The Challengers - Y-Day At The Bowl - 1963. A pivotal moment in retrospect.

The Challengers – Y-Day At The Bowl – 1963. A pivotal moment in retrospect.

Part 1:

Part 2:

(Editors Note: Originally Posted in 2012)

A few years ago I ran a portion of this concert, via my now-defunct Newstalgia site. It featured headliners The Beach Boys at the annual Y-Day At The Bowl event for the YMCA on October 19, 1963. It was a star-studded event and I promised to run the rest of that concert at some point. With this new site, Past Daily, it seemed like a good idea to make good on that promise and finally run the rest of the concert.

When you consider what was just around the corner in our society, this was a much more significant event than first realized. Less than a month later, President Kennedy would be assassinated. Three months later, The Beatles would arrive in the U.S., and what would be the start of The British Invasion and the beginnings of a dramatic upheaval in Youth Culture in music, social behavior and even fashion.

Hosted by Art Linkletter, who at the time was an acknowledged spokesman for Pop Culture in the mainstream, had a daily radio as well as TV show and considered a link between generations – the guy who knew “what the kids wanted”.

Listening to this concert, which runs almost two hours, is fascinating and somewhat frustrating. Fascinating in the sense that, this is what popular concerts were like at the time – a lot of bands and artists, usually singing one or two numbers, quickly set up and changed in order to keep the pace running high. Frustrating in the sense that, this was long before the days of Sound Reinforcement and Stage monitors. The sound you hear is the sound the audience heard the day of the concert. The bands couldn’t hear each other sing, let alone play, and often the notes ran a little flat, or a lot flat (in the case of Jan & Dean). It was just the nature of technology at the time.

But this is a historic concert and history is sometimes a lot different than imagined. This is also history in the sense that this is one of the few surviving documents of some artists performing live before an audience. As far as I know, no other copy of this complete concert exists – this is the master, and even though there is evidence it was broadcast, it’s not likely the entire concert made it over the airwaves. So you get to hear it here first. Although someone grabbed this concert the first time I ran it and did their own YouTube version, this is the original.

Because the concert is a long one, I’ve broken it up between two players.

Here’s the breakdown:

Part 1: The Routers
Mike Clifford
The Cornells
Paul Petersen
Soupy Sales
The Mixtures
Keith Colley
Eddie & The Showmen
Dodie Stevens
The Fleetwoods
Vic Dana
Duane Eddy
The Honeys
Part 2: The Challengers
Jan & Dean
The Surfaris
Bobby Rydell
The Beach Boys

And of course, Art Linkletter, Muzzy Marcelino and his band and the U.S. Marine Corps Marching Band.

And 10,000 kids. All at The Hollywood Bowl.


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27 thoughts on “Y-Day At The Bowl – 1963. The Beach Boys, Surfaris, The Routers, The Challengers – Past Daily Pop Chronicles.

  1. Hey Gordon:

    I thought you were gone forever when Newstalgia stopped updating. I’m thrilled to have found you again. Your mix of every genre of great music, interesting news reports from many eras, fascinating old radio shows of many different varieties and common sense political musings is one of my favorite things about the whole darn internet thingy. I was happy to donate to the save the Newstalgia fund and am glad to see you are still sending cool stuff to my computer screen (and speakers).

    Thanks for this fantastic concert and all you do,

    dave g. in sunny Arizona

    PS: How do I download from this new site if the occasion arises?

    1. Thanks for the kind words! Yes, I have to put a notice up at Newstalgia and let them know we’re closed over there. As for downloading – I thought you could, but I see that’s not worked out yet. Don’t worry – I’ll get that nailed down, along with everything else on the new site. Tell your friends! Good to see you here!

  2. I had received two cassetts of this concert some 25 years ago by a personality in music buisiness. He asked me not to give it out of hands
    as he doesn´t want it to find its way onto a bootleg cd. So I promised him 100.000 $ when this would happen by my fault. Your release saves me from a money transfer ….
    The concert is a real gem for all oldies lover, even when some of the artists didn´t play or sing so well as known from their platters.

  3. hello, I’m getting a ‘file not found’ when clicking the player.
    thanks for posting, look forward to hearing it

  4. That was a wonderful day for us (Eddie and the Showmen)! I am so glad to have had this old tape (even as “off-kilter” as it is by today’s standards) in a somewhat still survivable condition! Thanks so much for the memories!

    -brett brady

  5. Is the Beach Boys portion the tracks that wound up as the first Beach Boys in concert album?

    1. No, actually it isn’t. If you listen to the Beach Boys Live album on Capitol and compare it to this, they are totally different. I know, based on the “this is how the Beach Boys do it in the Studio” intro, that it could be assumed to be the same, and I thought it was too. But I did a comparison check some time back and found that wasn’t the case. It might just have been a test run on the between-the-numbers patter to see if it worked. The Live Album was recorded over two dates: Civic Memorial Auditorium in Sacramento on December 21st 1963 and August 1st, 1964.

  6. Any chance of having a download link? such a great show to good just to leave without one.

    1. Yes! My apologies for that. I have been getting adjusted to the new digs here and wasn’t all that well versed in the various player options. I assumed the option was available to readers. I will go in and make the changes shortly. Sorry for the oversight. I’ll make that option available shortly.


  7. I was born 8 years later, but listening to this reminds me of my mom, who was a 15 year old at the time. Awesome piece of music history.

  8. I was born 8 years ater this concert was held, however I’m a fan of ’60s music. The Beach Boys are my favorite group. Listening to this reminds me of my mom, who was a 15 year old teen at the time, living in TX. This is an awesome piece of musical history.

  9. This is an absolute gem. And what incredible sound quality. I am able to totally relive what I experienced at 12 years old. The Y Days took place at the Bowl at around 10am and were followed by a football game at the Coliseum. I have some silent home footage of the 1964 Y Day at the Bowl with the Munsters Band that I will post soon on YouTube. Thank you so much for this.

  10. Thank You for posting this Concert from November 1,1963. I appreciate it. (Todd Bend,Oregon formerly from Pasadena Calif.)

  11. I barely remember but watched this live with my folks sitting in the audience. Brett (my brother) was playing with Eddie and the Showmen and it was really something. I think around that time Joan Sutherland also sang too at the bowl and I recall watching her live too. I wonder if there was any video of this event that can be posted? … pat

    1. Hi Pat: Apparently, CBS Television video taped a portion of this concert. But whether the video still exists or not is another question. Because Art Linkletter was the MC, CBS Radio ran the concert as well. But again, there is no evidence to suggest either of those recordings still exist. At the time, it was standard operating procedure to record audio of the concerts, however all but a few have managed to survive over the years. That’s why this particular recording has been unique and in many ways, the only known live performances of some acts. but like they always say; never say never – and you can just never tell when some room may be discovered, holding all the lost recordings. Thanks for your note!

  12. Do you know if there are recordings or video of The Beach Boys while David Marks was still in the band?

    1. Since this concert is from September of 1963, I would imagine he’s included in the lineup, but I have no confirmation of that. As for video – I really don’t know. Apparently, this concert was filmed, but whatever happened to the footage is anybody’s guess.

  13. This is a total surprise, I was there with the Long Beach Y, just moved from NE Ohio and was a freshman. I moved back to Ohio in 65. As I listen to this broadcast I am looking at the program I saved from that special day with my hand written notes about the songs played. What a blast from the past for a now 67 year old kid again! THANKS!!

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