Daily Dirt: Plenty of turmoil, but music was great … and how about a frog smoothie?

Bruce_Crandall's_UH-1D

Combat operations at Ia Drang Valley, Vietnam, in November 1965. Maj. Bruce P. Crandall's UH-1D helicopter climbs skyward after discharging a load of infantrymen on a search and destroy mission. | Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Daily Dirt for Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022

Well, it’s been fun, but I’m done. Today wraps up our Retro Week celebration as we pay homage to 55 years ago (1967) with our look at some of that year’s key happenings and pop music headlines … Welcome to today’s three thoughts that make up Vol. 467 of The Daily Dirt.

1. In many respects, the country was even more divided at this point in time than it is today. Today we have the divisive left-and-right approaches to our political landscape. The same kind of disruption was evident in 1967 with the hawk-and-dove perspectives as to how the disaster in Vietnam should be handled. 

  • Gold medal: The years of the war in Vietnam were a horrible, horrible period for this country. I remember being so scared at times it was difficult to even watch the evening news with Walter Cronkite. Anyone who lived through that time likely had a gut feeling the mess in Vietnam would not end well for the U.S., and it did not.  
  • Silver medal: The “Black Lives Matter” movement we witnessed during the height of the recent pandemic a couple of years ago is similar to the rioting that engulfed most major U.S. cities in the late 1960s. For those who believe history does not repeat itself, I beg to differ.
  • Bronze medal: A bright spot in (early) 1967 was the first Super Bowl, when the Packers walloped the Chiefs 35-10.

2. I firmly believe 1967 was when pop music grew up. Not only in sound and style, but message. Instead of Shelly Fabares singing about “Johnny Angel” or Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon offering us “Palisades Park,” we were hearing Buffalo Springfield singing “For What It’s Worth” about civil unrest in Los Angeles and Cream providing us with a taste of what the super-group concept of the future would look like. Cream brought together pop stars Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce for a collaborative effort that was copied time and time again in the coming years.

Here are three important musical fallouts from ’67:

  • Gold medal: The British Invasion was still a force in pop music, headlined by the Beatles and Rolling Stones. Unfortunately, many of the headlines escorting those two super groups were of the negative variety, most of them dealing with substance abuse of one nature or the other. By this time, the Beatles had stopped touring and were concentrating on studio music. Their finest hour came with the release of the “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club” album, which spent 15 weeks at No. 1 in the U.S. and 27 weeks atop of the British charts. The Rolling Stones mirrored the Beatles’ popularity and success but held a slight advantage in drug-related arrests.
  • Silver medal: Arguably the top female group at this point in music history was Diana Ross and the Supremes, but at the height of their popularity, founding member Florence Ballard left the group in what was described as a “power struggle.” She was replaced by Cindy Birdsong, and the group never missed a beat, eventually winding up with 12 No. 1 songs and three No. 1 albums before disbanding a few years later.
  • Bronze medal: The Bee Gees — Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb — burst on to the U.S. pop music scene and never left. They scored nine No. 1 songs along the way. Barry is the lone remaining brother, and even at age 76, he is still performing. Robin died in 2012 at age 62. Maurice died in 2003 at age 53. 

3. Our bad food item of the week comes from Peru and is commonly referred to as “frog juice” — or a frog smoothie, if you will. The frog is killed, usually, by banging its head against the counter. The frog is then skinned and cleaned, and then put in a blender with water and other ingredients such as quail eggs, honey, spices and local plants. The blended frothy green goo is then strained to remove any bone fragments. Enjoy. 

Steve Thought O’ The Day
My uncle gave me an album in 1967 as a present for my 14th birthday. It was the Bee Gees’ debut album. Yeah, he was the cool uncle.

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. Steve tried to join the Bee Gees but they decided they didn’t need an accordion player.

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