PROLOGUE: THE GREAT FOLK-ROCK CLASH: THE 1965 NEWPORT FOLK FESTIVAL
Behind the scenes and on the stage at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, where Bob Dylan gave his first electric rock concert, eliciting both jeers and cheers from the audience and defining a generational divide between purist folkies and newborn folk-rockers.
CHAPTER 1: BEFORE THE REVOLUTION
The forces that shaped the generation of 1960s folk-rockers: the slow growth in urban popularity of folk music in the first half of the twentieth century; the explosion of rock'n'roll in the mid-1950s; the beginnings of the folk revival as early rock tapered off in intensity; the folk boom of the early 1960s; the beginnings of topical and protest songwriting among young performers such as Bob Dylan; the very first, nearly unknown experiments with mixing folk and electric rock.
CHAPTER 2: MEET THE BEATLES (click here to read excerpt )
In 1964, The British Invasion causes young folk musicians to rethink their careers and eagerly buy electric instruments and form rock bands. The nucleus of the Lovin' Spoonful takes shape in New York City; the Byrds form in Los Angeles; British Invasion bands like the Animals and Searchers successfully match rock arrangements with folk songs; Bob Dylan abandons topical songwriting and starts writing adventurous personal material.
CHAPTER 3: THE MR. TAMBOURINE MEN ( click here to read excerpt )
In the first half of 1965, the Byrds record "Mr. Tambourine Man" and become a Hollywood sensation on Sunset Strip. Bob Dylan makes his first electric recordings for his Bringing It All Back Home album. In New York, the Lovin' Spoonful and the Fugs form. Folk singer-songwriters Richard Farina and Fred Neil make their first electric recordings. Bob Dylan tours England and meets Donovan. When he comes back to the States in June, the Byrds' version of "Mr. Tambourine Man" is soaring to #1.
CHAPTER 4: THE FOLK-ROCK BOOM
The Byrds' "Mr. Tambourine Man" and debut album kick off the folk-rock boom. Sonny & Cher and the Turtles make commercial folk-rock-pop hits. Bob Dylan records "Like a Rolling Stone" and starts touring with an electric band. The Lovin' Spoonful, Simon & Garfunkel, and the Mamas and the Papas record their first hits. Debate rages among folk and rock fans and the media as to the merits and integrity of mixing folk with rock, and putting protest songs in the Top Forty. The Beatles go into folk-rock with Rubber Soul. The Byrds' cover of Pete Seeger's "Turn! Turn! Turn!" gives them another #1 hit at the end of 1965.
CHAPTER 5: EAST-WEST
Media debate over folk-rock and protest pop reaches a peak early in 1966. Also in 1966, scores of folk-rock singer-songwriters and groups record exciting, enduring music in New York and Los Angeles as folk-rock starts to sprout in multiple directions. The Mamas and the Papas, the Lovin' Spoonful, and Simon Garfunkel become superstars. New singer-songwriters like Tim Hardin, Janis Ian, and a newly electrified Judy Collins emerge. Elektra, Vanguard, and Verve all scamper to adapt from folk music to the new folk-rock sound. Love and Buffalo Springfield record their debut albums. The Byrds take folk-rock into psychedelia for the first time with "Eight Miles High."
CHAPTER 6: FOLK-ROCKIN' AROUND THE WORLD ( click here to read excerpt )
Folk-rock becomes a truly international language as Donovan plugs in and becomes a Transatlantic superstar with "Sunshine Superman." Uncounted teen garage bands all over the United States make folk-rock and folk-rock-influenced records in the mid-1960s. Everybody from British Invasion bands, celebrity pop singers, as-yet-unknown future stars, and old-hat traditional folkies take stabs at recording folk-rock. Overlooked unknown groups like the Blue Things record great folk-rock far from Hollywood and Greenwich Village. Ambitious folk-rock records like "Eight Miles High" and "Society's Child" fight media censorship as the establishment fights back. Bob Dylan peaks in mid-1966 with Blonde on Blonde and a world tour with future members of the Band, but virtually disappears after a motorcycle accident.
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