Genie in a Bottle from San Francisco

Compared to the events in San Francisco in the 1960s, television shows in the 1960s remained pretty tame. But even fantasy-based situation comedies could be laced with some controversy.

Did you know that a television star of the 1960s, who regularly blinked and popped in and out of a bottle, was raised in San Francisco? Barbara Eden came to the City with her mother in 1934 at age three. After studying singing at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and graduating from Abraham Lincoln High School in 1949, she was chosen as Miss San Francisco in 1951.

By 1965, after many television appearances, we came to know her as Jeannie, the genie in the bottle, in the TV series, “I Dream of Jeannie,” airing from 1965 to 1970. Here is the theme song with the cartoon that was the introduction to the show about an astronaut and a magical genie he met and learned to love:

The big controversy surrounding the show focused on Barbara Eden’s, or “Jeannie’s,” navel. Here she is explaining the issue:

The impact of television, including the show “I Dream of Jeannie,” will be the theme of the first of 10 episodes of CNN’s original series called, “The Sixties.” The shows will air on consecutive Thursdays starting May 29. Here is a link to an explanation about the series that explores the themes of the era:

And if you ever wondered if Jeannie’s magic bottle, and part-time house, was created for the show by the property department at the television production company, it was not. The bottle was a special edition 1964 Christmas Jim Beam bourbon whiskey decanter. They are for sale on EBay.

Best wishes,