Shindig! premiered in September of '64 as the first prime time youth-oriented music variety program. Hosted by popular LA Disc Jockey Jimmy O'Neill, it featured the hippest sounds, the hottest new acts, and go-go dancers called the Shin-Diggers.
There is no doubt the series helped fuel the British Invasion, and launched similar programs such as NBC's Hullalaboo. It was fully integrated, showcasing both black and white acts. It also gave us one of the most unique Christmas programs of the era.
I'm focusing on Shindig! Episode 16, which aired on December 23, 1964. The show featured guest acts Jack Good, an unknown Bobby Sherman, The Beach Boys, The Righteous Brothers, Donna Loren, and Marvin Gaye.
I'm showing you the third segment. In this clip, Donna Loren predates Phil Spector's 1965 Christmas Album with a very hip version of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town", a hiilarious period commercial is rebroadcast, and we hear a very unusual Holiday Medley from the Beach Boys, who owned the world in 1964. They bring us "Little Saint Nick", "The Monster Mash", "Oo Mow Mow," and "Johnny B. Goode". Out loud.
Yes, that's what I said. Um, Merry...Happy...Monster...whatever
Hope your Christmas isn't monstrous