I watched this with such ambivalence. I am fascinated by this period of American History. I believe a profound change in our society took place, some of which was obviously and desperately needed, such as Civil Rights. But I also believe it sowed some pretty dark seeds and I can say from my experience that I am fortunate to have survived some of the more unsavory aspects of the "scene." And I hope this is not terribly unpopular but it smacks of folly to hear a teenager proclaim that their music will stop world war. While it may be innocence and naivete sprinkled with some idealism, i can't shake the sense of grandiosity and utter lack of humility. Don't get me wrong, I cut my teeth as a rock guitarist and was completely caught up in the spirit of the music, what ever that was. But as I said, I am fortunate to have survived it and am perhaps a little jaded for the experience. And having said all that, and obviously this is my personal opinion and it is not meant to offend anyone, I am not sure pop music has seen much evolution since the 60's and perhaps 70's. It's funny. I started off playing Rolling Stones and Led Zepplin and then became much more enamored of Gershwin than Jagger and Richards-though the art and craftsmanship that takes place in the studio, in the engineering as much as the performances, is quite remarkable. Judging by this little rant it would appear I found this special somewhat provocative, and that is a good thing. It is usually not my wont to pontificate on such matters. And I'll finish by saying that I have this bucket list type of project to set some of Martin Luther King's speeches, at least in part, to music-in the nature of "art song." So maybe I am not as far removed from this era as I would like for myself and others to believe.
Phil! I had a fantastic trip down nostalgic memory lane watching that - wow --
I distinctly remember when this was first broadcast! I've always remembered, and often referred to how Bernstein analyzed the unusual ending of "Good Day, Sunshine" by The Beatles - and the way he admired the time signature change, the odd modulation, and the seemingly free-form vocal round during the fade out. That segment of his talk has always stuck with me - And I've also always remembered how impressive it was for him to show this much respect for the pop music of the time.
It's incredible - A TV show I saw when I was 16, and which made a Very big impression on me, coming back for me to watch again after all these decades. Amazing.
At the time it seemed like rock was really flowering and could actually evolve into a "serious" art form.
There were musicians and bands that attempted to do just that. It was thought that rock could be integrated into the curriculum of schools such a Juilliard as jazz was then starting to be.
But rock was really the music of the young and the bands I and some of you grew up with in the sixties that still existed such as the Stones and the Who were, like us, growing up and getting- shall I say it! OLD.
Just as the in 1956 when Elvis Presley broke nationally the american nuclear family had grown up and was also getting old and wild swing music had been replaced by entertainers like Perry Como who I believe had the biggest song in 1956. Hot Diggity. If you watch Perry Como perform this tune and then watch Elvis Presley performing Long, Tall Sally at his homecoming outdoor show in Tupelo, Mississippi in 1956 on YouTube you really get a sense of the culture clash that was taking place. It was a cultural invasion of white america and there was a lot of resistance to it that almost put a stop to rock n' roll as a popular music form. So they toned Elvis down a bit, had him wear a tuxedo and sing to a basset hound on the Steve Allen Show which took the old people off their guard. Prime time on the Ed Sullivan Show and the war was over. Rock n' roll had won.
Rock would change, evolve, for the next twenty years but then rock started to sound and feel like Perry Como singing Hot Diggity again. The next battle was about to begin.