1 9 6 4 – 1 9 6 7 (USA)
2900+ x 60 minute shows
Former disc jockey Lloyd Thaxton graduated from selling used cars on Los Angeles TV to hosting this successful syndicated music show aimed at pre-teens and teens.
The Los Angeles-based show debuted on KCOP in 1961 as an hour-long local presentation called Lloyd Thaxton’s Record Shop with a format similar to American Bandstand, featuring local high school students dancing in the studio to the latest records.
The show went into national syndication in late 1964, quickly becoming the highest-rated musical entertainment series, airing five days a week in 90 cities across the US and Canada until the final show in 1967.
Thaxton would lip-sync to the tunes, fake piano or guitar accompaniment, wear offbeat garb and even paint faces on his thumb and have it “perform” the song.
One favourite recurring skit had Thaxton on his knees impersonating painter Toulouse-Lautrec while lip-synching a current song.
He also occasionally “performed” on an odd contraption made from a tennis racket and a bow and arrow that roughly looked like a guitar.
Thaxton would end each show by saying, “I’m Lloyd Thaxton,” followed by the teen audience shouting, “So what!”
Many leading rock ‘n’ roll acts of the time appeared on the show, including The Four Tops, The Supremes, The Temptations, The Shangri-Las, The Byrds, Sonny & Cher, The Turtles, Marvin Gaye, Peter, Paul & Mary, James Brown, Ben E King, The Kinks, Petula Clark, The Beau Brummels, and The Yardbirds (pictured).
In 1965, Thaxton helped found Tiger Beat magazine (then known as Lloyd Thaxton’s Tiger Beat), a fan magazine for teens.
Lloyd Thaxton died from multiple myeloma in October 2008, after having been diagnosed in May of that year.