Friday, February 12, 2016

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 2/14/1966 to 2/20/1966

Last week, I talked about ambitious plans to bring cable TV (then also known as Community Antenna Television, because there was no cable-only programming) to Rome. Well, those plans didn’t sit too well with Jim Kay, president of Kay-Townes Antenna Company of Rome, who announced his intention to “vigorously oppose” any sort of cable TV system, claiming that it would result in “the municipality competing with private industry,” and claiming that it was “the first step towards pay television.” (And now we know that, in the latter case, he was right!)

And ironically, Kay-Townes began advertising their new Color Phase Antenna, designed for ideal Rome color TV reception of both Atlanta and Chattanooga stations, this week in 1966. (Wonder if that had anything to do with their objection to a cable TV system?)

West Rome’s boys basketball team brought the season to a close with a 48-39 victory over Pepperell; this advanced the team to the 3-AA playoffs, where they were slated to face off against Lakeview.

Sarah Jane Cox was named as West Rome’s STAR student this week in 1966; she chose Miss Susie Underwood as her STAR teacher.

Was there really enough interest in chicken gizzards to justify Kentucky Fried Chicken advertising a chicken gizzard dinner for 59¢? Apparently so, because that was their special this week in 1966.

Piggly Wiggly offered whole fryers for 29¢ a pound, Kraft macaroni & cheese dinners for 19¢, and Fleetwood coffee for 80¢ a pound. Kroger had center cut pork chops for 89¢ a pound, Country Club ice cream for 47¢ a half-gallon, and bananas for a dime a pound. A&P had Wilson’s Certified bacon for 79¢ a pound, tomatoes for 19¢ a pound, and Van Camp pork & beans for a quarter a can. Big Apple had five pounds of Domino sugar for 39¢, sirloin steak for 89¢ a pound, and fresh collards for a quarter a bunch. Couch’s had ground beef for 33¢ a pound, JFG peanut butter for 63¢ a jar, and ten pounds of White Lily flour for 99¢.

Spies dominated the first half of the week in Rome theaters, with Our Man Flint (starring James Coburn) keeping the world safe at the DeSoto Theater, while James Bond recovered lost nuclear weaponry in Thunderball at the First Avenue. The midweek switchout brought The Ugly Dachshund (a Walt Disney film with Dean Jones & Suzanne Pleshette) to the Desoto and Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines (with Stuart Whitman, Sarah Miles, Robert Morley,Gert Frobe, and many others) to the First Avenue. The West Rome Drive-in offered a weekend double feature of Synanon (with Chuck Connors, Edmond O’Brien, & Stella Stevens) and Arizona Raiders (with Audie Murphy), once again demonstrating that no one really cared what movies were showing at the drive-in.

This week in 1966, Nancy Sinatra accomplished something her father had not done up until this time: her hit “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’” was the number one selling single on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart. (Yes, believe it or not, Frank Sinatra had never had a number one selling single up through this week in 1966: he did chart number one several times, but those chart positions predated Billboard’s Hot 100, and they were a combined calculation of single sales, radio play, and juke box song selection. He would eventually place two number one songs on the Hot 100… one of them a duet with his daughter Nancy!) Other top ten hits included “Lightnin’ Strikes” by Lou Christie (#2); “The Ballad of the Green Berets” by Staff Sgt. Barry Sadler (#3); “Up Tight” by Stevie Wonder (#4); “My World Is Empty Without You” by the Supremes (#5); “My Love” by Petula Clark (#6); “Don’t Mess With Bill” by the Marvelettes (#7); “California Dreaming’ by the Mamas & the Papas (#8); “Elusive Butterfly” by Bob Lind (#9); and “Working My Way Back To You” by the Four Seasons (#10).

Meanwhile, in a real surprise, Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass’s album Whipped Cream & Other Delights reclaimed the number one slot, knocking Rubber Soul out of first place after seven weeks. It’s all too rare for any album to move back into number one after falling from that position; I still maintain that it was the strength of that sexy cover that helped this album to sell so well!

Beyond the Hot 100, it was a good week for music . This was the week that Brian Wilson began recording “Good Vibrations” with the session musicians known as The Wrecking Crew (he wouldn’t bring in other Beach Boys for several more weeks); Jefferson Airplane and Big Brother & the Holding Company (with Janis Joplin) both made their first appearances at the Fillmore West; and album releases for the week included I Hear a Symphony by the Supremes, The Best of the Animals by The Animals; Doctor Zhivago by Maurice Jarré; Take a Ride by Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels; and new offerings from John Coltrane, Ray Charles, Sammy Davis Jr., and Dean Martin. 


paul howley said...

Were you referring to the boxes of Kraft Macaroni and cheese for 19 cents a box? I got married in 1973 and I clearly remember the boxes of Mac N' Cheese priced at 10 for $1.00!

As a side note: you wrote "claiming hate it would result"...

Cliff Biggers said...

Yep, it is the family size Kraft macaroni and cheese dinner that was 19¢ a box. I have no affection for macaroni and cheese, so I have no idea what pricing should be, but I did check the ad again, and it was indeed advertised for 19¢ a box. Either you were getting a great deal in 1973 or the price of macaroni & cheese dropped at the same time the price of gasoline skyrocketed!