- Palladium's New '60's Look
- Lawrence Welk
- Teen-Age Fair
Palladium's New Look
In August of 1962 the Palladium went through major interior and exterior redecoration at great cost. It got a shiny new white and gold facade with an eye catching new Plexiglas upright sign and a shiny new marquee.
LAPL photo database
The theme of the interior was gold, black-and-white with under-the-skies highlighting.
The Hollywood Palladium became the largest and most beautiful banquet facility in Southern California. It was the place U.S. Presidents and foreign Royalty came for benefit galas and charity balls of all sorts.
Events at the Palladium included:
- Benefit dances
- Antique showcases
- Political Party meetings and fundraisers
- Presidential Appearances by:John F. Kennedy
- Interior Decorator's Show
- Junior Achievement Awards
- Fashion Shows
- Miss Teen USA Pageants
- Teen-Age Fairs
- March of Dimes fund-raiser
- Red Cross
- TV Emmy Awards
- Hollywood Deb StarsConcerts held here in the '60's included those by:
- Duke Ellington
- Frankie Avalon
- Ray Charles
- Glen Campbell
However ( for me) the Palladium was all about the convergence of two generations.
- Lawrence Welk and his Orchestra every Friday and Saturday night
- the annual Teen-Age Fair!
Both these shows spanded the decade of the 1960's. Both started out with much excitement and fanfare. Both ended in a whimper. In like a lion - out like a lamb.
Lawrence Welk Show
Wunnerful! Wunnerful! And ah-one and ah-two!
Those born in the '50's probably got a good dose of the Lawrence Welk Show every Sunday night, 7:00 on ABC-TV. The Lawrence Welk Show became one of the most popular TV Show of all time.
From 1961 thru 1971 Lawrence Welk and his Champagne Music-Makers played at the Hollywood Palladium every Friday and Saturday night. This was just wunnerful!
Lawrence Welk was born in North Dakota of German stock. During the 30's he had a traveling big band that specialized in sweet music. It later became known as champagne music.
Welk first started televising a show from the Aragon Ballroom in Venice Beach California.
ABC-TV pick up the show in 1955 and it ran it for the next 16 years at 7 p.m. Sunday evenings.
When ABC cancelled his show in 1971, Welk went on to produce his own the show and it ran on independent stations until he retired in 1982. He died in 1992.
Lawrence Welk featured music was music that was tried and true from the '30's and '40's. He occasionally included a pop song from the '50's and '60's. He would play all tempos - from fox-trots to cha cha cha. In 1962 when the twist was all the craze Lawrence Welk had a twist demonstration on his show. Arthur Murray dancers demonstrated the Bossa Nova.
The Bubble Machine
A regular feature (gimmick) of the Lawrence Welk Show was the bubble machine. Actually, on occasion he used nine bubble makers.
The bubble machine called for a special bubble making fluid so that the bubbles won't pop too soon under the hot lights used for TV. The bubbles was suppose to look like champagne bubbles. Lawrence Welk's music had a bubbly effect. It was often referred to as champagne music. So Welk came up with the idea of having bubbles in his show. The theme music to his show was Bubbles in the Wine.
The Welk Regular Performers
The Lawrence Welk Show featured top notch performers including:
the Lennon Sistersthe Champagne LadiesAlice Lon - vocalistMyron Floren -accordionistLarry Hooper-singer pianistBuddy Merrill-guitaristAladdin Pallante-violinist
The Lennon Sisters
Lawrence Welk stopped performing at the Palladium in 1970. By this time Welk had pretty much lost his Champagne punch and it was time for him exit the Palladium.
The Teen-Age Fair (1962 - 1972)
In the spring of 1962 the first of 11 consecutive Teen-Age Fairs came to the Los Angeles.
The first Teenage fair was at POP (Pacific Ocean Park). It was held at April 13 - 23. It attracted 250.000 visitors.
The second annual Teen-Age Fair was held at Pickwick Recreation Center in Burbank April 5 - 14, 1963. One highlight of that fair that year was the public demonstration of a rocket belt with which a man could fly more than 100 feet.
In 1964 the Teen-Age Fair moved the the Hollywood Palladium.
The Teen Age Fair was a 10-day long event. It promised hundreds of activities of special interest to teen-agers, including: surfing clinics, hot rod displays, outdoor amusement rides, midway with all the carnival booths, dance contest, a car bash and cramming contest, yo-yo championship, Karate exhibition, skydiving and surfing films upstairs in the balcony. The big highlight of the fair was the annual Miss Teen U.S.A. pageant and the Battle of the Bands competition.
Miss Teen Finalist
This winners of the 1965 Battle of the Bands was Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band.
The fair was from noon to midnight. Admission was $1.50.
Emergence of the Youth Market
In 1960's advertisers and retailers realized that teenagers had large amounts of disposable income to spend. Heavy marketing thinkers came up with their best ideas on how to shape the youth's lifelong consumption patterns and brand identification.
Big advertisers for the fair included Pepsi, Chevrolet, Clairol, Curtiss candy, US Rubber and Coca Cola. Of course they ran contest and games that featured their products.
Start-up companies tested new product ideas at the Teen-Age Fair such as Hobie Surfboards and Yardley of London with it's mod-look makeup.
Kustom Kar artist such as Ed 'Big Daddy' Roth, Dean Jeffries and Van Dutch (Kenny Howard) took the LA car culture to a new level of coolness with artwork. Everyone ran out to customize their cars.
