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ebennet68
10-11-2010, 03:36 PM
I'm working on planning my nano novel. It's the story of how one of my heroine's parents met. It takes place during the 70's in North Carolina. Now, I've lived in North Carolina for the last ten years but don't have much knowledge of the area during that time, beings that I was only a kid and was raised in the midwest. Please, tell me anything you can think of that would help me add some authenticity to my work. Some examples I can think of: Was disco really that popular? What were some of the trends in fashion? What fads/sports captured their interests? What were some of the attitudes? I'm guessing that some attitudes were fairly conservative, since it is the bible belt. Thanks in advance.

PeterL
10-11-2010, 05:20 PM
I'm working on planning my nano novel. It's the story of how one of my heroine's parents met. It takes place during the 70's in North Carolina. Now, I've lived in North Carolina for the last ten years but don't have much knowledge of the area during that time, beings that I was only a kid and was raised in the midwest. Please, tell me anything you can think of that would help me add some authenticity to my work.

Since you live there now, you might want to talk with neighbors and keep in mind that what was big in one place might have been missed a hundred miles away.


Some examples I can think of: Was disco really that popular?

Disco didn't become noticeable until the late 70's. More typically Southern music would have been more common: Allman Brothers, etc.



What were some of the trends in fashion?

You probably should ask the people who lived there then and see if they remember.


What fads/sports captured their interests? What were some of the attitudes? I'm guessing that some attitudes were fairly conservative, since it is the bible belt. Thanks in advance.

Car racing was popular, as it still is. Attitudes were cahanging in the South during the 70's. By that time the Southern Dems had mostly become Southern Reps, but they had accepted integration by then. As now, people were more involved in military, but before the final days of the Vitenam War Southern people were disgusted with that mistake.

I was through there during the '70's and knew people who lived there, but I don't know local issues.

Lavern08
10-11-2010, 06:04 PM
To the best of my recollection...

Fashion:

* White Go-Go Boots and Mini Skirts

* Long Hair and Afros

* Suede Vests with lots of Fringe

* Psychadelic Colors and Tie-Dye

* Hot Pants, Platform Shoes and Bell Bottoms

Music:

* The Carpenters - Close to You

* Three Dog Night - Mama Told Me Not to Come

* Al Green - Let's Stay Together

* Jackson 5 - ABC

* The Bee Gees & Saturday Night Fever

* Simon & Garfunkel - Bridge Over Troubled Waters

Yes, Disco was very popular - at least in Virginia, where I live ;)

Issues and Politics:

* Roe v Wade

* Watergate

* Patty Hearst

* Roots (the TV series)

* Dr. Spock

* Presidents Nixon - Ford - Carter

Sports figures:

* Joe Namath

* Mark Spitz

* Hank Aaron

* Billie Jean King

Movies:

* The Godfather

* The Deer Hunter

* Rocky

* Jaws

* The Exorcist

Devil Ledbetter
10-11-2010, 06:55 PM
I'm working on planning my nano novel. It's the story of how one of my heroine's parents met. It takes place during the 70's in North Carolina. Now, I've lived in North Carolina for the last ten years but don't have much knowledge of the area during that time, beings that I was only a kid and was raised in the midwest. Please, tell me anything you can think of that would help me add some authenticity to my work. Some examples I can think of: Was disco really that popular? What were some of the trends in fashion? What fads/sports captured their interests? What were some of the attitudes? I'm guessing that some attitudes were fairly conservative, since it is the bible belt. Thanks in advance.
Watch some movies made in the 70s to get an idea about fashion, technology, slang, etc. The only more recent movies I'm aware of that get the feel of the 70s right are Dazed & Confused (set in 1976) and The Ice Storm (set in 1973). You can also Google around for images from '70s clothing catalogs.

What you want to avoid are "nostalgia" pieces like "That 70s Show." They're usually an exaggeration and a poor representation.

I agree with Laverne that disco was late 70s. It was much more of a NYC thing prior to the Saturday Night Fever phenomena. FM radio was big, (as were CB radios). Disaster movies were the thing (Towering Inferno, Jaws, The Poseidon Adventure, etc.)


