(Pictured above: The Jefferson Airplane’s Spencer Dryden, Marty Balin, and Paul Kantner, in San Francisco, June 1967)
When MeTV said it would kick off a “Summer of Me” on Memorial Day, we thought the over-the-air channel would be celebrating the 50th anniversary of 1967’s Summer of Love — when some 100,000 hippies converged in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. Especially when we saw this promotional photo of current day Barry Williams — who played Greg on The Brady Bunch, and will host “The Summer of Me” — decked out in groovy hippie attire:
But, hippie trappings aside, “The Summer of Me” — which is really a labeling of MeTV’s summer retro lineup — seems to have as much connection with the Summer of Love as The Brady Bunch itself, which didn’t even debut until 1969. While we highly doubt the hippies in the Haight were watching any TV at all, The Savvy Screener decided to check out just which of this summer’s MeTV shows were airing during the summer of 1967. They turn out to be The Beverly Hillbillies, The Andy Griffith Show and Gilligan’s Island, all not exactly bastions of the rebel throngs.
At least one TV show in 1967, though, was tuned into the frequency of the counterculture — The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. And early on Memorial Day, as part of a “rock block” mini-marathon, over-the-air channel GetTV will air two episodes of the series.
The 1 am ET offering features The Who’s legendary appearance from September 15, 1967:
The 2 am show features Simon & Garfunkel from May 12, 1967, including this song:
The main soundtrack for the Summer of Love, however, was undoubtedly the Beatles’ groundbreaking “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club” album, released on June 1, 1967, (and being re-released this Friday, May 26, in an expanded special edition, with 34 previously unreleased takes).
PBS hasn’t forgotten and next Saturday, June 3, will premiere a new documentary, Sgt. Pepper’s Musical Revolution (8 pm ET, but local days and times may differ). The show “features material never before accessible outside of Abbey Road Studios, including recordings of studio chat between band members and isolated instrumental and vocal tracks. It reveals the nuts and bolts of how the album came together, and provides insights into the choices made by The Beatles and [producer] George Martin.”
For your local MeTV station, go to the channel’s “Where to Watch” page. For info on where to watch GetTV, go to “Get the Channel.” To confirm when Sgt. Pepper’s Musical Evolution is airing on your local PBS station, visit PBS.org.
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