Where we're always on the road, and it's always 1962! TM
A well-known face, and even better known voice, of the 1950s and 1960s died on April 7, 2015. Stan Freberg, comedian, cartoon voice actor, and television, radio and recording star left us a rich legacy of lunacy, including some from 1962. His biggest production of that year was an ABC television special, “Stan Freberg Presents the Chun King Chow Mein Hour: Salute to the Chinese New Year.” This aired on February 4th and featured a number of stars of the day in cameo appearances. The show also featured Freberg’s typical satire of events of the times and was nominated for an Emmy Award. One standout reason was likely his "Simg Along With Freeb" sketch, which parodied the popular "Sing Along With Mitch" TV show. Freberg also released two comedy record albums in 1962, a satirical look at United States history titled “Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America Volume One: The Early Years” and a more topical album titled “Face the Funnies.” The comedy team of Bob & Ray pioneered intentionally comic advertisements in the 1950s, but Freberg is usually credited as being the first to introduce humor into television advertising. He even did commercials for the US Army in 1962! Freberg was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1995.
Stan Freberg’s 1962 album 'Face The Funnies' (from auction sale)
It’s 1962 and the US Government is spending big on defense, as we are in an arms race with the Soviet Union, building and testing nuclear missiles. We’re also in a space race, and spending billions to try to get to the moon by 1970. The Interstate Highway system is being built at costs of over a million dollars per mile in some areas. You might think that total federal spending per person would be at a record high! You would be wrong. In 1962, the federal government spent $11,792 per person, but today it is spending $28,585 per person, in inflation adjusted dollars. But wait a minute: we’re not building transcontinental highway systems, we have nearly shut down the manned space program, and defense spending is less than a quarter of the percentage of the Gross Domestic Product that is was back in 1962. What happened? Find some answers in the charts presented by The Heritage Foundation, where they have a number of interesting graphics using 1962 as a starting date.
Federal spending per capita, 1962-2014 (The Heritage Foundation)
Regardless of whether you prefer basketball or baseball, we have sports records for you from 1962! April 14, 1962 saw Game 5 of the NBA finals won by the Los Angeles Lakers, 126-121 over the Boston Celtics. During the game, Elgin Baylor of the Lakers set a new record by scoring 61 points. That record would stand for 24 years, until broken by Michael Jordan on April 20, 1986, also against the Celtics at Boston Garden. Elgin Baylor was one of the first players to take the game off the floor, as Jordan was later famous for. He played 14 seasons for the Lakers in a career that began in the 1958-59 season.
In Major League Baseball, the Houston Colt .45s began their existence as an expansion team and won their first game, 11-2, against the visiting Chicago Cubs. A few years later, the Colt .45s were renamed the Astros and began playing in the Astrodome. Construction of the Astrodome, the first domed stadium in the world, began in 1962. The Los Angeles Dodgers opened the 1962 season against the Cincinnati Reds, losing 6-3 in their brand new Dodger Stadium in front of 52,564 fans. Dodger Stadium is still the largest major league stadium and one of the three oldest stadiums.
Birdseye view of Dodger Stadium in Chavez Ravine, Los Angeles, California, 1962 (Photo from the California Historical Society Collection at the University of Southern California Special Collections.)
If you're new here, discover what Roadtrip-'62 TM is all about and why it's always 1962 here.
Roadtrip-‘62 has a YouTube page! I’ve stored all the videos that you have seen on the website, and some others you haven’t seen. Everything is from 1962: television clips, ads, newsreels, music videos, and odds-and-ends. Everything is in three handy categories for your watching pleasure: “People and News of 1962”, “Music of 1962”, and “People and News of 1962.”
Beany and Cecil was a short-lived comic series published by Dell in 1962-1963. It was based on the TV cartoon of the same name produced by animation legend Bob Clampett, that ran from 1959-1969, though originally by the name of Matty's Funday Funnies. That show was based on Clampett’s television puppet show called Time for Beany, which ran from 1949 to 1954. In the original puppet show, Stan Freberg was the voice and puppeteer of both Cecil the Seasick Sea Serpent and the villain, Dishonest John. Freberg did not provide voices for the 1960s show.
scan from Grand Comics Database
Edu-cards Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm Cinerama puzzle from 1962 (from auction sale)
Another day on the prairie, with cattle, wheat fields, a county fair and abandoned military installations from World War II. On Day 27 of the US-6 roadtrip, we continue across Nebraska. And as a bonus, we stop at the home of Kool-Aid in Hastings, Nebraska!
1962 Kool-Aid ad (from magazine)
St. Louis Car Museum & Sales of course has cars from all eras. Their collection of 1962 cars includes a couple currently available for purchase! Your chance to pick up a 1962 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible or a 1962 Triumph TR3B Roadster. And if already own your dream ride, they offer climate controlled secured storage rental. They even have carpeted floors to reduce condensation and water vapor that corrodes the underside of your vehicle! Stop by if you’re visiting St. Louis, Missouri on Historic US-66, The Great River Road US-61, or US-40, US-50, or US-67.
1962 Plymouth Fury (from magazine advertisement)
Back to Day 2 of the US-23 roadtrip, for those of you who have not been there. We find lighthouses, lakeshore, dinosaurs, and Paul Bunyan? Yes, that’s what you’ll find as US-23 travels the beautiful shore of Michigan’s Lake Huron on the second day of our US-23 trip.
Dinosaur Gardens, Ossineke, Michigan
Watch one of Stan Freberg’s TV commercials from 1962 for Cheerios, a “Terribly Adult Cereal."
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Our front page changes almost weekly, so you may have missed some fun stuff if you don't check in frequently. Check the Home Page Archives for all the previous iterations of our front page. Discover links, videos, roadtrip suggestions, and lots of news from 1962!
Remember, you can find ALL the ROADTRIP-'62 TM articles listed conveniently on the Archives page. That will take you to all the great roadtrip destinations. And you can send me a Comment if you want: I'd love to hear from you.
Another day on the prairie, with cattle, wheat fields, a county fair and abandoned military installations from World War II.
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Events Calendar: happening for over 50 years!
Renaissance Pleasure Faire, Irwindale, California - Saturdays and Sundays, April 4th-May 17th, 2015.
Enjoy the 53rd Anniversary Renaissance Pleasure Faire, where fantasy rules. Immerse yourself in a village of more than 1,500 costumed performers and artisans. Entertainment includes musicians, jesters, and jousting knights. Held at the Santa Fe Dam Recreational Area east of Los Angeles, don’t forget to find your food and drink at the village marketplace.
Weather for Irwindale, California on April 13, 1962, from the National Climatic Data Center:
Current weather for Irwindale, California, from WeatherForYou.com: