Everyone knows the birth of the Space Race: Sputnik and Vostok gave the Soviets a huge start while the US floundered about with the odd tiny satellite making it through a cavalcade of explosive fiasco. Most would say that the first voice from space was that of Yuri Gagarin in 1961. They'd be wrong. [more inside]
Leonard Bernstein's Young People's Concerts: From 1958-1973, composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein (Previously on MeFi) played live, educational concerts with the New York Philharmonic that were televised nationwide on CBS. Tapes of the broadcasts were eventually syndicated to 40 countries, introducing an entire generation of children to a wide range musical concepts, styles and composers. The first concert to air was "What Does Music Mean." [more inside]
"Young Bert Stern was already one of the leading fashion photographers of the 1950's when he resolved to shoot his first film before he was thirty. He made it, with two years to spare. The result, Jazz on a Summer's Day, is a luminously breezy film that brings the rich color palette of Vogue or Harper's Bazaar of those years into the world of the documentary cinema." [more inside]
The year was 1957: the Soviet Union had launched the cutest little sattelite ever. And it didn't just look good, it sounded good, too! As sweet a sound as any avant garde composer of the 1950's might dream up! Of course, the US would have to get a little metal ball of its own into space, but things didn't go so well. They did manage to get one up there in 1958, but nobody knows if it sounded as good as ol' Sputnik. But anyway, most folks weren't listening to satellites 50 years ago, they were listening to, well, lessee, there was... [more inside]
50 years ago, it was the era of Sputnik, nuclear power, decolonisation, European vows of ever closer union, transistor radios, cars for the masses, and Hula Hoops. What better time to hold a damn big party? [more inside]
It's been nearly 50 years since the beginning of the International Geophysical Year (IGY), an 18-month period of scientific activities and discoveries that ran from July 1, 1957, to December 31, 1958. Both the US and the USSR launched the world's first artificial satellites during the IGY (Sputnik 1 and Explorer 1). Other achievements of the IGY included the discovery of the Van Allen radiation belts and the mapping of mid-ocean ridges. The IGY also inspired at least one artistic endeavor: Steely Dan's Donald Fagen wrote his 1982 solo song "I.G.Y. (International Geophysical Year)" [YouTube] as an homage to 50s optimism.
The Information Machine, [YouTube]. This short animated film was written, produced and directed by Charles and Ray Eames for the IBM Pavillion at the 1958 Brussels World's Fair [embedded sound]. Animation by Dolores Cannata. The topic is the computer in the context of human development.