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In the afterglow of Woodstock, all things looked possible to the Boomer generation. Rock ‘n’ roll was on every radio, and the songs were a shared vision of the times. But in the post Woodstock world, changes were on the way. Step aboard the WITCC Time Machine and journey back to the 1960s with historian Russ Gifford to revisit the times when rock was young and fun, even though “the times, they were a’changing!” 

Join your friends at Rock Around the Clock, as Lifelong Learning looks back at the history of the times via the music and the musicians of the 1960s. 

Location: Cargill Auditorium, Entrance 14, Lot 4 
Fee: No charge / Max:100
Lifelong Learning membership required 

Session 1: Rock ‘n’ Roll Looks into the Abyss of Popular Success 

Rock ‘n’ roll, once only home to outsiders and outcasts, had conquered the world by 1969. Coca-Cola said it wanted to buy the world a coke. The advertisement featured a song that was lifted from the hit maker airwaves! Coke’s top competitor struck back with Petula Clark singing Pepsi’s bubbly jingle. 

By 1969, rock ‘n’ roll was selling cokes, cars, candy, cameras, and everything else. But rock ‘n’ roll was about rebellion. Could a music that advised listeners to “turn on, tune it and drop out” co-exist with commercialism? Drop in on this session with Russ Gifford and stay tuned to hear the songs that were rocking the nation as the sixties gave way to 1970! 

Monday, November 18; 6 to 8 p.m. 
Course #20/FY-CPDV-2827-01

Session 2: Come on People Now, Let’s Get …Together? 

Rock ‘n’ roll and the boomers came together for Woodstock. Seen at the time as the inauguration of the Age of Aquarius, the actual change was something much different. The music that had been the fusion of rhythm and blues and country rockabilly exploded in many different directions. 

The psychedelic era of rock was peaking. Soul music scored hits. Others turned back to the beginning with a return to three guitars and a drum kit, while the previously unheard and unexpected progressive rock sound charted with Yes, ELP, and Pink Floyd. Others turned up the guitars and drums to a new heavier sound starting with groups like Black Sabbath. 

A multitude of music styles exploded across the airwaves and would never converge again. From the Beatles to the Byrds, the Animals to the Airplane, the Cream and the Doors, to Simon & Garfunkel, partnerships were exploding. All parted ways to find a new path, and while the music changed, it never stopped. Come together at the Cargill and explore the changes as the 1960s melted into the 1970s! 

Monday, November 25; 6 to 8 p.m. 
Course #20/FY-CPDV-2827-02 

Session 3: We Got To Get Ourselves Back to the Garden 

Another result of Woodstock, the growth of increasing cash moved the power to the artist. The desire to be true to the music and the fans meant no more garage bands that could barely play while the 45s featured only the lead singers and studio musicians. It was the rise of the singer-songwriters, and as usual, they were following Bob Dylan’s lead. 

While we may think of the guys when we think of the singer-songwriter, Joni Mitchell pushed her way in to that boys club with raw talent and perseverance. 

Mitchell may have been discovered by David Crosby, wooed and wounded by Graham Nash, loved by James Taylor, adored from afar by America and immortalized by Led Zeppelin, but it was her skills and her lyrics that made Joni Mitchell a hit in the late 1960s. 

Her story is the ultimate example of the prices paid by rockers who strove to reach the pinnacle in the era of free love. Join Russ Gifford and look at the era from “both sides now.” 

Monday, December 2; 6 to 8 p.m. 
Course #20/FY-CPDV-2827-03

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