The Poptimists arose out of a high school memory of mine from the early 1970's. A traveling pop group of young performers entertained at an assembly. They were clean cut, optimistic and sang contemporary pop tunes. Nothing controversial in the least -- at least on the surface. They also had their own live big band accompanying them.
name was The
and they were sponsored by Chrysler/Plymouth under the guise
of teaching young people optimism, peace, racial tolerance,
American values, and -- driving safety. There were other
travelling groups as well back then: Up With People
and The Young Americans were probably the most
1. These kids were just SO clean cut, energetic and always smiling. Kind of like Stepford kids on amphetimines. There were, of course, "dramatic" moments in the show when they sang a serious song -- or talked about driving safety.
Blue and white. The set was a corporate wash of blue and
white shiny molded plastic flats. The Chrysler logo was
quite prominent and "The Spurrlows" was spelled out in big
letters upstage. And the band had those cool music stands so
they looked like a big band from the 1930's and 40's.
The costumes were also blue and white, making the entire
cast look like a combination of stewardesses and ushers.
3. Sometimes, the things they were trying to teach had just the opposite effect. As I recall, there were a few minority performers in the cast. Most were in the band. But they seemed out of place with the overwhelming middle class, suburban Caucasian feel of the show. And by standing out, they kind of defeated the group's lessons of being accepted on an equal level.
to mention the squeaky-clean, wholesome-looking girls with
long, ironed hair (or short beehive cuts) who sang about
love so chastely and innocently that it only made them three
times as sexy and alluring.
resulting show, The Poptimists, is intended as an
affectionate poke at both the faux idealism and conservative
propaganda of 1970 -- both not-so-subtlely disguised in
upbeat American clothing.
I can only hope that you vaguely remember this show for even half as long as I remember that original high school assembly nearly forty years ago.
This one's just for laughs. So enjoy.