By CHUCK CISSEL
President, BTW Class of 1966
1960s ROCKERS: 1966 Booker T. Washington Class President Chuck Cissell, left, with famous singer/songwriter Chubby Checker in 2011. Cissell graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a fine arts degree and later starred on Broadway as a musical performer. He was the CEO of the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame from 2000-2009 and will be the host of the BTW Golden Oldies Party.
Courtesy CHUCK CISSEL
The Booker T. Washington High School Class of 1966 is thrilled to announce as part of their 50th class reunion a fun-filled, music celebration titled Golden Oldies but Goodies Party, Friday, July 29 at the Cox Business Center. A night of “Baby Boomer” hits from the 1960s, 1970s, disco era to current hits like “Happy” by Pharrell.
From the sounds straight out of Detroit known as the Motown Sound, featuring superstars Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross and the Supremes, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, to the incomparable sounds of the Beatles, rock and roll royalty Elvis Presley, the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, and R&B legend Ray Charles, the 1960s was the magical era of music in America.
One of the biggest hits from the 1960s and 1970s was Chubby Checker’s rock-indebted dance track “The Twist,” the only song ever to hit No. 1 in two separate runs (in 1960 and again in 1962). The Beatles landed two entries on the top 20 – an early number, “I Wanna Hold Your Hand,” and the expansive “Hey Jude,” from later in their career. Soul came on strong too at the end of the decade: Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of The Bay,” from 1967, and Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” from 1968.
Can you remember the convertible cars, the drive-in theaters, 35-cent hamburgers, shakes and malts, the first kiss, pep rallies, football games, Lotta Burgers, bar-b-cue skins at the football games, holding hands in the school hallways with your boyfriend or girlfriend, the prom and of course, the sock hops? What an incredible time indeed. Where were you when you first heard “My Girl” by the Temptations, or “Baby Love,” and “Where Did Our Love Go” by the Supremes or Aretha Franklin’s “Respect?” What about when Beatlemania swept the country and hit the radio airwaves in the 1960s? How about the Ed Sullivan Television Hour on Sunday nights? We never missed it; Oh, the memories light the corners of our minds.
“We will also party to the infectious music of the Disco era, featuring #1 hits – Donna Summer’s “Last Dance,” Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive,” Thelma Houston’s “Don’t Leave Me This Way,” the hits of Barry White, Chic, Sister Sledge, David Bowie, Diana Ross and of course, King of Pop Michael Jackson’s numerous dance hits. The Class of 1966 invites everyone to a city-wide “Happy Days” Golden Oldies Party.
As far as we can remember, the Cox Business Center, formerly the Tulsa Convention Center, was the most popular venue for high school graduations back in the day. The Golden Oldies But Goodies Party begins at 6:30 p.m. Wear your jeans, cool shirts and tops, and tennis shoes. It will be a memorable night, highlighting some of the best days of our lives and reflections of the simpler time that we grew up in.
If you went to school in the 1960s, please join us so we can all “Twist the Night Away.” Tickets are $15 and can be purchased in advance at the Greenwood Cultural Center or individuals can pay $20 at the door. Beverages and appetizers will be available. We would love to see Tulsa come together for a big-time, city-wide fun event. For more information, please contact the class of 66 at email@example.com.