1960s


rydrenFeel the need for some old time religion on this Christmas Day? The best delivery method may be the bizarre late-’60s psychedelic Christian radio programming of John Rydgren. WFMU writes:

Heading into the Summer of Love, Pastor John Rydgren was the crafty head of the TV, Radio and Film Department of the American Lutheran Church. The straight-looking Rydgren created a daily radio show called Silhouette in which he became the reassuring, resonant-voiced Hippy for God.

Rydgren wrote, announced and programmed Silhouette, taking his musical and cultural cues from The Electric Prunes, Herb Alpert and the cover of Time (Is God Dead?), with a vocal delivery that was straight out of the school of breathy baritone radio seduction.

New York’s WABC-FM picked up Silhouette on a daily basis, but Rydgren and the American Lutheran Church aggressively syndicated the show beyond New York, and in that effort, they issued a double LP in 1967.


If you’ve never seen the film Wild in the Streets, a lost classic of trashy hippie-sploitation, it’s well worth a viewing. Released in 1968, it envisions a dystopian near future in which counterculture-loving young people, fed up with the older generations, take over the government and rewrite the laws to center around youth and hedonism.

Under the new order, at age 35, all adults are permanently imprisoned in psychedelic re-education “mercy centers” where, as revolutionary leader Max Frost explains, “in groovy surroundings, we’re going to psyche ’em all out on LSD.” Is it a nightmare, or a future model for a humane and fun form of euthanasia?