Fashion:

* White Go-Go Boots and Mini Skirts

* Long Hair and Afros

* Suede Vests with lots of Fringe

* Psychadelic Colors and Tie-Dye

* Hot Pants, Platform Shoes and Bell BottomsSome people wore this stuff, but with the exception of long hair or afros, this wasn't everyday dress for average people. Most of this "hip" stuff was for high-fashion or going-out. A lot will depend on what age your characters are. The average young adult wardrobe had stuff like Levi's, long denim skirts, clogs, overalls, painter pants, rugby shirts (these were huge!), plaid button up shirts, puffy down jackets (okay, maybe not in NC), baseball socks and running shorts. Not all at once, of course.

ETA: And ponchos.

Lavern08
10-11-2010, 09:06 PM
Some people wore this stuff, but with the exception of long hair or afros, this wasn't everyday dress for average people. Most of this "hip" stuff was for high-fashion or going-out...

ROFL,

Guess I was one of the *hip* people, because I wore mini skirts, go-go boots, the suede vests with the fringe, bell bottoms hot pants AND I owned a couple of ponchos. :D

Of course, I was in my early 20's and I was heavily influenced by fashion trends.

Amadan
10-11-2010, 09:23 PM
Not exactly a broad cultural survey, but the non-fiction book Blood Done Sign My Name (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2521.Blood_Done_Sign_My_Name) happens to be about the murder of a black man in North Carolina in 1970 and its aftermath. It will give you some idea of the racial attitudes at the time.

backslashbaby
10-11-2010, 09:46 PM
I was a kid then, but some of the 70's culture came seeping through. My first albums were Aretha Franklin and the Monkeys. Mom and Dad listened to the Stones and the Carpenters and a bunch of folk music.

Sideburns. Bell bottoms. A lot of long, bangless hair for the women or either a kind of Jackie O vibe. They talked about women's lib a lot: "I like a man to open my car door for me!" Seriously; that's a direct quote from my youth :D

I learned The Hustle from some sort of album that came with feet to put on the floor. My parents always showed off their Shag and talked about the beach when we'd try to learn the 'new' stuff ;)

mtrenteseau
10-11-2010, 10:42 PM
I grew up in the 70s, but in Philadelphia.

I'd look at old copies of the local papers at the library. Pay attention to the Belk and Ivey's ads - that's where fashionable kids would have dragged their parents to buy clothes. :)

Kenn
10-11-2010, 10:56 PM
It was a very exciting music scene everywhere in the 70s and I don't imagine the southern US was much different. A lot of the big names came to light then (Rod Stewart, Elton John, David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen, Alice Cooper, Ozzy Osborne, The Eagles, Michael Jackson......). Country Music became better known worldwide, with people like Kenny Rogers and Glen Campbell becoming international stars.


.....My first albums were Aretha Franklin and the Monkeys.
If you mean the Monkees, then I am the bearer of bad news. It wasn't them playing! But for what it is worth, I've got one of their albums too and I still enjoy listening to it :)

Devil Ledbetter
10-11-2010, 10:59 PM
ROFL,

Guess I was one of the *hip* people, because I wore mini skirts, go-go boots, the suede vests with the fringe, bell bottoms hot pants AND I owned a couple of ponchos. :D

Of course, I was in my early 20's and I was heavily influenced by fashion trends.
Well then, you were a cutting edge fashionista. ;)

I grew up in the 70's and never owned a miniskirt, go-go boots, fringed suede anything or hot pants, nor did my older sisters (although they did have groovy plaid elephant bell pants *snicker*, smock tops and wraparound skirts). Bell bottoms were all you could buy for a lot of years.

RJK
10-11-2010, 11:49 PM
I was working one day in 1971 when a young lady stood in front of my desk. as I looked up is observed 12 inches of shapely thighs before I saw the bottom hem of her mini skirt. I asked her for a date that day. We've been married for 35 years.

