The offbeat tune “Monster Mash” performed by Bobby “Boris” Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers became the top single on the Billboard Top 100 Chart today, just in time for Halloween. Pickett previously recorded the quirky hit “Alley Oop.” The new monster-themed dance hit is widely expected to be a flash in the pan and soon forgotten.
Tonight at 11:15 p.m. on NBC viewers will be introduced to a new host for The Tonight Show. Johnny Carson will take over the reins from Jack Paar, who has entertained America each night with interesting guests and controversial issues since he took over from Steve Allen in 1957. Carson, most recently the host of the ABC afternoon quiz show Who Do You Trust?, is likely to focus more on comedy than controversy. Groucho Marx and Mort Sahl have served as guest hosts in the period between Paar’s resignation and Carson’s debut.
After nearly 10 years of controversy surrounding the eviction of 1,000 Latino families from Chávez Ravine, a brand-new Dodger Stadium stands ready for opening day tomorrow, April 10, when more than 50,000 Angelenos are expected to descend upon the vast parking lots to witness the Dodgers play the Cincinnati Reds. In an emotional drama played out over years, Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley paid $494,000 for the property to resettle the families living there, and the stadium itself cost some $23 million.
Despite being rejected 26 times by other publishers, today Farrar, Straus and Giroux is publishing the work of a most unconventional new author, Madeleine L’Engle. A Wrinkle in Time is something unheard of; a science fiction book with a girl as the protagonist. It is unclear whether the book can ever be accepted, as it is common knowledge that only boys read science fiction. Kirkus Reviews offers a generous assessment in their March 1, 1962 review:
An allegorical fantasy in which a group of young people are guided through the universe by Mrs. Who, Mrs. Which and Mrs. What — women who possess supernatural powers. They traverse fictitious regions, meet and face evil and demonstrate courage at the right moment. Religious allusions are secondary to the philosophical struggle designed to yield the meaning of life and one’s place on earth. Young Meg’s willingness to face IT in the form of a black beast in order to save a dear friend is one sign of her growing awareness. Readers who relish symbolic reference may find this trip through time and space an exhilarating experience; the rest will be forced to ponder the double entendres.
Time will tell if this Wrinkle will last.
Everybody’s watching “Bonanza” on Sunday nights. Since 1958 the Cartright family (stars Lorne Greene, Pernell Roberts, Dan Blocker and Michael Landon) has been living life in the Old West at their ranch, The Ponderosa, in Nevada.
Heartthrob Ricky Nelson released this single today, and if its reception is anything like his other songs, expect it to quickly rise in the Billboard Charts.
Finishing touches are being put on an immense tower, to be called “The Space Needle,” in preparation for the opening of the World’s Fair in Seattle. The event, called “Century 21,” will be a look into the future, an exercise of imagination as to what the 21st Century has in store. In addition to the Space Needle, construction is nearly complete on a new monorail system to move visitors around the vast exposition. The fair will be opened by President John F. Kennedy on April 21, 1962.