The Nifty Fifties
Are you ready for a true blast from the past? The Nifty Fifties with all their glory of poodle skirts and James Dean, drive-in movies and Doris Day are being celebrated this month in Bartlesville with a bandstand dance, conferences on rock and roll and television and the history near and far that shaped a decade of progress and prosperity.
Bartlesville Public Library celebrates in April the lifestyle and culture of the years from 1950 to 1959 in which this community grew and developed perhaps more quickly than any other time in the past or future.
The kicks start on April 5 with a 1950s Bandstand Dance Party running from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Bartlesville Elks Lodge, 1060 Swan Drive. All the cool cats will find it a gas to dance to the oldies with the ever hip Bop Cats rock and roll band. There will be free dance instruction, along with trophies awarded for best dance couple, best costume, hula hoop finesse and best Elvis impersonation. Refreshments will be sold at 1950s prices.
Come hang out with Mr. Potato Head and Barbie from 2 to 4 p.m. April 5 at a program featuring the most popular Children’s Games and Toys of the 1950s scheduled at Bartlesville Public Library, 600 S. Johnstone Ave. You’ll be in orbit celebrating the era of Play-Doh and Yahtzee in this fun program.
Rock and roll was here to stay once it took off in the ‘50s, so the library has scheduled a special videoconference from 2 to 3 p.m. April 8 to talk about how contemporary culture shaped the world of music. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Ohio presents The Big Bang – The Birth of Rock and Roll with vintage performances by Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis and Little Richard.
The Golden Years of Television take the spotlight from 2 to 3 p.m. April 9 in another videoconference at the library. New York City’s Paley Center for Media celebrates some of the most beloved personalities from those early TV years. Milton Berle, Lucile Ball, George Burns and Gracie Allen will be highlighted in this special day.
Take a walk down memory lane in Bartlesville from 2 to 4 p.m. April 27 when the library looks at our community’s role in some of the biggest events of the era. With Joe Todd as emcee and special guest speakers on hand, this program looks at the days when the world’s first telemovie was released with a premiere in Bartlesville, the national civil rights movement battle that took place here with the story of librarian Ruth Brown, the inner workings of Radar Hill and the construction of the Price Tower.
The series concludes with a special tribute to soldiers from Washington County who died during the Korean War. Be sure and head out to one or more of these hip events in April. You’ll be digging them.