Dunbar High School Music Appreciation


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The 1960's

‘The most  powerful white blues singer of the 1960s.’

Originally from  Port Arthur, Texas, Joplin joined Big Brother and  the Holding Company as lead vocalist in 1966. She won rave reviews for her performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. Her albums were Cheap Thrills (with Big Brother), and I got dem ol’  kozmic blues again Mama (1968, solo). Janis died of a drug overdose in 1970 and did not see her albumPearl yield a number one single ‘Me and Bobby McGee’ in 1971.

Began the theme album trend of the late 1960s.

Inspired by  the Beatles album Revolver, Brian Wilson produced the Beach  Boys masterpiece album Pet Sounds in 1966. The album used innovative overdubbing recording techniques to give a thickly textured  sound and developed a connecting theme of youthful insecurity throughout the song lyrics. Although it was critically acclaimed, Pet Sounds did not sell well. However the highly produced, psychedelic single Good Vibrations which followed Pet Sounds went to number one.


Born: Robert Zimmerman
May 1941,  Duluth, Minnesota
‘The most influential American pop musician of the sixties.’

In the early 1960s, Bob Dylan’s biting humour, his expressive, topical lyrics and his unique nasal singing style gained him a large following, especially in the  New York folk scene. His second album (1963) included ‘Blowin’ in  the wind’, a million-selling hit for Peter, Paul and Mary.

Dylan created  rather than followed popular music trends. He changed his sound from acoustic to amplified rock in his 1965 album Bringing it  all back home, then changed to country rock in 1968 with the album John Wesley Harding and later Nashville Skyline.


The summer of love, June 1967.

A pivotal event in rock history, it caught the flowering of hippie culture and started a pop music revolution. Thirty acts from around the world played to an audience of 50,000 and introduced major new artists like Jimi Hendrix to the public.

Some artists who performed at Monterey were Janis Joplin, the Who,  the Grateful Dead, the Byrds,Jefferson Airplane,  the AnimalsRavi ShankarHugh Masekela,Simon  and Garfunkel, the Mamas and the PapasOtis Redding,Booker T and the MGs, the Steve Miller Blues Band and Jimi Hendrix.

Monterey showed that there was an audience for new and different styles of music  that embraced elements of jazz, blues, folk, soul, African and Eastern music.

‘Pioneers  of folk rock’

The members  of the Byrds, David Crosby,Chris  HillmanGeneClark, Michael Clarkeand Roger  McGuinn all belonged to other folk groups before the Byrds. The Byrds’ first hit was Bob Dylan’s ‘Mr Tambourine Man’  which featured tight harmonies and McGuinn’s unique ‘finger-picking’  12-string electric guitar sound. The song went to UK and US number one in 1965. Their next hit in the same year, ‘All I really want  to do’, was another Dylan song. The biblically inspired ‘Turn, turn,  turn’ was followed in 1966 with another hit ‘Eight miles high’.

The Byrds influenced many later rock bands including the EaglesTom PettyFleetwood Mac and R.E.M.

‘Three days of peace, love and music’

The Woodstock  Music and Art Fairbecame the touchstone of a generation in August 15, 16 & 17, 1969 and remains the biggest outdoor overnight  festival ever.

Some of the  artists appearing were Richie HavensCanned HeatJoan Baezthe WhoRavi ShankarJoe  CockerCountry Joe & the Fish;Crosby, Stills and NashTen Years AfterJefferson Airplane;SantanaJanis JoplinJimi Hendrixthe  Grateful DeadCreedence Clearwaterthe BandBlood, Sweat & TearsArlo Guthrie and thePaul Butterfield Blues Band.