Thursday, June 19, 2008


The hula hoop craze of the late 50s swept the Baby Boomer generation with a force previously unequaled. No one these days would line up in tents for days to buy one, they simply aren't high tech enough for our sophisticated selves. I don't have a Blackberry, or a picture phone, and I don't really want them, but I wouldn't mind if I still had my cool old royal blue hula hoop. What a collector's item that would be!

The hula hoop was introduced to the world by two marketing geniuses, Richard Knerr and Arthur "Spud" Melin, who eventually formed the Wham-O toy company (who also gave us the Frisbee). Hula hoops sold for $1.98 (that much, really?!) and Wham-O sold over 100 million. I don't do math, but even so, I can guess they made some significant bucks. In fact, they were so popular, they were banned in Russia, as a symbol of the "emptiness of American culture." That sounds pretty funny today, doesn't it. Anyway, these hoops made it into more than one song. There is the Christmas Song by Alvin and the Chipmunks. And this one by Georgia Gibbs, appropriately titled "The Hula Hoop Song."

“The Hula Hoop Song.”

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