Leslie Marshall replied 9th Feb '14:
The music of the 60s and the 70s are a direct reflection of our society at that time. The struggles, the heartache, the accomplishments.
I come from a long line of musicians. My grandfather was a sax player in big band, playing with some such as Duke Ellington. My dad was a jazz drummer, sitting in with Dave Brubeck and Johnny & The Blue Jays. And my uncle, closer in age to I than my father, was a drummer with his own band in the 70's. I remember as a young child being introduced to Lou Reed and bands who would place themselves in the genre of 'funk.'
If you look to some of the music of that time, you hear the struggles. When you listen to the strength of the voice from a woman like Janis Joplin; you hear the fight women had ( and technically still have) to be treated equal to their gender counterparts. As a woman now, who burned her bra at 12 (when I had no business wearing a bra!) that meant and still means a lot to me. I remember the first time I heard Jimmy Hendrix. My dad was hanging out having a few drinks with his band buddies. I had never, and still never had heard anyone play guitar like that. It was as if all of the pain and struggles not only of him personally, but of the race he was a part of, and even moreso the generation he was part of came through those fingers. The sound of of the fight against the establishment, the sound of change. When Lou Reed sang "Take A Walk On The Wildside" it was a part of a movement of people being open to being a bit more wild. Wild in love. Wild in expression. Wild in principle, opinions and ideas. And wild didn't just play into the summer of love. It played into how we felt about war and how we felt about peace. It played into how we felt about gender equality and inequality. It played into how we felt about racism, prejudice and discrimmination. It played into our awakening to our rights as Americans, and using those rights with our of the press, our freedom to protest and our obligation to vote. We realized we could change the world one neighborhood at a time. We realized this could be achieved through peaceful protests; through love rather than hate. And this opened our eyes to even more possibilities: cleaner air, cleaner water; the list goes on.
For me personally, this music and it's impact on American society, definately shaped my world. I am a liberal, a feminist, a progressive and a Democrat. I got interested in social issues at a very young age and politics as well. This has led to my career as a radio talk host and nationally televised political pundit as well as blogger. This music influenced my attitude toward many issues: women's rights, welfare, food stamps and other social programs. Most recently this weighed in on my support of the newly passed Affordable Care Act in the United States; so that all Americans would be afforded coverage for their healthcare needs. With regard to women's rights, that is not just about opportunity, or wanting women to make more than the .77 they currently make on the dollar; but on our reproductive rights as women and keeping that choice legal in the United States. This played into my feeling toward the arts and funding programs through the National Endowment, the EPA and need for clean water and air. Unions and how someone has to stand up for the worker against the big corporations of the world. So that has played into not only how I think, write, speak ( both personally & professionally); but also how I vote; and who I vote for.
This music transcends race, gender, socio economic status, place of birth, culture & religious background. It's strength is not only in it's messaging, but it's ability to unite people worldwide. And it also has the ability to transcend generations. My father, my uncle and now I are partially the people we are today because of this music. The lyrics, the sound and the place it came from. It plays into our emotions and our thoughts; but much different than a Brittany Spears song of today, it was more than a good tune to groove to, or to 'get it on' to....it inspired us to change and to know that as Gandi says, we could actually be the change in the world.
And from that music, the world, not just the United States, has changed a great deal. We might have a long way to go, but there is no question that the music of this era started a revolution....and that's a great song from that era too, by a little man group known as The Beatles.
Carry on, march on, fight on, rock on.