Most revolutionary year in music was 1965

Most revolutionary year in music was 1965

You turned up the volume – again.

Surely, the guy in the car next to yours must think you’re weird. There you are, groovin’ to your tunes, seat-dancing, singing along like you were in-concert. Really, is there such a thing as having the music too loud?

No. There’s not, so turn up the volume one more time and read “1965: The Most Revolutionary Year in Music” by Andrew Grant Jackson.

As the year 1965 began, more than forty percent of Americans were under twenty years old. Teens emulated their parents then: boys wore short hair, girls wore long skirts. Segregation was common, color TV was new, eighty percent of America was white, and the country’s youth had tasted The Beatles and loved them.

Bob Dylan did, too, though John Lennon had once dismissed his music. The Rolling Stones were singing “puppy love” songs, while Barry Gordy hoped his Supremes might follow in Dean Martin’s footsteps since the “big money” was in nightclubs. Marvin Gaye, meanwhile, wanted to be “singing Cole Porter,” Malcolm X (who would soon be assassinated) met Martin Luther King, and thousands marched to Montgomery .

As winter turned to spring, Roger Miller captured six Grammys; Charlie Pride struggled with recording deals in a segregated music industry; and Johnny Cash accidentally, drunkenly, set fire to five hundred acres of California forest. The Byrds’ music “gave birth to the West Coast hippie dance style…” Girls wore shorter skirts and boys wore longer hair, which “angered” future presidential candidate Mitt Romney and he gave a classmate an impromptu haircut.

By the summer of 1965, President Johnson launched Medicaid, Medicare, and escalated America ’s presence in Vietnam. Sonny and Cher got you, Babe; everybody was dancing at discotheques; Barry Gordy hired “a charm school teacher” to prepare the Supremes for stardom… and Watts burned.

With 1965 winding down, Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass’s album whipped up interest. Frank Sinatra insisted that Sammy Davis, Jr. be allowed to stay at Rat Pack hotels, and Paul McCartney allowed a string quartet on “Yesterday.” Cass Elliot became a Mama, John Lennon insulted Carol King, and drug songs were hip. And so, at years’ end, was the premiere of A Charlie Brown Christmas.

I looked it up: time travel remains merely theoretical. Still, you can have the next best thing by reading “1965.”

This book will have you humming along with songs you remember (or recognize, if you weren’t around then). Author Andrew Grant Jackson melds history, music, and little-known anecdotes as seamlessly as butter but what’s most fascinating about this book is seeing how times changed so completely in one year: we went from flattops to Beatle mops, from black segregation to Black is Beautiful, from “I Feel Fine” to “I Feel Good.” And, indeed, it was.

 

The Bookworm is Terri Schlichenmeyer. Email her at bookwormsez@gmail.com.

More in Life

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)
Life in the Pedestrian Lane: Downtime

Now here we are, two-thirds of the way through the longest month of the year

Robert “Bob” Huttle, posing here next to Cliff House, spent the night in this cabin in April 1934 and mused about a possible murder there. (Photo courtesy of the Huttle Collection)
Twists and turns in the history of Cliff House — Part 2

How much of the doctor’s actions Bob Huttle knew when he stayed in Cliff House 10 years later is difficult to know.

Achieving the crispy, flaky layers of golden goodness of a croissant require precision and skill. (Photo by Tresa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Reaching the pinnacle of patisserie

Croissants take precision and skill, but the results can be delightful

This 1940s-era image is one of few early photographs of Cliff House, which once stood near the head of Tustumena Lake. (Photo courtesy of the Secora Collection)
Twists and turns in the history of Cliff House — Part 1

Here, then, is the story of Cliff House, as least as I know it now.

File
Minister’s Message: What’s in a name?

The Scriptures advise, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.”

Visitors put on personal protective equipment before an artist talk by Dr. Sami Ali' at the Jan. 7, 2022, First Friday opening of her exhibit, "The Mind of a Healthcare Worker During the COVID-19 Pandemic," at the Homer Council on the Arts in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
ER doctor’s paintings follow passage of pandemic

Dr. Sami Ali made 2019 resolution to paint every day — and then the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Almond flour adds a nuttiness to this carrot cake topped with cream cheese frosting. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: A ‘perfect day’ cake

Carrot cake and cream cheese frosting make for a truly delicious day off

File
Minister’s Message: A prayer pulled from the ashes

“In that beleaguered and beautiful land, the prayer endures.”

A copy of “The Year of Magical Thinking” by author Joan Didion is displayed on an e-reader. (Photo by Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Off the Shelf: Didion’s “Year of Magical Thinking” is a timely study on grief

‘The last week of 2021 felt like a good time to pick up one of her books.’

Megan Pacer / Homer News
Artist Asia Freeman, third from left, speaks to visitors on Nov. 1, 2019, at a First Friday art exhibit opening at Kachemak Bay Campus in Homer.
Freeman wins Governor’s Arts Humanities Award

Bunnell Street Arts Center artistic director is one of nine honored.

Zirrus VanDevere’s pieces are displayed at the Kenai Art Center on Jan. 4, 2022. (Courtesy Alex Rydlinski)
A journey of healing

VanDevere mixes shape, color and dimension in emotional show