History of Rock and Roll Exam Two: '70s Singers-Songwriters

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Singers-Songwriters of the '70s; Come from the folk rock tradition.

-Late 60s singer-song writers sing about communities
-Early 70s singer-song writers write about more adult topics.
-Mid 70s, story telling becomes a dominant theme again.

Bob Dylan:

Music taken seriously, contained a message.

Buffalo Springfield:

-Example of super group, only last for one album.
-Only known for one song, "For What It's Worth"
--In response to violence found on college campuses

Woodstock:

-Perform their folk music at Woodstock

Woodstock and Country Joe and the Fish:

-Joe MacDoland and Barry Melton
-"Fixin' to De Rag"
-Controversial counter-cultural music
-Sung about protest topics

Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young:

-Singer-song writers
-Talk about raising your family, living in your community.
--Encourage taking responsibilities in life.

Story tellers:

-Had grown up themes

-Bobbie Gentry
-"One Tin Soldier"
-Don McLean
-Joni Mitchell
-Janis Ian

Story teller - Bobbie Gentry:

-From the south
-"Ode to Billy Joe"
--Narrative about a family sitting around a table gossiping.
--Extremely long
-Made a movie out of it, movie is a bunch of pulled out random versus.

Story teller - "One Tin Soldier":

-Dramatized as an animated children movie.
-No clue who sings it, it was kept secret
-Meant to be a fairytale
-Anti-war message, peaceful people who live on the mountain. They have a treasure chest and their neighbors want it all for themselves.

Story teller - Don McLean:

-Famous for a song called "American Pie"
-About social awareness

Story teller - Joni Mitchell:

-Woman singer-songwriter
-Was writing songs for other people at first
--She was shy and that's why she did a lot of writing at first
---Women become prominent singer-songwriters during this time

Story teller - Janis Ian:

-Singer-songwriter
-"Society's Child"
-"At 17"
--Her take of what high school was really like

During this time of the 1970s, the music starts to grow up in the content that singer-songwriters are singing about:

-the "me" decade
-Singing about relationships, personal issues, feelings.
--All reflected in their personal, confessional songs
--Artist may be working through a personal problem, in which you can also relate to.

-Uplifting music, even though the content is sometimes sad
-Soft sound
-Experimental areas into jazz
-Song topics are feminine in content, guys getting in touch with their feminine side.

Singer-Songwriters of this time:

-James Taylor
-Carole King
-Carly Simon
-Arlo Guthrie
-Jim Croce
-Billy Joel
-Bruce

Singer-Songwriter - James Taylor:

-American, but got his start in Britain.
-Signed with The Beatles, Apple Record label.
-Was sent back to America to complete rehab, after his first album failed.
--Song about his friend that died while he was in rehab.
-The second album he released after his rehab sold very well and launched his career.

Singer-Songwriter - Carole King:

-Wrote for girl group's
-Solo artist, in the early to mid 1970s
-Songs are witty and realistic
-Audience was the same little girls she wrote for that have grown up and can relate to her new, mature, topics.

Singer-Songwriter - Carly Simon:

-Witty
-Hit the charts in 1971, one of the top selling artists until the mid 1970s
-"You're So Vain"
--Everyone argues over the songs meaning.
--About a man who took advantage of her when she was young, and no one knows who it was

Singer-Songwriter - Arlo Guthrie:

-Story teller
-"Alice's Restaurant"
--Based on a true story
--Vietnam story, about how he was rejected from the military.
---Wrote about how absurd the United States was.
--Keeps making up new versus as he sings it.
--A number of sitcoms based off this song.
-Wrote and covered a number of songs about the U.S.
Protest against social injustice.

Singer-Songwriter - Jim Croce:

-Story teller in the mid70s
-Painting pictures of the working class people

Singer-Songwriter - Billy Joel:

-More mainstream, story teller
-Character songs about growing up in New York
-Started recording at the age of 12

Singer-Songwriter - Bruce:

-Born in 1949
-Influenced by Bob Dylan and singer songwriters but bring in their own influences.
-Height of his career in the mid70s
--Comes back in the 1980s
-Good example of listening to songs all the way through before determine the meaning of the song.
--"Born in the USA" is actually anti-American

Singer-Songwriters from England:

-Cat Stevens
-Elton John

Singer-Songwriter - Cat Stevens:

-Songs based of folk tunes
-Converts to Islam and lead the downfall of Cat Stevens

Singer-Songwriter - Elton John:

-A number of his songs have very thoughtful lyrics to them
-Worked with a man who helped him write.
-Homosexuality was illegal in Britain until 1960s
-He fits into the theme of songwriters working through particular problems

The singer-songwriter tradition persists:

-In the 1970s, rock and roll fragments and this is one example of a fragmentation of rock and roll.
--Meant for the older generations
--Leads to soft rock

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