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MissouriMud 'Sixties Folk Music' Presentation - Help (31) RE: 'Sixties Folk Music' Presentation - Help 07 Jul 05


Lots of good ideas above, so Im going to try to avoid repeating too much of it.

To show the huge popularity of folk in the 60s and the blurring of commercial folk with pop you might want to consider referencing some of the traditional and written folk tunes that showed up at or near the top of the US Billboard charts (although perhaps using less pop versions in some cases) - some but by no means all of which include:


Greenfields (1960 #2)
The Lion Sleeps Tonight (1961 #1)
Michael Row the boat Ashore (1961 #1)
Cotton Fields (1962 #13)
If I had a Hammer (1963 #3)
Blowing in the Wind (1963 #2)
Puff the Magic Dragon (1963 #2)
Walk Right In (1963 #1)
House of the Rising Sun (1964 #1)
Mr Tambourine Man (1965 #1)
Turn Turn Turn (1965 #1)
Sounds of Silence (1965 #1)
Homeward Bound (1966 #5)
California Dreaming (1966 #4)
For What It's Worth (1967 #7)
Both Sides Now (1968 #8)
Scarborough Fair (1968 #11)
The Boxer (1969 #7)
Leaving on Jet Plane (1969 #1)
The Weight (1969 #17)

I left out a lot - including the Singing Nun's Dominique. Not sure where the crossover country tunes fit (I always considered songs like Roger Miller's "King of the Road" to be as least as folkish as some of Dylan or Paul Simons work. The fact is that the 60s blurred a lot of lines very fast.

Baez needs to be in there somewhere despite not having a hit tune in the 60's charts (her early traditional work was very influential and her cover of Malvina Reynolds' "What Have They Done to the Rain?" is a haunting sample of early 60s environmental concern.

Gordon Lightfoot, Grateful Dead and CSN were big at the end of the period, so there might besomething of theirs that is useable. Woodstock, the war, civil rights, the environment, love, peace, People's Park, the Chicago 7, psychodelics etc are some other themes that dominated the era at various times.

Please try to include Dylan's The Times They Are a Changing - the words were so representative of the feelings of the time: "Come mothers and fathers throughout the land, and don't criticize what you can't understand, your sons and your daughters are beyond your command ..."


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