Sly and the Family Stone
Sly and the Family Stone was an American band from San Francisco. Active from 1966 to 1983, it was pivotal in the development of funk, soul and psychedelic music, its core line-up was led by singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Sly Stone, included Stone's brother and singer/guitarist Freddie Stone and singer/keyboardist Rose Stone, trumpeter Cynthia Robinson, drummer Greg Errico, saxophonist Jerry Martini, bassist Larry Graham. It was the first major American rock group to have a racially integrated and female lineup. Formed in 1966, the group's music synthesized a variety of disparate musical genres to help pioneer the emerging "psychedelic soul" sound, they released a series of Top 10 Billboard Hot 100 hits such as "Dance to the Music", "Everyday People", "Thank You", as well as critically acclaimed albums such as Stand!, which combined pop sensibility with social commentary. In the 1970s, it transitioned into a darker and less commercial funk sound on releases such as There's a Riot Goin' On and Fresh, proving as influential as their early work.
By 1975, drug problems and interpersonal clashes led to dissolution, though Sly continued to record and tour with a new rotating lineup under the name "Sly and the Family Stone" until drug problems forced his effective retirement in 1987. The work of Sly and the Family Stone influenced the sound of subsequent American funk, soul, R&B, hip hop music. Music critic Joel Selvin wrote, "there are two types of black music: black music before Sly Stone, black music after Sly Stone". In 2010, they were ranked 43rd in Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, three of their albums are included on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time; the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. Sylvester Stewart was born into the Dallas, family of K. C. and Alpha Stewart, followers of the Church of God in Christ who encouraged musical expression in the household. After the Stewarts moved to Vallejo, the youngest four children formed "The Stewart Four", who released a local 78 RPM single, "On the Battlefield of the Lord" b/w "Walking in Jesus' Name", in 1952.
While attending high school and Freddie joined student bands. One of Sylvester's high school musical groups was a doo-wop act called The Viscaynes; the Viscaynes released a few local singles, Sylvester recorded several solo singles under the name "Danny Stewart". By 1964, Sylvester had become Sly Stone and a disc jockey for San Francisco R&B radio station KSOL, where he included white performers such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones in his playlists. During the same period, he worked as a record producer for Autumn Records, producing for San Francisco-area bands such as The Beau Brummels and The Mojo Men. One of the Sylvester Stewart-produced Autumn singles, Bobby Freeman's "C'mon and Swim", was a national hit. Stewart recorded unsuccessful solo singles while at Autumn. In 1966, Sly Stone formed a band called Sly & the Stoners, which included acquaintance Cynthia Robinson on trumpet. Around the same time, Freddie founded a band called Freddie & the Stone Souls, which included Gregg Errico on drums, Ronnie Crawford on saxophone.
At the suggestion of Stone's friend, saxophonist Jerry Martini and Freddie combined their bands, creating Sly and the Family Stone in November 1966. At first the group was called Sly Brothers and Sisters but after their first gig at the Winchester Cathedral, a night club in Redwood City, they changed the name to Sly & the Family Stone. Since both Sly and Freddie were guitarists, Sly appointed Freddie the official guitarist for the Family Stone, taught himself to play the electronic organ. Sly recruited Larry Graham to play bass guitar. Vanetta Stewart wanted to join the band as well, she and her friends, Mary McCreary and Elva Mouton, had a gospel group called The Heavenly Tones. Sly recruited the teenagers directly out of high school to become Little Sister and the Family Stone's background vocalists. After a gig at the Winchester Cathedral, CBS Records executive David Kapralik signed the group to CBS's Epic Records label; the Family Stone's first album, A Whole New Thing, was released in 1967 to critical acclaim from musicians such as Mose Allison and Tony Bennett.
However, the album's low sales restricted their playing venues to small clubs, caused Clive Davis and the record label to intervene. Some musicologists believe the Abaco Dream single "Life And Death In G & A", recorded for A&M Records in 1967 and peaking at #74 in September 1969, was performed by Sly and the Family Stone. Davis talked Sly into writing and recording a record, he and the band reluctantly provided the single "Dance to the Music". Upon its February 1968 release, "Dance to the Music" became a widespread ground-breaking hit, was the band's first charting single, reaching #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. Just before the release of "Dance to the Music", Rose Stone joined the group as a vocalist and a keyboardist. Rose's brothers had invited her to join the band from the beginning, but she had been reluctant to leave her steady job at a local record store; the Dance to the Music album went on to decent sales, but the follow-up, was not as successful commercially. In September 1968, the band embarked to England.
