Sixties Music and How it Reflected the Changing Times Essay

1715 Words7 Pages
Sixties Music and How it Reflected the Changing Times

The 1960’s in the United States was a decade marred by social unrest, civil rights injustice, and violence both home and abroad. These were some of the factors that lead to a cultural revolution. The revolution attempted to diverge the fabric of American society. Teenagers were living dangerously and breaking away from the ideals that their parents held. In the process they created their own society (Burns 1990). They were young and had the nerve to believe that they could change the world. Their leaders had lofty goals as well. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had dreams of a truly equal America. John F. Kennedy dreamed of a young vigorous nation that would put a man on the
…show more content…
In the early sixties the union of the civil rights movements and folk music on campuses lead to the rise of folk songs called “message songs” (Szatmary 1996). Songs like “Blowin in the wind” by Bob Dylan began opening up the minds of the youth to the social problems facing America such as the civil rights movement. The Rascals “People Everywhere Just want to be Free”, Joan Baez’s “We shall overcome”, and Dylan’s “The times they are a changin’” were message songs that helped start the firestorm of politically charged music that fueled a revolution and a generation (Baggelar, Milton 1976). Songs of the decade reached for the poetic, symbolic, and the mystical to better pinpoint the mood of the times. With the assassination of President John F. Kennedy folk music movement began to fraction. The disillusionment and shock caused by the assassination had an especially strong effect on the youth (Anderson 1996). Drug abuse became a trademark by the youth the hippie movement (Steinbeck 1971). The use of drugs was glorified in many ways by bands like The Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, and Pink Floyd. This music became known as “acid rock” (Szatmary 1996). The music fashioned the ideas of peace and love along with it a dark trend. San Francisco was bursting with rock activity and it became the center for the hippie culture. The heart of the hippie activity was the Haight-Ashbury district
Get Access