Thursday, June 3, 2010

Santa Cruz....June 3, 1956

This Day in History reports the following story:

"In the early months of the rock-and-roll revolution, in fact,
at a time when adult authorities around the country were
struggling to come to terms with a booming population of
teenagers with vastly different musical tastes and attitudes,
Santa Cruz captured national attention for its response to the
crisis. On June 3, 1956, city authorities announced a total ban
on rock and roll at public gatherings, calling the music
'Detrimental to both the health and morals of our youth and

It was a dance party the previous evening that led to this
reaction on the part of Santa Cruz authorities. Some 200
teenagers had packed the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium on a
Saturday night to dance to the music of Chuck Higgins and
his Orchestra, a Los Angeles group with a regional hit record
called 'Pachuko Hop.' Santa Cruz police entered the
auditorium just past midnight to check on the event, and
what they found, according to Lieutenant Richard Overton,
was a crowd 'engaged in suggestive, stimulating and
tantalizing motions induced by the provocative rhythms of
an all-negro band.' But what might sound like a pretty great
dance party to some did not to Lt. Overton, who immediately
shut the dance down and sent the disappointed teenagers
home early."

Fifty-four years later, this story from Licking Valley, here.

To quote my Uncle Ted, "Emerson said it well, 'Mankind
never advances. It undergoes continual changes: it is
barbarous, it is civilized, it is christianized, it is rich, it is
scientific; but this change is not amelioration. For everything
that is given, something is taken.' "

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