Het is vandaag 55 jaar geleden dat in de Verenigde Staten (op de zender NBC om precies te zijn) het popprogramma “Hullabaloo” voor het eerst op televisie kwam. Niet zo heel lang daarna was het ook hier bij ons te zien. Op welke zender dat weet ik niet meer, maar alleszins was het hier nog in zwart-wit, terwijl het in de VS in kleur was.
Wat ik mij vooral herinner waren de frenetieke danseresjes, die in mijn herinnering veel korter gerokt waren als de voorstellingen die ik nu op het internet terugvind. Maar goed, het ging toch voornamelijk over hun bijna spastische bewegingen, die ik toen erg sexy vond. Wat de muziek zelf betreft was het voor ons een kans om eens grote vedetten te zien, maar of het programma een bepaalde trend aanhield (laten we zeggen: de Radio London-lijn volgde dan wel dat ook meer “gevestigde” namen aan bod kwamen) dat weet ik niet meer. Ik geloof ook dat de optredens in playback waren. En voor de rest geef ik het woord aan Wikipedia…
Hullabaloo is an American musical variety series that ran on NBC from January 12, 1965 through April 11, 1966 (with repeats to August 1966). Similar to Shindig! (ook bij ons te zien; ik geloof op de RTB) it ran in prime time in contrast to ABC‘s American Bandstand.
Directed by Steve Binder, who went on to direct If I Can Dream, Hullabaloo served as a big-budget, quality showcase for the leading pop acts of the day, and was also competition for another like-minded television showcase, ABC‘s Shindig!. A different host presided each week—among these were Sammy Davis, Jr., Jerry Lewis (*), Gary Lewis, Petula Clark, Paul Anka, Liza Minnelli, Jack Jones, David McCallum and Frankie Avalon—singing a couple of his or her own hits and introducing the different acts. Chart-topping acts who performed on the show included James Brown, Jackie Wilson, Dionne Warwick, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, The Lovin’ Spoonful, The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, Sonny & Cher, the Supremes, Herman’s Hermits, The Animals, Roy Orbison and Marianne Faithfull. Many early episodes included black and white segments taped in the UK and hosted by Brian Epstein. Sid Bernstein was the booking agent for Hullabaloo. Peter Matz, later of The Carol Burnett Show, was the orchestra leader. Peppiatt and Aylesworth were the writers.
Some of the programs in the series were videotaped at NBC Studios in Burbank, California. Most were taped in New York City either at NBC’s Studio 8H (built for Arturo Toscanini and the NBC Symphony Orchestra and which would later house Saturday Night Live), or in NBC’s color studio in the Midwood section of Brooklyn. Much of the series’ color videotaped footage was later transferred over to kinescope on film – as such copied in black and white. Only three half-hour episodes are known to exist in their original color videotaped form.
The show was choreographed by David Winters, who selected and choreographed the Hullabaloo Dancers, a team of four men and six women who appeared on a regular basis. Two of them, Michael Bennett and Donna McKechnie, went on to achieve considerable fame on Broadway. Dancer Patrick Adiarte, who also attempted to launch a solo singing career on the series, went on to play Ho-Jon in the television series M*A*S*H. Another female dancer, model/actress Lada Edmund Jr. (known today as Lada St.Edmund) was best known as one of the caged “go-go girl” dancers in the “Hullabaloo A-Go-Go” segment near the closing sequence of the show. She also had a brief recording career with the singles “I Know Something” and “The Larue.” She later co-starred with Jon Voight in the 1969 film Out of It and in Act of Vengeance released in 1974. Dancer Suzanne Charney also had some degree of fame on Broadway as the lead frug dancer in Sweet Charity, reprising her role in the 1969 film as well. David Winters went on to direct or produce over 200 TV shows, specials and films.
The series was originally a one-hour broadcast, airing from 8:30 – 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Its first season ran 18 new episodes from January through May 1965 then, from June through August 1965, it featured selected repeats, which aired from 10:00 – 11:00 p.m.
The second season of 30 new episodes ran from September 1965 to April 1966. Reduced to thirty minutes, the episodes aired from 7:30 – 8:00 p.m. on Monday. From May through August 1966 it aired repeats, and was replaced by the sitcom The Monkees in September 1966.
Highlights of many of the segments have been compiled for release in VHS and DVD formats. Additionally, a special entitled “Hullabaloo – a 60’s Flashback” has been produced under the “My Music” umbrella for use by PBS stations during pledge drives; it premiered in March 2013. The show was featured in the 2019 film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, with actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) appearing as a guest, singing the 1956 song “Green Door“.
(*) Ik vraag me af of de Wikipedia-man (of -vrouw) hier niet dezelfde fout maakt als mijn vader destijds die mij “Hullabaloo” heeft leren ontdekken omdat hij dacht dat komiek Jerry Lewis de gastheer was. In werkelijkheid bleek het rocker Jerry Lee Lewis te zijn…