It was cut short after Graham was arrested for possession of marijuana and because of disagreements with concert promoters. In late 1968, Sly and the Family Stone released the single "Everyday People", which became their first No. 1 hit. "Everyday People" was a protest against prejudice of all kinds and popularized the catchphrase "different stroke
Melanie Anne Safka-Schekeryk is an American singer-songwriter known professionally as Melanie and sometimes as Melanie Safka. She is best known for her hits "Brand New Key", "Ruby Tuesday", "What Have They Done to My Song Ma", "Lay Down", this last about performing at the 1969 Woodstock music festival. Melanie was raised in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens, New York City, her father, Frederick M. Safka, was of Ukrainian ethnic background and her jazz singer mother, Pauline "Polly" Altomare, was of Italian heritage. Melanie made her first public singing appearance at age four on the radio show Live Like A Millionaire, performing the song "Gimme a Little Kiss", she attended Red Bank High School in Red Bank, New Jersey, after transferring from Long Branch High School, graduating in 1966. In the 1960s, when she was starting out, Melanie performed at The Inkwell, a coffee house in the West End section of Long Branch, New Jersey. After school, her parents insisted that she go to college, so she studied acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, where she began singing in the folk clubs of Greenwich Village, such as The Bitter End, signed her first recording contract.
Signed to Columbia Records in the United States, Melanie released two singles on the label. Subsequently, she signed with Buddah Records and first found chart success in Europe in 1969 with "Bobo's Party" which reached Number 1 in France. Melanie's popularity in Europe resulted in performances on European television programs, such as Beat-Club in West Germany, her debut album received positive reviews from Billboard which heralded her voice as "wise beyond her years. Her non-conformist approach to the selections on this LP make her a new talent to be reckoned with."Later in 1969, Melanie had a hit in the Netherlands with "Beautiful People". She was one of only three solo women who performed at the Woodstock Festival in 1969 and the inspiration for her first hit song, "Lay Down" arose from the Woodstock audience lighting candles during her set; the recording became a hit in Europe, Australia and the United States in 1970. The B-side of the single featured Melanie's spoken-word track "Candles in the Rain".
"Lay Down" became Melanie's first Top Ten hit in America, peaking at Number 6 on the Billboard singles chart and achieving worldwide success. Hits included "Peace Will Come" and a cover of the Rolling Stones' "Ruby Tuesday". In 1970, Melanie was the only artist to ignore the court injunction banning the Powder Ridge Rock Festival scheduled to be held on July 31, August 1 and August 2, 1970, she played for the crowd on a homemade stage powered by Mister Softee trucks. Shortly following this performance, she played at the Strawberry Fields Festival held from August 7 to 9, 1970, at Mosport Park, Ontario, she performed at the Isle of Wight Festival held between August 26 and 30, 1970, at Afton Down, where she was introduced by Keith Moon and received four standing ovations. She was the artist who sang to herald in the summer solstice at Glastonbury Fayre in England in June 1971, she performed again at Glastonbury in the 40th anniversary of the original festival. Melanie left Buddah Records. In 1971 she formed her own label, Neighborhood Records, with Peter Schekeryk, her producer and husband.
She had her biggest American hit on the Neighborhood label, the novelty-sounding 1972 number one "Brand New Key". "Brand New Key" sold over three million copies worldwide and was featured in the 1997 movie Boogie Nights. When first released, "Brand New Key" was banned by some radio stations because some heard sexual innuendo in the lyrics. Melanie has acknowledged the possibility of reading an unintended sexual innuendo in the song, stating, "I wrote in about fifteen minutes one night. I thought. I guess a key and a lock have always been Freudian symbols, pretty obvious ones at that. There was no deep serious expression behind the song, they made up incredible stories as to what the song meant. In some places, it was banned from the radio My idea about songs is that once you write them, you have little say in their life afterward People will take it any way they want to take it."In a 2013 interview with music journalist Ray Shasho, Melanie revealed the true origin of "Brand New Key": Of course I can see it symbolically with the key, but I just thought of roller skating.
