Last Week In 1962
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.
Comparing Federal Spending, 1962-Today
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? The chart above gives some idea, and you can find more info at The Heritage Foundation.
1962 In Sports
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.
About Roadtrip-'62 ™
Watch 1962 Videos with Roadtrip-'62 ™
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 just plain “More Fun From 1962.”
1962 Comic Buy of the Week
scan from Grand Comics Database
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.
More Fun Retro Reading
US-6 Featured Trip Segment
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!
Museum of the Week
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.
US-23 Featured Trip Segment
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.
Video of the Week
Watch one of Stan Freberg’s TV commercials from 1962 for Cheerios, a “Terribly Adult Cereal."
Our front page changes frequently, 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!
All photos by the author and Copyright © 2015, 2021 - Donald Dale Milne, except as noted.
All other content Copyright © 2015, 2021 - Donald Dale Milne.