There was plenty of hi-fi gear and automotive equipment on display. This is where Mattel premiered it's Creepy Crawlers, Incredible Edibles and Thingmakers. Other fun stuff aimed at a kids were Wham-O Frisbees, SuperBalls and Slip 'n' Slides.
Teenagers were a huge market. The Teen-Age Fair displayed booths featuring contemporary fashions, custom cars, musical instruments and interior design. The fair was an important advertising medium for reaching the youth market.
In 1967, the major rock n' roll stations in Los Angeles were KHJ, KRLA and KFWB. They continued to battle it out over the Number 1 position. This competition was played out with an onslaught of publicity and promotion.
KHJ was an RKO station that switched to pop/rock format in 1965. It was home of the fictitious Tina Delgado. KHJ was the Boss Radio - meaning anything fabulously wonderful and it's Boss Jocks such as the Real Don Steele and Gary Mack. KHJ aimed at playing the most music a possible.KRLA achieved high acclaim for sponsoring the Beatle concert at the Hollywood Bowl. It had the zany and successful disc jockey Dave Hull - the Hullabalooer. KRLA has All Request RadioKFWB was once the leader of the pack, but by now it's glory days were behind them. It had contests aimed at forcing the listeners to keep tuned to the station.
By 1967 there were Teen Age Fairs springing up all over the country.
In 1967 there was a psychedelic fashion show and a hair coloring demonstration by Clairol. Remember Clairol's Endless Summer? It launched Nice 'n Easy product line aimed at a younger market. Even guys would use it.
The Times They Were a Changing
In 1967, much of the youth at this time were engaged in building a new counter-culture that wanted no part of what the establishment was selling them. 1969 was a real turning point for the fair. There was a general feeling the Fair had run it's course.
This was all happening in the mist of and after Dylan, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Haight Ashbury, Hendrix the Airplane Joplin, 1967 Summer of Love, the Democratic Convention of 1968, the growth of the counter culture, Woodstock and the generation gap. The Vietnam war was taking its toll on the country. There was the emergence of the civil rights movement. The youth were much more politically aware. They developed new modes of dress and new life styles.
Love by Peter Max, 1968
In the late 1960's Hollywood was a very different place - and the youth were in a very different place than they were in 1961. Most were not buying into the products being marketed at them.
In 1969 the Teen Age Fair became Pop Expo '69. The entrance fee was now $2.00.
There was still the usual bombardment of games, tents, carnival booths and rides. This time there was a psychedelic whale ride, a loud motorcycle pit and a psychedelic light show.
The fair tried to bill itself as a Celebration of Life and Renaissance of the Arts. Amongst all the strobe lights and loud rock music, teenagers could learn about the Peace Corps, watch abstract student films, track their personality, and test their knowledge about VD.
Kim Fowley and Michelle Phillips at the Fair
photo source: KimFowley.net
There was a rock festival featuring Mama Cass, the Flying Burrito Brothers and Dr. John the Night Tripper. There were nightly jam sessions where people like Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa would showed up. The annual Battle of the Bands was now called a Pop Rock Tournament.
Across the street Hair played at the Aquarius Theater (former Earl Carroll's Theater).
This truly was cool
In 1969 the Pop Expo fair attracted 288,635 paying attendees. The record attendance was 301,000 set in 1967. The promoters noticed. But this may be due to the rain on the final two days of the fair.
In 1970 the Fair struggled ahead. But by 1970 the youth market boom was passe. Teens weren't spending like they were before. Even the new owners (Filmways) were in financial trouble.
This time the Palladium was all decked out with a hip, striped psychedelic facade.
This annual teenage spring fling included the usual amusement rides, games, booths and lots of natural and fattening food shops for teens to spend money on. However, the music was now mind blowing and ear piercing. There was the usual carny feel about the whole thing. Or was is just cheesy? Been there done that.
Kids were looking for all things cosmic
Peter Max - CosmicJumper
Now the most popular section of the Fair was the occult section - especially any booth offering free information in astrology or tarot cards.
After all, this was the Age of Aquarius.
Another popular area was where were young artisans were selling pottery, multi colored frangrant candles, leather goods and other hand made wares.
Inside the Palladium hall there was highly powered music playing while fashion shows were going on. Amateur films were being shown up in the balcony.
1972 was the 11th and final year of the TeenAge Fair (now called Pop Expo).
This time there was an Environment Center with ecological exhibits and a Health Happening Exhibit that emphasized natural organic foods. Kids weren't buying into it like they did before.
There was the annual Miss Teen USA beauty contest, the carnival style midway, and cosmetic oriented Beauty Clinics. But it was obvious that the Teen-Age Fair was out of style with the interest of the current batch of teenagers.
In December 1961 President Kennedy was a guest at a $100-a-plate Democratic Party dinner at the Hollywood Palladium. The entertainment was by Nelson Riddle and his Orchestra, Nat King Cole and Ralph Bellamy. While in town Kennedy stayed at the Beverly Hilton but spent time with his sister Pat, the wife of actor Peter Lawford.
President Kennedy came again to the Palladium in 1963 for a $1000-a-couple plate dinner.
In January of 1962 former President Eisenhower addressed the L.A. Chamber of Commerce at the Palladium.
1965 photo: LA Times