I was fasting with a twenty seven day fast on water. I broke the fast and went back to my life living in New Jersey and we were going to a flea market around six in the morning. On the way back...and I had just broken the fast, from the flea market, we passed a McDonalds and the aroma hit me, I had been a vegetarian before the fast. So we pulled into the McDonalds and I got the whole works... the burger, the shake and the fries... and no sooner after I finished that last bite of my burger...that song was in my head. The aroma brought back memories of roller skating and learning to ride a bike and the vision of my dad holding the back fender of the tire, and me saying to my dad..."You're holding, you're holding, you’re holding, right? I'd look back and he wasn't holding and I'd fall. So that whole thing came out in this song. So it was not a intentional sexual innuendo; the follow-up single to "Brand New Key" was "Ring the Living Bell". To
Woodstock: Three Days of Peace and Music
Woodstock: Three Days of Peace and Music is a 4-CD live box-set album of the 1969 Woodstock Festival in Bethel, New York. Its release marked the 25th Anniversary of the festival; the box set contains tracks from Woodstock: Music from the Original Soundtrack and More, Woodstock 2, numerous additional, previously-unreleased performances from the festival as well as the stage announcements and crowd noises. Just prior to the box set's release, Atlantic Records released a much shorter 1-CD version entitled The Best of Woodstock. In 2009, Rhino Records issued a 6-CD box, Woodstock: 40 Years On: Back to Yasgur's Farm, which includes further musical performances as well as stage announcements and other ancillary material. "Handsome Johnny"* "Freedom" Tracks 1–2 performed by Richie Havens "The Fish Cheer/I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die Rag" Track 3 performed by Country Joe McDonald. "Rainbows All Over Your Blues" "I Had A Dream" Tracks 4–5 performed by John B. Sebastian. "If I Were A Carpenter"* Track 6 performed by Tim Hardin.
"Beautiful People" Track 7 performed by Melanie "Coming Into Los Angeles" "Walking Down The Line"* Tracks 8–9 performed by Arlo Guthrie. "Joe Hill" "Sweet Sir Galahad" "Drug Store Truck Drivin' Man" - featuring Jeffrey Shurtleff Tracks 10–12 performed by Joan Baez. "Soul Sacrifice" Track 13 performed by Santana. "Blood Of The Sun" "Theme For An Imaginary Western" Tracks 14–15 performed by Mountain. "Leaving This Town"* "Going Up The Country" Tracks 1–2 performed by Canned Heat. "Commotion"* "Green River"* "Ninety Nine And A Half"* "I Put A Spell On You"* Tracks 3–6 performed by Creedence Clearwater Revival. "Try"* "Work Me, Lord"* "Ball And Chain"* Tracks 7–9 performed by Janis Joplin. "Medley: Dance To The Music/Music Lover/I Want To Take You Higher" Track 10 performed by Sly & The Family Stone. "We're Not Gon na Take It" Track 11 performed by The. "Volunteers" "Somebody To Love"* "Saturday Afternoon/Won't You Try" "Uncle Sam Blues"* "White Rabbit"* Tracks 1–5 performed by Jefferson Airplane. "Let's Go Get Stoned"* "With A Little Help From My Friends" Tracks 6–7 performed by Joe Cocker.
"Rock & Soul Music" Track 8 performed by The Fish. "I'm Going Home" Track 9 performed by Ten Years After. "Long Black Veil"* "Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever"* "The Weight"* Tracks 10–12 performed by The Band. "Mean Town Blues"* Track 13 performed by Johnny Winter. "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" Track 1 performed by Stills & Nash. "Guinnevere" "Marrakesh Express" "4 + 20" "Sea Of Madness" Tracks 4–5 performed by Crosby, Nash & Young. "Find The Cost Of Freedom"* Track 6 performed by Crosby, Stills & Nash. "Love March" Track 7 performed by The Paul Butterfield Blues Band. "At The Hop" Track 8 performed by Sha Na Na "Voodoo Child /Stepping Stone"* "The Star Spangled Banner" "Purple Haze" Tracks 9–11 performed by Jimi Hendrix. Unissued
Woodstock was a music festival held on a dairy farm in the Catskill Mountains, northwest of New York City, between August 15–18, 1969, which attracted an audience of more than 400,000. Billed as "An Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music", it was held at Max Yasgur's 600-acre dairy farm near White Lake in Bethel, New York, 43 miles southwest of Woodstock. Over the sometimes rainy weekend, 32 acts performed outdoors, it is regarded as a pivotal moment in popular music history, as well as the definitive nexus for the larger counterculture generation. Rolling Stone listed it as number 19 of the 50 Moments That Changed the History of Roll; the event was captured in the Academy Award-winning 1970 documentary movie Woodstock, an accompanying soundtrack album, Joni Mitchell's song "Woodstock", which commemorated the event and became a major hit for both Crosby, Nash & Young and Matthews Southern Comfort. Joni Mitchell said, "Woodstock was a spark of beauty" where half-a-million kids "saw that they were part of a greater organism".
