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Rock Around the Clock: How 2 Movies Made Musical History

This week in 1955, the movie Blackboard Jungle introduced the world to a classic song. Exactly one year later, the tune got a movie all its own: Rock Around the Clock. That's when the riots broke out.

by
Kathy Shaidle

Bio

March 20, 2014 - 8:30 am
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haley

Baby Boomers have a vested interested in pushing the myth that America in the 1950s was boring, sanitized, conformist and deeply unjust.

“You rubes should be grateful we finally came along to liberate you!” Boomers chirp at every available opportunity, as if Woodstock was Omaha Beach with brown acid.

Yeah, thanks for disease, divorce and the Grateful Dead.

One of the most offensive movies I’ve ever (almost) seen wasn’t Hostel or Cannibal Holocaust but the smug, simple-minded Pleasantville (1998) — “almost” because its arrogant, ham-fisted Promethean concept infuriates me so much I can’t sit through it.

Even Boomer and unrepentant leftist David Macaray scoffs:

Everything that the boomers believed happened for the first time during their coming-of-age years actually happened a decade earlier, and in a more disciplined, modest and elegant fashion — the critical difference being that these remarkable phenomena didn’t affect the masses or spill out dramatically into America’s streets. That wouldn’t happen until the turbulent 1960s.

Lenny Bruce, anybody? James Baldwin? Sylvia Plath? Allen Ginsberg and Norman Mailer?

Even if you don’t care for them, they were the originals whom lesser talents spent the 1960s (and beyond) emulating.

And those were the radicals.

Below, check out the two most popular, highest paid — and therefore most mainstream — entertainers of their era, in action.

Yeah, the 1950s were so bland and uptight…

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Good job Chatti K (and Mattel). Looks like the new string mods are working.

Not all "boomers" are alike, some are not "snobs" and "more whitebread" and may be wheatbread, as well, much like not all post "boomers" love Jimmy Carter and Tipper Gore... and Dam Norfin Troll Dolls.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
PS: Here's some footage of the German riots during Bill Haley's show in 1958.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxN0xVDMgms
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
I love how those guys rioted in dress shirts and sport coats.

Delightful writing ! I'm a fan of your posts and your sass.

Boomer Lady
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment
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