The Sixties Between The Microgrooves : Using Folk And Protest Music

1766 Words8 Pages
Kensi Laube
Professor Sattler
American History II
17 March 2017
Research Paper Since the Constitution of the United States was written, Americans have practiced their right to freedom of speech as a way to express their point of view on issues facing the country. Over time, voicing one’s opinion went from outspoken newspaper articles to large rallies, and during the Vietnam War, music was a prevalent tool in aiding the protests. Allowing political messages to be shared nationally, the music had touched the lives of the younger generation. Author Jerome L. Rodnitzky explains in his journal, “The Sixties between the Microgrooves: Using Folk and Protest Music to Understand American History, 1963-1973”, how music was “trying to be all things
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Initially, wars involving the United States were typically well supported by the people, but the abhorrence towards the military 's actions in Vietnam lead musical artists to stand in opposition to the war, encouraging the anti-war movement.
As the war persisted, not everyone’s voice was being heard. To quickly spread the message to a wider demographic, American musical artists incorporated political beliefs into their music. For example, Jimi Hendrix wrote songs such as “Machine Gun” to show his disdain towards the war, but the biggest statement he made was his performance at Woodstock. Creating his own interpretation of “The Star-Spangled Banner”, Hendrix would always be remembered as taking a stand against the political leaders in charge of the United State’s involvement in Vietnam. The effect Hendrix created is captured by author Desmond Manderson as he explains the performance had “interrogated the memory and ideals of the United States … explicitly contrasting old with new, patriotism with violence, and victimhood with aggression” (315). Also, the rock group The Doors contributed to the movement by writing the song “Unknown Soldier”, which depicts the real tragedy of a soldier 's fate. One of the most

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