In 2017, the festival site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Woodstock was initiated through the efforts of Michael Lang, Artie Kornfeld, Joel Rosenman, John P. Roberts. Roberts and Rosenman financed the project. Lang had some experience as a promoter, having co-organized a festival on the East Coast the prior year, the Miami Pop Festival, where an estimated 25,000 people attended the two-day event. Early in 1969, Roberts and Rosenman were New York City entrepreneurs, in the process of building Media Sound, a large audio recording studio complex in Manhattan. Lang and Kornfeld's lawyer, Miles Lourie, who had done legal work on the Media Sound project, suggested that they contact Roberts and Rosenman about financing a similar, but much smaller, studio Kornfeld and Lang hoped to build in Woodstock, New York. Unpersuaded by this Studio-in-the-Woods proposal and Rosenman counter-proposed a concert featuring the kind of artists known to frequent the Woodstock area. Kornfeld and Lang agreed to the new plan, Woodstock Ventures was formed in January 1969.
The company offices were located in an oddly decorated floor of 47 West 57th Street in Manhattan. Burt Cohen, his design group, Curtain Call Productions, oversaw the psychedelic transformation of the office. From the start, there were differences in approach among the four: Roberts was disciplined and knew what was needed for the venture to succeed, while the laid-back Lang saw Woodstock as a new, "relaxed" way of bringing entrepreneurs together; when Lang was unable to find a site for the concert and Rosenman, growing concerned, took to the road and came up with a venue. Similar differences about financial discipline made Roberts and Rosenman wonder whether to pull the plug or to continue pumping money into the project. In April 1969, Creedence Clearwater Revival became the first act to sign a contract for the event, agreeing to play for $10,000; the promoters had experienced difficulty landing big-name groups prior to Creedence committing to play. Creedence drummer Doug Clifford commented, "Once Creedence signed, everyone else jumped in line and all the other big acts came on."
Given their 3 a.m. start time and omission from the Woodstock film, Creedence members have expressed bitterness over their experiences regarding the festival. Woodstock was designed as a profit-making venture, it famously became a "free concert" only after the event drew hundreds of thousands more people than the organizers had prepared for. Tickets for the three-day event cost $18 in $24 at the gate. Ticket sales were limited to record stores in the greater New York City area, or by mail via a post office box at the Radio City Station Post Office located in Midtown Manhattan. Around 186,000 advance tickets were sold, the organizers anticipated 200,000 festival-goers would turn up; the original venue plan was for the festival to take place in Wallkill, New York near the proposed recording studio site owned by Alexander Tapooz. After local residents shot down that idea and Kornfeld thought they had found another possible location in Saugerties, New York, but they had misunderstood, as the landowner's attorney made clear, in a brief meeting with Roberts and Rosenman.
Growing alarmed at the lack of progress and Rosenman took over the search for a venue, discovered the 300-acre Mills Industrial Park in the town of Wallkill, New York, which Woodstock Ventures leased for $10,000 in the Spring of 1969. Town officials were assured. Town residents opposed the project. In early July, the Town Board passed a law requiring a permit for any gathering over 5,000 people. On July 15, 1969, the Wallkill Zoning Board of Appeals banned the concert on the basis that the planned portable toilets would not meet town code. Reports of the ban, turned out to be a publicity bonanza for the festival. In his 2007 book Taking Woodstock, Elliot Tiber relates that he offered to host the event on his 15-acre motel grounds, had a permit for such an event, he claims to have introduced the promoters to dairy farmer Max Yasgur. Lang, disputes Tiber's account and says that Tiber introduced him to a realtor, who drove him to Yasgur's farm without Tiber. Sam Yasgur, Max's son, agrees with Lang's account.
