Occasionally an aging performer or three, perhaps with local ties to the host city, from the pre-rock era was mixed in with the marching band, including the likes of Al Hirt, Ella Fitzgerald, Carol Channing, and Andy Williams. It wasn’t until 1988 that a rock-era performer took part in these festivities, when Chubby Checker appeared at San Diego’s Jack Murphy Stadium to inspire a herd of fake “real” cheerleaders at Super Bowl XXII to twist again.
Halftime shows, as we have come to know them, featuring mini-concert extravaganzas by popular artists, began in 1991, at Super Bowl XXV in Tampa, Florida, when New Kids on the Block led a collection of Disney characters, 2000 fake “real” kids, and Warren Moon through a mini-set that probably made me and my friends wretch and wish for a return of college marching bands.
In time, these shows took on a more ambitious, mature, and dare-I-say sophisticated rock, pop, and soul tone. Who can forget Michael Jackson’s healing 1993 performance, Prince, Paul McCartney, U2, The Boss, The Who, The Stones, Tom Petty, Janet Jackson’s nipple, Madonna’s stumble, or the biggest game in the NFL’s most ambitious halftime show ever, the Blues Brothers Bash?
We can’t change the performances since the historic Chubby Checker halftime show, but thanks to the wonders of RTH Labs, we have the ability to back-fill halftime shows prior to the start of this phenomenon with appropriate rock, soul, and pop performers from 1967 through 1987. Let’s ditch the Disney troupes, the marching bands, and the over-the-hill performers from the WWII era and replace them with more rocking artists. Feel free to suggest your performer’s 3-to-5-song medley set.