Linda Adams
10-12-2010, 12:27 AM
The 1970s were when women were first allowed to go to West Point. I still remember the front page pictures. There was something not too long ago about one of those first graduates retiring.

Not a lot of books available for girls/women. I liked mysteries, action-adventure, and science fiction. If I wanted a girl/woman main character, all I had was romance novels and nurse books. Even the girl detectives of the time (Nancy Drew, Kim Aldrich, Trixie Belden) often got into situations where the guy had to rescue them. With other kinds of action books, if there was a girl in the story, she often existed to be kidnapped and didn't do anything to help herself get rescued. More often, she was pretty close to being wallpaper. Best selling novels of the time: http://www.caderbooks.com/best70.html

Star Trek fandom started to snowball--about 1976. Fans were called "Trekkies" at the time, and I think it puzzled a lot of people. What appealed to me about Star Trek was that it had woman who was an officer on the bridge. When I was getting books where the girl was next to incompetent, it was absolutely fantastic. She even had action scenes (and if you've seen the show, you know they're not much of action scenes, but they were more than any other show or book was doing at the time). Nichelle Nichols, the actress, helped NASA to recruit blacks and woman for the space program.

Shows new at the time were Emergency, Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers, The Bionic Woman, The Six Million Dollar Man, Little House on the Prairie, The Dukes of Hazzard, The Facts of Life, The Love Boat, All in the Family, MASH, Charlie's Angels, Starsky and Hutch, Baa Baa Black Sheep (now known as Black Sheep Squadron), Rockford Files, Wonder Woman, and The Mighty Isis. Charlie's Angels and a couple other shows were known as the "jiggle" shows. Farrah Fawcett-Majors had a best-selling poster that's tame today--but what it showed at the time was a huge deal. Very little profanity got on the air. They had to work to get one word in. In rerun during the day, we got black and white and color. Whatever was available. We saw Little Rascals and Three Stooges in the afternoon on TV, along with the 1950s bug movies. Later, by the 1980s, a lot of the b/w shows and movies started disappearing.

Movies included The Exorcist, which was extremely controversial for its subject matter. Also, Irwin Allen's disaster movies were blockbuster hits. So was Jaws, which was based on a best-selling novel. Roots was a huge mini-series on TV. And we had made for TV movies on the networks. Star Wars came out in 1977 and had people lined up around blocks to see it. The movie cost $10 million dollars.

No big box stores. You could walk down the street to a local drugstore run by a couple of guys who greeted you by name. Bookstores were small nooks.

Technology: Concorde made its first flight; space shuttle made its first test launch (called the Enterprise as a result of a mailing campaign by Star Trek fans). No computers. I typed all my writing on a manual and then an electric typewriter (my father purchased one of the very early personal computers, which was, I believe in the early 1980s). Phones would probably still be rotary dial in many homes, though these were being phased out. You would still be able to find black and white TVs in homes, and cable TV did not exist. The late 70s started to see VCRs. Music used records, tapes, and 8 track.

ebennet68
10-12-2010, 12:41 AM
Thank you all for your responses. I have some vague memories of this time and it's kind of neat to read all of these different things. I do remember liking Little House on the Prairie and the whole Star Wars thing.

blacbird
10-12-2010, 01:19 AM
Pop music in the 1970s included the rise of what came to be known as "Southern Rock", with bands like the Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Amazing Rhythm Aces and others, characterized especially by virtuoso blues-influenced guitar play. Disco probably wasn't anywhere near as popular in the South as it was in yuppified urban centers of the northeast and west coast.

mtrenteseau
10-12-2010, 05:15 AM
It was a very exciting music scene everywhere in the 70s and I don't imagine the southern US was much different. A lot of the big names came to light then (Rod Stewart, Elton John, David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen, Alice Cooper, Ozzy Osborne, The Eagles, Michael Jackson......). Country Music became better known worldwide, with people like Kenny Rogers and Glen Campbell becoming international stars.