Yasgur's land formed a natural bowl sloping down to Filippini Pond on the land's north side. The stage would be set up at the bottom of the
Richard Pierce "Richie" Havens was an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. His music encompassed elements of folk and rhythm and blues, he had an intense and rhythmic guitar style, played soulful covers of pop and folk songs, opened at the 1969 Woodstock Festival. Born in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, Havens was the oldest of nine children, he was of Native American descent on his father's side and of the British West Indies on his mother's. His grandfather was Blackfoot of the Montana/South Dakota area. Havens' grandfather and great-uncle joined Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, got off in New York City, ended up on the Shinnecock Reservation in Long Island. Havens' grandfather got married moved to Brooklyn; as a youth in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Havens began organizing his neighborhood friends into street corner doo-wop groups and, at age 16, was performing with the McCrea Gospel Singers. At age 20, Havens left Brooklyn. "I saw the Village as a place to escape to, in order to express yourself," he recalled.
"I had first gone there during the beatnik days of the 1950s to perform poetry I drew portraits for two years and stayed up all night listening to folk music in the clubs. It took a while before I thought of picking up a guitar." Havens' solo performances spread beyond the Village folk circles. After cutting two records for Douglas Records, he signed on with Bob Dylan's manager, Albert Grossman, landed a record deal with the Verve Folkways label. Verve released Mixed Bag in late 1966, which featured tracks such as "Handsome Johnny", "Follow", a cover of Bob Dylan's "Just Like a Woman". Havens released his first single, "No Opportunity Necessary", in 1967. By 1969, he had released five more albums. Something Else Again became his first album to hit the Billboard charts, it pulled Mixed Bag back onto the charts. Two of those albums were unauthorized "exploitation albums" released by Douglas Records: Electric Havens and Richie Havens Record. Havens' live performances earned widespread notice, his Woodstock appearance in 1969 catapulted him into stardom and was a major turning point in his career.
As the festival's first performer, he held the crowd for nearly three hours. In part, Havens was told to continue playing because many artists scheduled to perform after him were delayed in reaching the festival location with highways at a virtual standstill, he was called back for several encores. Having run out of tunes, he improvised a song based on the old spiritual "Motherless Child" that became "Freedom". In an interview with Cliff Smith, for Music-Room, he explained: "I'd played every song I knew and I was stalling, asking for more guitar and mic, trying to think of something else to play – and it just came to me... The establishment was foolish enough to give us all this freedom and we used it in every way we could." The subsequent Woodstock movie release helped. He appeared two weeks at the Isle of Wight Festival. Following the success of his Woodstock performance, Havens started his own record label, Stormy Forest, released Stonehenge in 1970; that year came Alarm Clock, which included the George Harrison-penned hit single, "Here Comes the Sun".
This was Havens' first album to reach Billboard's Top 30 Chart. Stormy Forest went on to release four more of his albums: The Great Blind Degree, Live On Stage and Mixed Bag II. Memorable television appearances included performances on The Ed Sullivan Show and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. On the latter program, the audience reacted with such enthusiasm that when the applause continued after the commercial break, Carson asked Havens to return the following night. Havens began acting during the 1970s, he was featured in the original 1972 stage presentation of The Who's Tommy, as Othello in the 1974 film Catch My Soul, in Greased Lightning alongside Richard Pryor, in Bob Dylan's Hearts of Fire. Havens devoted his energies to educating young people about ecological issues. In the mid-1970s, he co-founded the Northwind Undersea Institute, an oceanographic children's museum on City Island in The Bronx. That, in turn, led to the creation of the Natural Guard, an organization Havens described as "...a way of helping kids learn that they can have a hands-on role in affecting the environment.
Children study the land and air in their own communities and see how they can make positive changes from something as simple as planting a garden in an abandoned lot."In July 1978, he was a featured performer at the Benefit Concert for The Longest Walk, an American Indian spiritual walk from Alcatraz to Washington, DC affirming treaty rights, as a result of legislation, introduced to abrogate Indian treaties. During the 1980s and 1990s, Havens continued a world touring schedule and released albums; the release of 1993's Resume, The Best of Richie Havens, on Rhino Records, collected his late 1960s and early 1970s recordings. In 1982, he composed and performed a promotional slogan for NBC's 1982–83 television season, entitled We're NBC, Just Watch Us Now, he performed slogans for CBS and ABC, recorded commercials for Amtrak and in 1985, for Coca-Cola. Havens did corporate commercial work for Maxwell House Coffee, as well as sang "The Fabric of Our Lives" theme for the cotton industry. In 1982, he appeared at the UK's Glastonbury Festival, closing the show on the Sunda
A music genre is a conventional category that identifies some pieces of music as belonging to a shared tradition or set of conventions. It is to be distinguished from musical form and musical style, although in practice these terms are sometimes used interchangeably. Academics have argued that categorizing music by genre is inaccurate and outdated. Music can be divided into different genres in many different ways; the artistic nature of music means that these classifications are subjective and controversial, some genres may overlap. There are varying academic definitions of the term genre itself. In his book Form in Tonal Music, Douglass M. Green distinguishes between form, he lists madrigal, canzona and dance as examples of genres from the Renaissance period. To further clarify the meaning of genre, Green writes, "Beethoven's Op. 61 and Mendelssohn's Op. 64 are identical in genre – both are violin concertos – but different in form. However, Mozart's Rondo for Piano, K. 511, the Agnus Dei from his Mass, K. 317 are quite different in genre but happen to be similar in form."
