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Vietnam, Rock, and Soul Music

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elo269megv
Punk Rock Detective


Gender: Male
Location: Michigan
United States

#1 | Posted: 01/08/2019 18:19 | Post subject: Vietnam, Rock, and Soul Music Reply with quote
Hello all,

I am taking an honors course at my university and the title of the class is the title of this thread. We will be discussing the historical, political, and cultural relationship between the Vietnam war and music from that era, particularly rock n’ roll and soul.

My question to you is, what songs, albums, or artists do you feel to embody the Vietnam era most (1961 - 75)? My final essay for the course will be compiling a 10 song playlist that I think captures the era and touches on narrative themes from the war and culture of Vietnam. What would be some songs you’d pick? Or what your top ten look lke? I already have an idea of mine, and I’m sure I’ll discover more. I though this might be an interesting conversation. Let me know what you think.

For discussion purposes, my class will focus on two periods: 1956-1968 and 1968-1975 but the 10 songs can be from any year during that period. Thank you all in advance.
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baystateoftheart
Neil Young as a butternut squash



Age: 24
Location: Massachusetts
United States

#2 | Posted: 01/08/2019 18:23 | Post subject: Reply with quote
I don’t have time to make a list of ten right now, but a song that is very underrated in this context is “I Should Be Proud” by Martha and the Vandellas.
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Skinny
birdman_handrub.gif




#3 | Posted: 01/08/2019 18:32 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Would be remiss to ignore Vietnamese music.


Link


Quote:
This is the CD version of the out-of-print 2LP. The long-awaited foray into the Vietnamese rock, pop and soul sound of the late 1960s and early 1970s is finally here. Saigon Rock & Soul delivers the goods international retro collectors have been searching for in vain for many years -- and it delivers beyond belief. Every song is a mini-masterpiece, be it heavy acid-rock psychedelia, horn- and guitar-drenched funk grooves, or gripping soul ballads reflective of life during wartime. The tracks that form this collection cut a window into a rich musical Vietnamese music scene that has long been obscured, and for the most part, forgotten. As the scope of electrified Vietnamese music from the 1960s and 1970s begins to be revealed, it becomes evident that this was among the heaviest and most eclectic musical scenes of Southeast Asia at the time. These songs tell of war, love and what war does to love. All of them were recorded in makeshift studios and even U.S. army facilities while the Vietnam War raged -- and were issued by a handful of Saigon record companies on vinyl 45s and reel or cassette tapes. Westernized forms of music in Vietnam had appeared during the latter 19th century, and especially during the early 20th century, under the influence of the French colonizers. Tan Nhac (trans. "modern music") always incorporated both domestic and international sounds, and continued to develop alongside Western musical trends. During the 1960s and 1970s, pulp ballads were being recorded by leading crooners of the time who alternated between modern and traditional forms of regional music. When the electric guitar hit the streets of Saigon, Vietnamese renditions of contemporary instrumental trends such as surf-rock, beat and twist soon emerged, followed by some pretty deep soul sounds inspired by Motown radio hits as well as funk grooves brought on by James Brown and his contemporaries. By the mid-1960s, Vietnam had been ravaged by war for years. American G.I.s had become a standard fixture in Saigon, as did many of the cultural artifacts they brought with them. This certainly included the music. The sounds of rock and roll dominated the radio waves, and Saigon nightclubs were teeming with new sounds. Musically, The Shadows and The Ventures soon gave way to The Beatles and The Rolling Stones as an enthusiastic set of young Vietnamese rockers signed on to the lifestyle, always eager to hear the latest musical trends the G.I.s would bring in on LP or tape. This era saw the birth of a vibrant rock scene, yet rock music and anything that came close was commonly referred to as "soul" in the Vietnamese genre-listings. Like many cultures in Asia, Vietnamese music is recorded, marketed, listened to and disposed of in a relatively quick manner. This level of advanced ephemera ensures a degree of difficulty when trying to unearth and discover cultural histories. Literally, most of the music heard here has been brought back from the dead. Artists featured include some of Vietnam's most popular at the time: Elvis Phuong, Hung Cuong, Mai Lei Huyen, Le Thu, Thai Thanh, Giao Linh, Mai Lei Huyen and the CBC Band. Features 70 minutes of classic original recordings compiled by Mark Gergis with extensive liner notes.


Both volumes of the Saigon Supersound compilation are essential, too.
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Fischman
RockMonster, JazzMeister and ClassicalMaster


Gender: Male
Location: Rocky Mountain High
United States

#4 | Posted: 01/08/2019 18:50 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Here's my 10

Well, the biggie has to be Barry McGuire's Eve of Destruction.

