The ’70s was my generation. From adolescence to a teenage boy and high school graduate. We witnessed the on-campus shootings at Kent State, the end of the Vietnam War, forced bussing, and the impeachment and resignation of a president plus man landing on the moon. It was a surreal time of strife, civil disobedience, angst, and unrest in our nation. The cold war was real with bomb drills in school. And yet, something was on the horizon. I think it was hope but I’m not sure. Most of us wore Levis, Clark’s Wallabee suede boots, flannel shirts, Levis cords, and polos to school. The preppy generation was just getting started so there was the Locaste alligator and Polo logos as well as the Stan Smith Adidas edition tennis shoes.
We were the last generation to really experience Drive-in Movies, sock hops, Levis, 8-Track players, LP’s, tie-dye, the ponytail on males, mustaches, beards, Farrah Fawcette look-alikes, Raquel Welch, Rocky, and his defined abs, and Johnny Travolta in his infamous white suit strutting his stuff. It was a collision of genres for all of us.
Hope came forth in the music of the ’70s. From America, Bill Withers, The Supremes, The Eagles, The Allman Brothers, Bob Seger, The Rolling Stones, the ending of the Beatles, Chicago, Lynard Skynard, Neil Young, Fogerty, Van Morrison, Elvis Costello, and Creedance Clearwater Revival, the Doobies, POCO, James Taylor, Neil Diamond, Elton John, Fleetwood Mac, Marshall Tucker, REO Speedwagon, The Hollies, Debbie Gibson, Heart, Seals and Crofts, Styx, Peter Frampton, and the whole Disco movement with the likes of the Commodores, Marvin Gaye, The BeeGees, Patty LaBelle, Donna Summer and many more dotting the landscape. Gearheads, stoner’s, discotheques followers, country boys, girls, jocks, theatre types, nerds, and more seemed to gravitate to the music of our time. Even if you didn’t like a particular genre it hit a nerve, struck the soul, and connected within the heart. If you didn’t like a song it was a sure bet you would like the next one at the high school dance. You didn’t have to wait for something that spoke deep within your soul and touched a nerve.
Where is our music? Where’s the music of 2020 answering the calls that Creedance answered to the Vietnam War? Where’s the music that championed a whole city to bet on a loveable loser that wouldn’t quit fighting and built a statue to his image in Philly? Where’s the Motown and Disco sound that let those of us white people with no rhythm have a pass at dancing? Who is speaking to the soul and the conscience of America now? Where are you, soul poets? We need you to answer with original music, not the cover tunes of old. Bring us a fresh sound. Show us the way. Speak to our souls, reach deep, and answer the challenge of the times like the artists of old.
The poetry of the soul is an amazing thing. It makes you move, touches you deeply, and throttles the heart to move and beat. Where are you, soul poets? Show up. Be counted on. Give us the music that our hearts are longing for. Beat to us in sultry, melancholy, joyous, defiant, conscious pricking, and loving ways. Wax and wane within our hearts. We need your music, we need you to bring the salve that this troubled world cannot.
We have seen a lifetime of blood, racism, abuse, drugs, alcohol, sex, politics, and indifference. We long for the music to take us away one more time. To score with our adult children and pierce their children. We need your music to take the pain away and to be able to endure one more day. Whether you are Ella, Frank, Sarah Vaughan, the Stones, Beatles, Elvis, or Gladys Knight and the Pips we need you! We need your content, thoughts, and soulful commentary to meet our souls in the most object of times. Come, sing to us, pour forth, and bring the salve the so many crave despite our political, social, and racial bents. Touch us, Unite us. Bring us closer as only music can do. Master our souls with the voices of the ancients and bring us rest.
We have lost our way and music is the only thing that will reunite us. Music, you conjure, woo, speak to us in ways the noise of the world cannot. You generate that deep beating of the soul that unites with others despite our differences. Come music, come, woo your way with us. We need you once again! Forget your differences listen to the music and let it carry you to peace, mutual respect, and sheer joy!
Monty Carter, Storyteller
Greer, SC 29651
Images: medium.com, history.com