Some, like Peter van der Merwe, treat the terms genre and style as the same, saying that genre should be defined as pieces of music that share a certain style or "basic musical language." Others, such as Allan F. Moore, state that genre and style are two separate terms, that secondary characteristics such as subject matter can differentiate between genres. A music genre or subgenre may be defined by the musical techniques, the style, the cultural context, the content and spirit of the themes. Geographical origin is sometimes used to identify a music genre, though a single geographical category will include a wide variety of subgenres. Timothy Laurie argues that since the early 1980s, "genre has graduated from being a subset of popular music studies to being an ubiquitous framework for constituting and evaluating musical research objects". Among the criteria used to classify musical genres are the trichotomy of art and traditional musics. Alternatively, music can be divided on three variables: arousal and depth.
Arousal reflects the energy level of the music. These three variables help explain why many people like similar songs from different traditionally segregated genres. Musicologists have sometimes classified music according to a trichotomic distinction such as Philip Tagg's "axiomatic triangle consisting of'folk','art' and'popular' musics", he explains that each of these three is distinguishable from the others according to certain criteria. The term art music refers to classical traditions, including both contemporary and historical classical music forms. Art music exists in many parts of the world, it emphasizes formal styles that invite technical and detailed deconstruction and criticism, demand focused attention from the listener. In Western practice, art music is considered a written musical tradition, preserved in some form of music notation rather than being transmitted orally, by rote, or in recordings, as popular and traditional music are. Most western art music has been written down using the standard forms of music notation that evolved in Europe, beginning well before the Renaissance and reaching its maturity in the Romantic period.
The identity of a "work" or "piece" of art music is defined by the notated version rather than by a particular performance, is associated with the composer rather than the performer. This is so in the case of western classical music. Art music may include certain forms of jazz, though some feel that jazz is a form of popular music. Sacred Christian music forms an important part of the classical music tradition and repertoire, but can be considered to have an identity of its own; the term popular music refers to any musical style accessible to the general public and disseminated by the mass media. Musicologist and popular music specialist Philip Tagg defined the notion in the light of sociocultural and economical aspects: Popular music, unlike art music, is conceived for mass distribution to large and socioculturally heterogeneous groups of listeners and distributed in non-written form, only possible in an industrial monetary economy where it becomes a commodity and in capitalist societies, subject to the laws of'free' enterprise... it should ideally sell as much as possible.
Popular music is found on most commercial and public service radio stations, in most commercial music retailers and department stores, in movie and television soundtracks. It is noted on the Billboard charts and, in addition to singer-songwriters and composers, it involves music producers more than other genres do; the distinction between classical and popular music has sometimes been blurred in marginal areas such as minimalist music and light classics. Background music for films/movies draws on both traditions. In this respect, music is like fiction, which draws a distinction between literary fiction and popular fiction, not always precise. Country music known as country and western, hillbilly music, is a genre of popular music that originated in the southern United States in the early 1920s; the polka is a Czech dance and genre of dance music familiar throughout Europe and the Americas. Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and particular
The Star-Spangled Banner
"The Star-Spangled Banner" is the national anthem of the United States. The lyrics come from the Defence of Fort M'Henry, a poem written on September 14, 1814, by the 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet Francis Scott Key after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British ships of the Royal Navy in Baltimore Harbor during the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812. Key was inspired by the large U. S. flag, with 15 stars and 15 stripes, known as the Star-Spangled Banner, flying triumphantly above the fort during the U. S. victory. The poem was set to the tune of a popular British song written by John Stafford Smith for the Anacreontic Society, a men's social club in London. "To Anacreon in Heaven", with various lyrics, was popular in the United States. Set to Key's poem and renamed "The Star-Spangled Banner", it soon became a well-known U. S. patriotic song. With a range of 19 semitones, it is known for being difficult to sing. Although the poem has four stanzas, only the first is sung today.
