In 1969, La Crosse State College hired John Alexander from the University of Missouri to succeed Ralph Wahl as director of the Marching Chiefs band. Alexander, who became known as “Dr. A,” arrived in La Crosse just in time to prepare the musicians for a major trip…appearing in the 1970 Tournament of Roses parade in California. During a long career at La Crosse, Alexander would lead the university band to a number of other parades and NFL halftime shows.
“Laugh-In” was a hit TV series in ’69, and sit-ins were still popular. The Holiday Sports Center in La Crosse advertised a “look-in” for some of its popular items, like outboard motors.
A sister show to “Laugh-In,” called “Turn On,” made its debut on ABC 50 years ago tonight, a Wednesday. And also ended its run on the same night. “Turn On” was a rapid-fire 30-minute comedy show, supposedly produced by a computer. There were many viewer complaints about the large number of crude sex jokes on the show, while TV critics mainly didn’t think the jokes were funny. Other series that were more popular on Wednesday nights in 1969 included “The Beverly Hillbillies,” “Green Acres,” Glen Campbell, and the long-running Western “The Virginian”…50 years ago, yesterday in La Crosse.