50 years ago today, the TV comedy variety show Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In debuted on NBC. Characterized by psychedelic colors and a rapid-fire series of gags and sketches, many of which were politically charged or conveyed sexual innuendo, it ran for five years with 140 episodes. Hosted by comedians Dan Rowan and Dick Martin, it featured, at various times, Goldie Hawn, Arte Johnson, Richard Pryor, Ruth Buzzi, Judy Carne, Jo Anne Worley, Henry Gibson, Lily Tomlin, Richard Dawson, and announcer Gary Owens. WATCH a ‘Best Of’ video… (1968)

MORE Good News on this Date:

  • Six Australian colonies met in Melbourne to discuss confederation (1899)
  • Israel withdrew from the Sinai Peninsula (1957)
  • A Boeing 747, the world’s first “jumbo jet”, launched its maiden voyage as a PanAm flight from Kennedy Airport to London’s Heathrow (1970)
  • The US Supreme Court decided in Roe v. Wade to strike down state laws restricting abortion (1973)
  • Apple introduced its Macintosh computer during the Super Bowl, with its now-famous “1984” television commercial (1984)
  • The US Senate confirmed Madeleine Albright as the nation’s first female secretary of state (1997)
  • Evo Morales became the first indigenous president of Bolivia (2006)

And, on this day in 1966, Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys began recording ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’, the opening track for the forthcoming album, Pet Sounds.

Pet-Sounds-Cover-beach-boys

The band’s 11th studio album was produced and arranged –and mostly written–by Wilson and garnered enormous acclaim worldwide.  He constructed the song’s symphonic Wall of Sound arrangement using a variety of instruments not normally associated popular music—including accordions and a detuned twelve-string guitar—and classical music devices, such as bitonality and ritardando. (WATCH a video below on the making of the song, with voice recordings from the studio)

And, on this day in 1967, The Monkees performed live for the very first time at The Cow Palace in San Francisco to a sell-out crowd.

Initially formed for the TV show about an imaginary band, the actor-musicians, soon became a real band with five #1 hit songs. Defying instructions to stay out of the recording studio, The Monkees eventually fought for and earned the right to supervise all musical output under the band’s name. WATCH a powerful LIVE concert clip…

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