[sixties-l] New Sixties Video on Learning Channel

From: Jay Moore (research@neravt.com)
Date: Fri Aug 18 2000 - 23:46:29 CUT

  • Next message: Barbara L Tischler: "Re: [sixties-l] sixties courses (fwd)"

    David Crosby traces social activism through rock 'n' roll
    By Gloria Goodale Arts and culture correspondent of The Christian Science
    August 16, 2000

    Over and over, history shows the power of one person to make a difference. A
    1960s activist, singer David Crosby, now uses the power of his conviction to
    chronicle others in his documentary, "Stand and Be Counted" (Tuesday and
    Wednesday, Aug. 22 and 23, 9-11 p.m. on The Learning Channel). Mr. Crosby's
    program is a compilation of interviews and music that documents some of the
    most significant moments of social activism by musicians of the past half

    "No one had ever written a book or created a film chronicling the history of
    music [performed and composed] for a cause," says Jana Bennett, general
    manager of The Learning Channel, in explaining how the series ended up on
    her network and not an all-music channel. It's not just about the music, she
    says, "it's about the people, the tragedies, the triumphs, and our history
    over the last 50 years."

    While Ms. Bennett acknowledges concern over turning the passions of social
    justice into a dry history lesson, Crosby says that isn't a problem. On the
    shows he talks to old friends and acquaintances about their shared
    experiences, which gives the show a personal touch.

    "It's me asking Bonnie Raitt about a concert that we did together or asking
    Jackson [Browne] about something that he and I have spent many hours talking
    about," he says.

    Crosby is careful to acknowledge that social protest and benefit concerts
    didn't start with his generation.

    "Protest music has been around since there's been music in this country," he
    says. "Our main job is to be entertainers, but the other part is for us to
    be the town crier, the troubadour, to say, 'It's 12 o'clock and all is
    well,' or 'It's 12:30 and it's not so ... good.' " He says that protest
    music appears in early American standard tunes such as "Yankee Doodle

    But because the story of protest music is so large, the filmmakers chose the
    era of Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie as their starting point.

    "We thought ... that those guys were such good examples that we could pick
    it up there," Crosby says. The story continues through the 1960s civil
    rights movement and the Vietnam War, two of the most important rallying
    causes for social activism in recent decades.

    Performers interviewed include Carlos Santana, Harry Belafonte, Jewel, Joan
    Baez, Sting, Bono, Peter Gabriel, Tracy Chapman, Willie Nelson, and Seeger.
    They are among the many artists who share their views on the social and
    political power of music, as well as stories behind the Live Aid, Farm Aid,
    and Tibetan Freedom concerts.

    The film addresses the issue of whether benefit concerts are more than just
    an excuse for a great party.
    "The concerts raise money, but they also raise consciousness," Crosby says.
    Beyond that, the money makes a difference. He points to the work of Live
    Aid's Bob Geldof in Africa, where fields have been transformed from holding
    areas for the starving into green fields of crops.

    "One guy. That's what we're trying to get across," he says. "That if you
    believe in something strongly enough, and you're willing to stand up for
    what you believe in ... you can affect the world."

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Mon Aug 28 2000 - 08:40:56 CUT