Today, let's become time travelers, randomly picking a year to explore.
Are you ready? What do you say we go back 60 years and see what was happening back in 1959.
Let's start with the music that was popular back in the day.
"Mack the Knife" by Bobby Darin was the overall No. 1 hit of the year, winning two Grammys in the process. Most Darin fans know that his career was short. Sadly, he died at 37 from complications following heart surgery.
"Battle of New Orleans" by Johnny Horton also was a No. 1 hit for Horton, in the U.S., Canada and Australia. The singer took home the Grammy for the Best Country & Western Recording and a second Grammy for Song of the Year. His fame was short-lived, too. He was only 35 when he passed away.
One of my favorite tunes from 1959 was by Lloyd Price. "Personality" was an upbeat, feel good song that was a solid No. 2 hit for Price. It topped out on the pop chart on June 15, 1959, and stayed there for three weeks.
The Best Selling LP for the year was "The Music from Peter Gunn" by Henry Mancini. It was the first album to win a Grammy in the year 1959. While it was categorized as being a jazz album, Mancini wrote in his autobiography, "The Peter Gunn title theme actually derives more from rock and roll than jazz." Who would have thought.
Now let's move on to the movies handed out at the Academy Awards in 1959 (1958 films).
It was a banner year for "Gigi." The film took home nine Oscars — a record at the time — including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Song, Best Film Editing and Best Costume Design.
Susan Hayward won the Oscar for Best Actress in the film "I Want to Live." Based on a true story, Hayward portrays Barbara Graham who, with the help of a newspaper journalist, fights to avoid going to the gas chamber for murder.
That same year, David Niven won for Best Actor in "Separate Tables" a film set in the resort town of Bournemouth on the south coast of England. British movie and TV actress Wendy Hiller took the film's second Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.
On TV in 1959, Jack Benny won an Emmy for "The Jack Benny Program" in the Best Comedy Series category. Other winners included Raymond Burr for Best Lead Actor in "Perry Mason" and Loretta Young in the category for Best Lead Actress in "The Loretta Young Show."
When it came to books, the best-selling fiction book for 1959 was "Exodus" by author Leon Uris. "Exodus" is a historical, fictional novel about the founding of the State of Israel.
On April 9, 1959, NASA introduced the seven original U.S. astronauts, "Deke" Slayton, Wally Schirra, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Scott Carpenter, Alan Shepard and Gordon Cooper. Do you remember the first U.S. astronaut in space? It was Alan Shepard in 1961. Shepard also walked on the moon as a crew member on the Apollo 14 mission 10 years later.
If you are like me, you really enjoyed sci-fi books, movies and TV shows. The year 1959 was memorable because Rod Serling's "Twilight Zone" premiered on Oct. 2. That first half-hour long episode was entitled "Where Is Everybody" and featured Earl Holloman as the character Mike Ferris. The first year's schedule had 36 episodes — a remarkably high number compared to today's average of about 13 shows in a network television season.
Speaking of seasons, the Auburn University football team finished the 1959 football season with a respectable seven wins and only three losses. Early in the season, the Tigers went on a six-game winning streak that included victories over Hardin-Simmons, Kentucky, No. 4 Georgia Tech, Miami, Florida and Miss State. Late season losses at No. 5 Georgia and Alabama dropped Auburn out of the AP Top 20 Poll at the end of the year behind five teams with worse records. Go figure.
One of the most recognizable characters at any Auburn football game is the ubiquitous Aubie. So when did he first appear? You guessed it — 1959.
According to an article in The Plainsman, Aubie was created by artist Phil Neel and first appeared on the cover of the 1959 football program for the Hardin-Simmons game, the first home game of the '59 season. He appeared on the program covers for the next 18 years before being retired.
Aubie "came to life," if you will, at the SEC men's basketball tournament in 1979, thanks to the talented designers at Brooks-Van Horn costumes in New York City, the Auburn SGA and other financial supporters. And who doesn't love that cute, mischievous and rambunctious tiger?
Apparently the voters in the Universal Cheerleaders Association national championship really love Aubie, too. Aubie has been selected as the top college mascot for a record nine years and was one of three mascots selected for the NCA's inaugural Hall of Fame in 2006!
Not bad for a big cat that we first got to know way back in 1959.