Music

History of Woodstock: Over 50 Years Ago

By billpetro / August 14, 2021 /

HISTORY OF WOODSTOCK August 15 marks the anniversary of the “3 Days of Peace & Music” held in 1969 at Max Yasgur’s 600-acre dairy farm in the rural town of Bethel, New York, southwest of the village of Woodstock. This outdoor music event, in spite of thundershowers, gave voice to the counterculture youth generation of…

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AH

History of Alexander Hamilton

By billpetro / July 4, 2021 /

HISTORY OF THE 4TH OF JULY: ALEXANDER HAMILTON Alexander Hamilton has gained new popularity recently, in large part due to the 2015 Broadway musical “Hamilton” by Lin-Manuel Miranda.   Birth of Alexander Hamilton Hamilton was born in Charlestown, Nevis, in the Caribbean, out of wedlock to Rachel Faucette, of British & French Huguenot descent. She…

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Rock & Roll

History of the Summer of Love — 1967: Part 4, Rock & Roll

By billpetro / June 29, 2021 /

HISTORY OF THE SUMMER OF LOVE — 1967: PART 4, ROCK & ROLL It was twenty years ago today Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play They’ve been going in and out of style But they’re guaranteed to raise a smile   Rock & Roll in the late ’60s was exemplified when The Beatles released…

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Drugs

History of the Summer of Love — 1967: Part 3, Drugs

By billpetro / June 28, 2021 /

HISTORY OF THE SUMMER OF LOVE — 1967: DRUGS When I was a Resident Assistant at Berkeley in the early ’70s, a local police officer I knew gave me a tour down Telegraph Avenue. He told me: “All the major drug deals on the West Coast go down within a two block stretch of Telegraph…

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Summer of Love

History of the Summer of Love — 1967: Part 1 – Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll

By billpetro / June 26, 2021 /

HISTORY OF THE SUMMER OF LOVE — 1967: SEX, DRUGS, AND ROCK & ROLL The Summer of Love was fifty-four years ago, the Summer of 1967, with its epicenter in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. It was a summer of sex, drugs, and rock & roll. Both San Francisco and Liverpool celebrated it in 1997. While…

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All You Need Is Love

History of The Beatles All You Need Is Love

By billpetro / June 25, 2021 /

HISTORY OF ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE On June 25, 1967, The Beatles released the song “All You Need Is Love.” At that time, they participated in the Our World TV show, which used the recently constructed satellite system and broadcast their performance across the globe. Beatles drummer Ringo Starr said later, “It was the…

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Amazing Grace

History of Amazing Grace, part 1

By billpetro / February 23, 2021 /

HISTORY OF AMAZING GRACE, part 1 On February 23, 1807, the British parliament passing a bill banning the nation’s slave trade. In these two articles, we’ll explore the lives of two men and one song that played a large role in that effort. John Newton‘s devoted Christian mother dreamed that her only son would grow…

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The Beatles

History of The Beatles

By billpetro / February 7, 2021 /

HISTORY OF THE BEATLES On February 7, 1964, The Beatles landed at JFK Airport in New York. The airport had recently been renamed by a mourning country in honor of President Kennedy, who had been assassinated just 77 days earlier. The airport was now full of 4,000 greeters. Not realizing why there was such a…

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Peter Pan

History of Peter Pan: the Story Behind the Disney Classic

By billpetro / February 5, 2021 /

HISTORY OF PETER PAN All of this has happened before, and it will all happen again. So begins my favorite Walt Disney animated movie, Peter Pan, which debuted 68 years ago today on February 5, 1953. The original movie poster said: “It will live in your heart forever” …and indeed it has. Why was this…

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American Pie

History of The Day The Music Died

By billpetro / February 3, 2021 /

HISTORY OF THE DAY THE MUSIC DIED On February 3, 1959, a plane crash occurred in Iowa during a snowstorm shortly after 1 am which killed three young rock and roll singers who would go down in history: Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson. Their story would later be captured as…

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Beethoven

History of Beethoven: 250th Anniversary — 5 Things You Didn’t Know

By billpetro / December 17, 2020 /

HISTORY OF BEETHOVEN: 250TH ANNIVERSARY — 5 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW The renowned German composer and virtuoso pianist Ludwig van Beethoven celebrates his 250th anniversary today. Anniversary of what? Here are 5 things you may not have known about the famous composer who came to fame between the Classical and Romantic periods of European music.  …

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Christmas Music

History of Christmas Music: More than just Carols?

By billpetro / December 4, 2020 /

HISTORY OF CHRISTMAS MUSIC Music early became a marked feature of the Christmas season. But the first chants, litanies, and hymns were in Latin and deemed too theological for popular use. Under Francis of Assisi’s influence in the 13th century, we began to see the rise of the carol written in the vernacular. The word carol comes…

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