The Day Disco Died (And How We Got It In The First Place)

TweetShareShareIn the late 1970s, there was only two opinions about a popular dance craze known as “disco.” It was either the best thing since the jitterbug or the worst thing since the Hindenburg. Very few had a view in the middle. For the critical ear, the monotonous beat, synthesizer hooks, flourishing strings and banal, often…

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School Prayer Outlawed (June 26, 1963)

TweetShareShareToday is the anniversary of a ruling that was far more transformative to American culture than Roe v. Wade (1973). On this day, school prayer was ruled unconstitutional (a year later the same SCOTUS would opine that Bible readings were equally wrong). It’s the day religion (Christianity) was essentially segregated…and barred in the educational curriculum…

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The Long Play (LP) Vinyl Arrives!

TweetShareShare Today is a big day in the “Vinyl is Final” world, as it’s the day that 33 1/3 rpm records debuted. This format allowed for longer recordings (around 30 minutes per side).   The LP (long play) would be a significant technological innovation for the coming “rock ‘n roll” era that relied upon “singles”…

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The Introduction of the VCR

TweetShareShareTelevision was (and is) a transformative technology. It transformed how we processed information and received entertainment. It transformed how we interacted with our world. It transformed education, religion and government. And it introduced other transformative technologies, from the remote control to “smart” television. From rabbit ears to cable to satellite to streaming, television has reimagined…

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The Cable News Network Reimagines the News

TweetShareShareThe emergence of cable television news reimagined how information was reported and consumed. With a 24/7/365 platform the Cable News Network (CNN) could report LIVE news visually, as it happened…with no commercial breaks if necessary. It was the brainchild of media mogul Ted Turner. Watch CNN in 1980… Unfortunately, cable news wasn’t good for radio.…

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Heeeeeere’s The End, Johnny!

TweetShareShareThe Tonight Show with Johnny Carson was the drug of choice for late night insomniacs for three decades.The program was ranked #12 on TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time. The undisputed King of Late Night talk show hosts,  Johnny Carson (1925-2009) made his debut on October 1, 1962 at the NBC studio…

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America Embraces Debt

TweetShareShare“Put it on my card!” It’s the American way. We buy now, pay later.  The history for card purchases is nothing new. In fact, it was first described in an Edward Bellamy utopian work titled Looking Backward (1887). Bellamy employed the term “credit card” in his work as a way for a person to spend…

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Network News is Born!

TweetShareShareIf your over 40, you remember a day when the three big networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) dominated the television news landscape. Indeed, the 1960s and 1970s were the “golden age” of network news, featuring personalities like Walter Cronkite, David Brinkley and Howard K. Smith. There were also new emerging (and future) stars like Dan Rather…

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The Age of Television is Launched!

TweetShareShare In the course of human history, there are few technologies that significantly reimagine everything and move culture forward exponentially. Fire. Gunpowder. The Printing Press. The Internet. And television. The world before television–the projection of visuals into the private home–reimagined how we lived. It proved, in the end, more than just an entertainment evolution. In…

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The Mouse Hits the Big 4-0!

TweetShareShare On April 27, 1981, I was a senior in high school. In six weeks I would graduate and leave home for good. At the time I was typing my papers on an electric typewriter. In graduate school I bought my first desktop computer and learned the misery of early MS-DOS computing. In the mid-1990s…

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