Friday, April 25, 2014

Visit to April 1964

In the course of writing books on television history, I've come to appreciate the Associated Press' longtime radio and TV columnist Cynthia Lowry, who capably covered the video landscape of the 1960s. I thought it would be interesting to travel back 50 years (where's The Time Tunnel when you need it?) and see what was on Lowry's mind in April 1964.

On April 3, she was predicting the imminent rise to stardom of 35-year-old David Hedison, star of ABC's upcoming show Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. "I have a lot of enthusiasm for it," Hedison told her of the Irwin Allen adventure series. "The scripts look pretty good and there will be a lot of variety in the story lines." If you've read Tom Weaver's book Eye on Science Fiction, you already know that Hedison had a rather different attitude by the time his show ended its four-year run.

Furness the 1950s spokeswoman.
A few days later, Lowry caught up with ubiquitous 1950s commercial spokeswoman Betty Furness (1916-1994), who went on to host a CBS radio show. Furness told Lowry she was "deeply offended" by the way 1964 commercials depicted women. "They constantly suggest that the American woman is incapable of doing the simplest household chores and they have them learning from men -- repairmen and even delivery boys ... Imagine a grocery delivery boy teaching a middle-aged woman how to clean her kitchen floor." Furness, who clearly had strongly held opinions about television advertising, later had a noteworthy career as a consumer advocate. As for Hedison, he's been in the news this week because of his daughter Alexandra's marriage to actress Jodie Foster.

I wonder what another 50 years of television history will bring.

No comments:

Post a Comment