I'm not quite old enough to clearly remember the point at which my family got a color TV, and suddenly not everything was in black-and-white. But my guess is that anyone a couple of years older than me or more (I'm about to turn 55) has a clear memory of that moment.
Here, then, is a tape from my own family's home-recorded collection (a large set of tapes by the way, one which no doubt set me on the road to collection those made by other families).
The tape dates from the first week of August, 1966 (the ability to date it so closely will be mentioned below), and features me older brother recording with a friend of his. This was his common practice, and became mine, with my friends, as I grew a little older. My brother (Bill) is heard here at 12 years old, his friend about the same. We'd had a color TV for some time, but the friend (Steve) had apparently yet to see TV in color.
Essentially, this tape captures segments of about six minutes of broadcasting (with much cut due to the recorder being turned off and on), including bits of a game show, a newscast and commercials, as well as what anyone seeing TV in color for the first time in 1966 would want to see most, the NBC Peacock.
If you can get past the constant noise from handling of the microphone, and the various inanities and noises made by 12 year old boys, this is a neat little time capsule in just under four minutes.
Some specific highlights:
- at 0:13: "Ooh, it's a color TV? I wanna see a color TV"
- at 0:29 (and again at 1:02): Moments from the original incarnation of "The Match Game"
- at 039: an ad for New Era Potato Chips and a subsequent discussion of them by the boys
- at 1:27: the original Match Game theme (aka "A Swingin' Safari"). An indelible, wonderful tune and record, and still my favorite game show theme song ever.
- at 2:01: easily my favorite moment here - a comment in response to a "Girl from U.N.C.L.E." ad.
- at 2.06: Bill expresses his absolute hatred for the show "Occasional Wife". His strong reaction is odd, given that the show won't debut for another five weeks.
- starting at 2:34: here's a neat discussion, with regard to something I'd forgotten. The UHF channels (at least those in Chicago), didn't necessarily have shows that ran hour-to-hour. If a show ended at 2:40, the channel went dead until the next show started at 3 PM. Steve wants to see a UHF channel in color, but neither Chicago UHF station seems to be broadcasting. There is a weak signal from Indiana (Bill says we also could get Milwaukee), but it's mostly just sound. The Chicago stations will likely start up again at 3, but Bill wants to get back to NBC for the peacock.
- at 3:36: at last, the NBC Peacock.
I hope you enjoy this neat little nugget of television history, as experienced in the suburbs of Chicago.