My Upcoming Talks at the Smithsonian in DC

The Music of 1969: Talking ’Bout My Generation
July 29, Aug. 26, and Sept. 23, 6:45–8:45 p.m.

The year 1969 saw a major upheaval in American culture and society, one that found a corresponding reflection in pop music. A glance at the charts shows the transition: carefree bops like “Sugar, Sugar” and “Build Me Up, Buttercup” are there, but so are psychedelic tunes like “Aquarius” and “Crystal Blue Persuasion.” The Allman Brothers, Blind Faith, Judas Priest, Mountain, and ZZ Top all debuted, while the Beatles recorded their final album. On the 50th anniversary of that tumultuous year, join Dave Price, D.C.-based author of the upcoming What’s That Sound: Song Lists and Stories to Help You Better Understand the Music of the Baby Boom Era, to explore the music of 1969 and why it endures.

Woodstock and Its Legacy

Mon., July 29 

The Woodstock Festival—three days of peace, love, music, mud, and myth—made musical and cultural history. Pricerecalls the scene at Yasgur’s farm in performances by Richie Havens, Santana, Sly and the Family Stone, and Jimi Hendrix. Director Michael Wadleigh’s documentary about the event further burnished the Woodstock legend, and theWashington Post’schief film critic Ann Hornadayjoins Price to discuss the impact and legacy of that film. Get a preview of the two competing concerts, one at the site of the original festival, planned to commemorate Woodstock’s anniversary. 

’59,’69,’79: The Music in Context

Mon., Aug. 26

Price leads a look at a how the music of 1969 is linked to pop’s past and influenced its future. He and songwriter and poet R. G. Evansrecall “the day the music died”—the 1959 airplane crash that claimed the lives of rockers Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and the Big Bopper—and its reflection in Don McLean’s “American Pie.” With Rolling Stones expert Doug Potash, Price looks at the Stones’ ill-fated Altamont concert, a dramatic and violent contrast to the peace-and-love vibes of Woodstock. Then fast-forward a decade for some tracks and talk about albums from Donna Summer, the Clash, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and Pink Floyd that show how diverse music was in a year when rock and disco battled for supremacy on turntables and the airways.

The Music of Protest

Mon., Sept. 23 

America was founded in protest, and few times capture the nature of public dissent better than the 1960s and 1970s. Price explores several of the era’s massive marches and rallies held in Washington, connecting them to classic protest songs that provided the soundtracks for the civil rights and peace movements, from Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” to Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” to John Lennon’s “Imagine.”

Three-session series

Full series 
CODE: 1B0-309 
Members $75; Nonmembers $105
Individual sessions

CODE: 1B0-310 (Mon. July 29)CODE: 1B0-311 (Mon., Aug. 26)
CODE: 1B0-312 (Mon., Sept. 23)
Members $30; Nonmembers $45

2 thoughts on “My Upcoming Talks at the Smithsonian in DC”

  1. I was on stage at Woodstock for 4 days (Thursday – Sunday) because I had a press pass from the Hartford Times newspaper. I did some rope with Jerry, Bob, Phil, Bill & Ron on the stage while the electricians were trying to fix things. I have some photos but they all are very amateurish as I was 20 and not a professional photographer. I date my life from this experience. I visit Bethel about every other year!

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