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Thursday, January 2, 2014

1960's - The Decade of my Birth

Well, here we are in the year 2014.  Happy New Year!

I realized yesterday morning that in May of this coming year, I will turn 50 years old!  How did that happen?  Where did the time go?  Do I have regrets?  Of course, but none of which I can undo.... Indeed, time marches on and it won't stop. 

Interestingly enough, an epitaph that I found some years ago, sums it up: 

“Incessant rapid roll the wheels of time,
Year after year in swift succession speeds,
How short man from infancy to prim
From prime how quick decrepit age succeeds”

I was born in 1964 and here is a taste of the popular culture of that year:

And then, during the second half of the decade, Americans, in particular, stamped a footprint in time which can never be removed, or changed our popular culture forever.  

America watched as the first human spaceflight landed on the moon.

After 1966 with the U.S. Draft in place more than 500,000 troops were sent to Vietnam by the Johnson Administration (college attendance soared).

Malcom X, Martin Luther King Jr., and Robert Kennedy were assassinated.

The counterculture of the 1960s refers to an anti-establishment cultural phenomenon that developed first in the United States and United Kingdom and spread throughout much of the Western world between the early 1960s and the early 1970s. The movement gained momentum and became revolutionary during the US government's extensive military intervention in Vietnam.  At the same time, there was rising engagement in the African-American Civil Rights Movement, with important actions and protests taking place across the South in the 1960s, some with participation by students and activists from the North.

Several factors distinguished the counterculture of the 1960s from the authority-opposition movements of previous eras. The post-war "baby boom" constituted an unprecedented number of young, affluent, and potentially disaffected people as prospective participants in a rethinking of the direction of American and other democratic societies.  

As the 1960s progressed, widespread tensions developed in society that tended to flow along generational lines regarding the war in Vietnam, race relations, human sexuality, women's rights, traditional modes of authority, experimentation with psychoactive drugs, and differing interpretations of the American Dream. New cultural forms emerged, including the pop music of the British band the Beatles and the concurrent rise of hippie culture. As the era unfolded, a dynamic youth subculture which emphasized creativity, experimentation and new incarnations of bohemian lifestyles emerged. In addition to the trendsetting Beatles, many other creative artists and thinkers, within and across many disciplines, contributed to the counterculture movement.

In the broadest sense, 1960s counterculture grew from a confluence of events and issues which served as intellectual catalysts for exceptionally rapid change during the era.

The counterculture movement dominated the second half of the 1960s, its most famous moments being the Summer of Love in San Francisco in 1967, and the Woodstock Festival in upstate New York in 1969. Psychedelic drugs, especially LSD, were widely used medicinally, spiritually and recreationally throughout the late 1960s, and were popularized by Timothy Leary with his slogan "Turn on, tune in, drop out".  There was a growing interest in Eastern religions and philosophy, and many attempts were made to found communes, which varied from supporting free love to religious puritanism.

The taste of popular music expanded from the folksinger, doo-wop and saxophone sounds of the 1950s to the Motown sound, folk rock and the British Invasion. The Los Angeles and San Francisco Sound began in this period with many popular bands coming out of LA and the Haight-Ashbury district, well known for its hippie culture. The rise of the counterculture movement, particularly among the youth, created a market for rock, soul, pop, reggae and blues music.

Joan Baez 
The Marvelettes 
The Four Seasons 
The Beatles .
Lesley Gore 
The Supremes 
The Kinks
John Coltrane 
The Grateful Dead 
Bob Dylan 
The Rolling Stones 
The Byrds 
Simon and Garfunkel 
The Beach Boys
Nancy Sinatra's 
Jefferson Airplane 
The Velvet Underground 
The Doors 
The Procol Harum 
Jimi Hendrix 
The Moody Blues 
Otis Redding 
Pink Floyd 
The Bee Gees
The Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 was the beginning of the so-called "Summer of Love".
Johnny Cash 
The Yardbirds 
Led Zeppelin 
The Band 
Big Brother and the Holding Company, with Janis Joplin 
Woodstock Festival, 1969
Sly & the Family Stone 
The Who; 
The Dirty Mac featuring John Lennon, Eric Clapton and Mitch Mitchell; Jethro Tull and Taj Mahal.
The Who 
Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band 
The Stooges 
The Flying Burrito Brothers .
King Crimson 

American TV series of the 1960s include: The Ed Sullivan Show, Peyton Place, Star Trek, I Dream of Jeannie, The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, The Andy Williams Show, The Dean Martin Show, The Wonderful World of Disney, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Beverly Hillbillies, Bonanza, Batman, McHale's Navy, Laugh-In, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Fugitive, The Tonight Show, Gunsmoke, Mission: Impossible, The Flintstones, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, Lassie, The Lucy Show, My Three Sons, The Red Skelton Show, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, Bewitched, and The Flintstones.  -wiki

If you were to examine a time line of the 1960's you can clearly see that this particular decade was the catalyst for change in America. So, considering that I grew up during this time, I guess it would be only natural that my Mom called me her "gypsy girl", (mainly because I was forever barefoot) and that my sister and her friend's knickname for me was "Peacehead".  

So with this, I bid you all a blessed 2014 ~ Enjoy the ride!