18 ripping 1960s rock & roll bands that performed on TV sitcoms and dramas
See garage and psychedelic acts like the Seeds, Buffalo Springfield and, er, Opie Taylor rock on your favorite series.
The worlds of pop music and television have always crossed over with each other. The Supremes played nuns on Tarzan. Suzi Quatro played Leather Tuscadero on Happy Days. Vicki Lawrence had a number one hit. The year 1965 was the golden age of pop on TV, with musical showcases such as Hullabaloo, Shindig! and Shivaree filling the network lineups.
But in the heyday of Beatlemania and the British Invasion, rock & roll acts did not need American Bandstand as an excuse to invade your television set. A bunch of garage and psychedelic groups popped up in sitcoms in the 1960s. If a band was based in Los Angeles and hot in the clubs, odds are it was booked on a show like The Beverly Hillbillies. Some were cult acts, some remain obscurities, others scored hits. (A few of them are fictional.)
This is not a complete list, rather a big bunch of our favorite rock & roll band cameos. How many do you remember?
1. Buffalo Springfield on 'Mannix'
Neil Young does not seem like a likely suspect for a Mannix cameo, but there he is, on the right, ripping through "Bluebird" in the episode "Warning: Live Blueberries!"
2. The Peppermint Trolley Co. on 'The Beverly Hillbillies'
This act with a name perfect for acid-laced bubblegum also appeared on Mannix, as well as on Hillbillies, playing "Robin Hood."
3. Paul Revere & The Raiders on 'Batman'
When the Penguin runs for mayor of Gotham in "Hizzoner The Penguin," the beloved Revolutionary rockers tear through "Vote for Penguin" and an instrumental.
4. The Other Half on 'The Mod Squad'
The San Fran psych act plays its "Oz Lee Eaves Drop" on the pilot episode, "Teeth Of The Barracuda."
5. The Sacred Cows on 'Get Smart!'
Larry Storch is the titular "Groovy Guru" who introduces Max and 99 to the fictional bovine band. The trio plays "Thrill! Thrill! Thrill!" — or is that "Kill! Kill! Kill!"?
6. The Seeds on 'The Mothers-in-Law'
In one of the great rock & roll performances of sitcom history, the influential garage giant storms through its hit "Pushin' too Hard," under the alias of the Warts. Keep an eye out for them in the episode "How Not to Manage a Rock Group."
7. The Sound Committee on 'The Andy Griffith Show'
In the final season, Opie proves just how much he's grown up. He joins a garage (barn?) band! With high school boys. Supposedly, Ron Howard had an actual band with these buddies.
8. The Factory on 'F Troop'
Lowell George of Little Feat brought his earlier act to the 19th century with this comical Beatles parody, the Bedbugs. You can catch them shakin' the wagon in "That's Showbiz."
9. The Standells on 'Ben Casey'
The L.A. garage quartet played an instrumental in a nightclub on the medical drama.
10. The Wellingtons on 'Gilligan's Island'
In one of the most memorable rock & roll episodes in television history, the Wellingtons, who performed the theme song, dress up as Beatles parody act the Mosquitoes. They play "Don't Bug Me" and "He's A Loser," but we are quite fond of the girls rival act the Honey Bees and "I Need You."
11. The Spats on 'My Mother the Car'
The California act had a minor hit with "She Kissed Me Last Night," a single it performed on this infamous Jerry Van Dyke flop.
12. The Sundowners on 'The Flying Nun'
This obscure psychedelic ensemble wows the sisters with its trippy "A Whole New World."
13. The Enemys on 'The Beverly Hillbillies'
Back to the Hillbillies, and "Hoe Down A-Go-Go," where this Sunset Strip combo rumbles through "Mojo Woman." Nancy Kulp digs 'em.
14. The Castaways on 'Never Too Young'
Rock & roll even made it to the daytime, as with this performance of rarity "Liar, Liar" on a soap opera.
15. Boyce & Hart on 'Bewitched'
The songwriting duo behind a bunch of Monkees hits took the spotlight at the end of the decade. They perform "I'm Gonna Blow You a Kiss in the Wind"… and so does Elizabeth Montgomery in "Serena Stops the Show." The twosome must like magic, as they were on I Dream of Jeannie, too.
16. The Greefs on 'My Three Sons'
Opie was not the only wholesome lad to go garage. Robbie Douglas (Don Grady) puts together a combo and swings through their original "Good Man To Have Around The House."
17. Roy Orbison on 'The Dukes of Hazzard'
It took years, but the crooner eventually got a chance to sing his 1964 hit "Oh, Pretty Woman" for the good ol' boys.
18. Alice Cooper on 'The Snoop Sisters'
While Alice Cooper (the band) kicked off in the 1960s, Alice Cooper (the frontman) would not blow up until the 1970s. Still, we wanted to include this bizarre performance of "Sick Things" from a series that was essentially the Murder, She Wrote of its time.