In 1970, the country was deeply divided by the Vietnam War, race and the Generation Gap. Communication was difficult and the major media – “The Establishment” supported the war and the Nixon Administration.
The counterculture, however, was flourishing as the underground form of communication was established through music. It was how the generation shared thoughts and feelings as they passed around albums and attended the first of the festival concerts – Woodstock in August 1969. It was the summer of love which by the spring of 1970 saw more than 450 schools nationwide on strike after four unarmed students were killed and nine wounded at Kent State by National Guard troops. Ten days later two students were killed and twelve wounded at Jackson State. More than fifty campuses were occupied by National Guard troops as demonstrations mounted around the country.
For many of you the playlist of songs are well known, but you must listen to them in the context that they were the social media of the day. Music was the underground communication enabled by some progressive DJ’s like the group at WNEW FM in New York and Rolling Stone Magazine plus the upstart underground newspapers who brought new voices to the generation. These songwriters and performers were carrying a message to a generation that expressed the feeling of hope, desire, protest, anger and disapproval of the existing “Establishment.”
While time has passed, most of this music still has enormous relevance today and should be understood for the profound importance it played in moving the country to a better place.
Wild World captures the conflicting dynamics of the era while offering a human experience that is as real today as it was then. Enjoy.