CLOSE YOUR EYES. TAKE A DEEP BREATH. OPEN YOUR HEART.

SHADY DEL KNIGHT, ADMINISTRATOR

SHADY DEL KNIGHT, ADMINISTRATOR
High School Yearbook Photo

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight
HELLO STRANGER ... IT SEEMS LIKE A MIGHTY LONG TIME!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Big Picture, Part 1: The Holy Grail!


SOMETHING GREAT HAPPENED

50 YEARS AGO TODAY

ON JUNE 27, 1965...

THE PREMIERE OF A

TELEVISION SERIES THAT

SOON BECAME MUST SEE TV

FOR MILLIONS OF SCHOOL

AGE AMERICAN KIDS.


Look at the picture below.


Can you identify anyone in it?

I searched for years and this is by far the best
picture I have ever seen related to this subject.
I feel like I have found the Holy Grail!

I discovered the rare image in the archives of the
Monterey County Herald. It was taken June 20, 1966,
at Nepenthe, Big Sur, a popular tourist destination on
California's Central Coast where the Santa Lucia
Mountains rise sharply from the Pacific Ocean
offering stunning views to visitors.

Photo courtesy The Monterey County Herald

The picture was snapped during location shooting
for Dick Clark's Where The Action Is, the music
variety television series that aired every weekday
afternoon from June 1965 through March 1967.
Entertainment guest, the late Percy Sledge, can
  be seen performing in front of an ABC camera.
On the bench in back of Percy are the series
regulars, the dance troupe of Pete Menefee
and The Action Kids.

On that same field trip up the California coast to
the Monterey area in June 1966, the Action crew
shot a segment at Fisherman's Wharf. I was
thrilled to find video shot at that location.
Here's the Syndicate of Sound, a garage
band from San Jose, performing their
up-and-coming hit single "Little Girl"
accompanied by The Action Kids.

 "Little Girl" - Syndicate of Sound 
 (June 1966, highest chart position #8, 
 filmed on location at Fisherman's Wharf) 




I'm sure you couldn't help noticing that
the technical quality of the video was
very low by today's standards.

Unfortunately it is typical of the remnants of Action and many other television shows
of the 50s and 60s. Programs that lacked the potential to make money as reruns were considered disposable in those days. Entire series were wiped (bulk erased) and the tapes reused. Apparently all that remains today of the 400+ episodes of Action are a few dozen low tech Kinescopes like the one you just saw, leaving millions of Baby Boomers and younger fans alike wishing and hoping for a remastered DVD of the series that will probably never come. It's a painful reminder that show business is just that... a business.
Quite often it makes dollars but very little sense.

After watching so many grainy, washed out, faded
and distorted Kinescopes salvaged from the 50s and
60s, those of us who came of age during those years
might need to remind ourselves that we experienced
the halcyon days of our youth in living color, not
grainy black and white. That's why this picture
made my eyes pop. It's the only color image of
the Action series I have ever seen.


It is also the first time I ever saw those wonderful
dancers, The Action Kids, in color. In this three part
series I will focus on the talented troupe and show
you some of their greatest performances on Action.


In March 1964, singer Jackie DeShannon released
a cover of the Buddy Holly hit "Oh Boy." In this
video from one of the earliest episodes of Action
in July of 1965, Jackie performs the song in a
bowling alley surrounded by The Action Kids.

 "Oh Boy" - Jackie DeShannon 
 (July 7, 1965 episode of WTAI, 
 single released March 1964, uncharted) 




In another episode from the first season of Action,
the original five female formation of Action Kids
backs up Phil Spector's girl group the Crystals.

 "He'a a Rebel" - The Crystals 
 (August 1965 episode of WTAI, 
 single charted in November 1962, 
 highest position #1) 




Please skip ahead to the 1:50  mark of the next vid
and you'll see intermittent shots of The Action Kids
dancing in the street as the Vogues perform their
top 30 hit, "The Land of Milk and Honey."

 "The Land of Milk and Honey" - The Vogues 
 (July 1966, highest chart position #29) 




Keep in mind that this series is primarily
about the dancing. The music is secondary.
Try your best to disregard the poor sound and
video quality of most of these clips while you
enjoy the fancy footwork of The Action Kids.


They danced in the mountains, at the beach
and in parks. As you'll see in this next clip
featuring the Turtles, they even danced
on sidewalks along busy city streets.
Click at the  1:00  mark of this video and
watch as The Action Kids join Flo & Eddie
in an ebullient celebration of of life
and youth, California style.

 "You Baby" - The Turtles 
 (March 1966, highest chart position #20) 





In Part 2 you'll meet the individual
members of The Action Kids and see
more videos that show off their skill.

 SDMM is Where The Action Is 

 so please be here next time! 

Have a Shady day!