Baby Boomers have had the good fortune to have grown up and matured with some of the greatest popular music ever. Part chronological, part “ages & stages,” and part commentary, here is a musical review of the Baby Boomer era in America.
The earliest baby boomers became aware of popular music in the mid-1950s, at the dawn of the rock ‘n’ roll era. They heard the first great rock hits and the artists who would influence generations of rock stars to come. It was time to rock around the clock!
When baby boomers began cruising in the early 1960s, they learned to set their push button radios to the Top 40 stations on that AM dial. From the Brill Building sound to Motown and from surfing music to the British invasion, they heard it all.
Singer-songwriters and other performers flocked to Los Angeles from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s, ushering in “folk rock” and then “country rock”, with many tunes now labeled “classic rock”. In an era after birth control pills and before AIDS, they thrived on sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll at house parties in Laurel Canyon and at a West Hollywood club called the Troubadour. Many sang each other’s songs and played in each other’s bands, making music that will out-live them all.
San Francisco had an incredibly vibrant music scene in the years surrounding 1967’s summer of love. From folk rock into psychedelia and beyond, it could lift you up and help you just float along. Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead were the headliners of the era, but there were many other stellar bands, too. Listen now and think of peace and love…
From China Beach to Red Beach and from Freedom Hill to the port, there was a massive American military presence in DaNang in 1970. And where there were GIs, there was music, whether from AFVN radio broadcasts, from cassette tapes, or from traveling Filipino bands. Bob Hope even came back to town, before the year was done. Here are some of the songs that helped us pass the time.
From the Grateful Dead to the Traveling Wilburys, with a little CSNY and Doobies thrown in, you know it’s gotta be mellow. Lean back and take a trip down memory lane — and what a long, strange trip it’s been!
BOOMERNET spotlight on Aussie and Kiwi artists and songs that never made it big across the pond. Rock ‘n’ roll fans in the States never knew what they were missing!
Suze DeMarchi has been called the “Queen of Australian rock.” Whether fronting for Baby Animals or performing solo, she has a distinctive sound that sets her apart from the crowd. The lady from Perth went from being a pop tart in London to an Aussie pub rocker, and then from a progressive rock wife and mom in Boston & LA to back in Oz again. Along the way, she has built a remarkable catalog. Here are some of the highlights!
Many top European stars and songs have been global hits. Others, not so much. Here’s a sampling of some of the best of latter. Even if you don’t know the languages, you can still hum along — irgendwie, irgendwo, irgendwann (any place, any where, any time).
A German band that sings in English and performs to huge crowds from Berlin to Moscow and all around the world, the Scorpions have been playing for more than 50 years. From hard rock to heavy metal and then to power ballads, they’ve refined their style over the years and built an amazing collection of songs. Only one, Wind of Change, ever charted in the top 10 in the States, but it is still the #14 best-selling single in the world and the official video for it has had more than 750 million views. Klaus Meine is both the lead vocalist and the primary lyricist. Listen now, as he and his band mates rock you like a hurricane!
Playing For Change is a movement created to inspire and connect the world through music, born from the shared belief that music has the power to break down boundaries and overcome distances between people. Whether through innovative videos called Songs Around The World or through its touring band, they aim to create hope and inspiration for the future of our planet.
Starting in 2009 as the best new folk rock band in ages, Dawes captured that Laurel Canyon sound and brought it into the modern era. Now playing everything from pop-soul to blues-roots, David Letterman has described them as “Pretty much all you need in a rock ‘n’ roll band.” Here’s a video history of Dawes. Enjoy!
Delta Rae plays country, folk, blues, and good ol’ rock ‘n’ roll — and they do it with more energy than any other band in America. If you get the chance to see them “live”, go do it. They really rock the house!