Out with the old and in with the new …..stop right there and change it around. We want old, we want nostalgia and we want to reminisce about our childhood. Being a kid in the 70s and 80s meant we lived through glam rock, the original TV dinners and an abundance of neon!
We tried to moonwalk like Michael Jackson, follow Jane Fonda’s aerobic videos (unsuccessfully) and row the boat, at the disco on the floor. This is what else the 70s and 80s meant to us – enjoy.
1 The Price Is Right
“Come on down”, said the announcer, to the studio audience. They were selected to be given the chance to accurately price various items, to win cash and prizes. Bob Barker was the longest running host, and we all tuned in, as a family, willing the contestants to do well and shouting at the TV.
The Price Is Right has aired more than 8,000 episodes in total and ranked the greatest game show of all time. It was so entertaining and we all watched it for years. Our next door neighbor applied to be on the show but never heard back.
2 Button Tin
Every household had a button tin. The tin could have originally been a cookie tin, a candy tin or anything else that was suitable to hold some useless objects. The idea was that, when you lost a button off your shirt, jacket or pants, a matching spare one would have your clothing looking as good as new. The reality was that the button tin was used as a toy.
I, personally, would separate them into colors and sizes. I would make patterns with them or pretend they were money coins, when I was playing grocery stores, with my dolls as customers. We had so many buttons in the tin, gathered over 20 years, probably, and only a handful were ever used to replace lost ones.
3 The Partridge Family
Anything with David Cassidy and I would be the first one in front of the TV. He played the oldest of 5 children, who, in the first series, spent their lives on the road, touring as a band. They performed in various venues and even in their garage. David Cassidy’s mom in the show was his real life step mom and his sister was played by the very beautiful Susan Dey.
After the first season, most of the show’s action takes place in their hometown, rather than on the road. David Cassidy wasn’t just a pretty face. He was a good actor as well as a talented musician and vocalist. Every teen magazine had his photo in it and we never tired of seeing him. After seeing a recent TV interview with him, it was sad to see him in a bad way.
You may have known them better as Clankers, Ker-Bangers and a whole host of other names. Who would have thought two plastic spheres suspended on string, and made to ‘clack’ together, would prove to be the fad of the 70s. We were all “clacking’, in the playground, after school, anywhere we could. We were addicted and there was no stopping us!
Fairly heavy and fast-moving, they were made of hard acrylic and would occasionally shatter when striking each other. Eventually, America classed them as a “mechanical hazard’. We couldn’t argue with that as our wrists and fingers would be covered in bruises. It was so painful when the clackers hit the bone on the side of your wrist – ouch!
5 Trivial Pursuit
The game’s popularity peaked in 1984 when an incredible 20 million games were sold and we can understand why. You could play it with all the family or just one partner. The question cards were organised into themes and colors. I remember science and nature was green and entertainment was pink. I always hoped for a pink question, as my general knowledge was never good.
Playing the game regularly allowed you to memorise the answers, which came in handy! Dozens of question sets have been released over the years, including sets for young children – something to get them away from the TV! I still have the game, stacked at the top of the spare wardrobe, along with a few other classics, such as Monopoly.
6 Hi-C Drink
Hi-C orange drink was the first in the range of this popular drink from our childhood. As it was packed with preservatives and E numbers, you didn’t need to stick it in the fridge, once it was opened. It was actually seen as a healthy drink due to it’s high vitamin level! Originally, many years earlier, it was only available in Los Angeles and San Francisco but, as sales soared, it became available nationwide.
New flavors of Hi-C fruit drinks were developed, including my favorite, grape. We were treated to apple and cherry drinks a little later on, which were delicious and, more recently, pineapple and grapefruit. Happy memories for me as I remember the original cans, pouring a drink and sitting on the step in the back yard.
7 Michael Jackson Bad Album
OMG – I practically wore out the album as I played it hundreds of times. I learned all the words to every song, singing into my hairbrush and dancing around my bedroom. Michael Jackson released most of the tracks as singles and I bought them as well.
I was mesmerised wth his dance moves and would spend ages, in front of the mirror, practicing moving backwards, Michael Jackson style. The man was unique and there will never be anyone who could come close to his talent.
8 Coke Commercial
This is probably one of the most memorable commercials from my childhood. It opened with us seeing just a few people singing “I’d like to teach the world to sing’ and then the camera would wide angle to a massive group of different creeds and colors, singing in perfect harmony – about Coke!
Being the saddo that I was, I used to sing along with it, at the top of my voice. We were encouraged to buy the world a coke, a clever marketing ploy for us to get along with everyone and anyone.
We had our’s for so many years, as they say, it was part of the furniture!! We jumped on it, bounced on it and rested our feet on it. After what seemed a lifetime of use, the sides split and dad taped up the damaged areas. it split at the side but we carried on using it.
Most family homes had them, especially our grandparents’ era. It matched with all their heavy furniture and bold wallpaper designs. We never referred to our’s as a hassock but grandpa corrected us when we called it a footstool.
10 Wall Telephones
Discussing which cell phone to get next would have felt like discussing a trip to the moon, back in the 70s. The only mobile thing about the old fashioned telephone was that you could walk on the spot, whilst answering the phone! We would answer politely, giving our number out, in the knowledge that it would actually be someone we wanted to speak to and not a ‘cold call’.
If I was speaking to one of my friends for too long, mom would pace up and down, telling me to hurry up and reminding me how long I had been talking, to the nearest tenth of a second!