Spanning 14 months from February 1965 to early April 1966, this second DVD compilation of the short-lived NBC pop-music series Hullabaloo
is fascinating more as an ethereal glimpse of mid-'60s pop trends than a record of enduring music. The majority of these performers (Chad & Jeremy, Leslie Gore, Barry McGuire) were enjoying their relatively brief time in the spotlight, so they're little more than time-capsule curiosities to anyone born after these shows were originally broadcast. The format was so safely mainstream that one "Top Pop" medley segment features guest host Peter Noone (from Herman's Hermits) singing Bob Dylan's "Positively 4th Street," with predictably ludicrous results. But the menu of then-current chart-toppers also includes a generous sampling of the British Invasion (the Kinks, the Rolling Stones, and even Marianne Faithful, with several London-scene reports from Beatles manager Brian Epstein), and bonus track highlights include the Zombies, Junior Walker & the All-Stars, and the Supremes at the start of their meteoric rise.
Although many of these acts lip-sync to canned music (you'll notice a lot of unplugged guitars), the sound quality surpasses the video, which was mastered from salvaged black & white kinescopes (sadly, the color videos were destroyed). In addition to the hit-or-miss music menu, the Hullabaloo dancers and popular guests hosts provide a welcomed trip down memory lane, especially when David McCallum ("Ilya Kuryakin" from TV's The Man from U.N.C.L.E.) struggles through several attempts at spy-thriller sketch comedy. Hullabaloo is a refreshing reminder that television in the mid-1960s had yet to lose its innocence to the turmoil of years to come. --Jeff Shannon
From the Back Cover
Unlike anything you'll see on television today, the vintage show Hullabaloo
featured live performances from some of the most popular musical artists as well as up-and-coming stars. Airing on NBC-TV (1965-1966), the network didn't realize the value of the show and discarded most of the video masters. Fortunately, the shows have been salvaged from black-and-white kinescopes and the audio has been digitally restored so that we can savor the original performances form legendary artists including: Frankie Avalon, The Beau Brummels, Chad & Jeremy, Petula Clark, The Everly Brothers, Marianne Faithful, Freddie & The Dreamers, Annette Funicello, Dobie Gray, The Kingsman, The Kinks, Brenda Lee, The Lovin' Spoonful, The Outsiders, The Rolling Stones, Soupy Sales, The Shangri-Las, Del Shannon, Joe Tex, The Toys, We Five, The Young Rascals, The Zombies, and many more! Approximately 4 1/2 hours.