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Subject: 50s-70s project

Written By: Christy on 05/02/07 at 7:14 pm

Hi There,

Well I'm doing a project in English class and we have to decorate the classroom. Our idea was a diner, and we got the red and white checkered table cloths. I was thinking since we spanned such a time period that I should have records and movie clips from shows set in that time period. Any suggestion on outfits that fit into this time period... anything would be great but I'm hoping I can find something lying around at home.
Also, we are supposed to make the room smell like the time period... any specific smells....
oh and last but not least... favourite foods... what was the big deal back then? (my group was assuming french fries... but i figured that would be something more realistic)

Subject: Re: 50s-70s project

Written By: AmericanGirl on 05/02/07 at 8:35 pm

Christy, I'll start by making a recommendation.  Pick ONE decade (or portion thereof) - 50's, 60's or 70's.  The reason is these three decades are quite distinct from one another (despite 50's nostalgia being rampant in the mid-late 70's).

Your red and white checkered tablecloths should fit into any of the decades - classic pattern IMO, especially when we're talking retro.  Records and movie clips are a good idea - fits any of the decades, just find something specific to your time period.  As far as fashion, there's a huge disparity depending on what decade you select.  It might be good to have some event driven artifacts around, significant newspaper clips are good, for instance if it's 60's maybe some news clips w/headlines about one of the Kennedys, Vietnam or Martin Luther King.

Pick a decade, then we can talk about specific foods, events, music, movies, TV shows, fashions, smells, foods, also how about things like toys?  BTW french fries is pretty generic - I'd pick something more specific to a certain time period.

It might help to mention how much time you have for your project.

I'll check back - I can probably help out with 70's, maybe 60's a little (too young for 50's)

I can start you with some "music" recommendations for the different decades:

50's (this is "late" 50's):
Elvis Presley
Buddy Holly
Little Richard
Chuck Berry
Jerry Lee Lewis
Everly Brothers

60's Motown acts - esp. Supremes, Temptations, Four Tops, Miracles, Marvin Gaye, others
Rolling Stones
Dionne Warwick
Roy Orbison
Four Seasons
Ray Charles

Elton John
Bee Gees
Stevie Wonder (70's)
Three Dog Night
Jackson Five
John Denver
Paul McCartney

Subject: Re: 50s-70s project

Written By: lorac61469 on 05/03/07 at 2:49 pm

When I hear Diner, I immediately think 50's. 

Watch the movie GREASE, you'll get some great ideas.

Subject: Re: 50s-70s project

Written By: Marty McFly on 05/03/07 at 3:04 pm

"The Fifties" in a stereotypical sense of old-fashioned diners and malt shops with jukeboxes, Leave It To Beaver, I Love Lucy, Elvis and black and white TV was about 1954/'55-1963, although more centering on the mid '50s. Basically from the time rock and roll got popular, through JFK's death. The early 1960s was more of a quieter, toned-down version of the '50s from all the clips I've seen. Think of the song "Stand By Me".

The British Invasion era in the mid '60s (which also had Motown music, Beach Boys, etc) was sort of inbetween the old-fashioned '50s and what was to come. The Woodstock, Hippie, Vietnam '60s was like 1967-1970, and residually maybe even up to about '74, although the way people lived was pretty much the same as we do now.

Sorry for doing it mostly about music, lol. I guess I know that the best.

Subject: Re: 50s-70s project

Written By: Christy on 05/03/07 at 7:54 pm

Thank you so much for all the suggestions!!! I think I'm going to stick to the decade from 50-60.... and maybe go into mid 60s... any suggestions for quick outfit ideas... smells... food etc?

Subject: Re: 50s-70s project

Written By: Marty McFly on 05/03/07 at 8:04 pm

^ Whenever I think of '50s, the original Back to the Future always comes to mind - you could always use that (even the setup of Lou's Diner would work, lol). I get the impression that people dressed sort of "formally casual" if that makes sense. Even though rock and roll/teen rebellion was around, it was still pretty conservative. Girls, especially. Anything with a black/white checkerboard pattern would probably work for fashion or background.

Subject: Re: 50s-70s project

Written By: AmericanGirl on 05/03/07 at 9:44 pm

50's-Early 60's - good choice.  One thing probably true during that time period, American pride was running high.  So for a diner, I'd think of "American" type food - cheeseburgers, apple pie, milkshakes.  The "malt shops"/"jukebox" themes are good for ideas.  As far as fashions, I like the description "formally casual" from Marty McFly.  For girls, knee length (or slightly longer) dresses were pretty normal - or I recall occasionally seeing girls wearing tight capris in bright colors (that may be more 60s) but I think those were restricted to playtime.  And sweaters.  For guys, the "Happy Days" type looks are probably good - either the "greaser" type or the clean cut "letter" guy.  I agree Back To The Future does a good job portraying this timeframe.

For music, maybe get some items from (a repeat) Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Everly Brothers.  Plus, you can add some stuff from Beach Boys (early), Connie Francis, Doo-Wop (whatever you can find), Various girl groups (Shirelles, Ronettes, Marvelettes, Chiffons, Crystals, Angels, etc) ,Teen Idols (Ricky Nelson, Paul Anka, Frankie Avalon).  You don't need all of this, just a good rounded cross section.  If you can obtain one or two "real" samples, great.  Otherwise full color printed CD-size or larger album covers or 45's are probably good.

TV shows - I like the suggestions of Leave It To Beaver and I Love Lucy.  Add stuff like Ed Sullivan, Gunsmoke, and Father Knows Best.  Here's a link with some info:

Movies - I'm afraid I'm not very knowledgable  :-\\  maybe someone else chime in here  ???

Smells - not sure here, either (since it's a Diner, food smells might be good - like apple pie ::))

Good luck!

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