The electric subcurrent of the fifties was, above all, rock’n’roll, the live wire that linked bedazzled teenagers around the nation, and quickly around the world, into the common enterprise of being young. Rock was rough, raw, insistent, especially by comparison with the music it replaced; it whooped and groaned, shook, rattled, and rolled. Rock was clamor, the noise of youth submerged by order and prosperity, now frantically clawing their way out.
The winds of change began to sweep across America in the late fifties. The political unrest came with fear of thermo-nuclear war and the shadow that had been cast by Hiroshima, and Nagasaki. The civil rights leaders were unhappy with President Eisenhower’s reluctance to use his powers for their cause, in spite of the fact that the nation was becoming more receptive to civil rights reforms. With black organizations becoming more militant, Eisenhower needed to acknowledge the grow...
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