ARIZONA MEMORIES FROM THE '70S
— Alice Cooper, Mary Jo West,
Al McCoy, Hans Olson, Kay Butler,
— Featuring Wallace & Ladmo 's Pat McMahon —
“As with previous Arizona Memories productions, we began our research by putting out a request to our viewers,” said the show's producer John Booth. “We asked them to ‘share your Arizona memories from the 1970s.' The response was tremendous.”
Home movies, family photos, concert posters and ticket stubs, newspaper articles, and all kinds of memorabilia were soon made available to our station. The emails were filled with stories about the famous 100-year floods that just kept coming; the packed stadiums at the sporting events with the Phoenix Suns, ASU vs. U of A, and Phoenix Roadrunner hockey; tubing the Salt River; the arrival of Big Surf; and the Valley's music scene.
“This really was a labor of love, sorting through all the materials we received,” said Booth. “I grew up in Arizona, so this process was a great trek down memory lane. I remember riding my bike up and down Mill Avenue, going to concerts at the Celebrity Theatre, listening to a fledgling radio station called KDKB, and watching new neighborhoods and freeways being build throughout the Valley, and in my own backyard.”
The interviews include reporters who were covering the big stories — Al McCoy, Jana Bommersbach, Bob Boze Bell, Mary Jo West — and those making history — Governor Raul Castro, Frank Kush. Our cameras also captured the major players in Arizona's music scene, including Danny Zelisko, Alice Cooper and The Tubes, talking about what it was like back in the day.
Arizona Memories from the '70s explores the more serious events of the decade as well. Blacks, American Indians, and Hispanics called for fair pay, opportunities in the workplace and equal treatment in schools. Arizonan Cesar Chavez led strikes, boycotts and marches for better pay and working conditions for farm workers.
But no crime shocked the state like the murder of Arizona Republic reporter Don Bolles. Bolles' stories had exposed land fraud, organized crime and government corruption. And, like something out of a crime novel, on a hot summer afternoon, Bolles went out to his car, started the ignition, pulled out a few feet and a remote-controlled dynamite bomb exploded. Three men were eventually tried for the Bolles murder. Their cases were not settled until the 1990s.
“Once again, our audience came through with wonderful material to help us tell the story,” said Booth. “For a little while, Arizona Memories from the '70s turns back the clock to capture the mood, the events and the people who made that time special and influenced Arizona's future.”
About Eight, Arizona PBS
Eight, Arizona PBS specializes in the education of children, in-depth news and public affairs, lifelong learning, and the celebration of arts and culture -- utilizing the power of noncommercial television, the Internet, educational outreach services, and community-based initiatives. The PBS station began broadcasting from the campus of Arizona State University on January 30, 1961. Now more than 80 percent of Arizonans receive the signal through a network of translators, cable and satellite systems. With more than 1 million viewers each week, Eight consistently ranks among the most-viewed public television stations per capita in the country. Arizonans provide more than 60 percent of the station's annual budget.
Eight is a member-supported service of Arizona State University.