Wednesday, November 16, 2022

America and "Stranger on the Shore"

The era we think of as the sixties began with relative suddenness around the time of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. Americans are right to say that nothing was ever the same after Kennedy was shot. You can hear the change in popular music over a matter of months. A year-and-a-half before Kennedy was killed, "Stranger on the Shore," a drowsy instrumental by the British clarinetist Acker Bilk, had hit number one. A year-and-a-half after the assassination, the musicians who would form Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead, Big Brother and the Holding Company, and various other druggie blues and folk-rock bands were playing their first gigs together in San Francisco.

- Christopher Caldwell, The Age of Entitlement: America Since the Sixties

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