Sunday, July 25, 2010

October 22, 2009: The “Shindig” 1965 Halloween special starring BorisKarloff!

Here’s a pretty fascinating little artifact. In 1965, the great teen Rock & Roll program “Shindig” made up for an uncommonly lame musical line-up by employing horror legend Boris Karloff as guest host for its Halloween show. Karloff appears in a few quaintly goofy comedic exchanges with the show’s regular host Jimmy O’Neill and interacting with guest Ted “Lurch” Cassidy. The best moment is Karloff’s lugubrious recitation of “The Peppermint Twist” accompanied by the frenetic fruging of the Shindig Dancers (apparently, Karloff and Cassidy performed a duet of “The Monster Mash”, but this clip has sadly been lost). The musical acts are far less invigorating. There’s the muzak singing duo Jackie and Gayle, teen idol Bobby Sherman massacring classics by Chuck Berry and The Beatles, and a pair of singing trios that should have been exiled to the Island of the Squares as soon as the British Invasion hit. Musically, the best this episode has to offer is a fairly lifeless rockabilly group with Mark Lindsay ponytails called Jim Doval and the Gauchos and a very young Billy Preston whooping it up on organ in the house band. The following week’s show, which Karloff announces at the end of this episode, is considerably more impressive: The Strangeloves, Fontella Bass, Billy Joe Royal, Nancy Sinatra… yowza!

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

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