Sunday, November 17, 2013

Fifty Years Ago This Month: November 1963

I’m starting a new feature on this blog, titled ‘Fifty Years Ago This Month”. (The idea just occurred to me last week, when I saw the pop music charts for the week, but WHAT a month to start this!) 


Of course, the most well-known event of November 1963 was JFK’s assassination. Since there is already wall-to-wall coverage of this on the internet and on TV, I won’t duplicate that here. I’ll just say that I was sitting in my elementary-school classroom on a Friday afternoon when the news came. I don’t remember if we were dismissed early, but my family spent the entire weekend glued to the black-and-white.


On the same day, the Beatles released their 2nd album in the UK, “With the Beatles”. The most popular track from the album was “All My Loving”, which was never a single. This was the 2nd album to sell over 1 million copies in England (after the “South Pacific” soundtrack).

The #1 songs in November 1963 according to Billboard were “Sugar Shack” (by Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs), “Deep Purple” (by April Stevens & Nino Tempo), and “I’m Leaving It Up To You” (by Dale & Grace). Thank goodness the British Invasion was just around the corner! (The Beatles didn’t hit the US charts until January 18, 1964, when “I Want to Hold Your Hand” entered at #45, then took 2 weeks to climb to #1.)


Notable movies released in November 1963 were “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” and Elvis Presley’s “Fun in Acapulco”.


Births:
Actress Nicollette Sheridan, NFL quarterbacks Vinny Testaverde and Bernie Kosar, and MLB outfielder Dante Bichette.


Deaths:
John F. Kennedy on the 22nd, Robert Stroud (the real-life “Birdman from Alcatraz”) on the 21st, and novelist C. S. Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia) on the 22nd.

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