And they'd do concerts just about anywhere. A friend saw the Carpenters at the height of their fame in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Granted, there's a huge college there, but you'd think they would have gone to Birmingham and done multiple shows.


If you mean the Monkees, then I am the bearer of bad news. It wasn't them playing! But for what it is worth, I've got one of their albums too and I still enjoy listening to it :)

In the beginning - they did eventually wrestle control away from the producers and played their own instruments.

Devil Ledbetter
10-12-2010, 05:40 PM
No big box stores. You could walk down the street to a local drugstore run by a couple of guys who greeted you by name. Bookstores were small nooks.

This is a good point. Grocery stores were much smaller and limited to food. The dairy, the bakery, the liquor store, the candy store and the drug store were separate, non-franchised establishments.

It was easy to find a payphone, and usually they were in a full glass booth. Rotary dial was common in homes. There was no caller ID and even answering machines were uncommon. Phones were on a cord; if you wanted to walk around with the phone, you needed a looooong one. You couldn't take it outside with you. If you missed a call, you just missed it, completely. There was no call-waiting, just busy signals. And long distance was expensive.

Fern
10-13-2010, 04:51 AM
I remember visiting a family in Reidsville, NC in the 70's. Must have been '73 or '74. A friend and I went with my parents to visit a man that had been in the service (WWII) with my Dad. He was a rural mail carrier and tobacco farming was big. I remember it was the first time I'd ever had Rice a Roni which we thought was wonderful. A new restaurant - seafood place- had just opened up in town and they had the best stuffed crab. It was a big deal for visitors to make a short trip to go across the Virginia state line so you could say you'd been in both states. One outfit I remember wearing on that trip was a fitted knit top with a flower on it that matched the flowered wide leg cotton pants. The pants were belted - tie belt of same flowered fabric. Seems like it was just past the hip hugger pants and elephant leg pants phase, pant legs were straight, but wide all the way down. My friend wore a pantsuit kind of like cotton crinkle, but a little heavier than todays crinkle, same fabric belt. My pixie hair cut had grown into a shag and she wore hers just normal -long with a slight bit of curl. I remember there was a factory outlet type store there that my mom was gaga over - rugs - like oriental rugs and bedspreads.

I had just bought a new Pontiac Grand Prix - great looking car. My dad was driving it and my friend and I were sitting in the back seat when a semi pulled up even with us and hung a sign out the window that said "come ride with us". Of course, we loved the idea, but my parents didn't think so highly of it.

As for music, we loved Rod Stewart, Tina Turner, Barbara Mandrell was big in country about that time. "Easy loving" by Freddie Fender would have been popular early 70's.

Linda Adams
10-13-2010, 05:38 AM
It was easy to find a payphone, and usually they were in a full glass booth. Rotary dial was common in homes. There was no caller ID and even answering machines were uncommon. Phones were on a cord; if you wanted to walk around with the phone, you needed a looooong one. You couldn't take it outside with you. If you missed a call, you just missed it, completely. There was no call-waiting, just busy signals. And long distance was expensive.

Also didn't have to dial the area code if you were in the same one like we do now. Area code splitting did start happening that early, in the bigger cities anyway. Los Angeles split from 213 to 213 and 818 sometime during the 70s because they were already running out of phone numbers.

License plates were three letters and three digits--no personalized plates. Also more simplified. You could identify a license plate's state by the color.

Schools were also evidently built differently then they are today. I described my elementary school in a chapter. It's flush against the curb, with a L-shaped playground that wraps around the back. A cyclone fence surrounds the playground, with a trashy motel on the back end. Everything is still the same, even down to the motel, except that the playground now has trailers. And I had someone in a critique tell me that schools weren't built like that!

Plus, it was entirely possible to have vacant lots in big cities that sat there for years! It seems like every available space gets developed now unless something about it is strange.

Oh, don't forget to check out Googie (http://www.spaceagecity.com/googie/)(not Google). It's an architecture style that would have been present in the 1970s. It had huge popularity in Los Angeles, though I've seen it in other states. You might still find it in places like old motels, bowling alleys, car lots, etc.