Other highly notables include:
Lennon's Give Peace a Chance as well as Imagine
CSNY's Ohio
CCR's Fortunate Son
The Rolling Stones' best song ever, Gimme' Shelter


My personal favorites, also highly notable, include
Edwin Starr's War
Black Sabbath's War Pigs
and
Glen Campbell's Galveston (lyrics by Jimmy Webb, IMO the best war song lyrics ever and some of the best lyrics ever on any topic)

And we shouldn't forget the protest against the protest songs, The Ballad of the Green Beret
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Michael1981




United Kingdom

#5 | Posted: 01/08/2019 19:18 | Post subject: Reply with quote
What a cool essay to write. I'm jealous!

Though not necessarily known for its historical accuracy or cultural significance (!!), Forrest Gump really vividly portrayed Vietnam and political unrest around this. Loads of great tracks on the soundtrack that link to the era in some way, the pick probably being Hendrix's version of "All along the watchtower". Not specifically a protest song but captures the mood (also the line "there must be some way to get out of here" brings the troops to mind).

Then, ofcourse, the iconic music in Apocalypse Now seems worth considering too...
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Fischman
RockMonster, JazzMeister and ClassicalMaster


Gender: Male
Location: Rocky Mountain High
United States

#6 | Posted: 01/08/2019 19:35 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Michael1981 wrote:
What a cool essay to write. I'm jealous!

Though not necessarily known for its historical accuracy or cultural significance (!!), Forrest Gump really vividly portrayed Vietnam and political unrest around this. Loads of great tracks on the soundtrack that link to the era in some way, the pick probably being Hendrix's version of "All along the watchtower". Not specifically a protest song but captures the mood (also the line "there must be some way to get out of here" brings the troops to mind).

Then, ofcourse, the iconic music in Apocalypse Now seems worth considering too...


For even more, there was an entire TV series called China Beach that was soundtrack heavy a la Miami Vice, but it took place in Vietnam during the war. Lots of great tunes of the time interwoven with the story. There is a China Beach sountrack, although the songs are largely of the time rather than specifically focused on the war itself.
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elo269megv
Punk Rock Detective


Gender: Male
Location: Michigan
United States

#7 | Posted: 01/08/2019 22:03 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Thanks for the replies and suggestions! Any song is appreciated as I’m trying to have a pretty large pool to choose from. I’m also trying to pick a majority of songs that aren’t discussed in the class.

CCR
Marvin Gaye
John Lennon, Are among the obvious choices

I like the idea of adding a Vietnamese song, so thank you @Skinny for the suggestion.
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Tha1ChiefRocka
I'm A Cowboy On My Own Trip



Location: Kansas
United States

#8 | Posted: 01/08/2019 22:57 | Post subject: Reply with quote
My brother was once the director of a military museum and I made him a playlist for his Vietnam era rooms once. I don't have it anymore, but I can post some interesting ones for you.

I don't know if this is on the comp that Skinny posted or not. I'm assuming she was, because she was immensely popular. They're almost like Spaghetti western ballads. I can't find the exact one though. It was haunting.


Link



Link


This song is pretty dark in hindsight.


Link


One of the most essential


Link


Might post some more later.
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sethmadsen
Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis


Gender: Male
Age: 34
Location: Ground Control
United States

#9 | Posted: 01/10/2019 04:14 | Post subject: Reply with quote
If you haven't watched Apocalypse Now, that might be worth watching.

Another aspect not talked about is how it impacted multiple generations. Alice and Chains song "rooster" was influenced by his Father's time in the Vietnam War.

Protest songs are a must.

There was this Ken Burns Vietnam War Spotify playlist once upon a time - didn't vet it to be good, but might be a good resource.

Anyway, there's a lot of directions this could go, so good luck and sounds fun.
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Hayden




Location: CDMX
Canada

#10 | Posted: 01/10/2019 06:20 | Post subject: Reply with quote
elo269megv wrote:

I like the idea of adding a Vietnamese song, so thank you @Skinny for the suggestion.


I couldn't imagine not using Vietnamese music, or at least 50%. Definitely dig into that comp. Find some lyric sheets, translate them, etc...

There weren't a lot of albums that made it out of 60's Vietman (definitely a good handful of 45"'s though), but this is one of them:


Hát Cho Quê Hương Việt Nam by Khánh Ly

Khánh Ly's became fairly prominent in the late 60's, and her career lasted into the 90's from what I can tell (she's still alive). Hát Cho Quê Hương Việt Nam (which means something along the lines of 'singing for Vietnam') was the first album she recorded in the middle of the war, 4-5 more volume releases to follow.

I'm not sure if you can use this as a proper source, but this blog has an in-depth article about her:
http://trankanhhung.blogspot.com/2010/12/khanh-ly.html

Def recommend putting a track by her/about her in your paper, especially if it's focusing on more British/American music at the time.

(Unfortunately, it's not the best album due to its length and repetition, but it's relevant) -


Link


EDIT: If you're allowed to use lost songs, there's plenty, but I suppose that's not terribly practical.
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