The Good Old Days

Shivaree was a 30-minute rock ‘n’ roll series hosted by LA disc jockey Gene Weed.

Many of the top recording artists of the mid-1960s appeared on Shivaree, including The Byrds, The Crystals, Marvin Gaye, The Kinks, Otis Redding, The Rolling Stones, The Ronettes, Simon & Garfunkel, Sonny & Cher, The Supremes, and The Yardbirds.

The series was taped at ABC Television Center in Los Angeles. Most of the episodes used a multi-level set that resembled scafalding. These levels included elevated platforms for the dancers, balconies for some of the performers and audience members, and steps leading down to the main stage.

Shivaree premiered on January 23, 1965 as a local series on KABC, channel 7, the ABC network’s Los Angeles affiliate. In April 1965, starting with episode #7, ABC put the series into national syndication. (Episodes 1 – 6 are believed to have only been shown on KABC-7.)
Other cities got the episodes several weeks after they aired in LA. New York City, for example, was five weeks behind Los Angeles. (This guide lists the original Los Angeles airdates.)

Shivaree remained in syndication through episode #58. Cities across the country then aired reruns of the series through the Summer of 1966. In Los Angeles, however, Shivaree reverted to being a local series with twelve more episodes produced for KABC-7. (One of these final twelve, Show #67, taped at Malibu Beach, might have been nationally syndicated.) KABC-7 aired the final, new episode on May 28, 1966, then aired reruns through August 27, 1966.

Shows like Shivaree, Hullabalu and Shindig, hosted by LA disc jockey Jimmy O’Neill, was broadcast live on ABC September 16, 1964, with house band the Shin-diggers (later the Shindogs) and the Shindigger dancers (the reason anyone over twenty-five might be watching the show). Most of the ‘Shindig’ shows were broadcast in glorious black and white.

‘Shindig’ started out life as a half-hour show, but by January of 1965 it was expanded to a full hour. If you were watching back then you would have seen Darlene Love, Jean King and The Blossoms, Bobby Sherman, Fats Domino, (even Orson Welles), The Righteous Brothers, The Ronettes and others performing while the Shindigger dancers did their groovy thing. In the Fall of 1965, the show was split into two half-hour shows, broadcasting on Thursday and Saturday nights. On the Fall 1965 premiere show, broadcast from London (this would continue periodically), guests included The Kinks, The Rolling Stones, The Byrds and The Everly Brothers.

The Who and every other British invasion band played on ‘Shindig’, and the show spawned a plethora of imitators, including a hoarde of local music shows. n January of 1966, a year and a half after the series debuted, it was cancelled to make room on ABC’s schedule for ‘Batman’, which was also scheduled to run on two nights a week. Yup…those were the days!

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