"The Star-Spangled Banner" was recognized for official use by the United States Navy in 1889, by U. S. President Woodrow Wilson in 1916, was made the national anthem by a congressional resolution on March 3, 1931, signed by President Herbert Hoover. Before 1931, other songs served as the hymns of U. S. officialdom. "Hail, Columbia" served this purpose at official functions for most of the 19th century. "My Country,'Tis of Thee", whose melody is identical to "God Save the Queen", the United Kingdom's national anthem served as a de facto national anthem. Following the War of 1812 and subsequent U. S. wars, other songs emerged to compete for popularity at public events, among them "America the Beautiful", which itself was being considered before 1931, as a candidate to become the national anthem of the United States. On September 3, 1814, following the Burning of Washington and the Raid on Alexandria, Francis Scott Key and John Stuart Skinner set sail from Baltimore aboard the ship HMS Minden, flying a flag of truce on a mission approved by President James Madison.
Their objective was to secure an exchange of prisoners, one of whom was Dr. William Beanes, the elderly and popular town physician of Upper Marlboro and a friend of Key's, captured in his home. Beanes was accused of aiding the arrest of British soldiers. Key and Skinner boarded the British flagship HMS Tonnant on September 7 and spoke with Major General Robert Ross and Vice Admiral Alexander Cochrane over dinner while the two officers discussed war plans. At first and Cochrane refused to release Beanes but relented after Key and Skinner showed them letters written by wounded British prisoners praising Beanes and other Americans for their kind treatment; because Key and Skinner had heard details of the plans for the attack on Baltimore, they were held captive until after the battle, first aboard HMS Surprise and back on HMS Minden. After the bombardment, certain British gunboats attempted to slip past the fort and effect a landing in a cove to the west of it, but they were turned away by fire from nearby Fort Covington, the city's last line of defense.
During the rainy night, Key had witnessed the bombardment and observed that the fort's smaller "storm flag" continued to fly, but once the shell and Congreve rocket barrage had stopped, he would not know how the battle had turned out until dawn. On the morning of September 14, the storm flag had been lowered and the larger flag had been raised. During the bombardment, HMS Terror and HMS Meteor provided some of the "bombs bursting in air". Key was inspired by the U. S. victory and the sight of the large U. S. flag flying triumphantly above the fort. This flag, with fifteen stars and fifteen stripes, had been made by Mary Young Pickersgill together with other workers in her home on Baltimore's Pratt Street; the flag came to be known as the Star-Spangled Banner and is today on display in the National Museum of American History, a treasure of the Smithsonian Institution. It was restored in 1914 by Amelia Fowler, again in 1998 as part of an ongoing conservation program. Aboard the ship the next day, Key wrote a poem on the back of a letter.
At twilight on September 16, he and Skinner were released in Baltimore. He completed the poem at the Indian Queen Hotel, where he was staying, titled it "Defence of Fort M'Henry", it was first published nationally in The Analectic Magazine. Much of the idea of the poem, including the flag imagery and some of the wording, is derived from an earlier song by Key set to the tune of "The Anacreontic Song"; the song, known as "When the Warrior Returns", was written in honor of Stephen Decatur and Charles Stewart on their return from the First Barbary War. Absent elaboration by Francis Scott Key prior to his death in 1843, some have speculated in modern times about the meaning of phrases or verses. According to British historian Robin Blackburn, the words "the hireling and slave" allude to the thousands of ex-slaves in the British ranks organised as the Corps of Colonial Marines, liberated by the British and demanded to be placed in the battle line "where they might expect to meet their former masters."
Professor Mark Clague, a professor of musicology at the University of Michigan, argues that the "middle two verses of Key's lyric vilify the British enemy in the War of 1812" and "in no way glorifies or celebrates slavery." Clague writes that "For Key... the British mercenaries were scoundrels and the Colonial Marines were traitors who threatened to spark a national insurrection." This harshly anti-British nature of Verse 3 led to its omission in sheet music in World War I, when the British and the U. S. were allies. Responding to the assertion of writer