Music In The 1960s

Decent Essays

‘60s Music Revolution

Although, many people in the 1960s believed that Rock ‘n’ Roll music wreaked havoc on society more than it brought people together, and rejected and disrupted established society, this “protest” rock and R&B music from the 1960s proved to be one of the few ways for the younger generation to describe, address, and improve upon what seemed to be their own downward spiraling social conditions, from the Vietnam war to the Civil Rights Protests. With the constant changes in society, it would be hard for the younger generations to cope with what their parents could not help them understand. Throughout the sixties we will see how music illustrated people’s …show more content…

After John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, people felt as if they were doomed, but little did they know that the events to follow in the next few years would shape America for the better. The Vietnam War was highly scrutinized by Americans, especially by college students. The peace protests against the Vietnam War started as small scale protests on college campuses then soon became a full fledge movement once the United states started bombing Vietnam. The war brought out the hippie movement, which was led by notable intellects, music groups, and artists who rejected the social norm and welcomed drug culture. While war was waging in Vietnam, an ongoing war was being fought in the United States for African- Americans, which would soon become known as the Civil Rights Movement. Blacks in America had enough of the “Jim Crowe” laws which tried to justify inequality and discrimination throughout the nation. Many Civil Rights leaders used non-violent protests to try and bring out change in order to reach equality. The most prominent Civil Rights leaders came about during this time, for example, people like Martin Luther King Jr., …show more content…

Many believed that Rock and R&B only fueled the fire and did not help put it out. The older generations came from more conservative backgrounds and did not believe that the moral and political lines that music was crossing at the time should be allowed. Parents and leaders saw rock as the root of all chaos and as the madness behind every protest. But, they failed to see that it was their children’s only way to relate to what was going on just outside their front door. Music is the universal language and this music helped people relate and put aside their differences no matter the color of their skin and come together for a single cause. Many believed that this was a good thing but others saw it as a disruption in an already established society and rules that some did not want change. As rock and R&B were the voices of the Cultural Revolution with a group of young people fighting hard against the system behind them, they came together not to fight against the war but also inequality. Music began to push boundaries that were not even supposed to be thought about at the time. No matter if songs were sung at marches, sit-ins, or on stages, they all represented the struggle for freedom. One of the most influential songs of the Civil Rights movement was “We Shall Overcome”, a gospel song by an African American composer, Charles Albert Tindley, which

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