An Outsider’s History, 1965-1975
Curated by Jeff Martin & Carolyn Faber
July 22nd, 2011
“In the 1960s, American television was dominated by three networks, who showcased major stars in slick, glossy shows with high production values. But from the mid-1960s through the early 1970s alternatives to network music shows began to appear. Regional programming and syndicated shows featured a range of stellar talent that the networks ignored, while local programs featured purely local talent aimed at developing new audiences. Some devised entirely new means of visualizing music in ways that closely paralleled the work of pioneering video artists like Nam June Paik, Joan Jonas, et. al. This screening will showcase rarely seen programs demonstrating a short-lived period of innovation and creativity in television, where performers outside the American network mainstream reached audiences that the mass media were ignoring.’
“The program will start with the high-budget network shows of the mid-1960s-including clips from the pioneering but rarely-seen ABC show “Shindig,” move through syndicated shows ranging from the first true music videos ever seen on television, to a right-wing singing group performing “Crystal Blue Persuasion” on a show called “America’s Young Majority,” and local shows including “Startime,” a Knoxville show sponsored by a mobile-home company that featured Tennessee’s version of the Partridge Family singing “Funk #49”-not to mention Chicago’s own “Kiddie A Go-Go.”
-Carolyn Faber & Jeff Martin
Jeff Martin has been working in archives for two decades, beginning with a stint as a $5/hour intern at WPA Film Library in lovely suburban Alsip, where he spent hours viewing 1950s Kodachrome stock footage, British newsreels, and best of all, vintage 1960s music TV shows featuring everyone from Etta James to Michael Landon-some of which will be included in the screening. He now works primarily in conserving video and film installation art, and is currently carrying out projects at the Smithsonian Institution, the Carnegie Museum of Art, and the Seattle Museum of Art. Recent projects include an assessment and preservation plan for the audiovisual materials in the archive of Nam June Paik.
Carolyn Faber also cut her teeth at the WPA Film Library starting in the mid-1990s. She managed 60+ film and video collections including: the acquisition of 2,000 2″ masters of country music television shows owned by Willie Nelson; a full run of The!!!!Beat; Hullabaloo; Soul!; Scopitones, Soundies and other gems. Over the past 9 years she has worked on archival projects for National Geographic, The Smithsonian Institution, the Chicago Film Archives, the Media Burn Independent Video Archive and others. Currently she is the Film and Media Technician at the School of the Art Institute’s Flaxman Library, and works with Kartemquin Films towards preserving their extensive archive of landmark documentary films. She is weeks away from completing a Masters degree in Library and Information Science.
Filed under: film