The sixties would become the decade known for its music. Its songs and sounds are admired even many decades later. Kids Joanna's age and older were either listening to music or dancing to it or watching other teens dance to it on television whenever they had the chance. No wonder the tiny transistor radio Sam sent her was so treasured!
You can go here to hear snippets of music and see bits of performances that Joanna was listening to and watching during Cold War on Maplewood Street.
The jitterbug was on its way out and the twist and the new form of dancing without holding onto a partner was about to take over. The stroll (versions of which are still around today in line dancing) was on its way in, thanks to American Bandstand. The cha-cha was hot. The box step was the go-to dance for slow songs, just as it was for years before and still is now.
American Bandstand was a televised show that featured teens dancing to the latest tunes. Watch teens doing the stroll on American Bandstand.
But rock 'n' roll was king and the king of rock 'n' roll was Elvis Presley. You can see his first television performance on The Ed Sullivan Show if you follow this link.
The Ed Sullivan Show was a variety show on Sunday evenings and showcased lots of musical talent as well as comedians and animal acts and acrobats. Two of his most famous acts ever were the first televised performance of Elvis Presley, and a few years later, the first (North American) televised performance of the Beatles.
The Beatles was a group of four long-haired young men from Liverpool, England. In the coming decades they would have an influence on music unmatched by anyone before or since. Watch the Beatles' first performance on The Ed Sullivan Show.
Elvis Presley also became a huge draw at the box office and starred and sang in many romantic movies. A few of his most famous films were Jailhouse Rock, Blue Hawaii, A Change of Habit, and Viva Las Vegas. As was typical of the time, these movies were all rated G and ended with a sweet kiss.
By the sixties, there was a television in nearly every home and it was the main source of entertainment for families, featuring four main channels of dramas, comedies, news shows, and cartoons.
Kids doing the Twist