Protest Songs Yes Because Our Country Was Violently Changing.
Protest songs changed rock and roll and carry my most vivid memories of music of the 1960’s. Eve of Destruction was haunting due to the cold war and start of VietNam. “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” was a protest song and “We Shall Overcome” was a gospel song that spoke to our whole generation. Plus Bob Dylan sang “the times they are a changin” just after we lost JFK and right before the Civil Rights legislation was passed.
Credence Clearwater Revival and John Fogerty’s gravelly voice sang Fortunate Son, “I ain’t no Senator’s son.” War is not equitable now and it was not equitable when I was a kid either. We lost so many friends in VietNam and others came home lost and hurt. Thank you to all the Veterans our age who fought for our freedoms and came home without any fanfare. Friends who never came home, I’ll meet you someday in heaven.
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The great Simon and Garfunkel song Sounds of Silence keeps coming back into my life. When I was in college I wrote an interpretive theme on the meaning of the lyrics. What it meant to me then. I think I got an A too! Now as a gray haired retiree after many phases of my life, I am taking piano lessons and playing the chords of Sounds of Silence. Singing it too, LOL.
Remember these, “but the words like silent raindrops fell …” Sly and the Family Stone summed it up perfectly in Everyday People. Maybe 50 years later we can get our society there. We have made so many improvements and I hold out hope for more, for our kids and grandkids sake.
Love Songs Because We Were Young
We listened to love songs because we were young. Was it AM radio or 8 Track? Looking deep into her eyes? Holding hands. Chicago wrote Colour My World which is a piece of arpeggio piano mastery. I’m learning this one on the piano and struggling a bit too. Cherish by the Association for the sock hop in junior high. House of the Rising Sun by Eric Burdon and the Animals was one to dance really close. Righteous Brothers Bobby Hatfield sang “oh my love, my darling, I hunger for your touch.” Bread brought us “dreams they’re for those who sleep, life is for us to keep, I wanna make it with you.” And finally, the Beach Boys wrote the ultimate wedding love song, “God Only Knows.”
Hard Rock and I Mean HARD ROCK
Cream will always be the first and best in my mind for hard rock. Steppenwolf sent us on a Magic Carpet Ride. Yes, drugs were becoming a huge part of our culture. Jefferson Airplane and Grace Slick followed Alice down the Rabbit Hole. Led Zeppelin incorporated every instrument, driving and pounding rock and roll and took us up the Stairway to Heaven. We listened to it over and over and over. Iron Butterfly had the perfect sound “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”, unheard of at 17 minutes and 5 seconds long. Jimi Hendrix, a skinny local kid from Renton, WA, played left handed guitar like no else and wondered “Are You Experienced?” Remember Woodstock and Janis Joplin? Flower children, mud and music. Jim Morrison and the Doors, “Light My Fire”, with an amazing organ solo and it blew up the Ed Sullivan Show. Lots of censorship in those days.
Where We Danced
Where we danced is tied directly to my youth. I mean what guy doesn’t remember every girl he danced with back in the day. And the ones he wanted to dance with and never could accomplish that. Who remembers Country Music at the Addy Grange Hall in Addy, WA with Art Wilson and the Rhythm Drifters? A country two step inside and a flask in the parking lot. And then racing back to Arden, WA across the flats. Or the Southfork Grange Hall? Lots of my family memories there.
I spent a few teen summers farming in Ephrata, WA and remember huge dances at the ERC (Ephrata Recreation Center) on Basin Street. It was the highlight of the weekend. Merilee Rush and Paul Revere and the Raiders performed there too! Where we danced, well back to Kettle Falls, WA and Colville, WA. How about a trip to Douglas Creek or old Kettle Falls then to the Colville City Hall dance. And who were the Colville high school guys that found a trumpet and played the Chicago songs.
I hope you enjoyed this look way back in time. What are your most precious Love songs? Or favorite protest songs? Or best hard rock songs? What memories do these songs bring? It made me remember places and people. Where did you dance? What do you remember? Please share your thoughts and memories. Thanks, I hope this got you to singing along.
My Gratitudes for Today
1-NoniKay and our kids and our grandkids.
2-Music and dance. AM, High Fidelity, 45’s, 8 Tracks and Cassettes.
3-Ephrata, Northport, Kettle Falls, Colville and Spokane and all the two lane roads in between those two lane towns.
4-Protection from the Lord when I was a rough teenager, He saved me more than once.
5-All the VietNam War Veterans who fought to protect the freedoms we hold dear. You are appreciated now.