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This Day in Pop Culture for September 12

Bonanza

1959: The First Color TV Show

NBC made the first coast-to-coast color broadcast on January 1, 1954 during its telecast of the Tournament of Roses Parade, but it wasn’t until five years later that a regular show was broadcast in color on a regular basis. The western Bonanza began airing on this day on NBC in 1959. The show’s Saturday night ratings were terrible and under normal circumstances would have been cancelled, but since it was the first series to be filmed and broadcast in color, NBC kept it going. In 1961 the show was moved to Sunday nights where its ratings soared. In 1964, Bona1940nza made the #1 spot and stayed there until 1967. In 1970, the show became the first to appear in the top five list for nine consecutive seasons.

1970: ‘The Bugaloos’ Take Flight

Four teens who resembled different bugs were known as The Bugaloos which began airing on NBC on September 12, 1970. IQ (played by John McIndoe) was a grasshopper, Joy (Caroline Ellis) resembled a butterfly, Harmony (Wayne Laryea) a bumblee and Courage (John Philpott) a ladybug. Billy Barty played Sparky the Firefly, but unlike the Bugaloos, Sparky appeared in a full-on costume.

This band of bugs made beautiful music together in Tranquility Forest. When not flying, the bus would take their Bugaloo Buggy, a show car created by George Barris, known for creating the first Batmobile among other TV and movie cars.

The Bugaloo’s music would get played on KOOK radio in Rock City by D.J. Peter Platter. The villain of the show, Benita Bizarre (Martha Raye) lived in a jukebox with her henchmen of sorts, Woofer and Tweeter. Every week she would try to sabotage the band in some way only to have her evil plans backfire on her.

Birthdays

  • 1913: Jesse Owens (Olympic sprinter)
  • 1940: Linda Gray (actress)
  • 1944: Barry White (actress)
  • 1957: Rachel Ward (actress)
  • 1957: Hans Zimmer (composer)
  • 1967: Louis C.K. (comedian)
  • 1973: Paul Walker (actor)
  • 1974: Jennifer Nettles (singer)
  • 1981: Jennifer Hudson (singer)
  • 1995: Ryan Potter (actor)

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Jeffrey Totey View All

I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.

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