Uncovering the truth behind psychedelic color of the '60s @ 4 May 2013 11:17 AM
Renowned writer Ken Levine and (on Facebook) Jeanine Kasun of stusshow.com recently shared this rare "I Love Lucy" footage. It's one of many bonus features on the I Love Lucy Seasons 7-9 DVD set (which is actually The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, which was actually The Westinghouse Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show.
Several comments arose about whether black and white TV shows were designed for black and white viewing -- even though the sets and costumes were in color when they were shot.
Watching the Lucy footage again, I don't think there's much of a question as to whether the set and costume colors were selected for their look in black and white.
Even though the film is faded, the colors clearly are not created for the studio audience -- just as color programs in the mid-60s are kaleidoscopic to make the most of it -- including tinting Lucille Ball's hair to a specific orange for the cameras and lighting.
How is this for a theory -- did the psycho-delic look of the late 60s evolve from the counterculture, or from the advent of color TV?
Walt Disney changed the name of his show to the Wonderful World of Color in 1961 and moved to NBC, so he would have a color show and NBC/RCA could sell color more TV's. And look at how everyone dresses in one of those musical "Honeymooners" episodes for example.
Were the 60's really about groovin' to Peter Max, or marketing Max Factor?
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