Seven Great YouTube Channels For Nostalgia (Writer’s Workshop)

Jeffrey Scott, one of my blogging friends (as are most of you), mentioned in a comment that he enjoys the retro commercials I post on Sundays with The Week That Was, and said sometimes he goes out to YouTube and watches retro for a while. I think a lot of us do that, and everyone has their favorite places they like to go. Mama Kat had a prompt today, “List the top 7 things that bring you joy.” One of those things is nostalgia, and the best place on the Internet for it (in my opinion, simply because it’s been around the longest and has the largest collection of videos anywhere) is YouTube. Here are my favorite YouTube accounts for nostalgia. Yours might be different; if so, tell me about it in the comments.

  • The Museum of Classic Chicago Television (FuzzyMemories.TV): Any time I do one of these lists, this is where I start. Rick Klein, the curator of the MCCTv, does yeoman service to take old video tapes that people have made and strip out the actual program being taped, leaving just the commercials, interstitials, station ID’s, Emergency Broadcast System tests, signoffs and signons, technical difficulties moments, and anything else that he finds on the tape. Most of the videos are from the 1980’s, but he gets a lot of older tapes, some as early as the 1950’s. The Museum started on YouTube originally, but he had troubles with the clips being removed, so he created his own website, and about a year ago he started updating his YouTube channel again. If you love old TV, grew up in Chicago, and/or just like the stuff on TV besides the actual programs, this is a great channel to follow.
  • The Best Film Archives: I just started following this channel, and already it’s one of my favorites. The proprietor of the channel has this to say about the channel: “My channel is a collection of Historical documentary films on various topics, Rare WW2 footage and battle scenes, Cold War era educational films, Biographies, etc.” These are films you wouldn’t geneally get a chance to see, and are a real eye-opener. I watched a film here concerning interrogation techniques used by the US armed forces with captured enemy soldiers. It was fascinating.
  • David Von Pein’s JFK Channel: I was seven years old when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. I was too young to fully appreciate what he had meant to the nation or of the tumultuous times in which he guided this country. David Von Pein has curated a fantastic collection of media related to the Camelot years, including footage from CBS, NBC, and ABC as well as local stations in Dallas from November 22, 1963. Included are video of Lee Harvey Oswald’s murder at the hands of Jack Ruby a couple of days later, and video from his funeral and from some of the significant moments of his presidency. If you weren’t around when JFK was President, it’s a good opportunity to see not only why his time as President was like, but also the primitive (compared to today) methods of field reporting, when all communicating was done via land-line telephones and reporters standing at pay phones. If you were around but, like me, forget what those days were like, it’s an excellent way to relive that time in history.
  • Classic Airliners and Vintage Pop Culture: Christian, the curator of this channel, identifies himself as “an ‘Airline Brat,’ the son of an airline pilot and former stewardess,” and tells us he loves all kinds of aircraft and has a sincere fondness for airliners from the 1950’s, 1960’s, and 1970’s. He has film literally from all over the world, of military and civilian aircraft, including film of jetliners and propliners, from home footage and travelogues to promotional films, and even a few commercials and “Atom Age” films, mostly Civil Defense footage on how to survive nuclear attacks. An interesting look into the early days of air travel.
  • Ella’s Archives: A great collection of “publicity films, newsreel & documentaries with a focus on transport and technology.” My favorites are the train and railroad movies. Travel by rail was the way most people made long-distance trips into the 1960’s, until air travel became common; the videos here capture the elegance of rail travel in those days. When you visit, be sure you have nothing planned for a few hours.
  • NRRA Archives (2, 3, 4): Channels dedicated to the Dick Clark Productions on ABC TV. Such a large collection, he’s split it up into four separate channels. The first channel is dedicated mostly to footage from the Dick Clark Beech-Nut Show, vintage performances of popular music acts from the 1950’s and 1960’s. The other channels feature much the same material, with the 4th channel dedicated primarily to Where The Action Is!, an afternoon show hosted by Paul Revere and the Raiders from the mid- to late-1960’s. If you love music the way I do (and you know how much I love music), these are channels you want to monitor.
  • Tomorrow Always Comes: A relatively new channel to me, the description from the About page says simply “old films.” There are plenty of films about transportation and technology, but also a collection of educational films offering advice on career planning, dating, and other topics kids of the mid-Twentieth Century needed to know.

And this is but a soupçon of what’s available out there. I found most of these channels by choosing a video, seeing what else YouTube suggests while the video is playing, and just “wandering around.” Try it for yourself and see what you come up with!

4 thoughts on “Seven Great YouTube Channels For Nostalgia (Writer’s Workshop)

  1. YouTube sucks me in all the time. I love discovering new channels. Thanks for the recommendations!


    1. Glad I could be of some help. If you have any you’d like to share, feel free!

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