s So Fine, Chiffons
6. Blue Velvet, Bobby Vinton
7. Hey Paula, Paul and Paula
8. Fingertips II, Little Stevie Wonder
9. Washington Square, Village Stompers
10. It’s All Right, The Impressions

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