The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #26401 Message #318838
Posted By: Joe Offer
14-Oct-00 - 02:34 PM
Thread Name: Need Help With 60's Protest Songs
Subject: History: Eve of Destruction
Eve of Detruction was kind of an interesting phenomenon. It was written by Phil Sloan and Steve Barrie, and recorded in 1965 by gravel-voiced Barry McGuire, a former member of the New Christy Minstrels who went on to a successful career singing Christian children's songs like "Bullfrogs and Butterflies" (they've both been born again).
I've seen criticism of this song as a commercial attempt to capitalize on protest songs, but I dunno.
Before "Eve," protest songs were played only on noncommercial "underground" radio stations, and the popular stations played upbeat love songs and dead teenager ballads. Many stations banned "Eve of Destruction." In Milwaukee, we had to tune to the Chicago stations to hear it because WOKY and WRIT wouldn't play it and the underground stations were too cool to play it. I don't think it ever got much airplay anywhere, but it certainly sold well. The Barry McGuire recording hit No. 1 in the charts, so apparently the radio station bans didn't hurt it much - a cynic might say that getting radio stations to ban it was part of the plan for commercial success of the record. After "Eve" broke the ground, the commercial stations began to play protest songs. Could this have contributed to the popularity of the peace and civil rights movements? Perhaps so.
The song was also recorded by the Turtles in 1970.