If you live in America and like to drink, you’re not alone. According to one of the latest Gallup polls, more American adults are consuming alcohol this year than any other for the past 25 years — 67 percent to be exact. Since we’re pop-culture enthusiasts, we thought it would be fun to look back at what types of entertainment were popular in America’s least sober years. If we’re choosing to escape with a cold beer in one hand and a copy of Twilight in the other today, we’re willing to bet that things weren’t so different in the past.
1. The following were popular in 1946-47, when 67% of Americans drank:
In film: Disney topped the box office with an elderly man walking around talking to animated animals in Song of the South . Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah, indeed.
In books: During this period, The Miracle of the Bells was one of literature’s best sellers. A minister from New York once said it was “one of the finest examples of practical, real Christianity that I have seen in modern fiction.” Sympathy and high-levels of alcohol consumption do seem to go hand-in-hand, don’t they?
In music: Ted Weems performed the popular single “Heartaches” to console all Americans who hit the bottle in an attempt to forget their broken relationships.
2. The following were popular in 1976-78, when 71% of Americans drank:
In film: Grease is about two destined lovers on the opposite ends of high-school cliquedom. Through song, dance, and witty dialogue they transgress these oppressive sub-culture barriers to find each other. This is exactly what we wish life was really like.
In books: When J.R.R. Tolkien’s son, Christopher, put together a collection of Tolkien’s fictional history of Middle-earth in The Silmarillion, the public coveted it like the ring itself. While drinking, what better company is there than elves, hobbits, and adventure?
In music: The Saturday Night Fever soundtrack defined an entire movement. If drinking leads to dancing, dancing leads to cocaine, and cocaine leads to disco, these songs aided in the escape from the drudgery of everyday life.
3. The following were popular in 1985, when 67% of Americans drank:
In film: Who didn’t want to be Marty Mcfly in Back to the Future? The film won the hearts and minds of Americans, regardless of how tipsy.
In books: The Mammoth Hunters is the third installment of Jean M. Auel’s Earth’s Children series. The novels follow the Cro-Magnons and Neanderthals as the first stages of civilization begin 30,000 years ago.
In music: No one sings about bad wars and rotten economies better than The Boss. While listening to Born in the U.S.A., Springsteen’s sorrowful snapshots of American life were best accompanied with a stiff drink.