See, this is why we go to primary sources. When people write about the 60's, they cherry pick data and bleed in some 70's.
As I did nearly a year ago when I went looking for music, just because I haven't put any up there for awhile, I searched Shindig at YouTube. The concentration of stars per weekly lineup is amazing, and I reflected on why the shows failed.
Ben is doing a thorough examination of nominated videos for "Most 90's Song Of All Time." (It's clear which child got my OCD, list-making tendencies. Hope he uses them better than I.) It occurred to me that this would not only be a more difficult, but an impossible task for the 60's. And yet, there may have been more variety in the 90's. We may be hitting a paradox here, where the very similarity prevents distinctiveness, and thus representativeness.
My head hurts. Forget that, it's deeply unimportant.
I would propose instead that one of the distinctives of the era would be bands appearing in a lineup. Hullabaloo and Shindig, Where The Action Is, and the lesser-known Happenin' 68 all had that format, a modified form of American Bandstand. Festivals - Folk, Pop, Blues, Jazz, and Rock - were crowning events of their seasons. Church basements had coffee houses with an array of people playing sets, and highschools or cities sponsored a Battle of the Bands. Interesting to wonder what effect that may have had on Boomer groupthink, and how that highlighting of the importance of hipness and awareness became - and still is - a form of social control. I don't see any conspiracy about it. You don't have to teach a cat to catch mice. But perhaps it did distill that value, even if it did not create it.
Now your head hurts. Forget that, it's deeply unimportant. What's important is that it had a good beat and the kids could dance to it. I gave it a 95. Here's a good representative:
The commercial jingles are still locked in my head: That's self-styling Adorn. A-dorn.
Trivia question: What dance do they break into at 4:13 (and 4:29)? Discuss.
As usual, you can't eat just one.