Thursday, October 2, 2014

Today in 1965: The Who's American TV Debut

It was today in 1965 that The Who made their debut on American television on the ABC rock music show Shindig!. The Who's segment, in which they performed "I Can't Explain", was actually pre-recorded on 3 August 1965 at Twickenham Film Studios in London. The Who were not only recorded performing "I Can't Explain", but "Daddy Rolling Stone" and "My Generation" as well. The other two songs would be aired on two different editions of Shindig!: "Daddy Rolling Stone" on the 30 December 1965 edition and "My Generation" on the last ever edition of Shindig! on 6 January 1966 (during which "I Can't Explain" was repeated as well).

At the time The Who already had two top ten hits in the United Kingdom. "I Can't Explain" had gone to #8 on the UK singles chart, while "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere" had gone to #10 on the chart. Despite having success in the United Kingdom, however, The Who were still largely unknown in the United States. "I Can't Explain" only went to #98 on the Billboard Hot 100, while "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere" did not even chart. The Who would not have a hit in the United States until "Happy Jack" reached #24 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1967. Needless to say, their persistence would pay of and by the end of the Sixties they would be one of the most popular British acts in the U.S.

Without further ado, here is The Who's first appearance on American television, on the TV show Shindig!.

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