Saturday, July 8, 2017

The Summer Of '67




The Summer of '67

By Buck Swamp


Fifty years ago, in the summer of 1967, I was 17 years-old.  I drove a 1963 Volkswagen Beetle.  I had my first ‘steady’ girlfriend.  

I spent the summer working in a cotton mill, making $1.50 an hour.  In September, I began my senior year of high school.  Like most young men, I worried about facing the draft after graduation.

The execrable Lyndon Johnson was still president, and the vastly unpopular Viet Nam War was raging out of control—America now had nearly half-a-million troops fighting there.  The total US war deaths in 1967 was 11,363.  

Peace rallies were multiplying as the number of protesters against the war increased.  That summer cities throughout America exploded in rioting and looting, the worst being in Detroit, where 7,000 National Guard were bought in to restore law and order on the streets.

But 1967 was also the “The Year of the Hippie”.  During that summer, about a hundred-thousand "flower children" flocked to the Haight-Ashbury section of San Francisco.  The media dubbed it the “Summer of Love”.

The movie industry moved with the times and produced movies that would appeal to this younger audience including The Graduate, Bonnie and Clyde, and Cool Hand Luke. Popular TV shows included The Fugitive and The Monkees.  Color television sets were becoming popular as the price of a set came down and more programs were made in color.

In 1967, the average yearly income was $7,300.  The average cost of a new house was $14,250.  The average monthly rent was $125.  The average cost of a new car was $2,750.  A movie ticket cost $1.25.  Gas cost 33 cents per gallon.  The minimum wage was $1.40 per hour.

1967 was a seminal year in popular music--The Beatles, The Stones, Hendrix, etc.  Here are some of the albums I was listening to:



Parsley Sage Rosemary And Thyme – Simon And Garfunkel
Released October, 1966 – Columbia Records

Fresh Cream – Cream
Released December, 1966 – Atco Records

The Doors – The Doors
Released January, 1967 – Elektra Records

Surrealistic Pillow – Jefferson Airplane
Released February, 1967 – RCA Victor

Between The Buttons – The Rolling Stones
Released February, 1967 – London Records

Younger Than Yesterday – The Byrds
Released February, 1967 – Columbia Records

The Velvet Underground And Nico – By The Velvet Underground
Released March, 1967 – Verve Records

Mellow Yellow – Donovan
Released March, 1967 – Epic Records

Are You Experienced? – Jimi Hendrix Experience
Released May, 1967 – Reprise Records

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Beatles
Released June, 1967 – Capitol Records

Moby Grape – Moby Grape
Released June, 1967 – Columbia Records

Flowers – The Rolling Stones
Released June, 1967 – London Records

Strange Days - The Doors
Released September, 1967 - Elektra Records

Procol Harum – Procol Harum
Released September, 1967 – Regal Zonophone


Also See: The Summer Of '65 and The Summer Of '66.

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