Pre-Homecoming Symposium, Oct. 10-11, 2018
Homecoming at Colorado College is always special, but this year, there’s another reason to return to campus. Preceding Homecoming festivities, the Class of 1968 will host for all members of the CC community a two-day, mini-symposium devoted to the music and movements that defined the 1960s. It’s hard to remember those times without recalling the songs and demonstrations that were part and parcel of those tumultuous years in American social and political history. We’ll use the music of 1964-68 to examine the era’s impact on CC and celebrate the CC faculty and administrators who so long ago championed CC’s annual all-college symposiums.
Highlights include:“Soundtrack for a Revolution,” a documentary film introduced by producer and CC Assistant Professor Dylan Nelson. “Soundtrack for a Revolution” tells the story of the American civil rights movement through its powerful music — the freedom songs protesters sang on picket lines, in mass meetings, and in jail cells as they fought for justice and equality. It features new performances of the freedom songs by top artists; archival footage; and interviews with civil rights foot soldiers and leaders. Freedom songs evolved from slave chants, from the labor movement, and especially from the Black church. Music enabled Blacks to sing words they could not say, and it was crucial in helping the protesters as they faced down brutal aggression with dignity and non-violence. The infectious energy of the songs swept people up and empowered them to fight for their rights. This film celebrates the vitality of this music.
Author and lecturer Richie Unterberger (three sessions): “1, 2, 3, What Are We Fighting For? Rock, Soul & the War in Vietnam”; “People Get Ready: The Civil Rights Movement and Soul Music”; and “Girl Groups, Soul Queens, and Psychedelic Sirens: Women in 1960s Rock and Soul Music.” Unterberger will discuss the impact of music on many of the era’s social and cultural movements. His books, “Turn! Turn! Turn!: The 1960s Folk-Rock Revolution,” and its sequel, “Eight Miles High: Folk-Rock’s Flight from Haight-Ashbury to Woodstock,” cover the birth and growth of folk-rock. The innovations of giants such as the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, Simon & Garfunkel, the Lovin’ Spoonful, and Bob Dylan are covered as are the contributions of lesser-known heroes, from Tim Buckley, Fred Neil, and Ian & Sylvia to the labels, producers, session musicians, managers, and fans that helped make the music happen.
Craig Werner ’73: “For What It’s Worth: The Soundtrack of the Sixties.” Werner teaches Afro-American Studies and American cultural history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominating committee and a documentary contributor, his teaching awards include the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and the English Graduate Student Association’s Teaching Excellence Award. His book, “We Gotta Get Out of This Place: The Soundtrack of The Vietnam War,” was Rolling Stone’s 2015 Book of the Year. Before he joined CC’s first Block Plan cohort, he played in the Colorado Springs rock band Armageddon and covered Tiger football and hockey for the Colorado Springs Sun.
“Free to Rock,” a film produced by Nick Binkley ’68. “Free To Rock” is a multi-award-winning documentary film directed by four-time Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Jim Brown and narrated by Kiefer Sutherland. It captures the dramatic — and at times even humorous — story of how rock and roll was feared and repressed by the Soviet authorities, making it all the more popular and the ultimate symbol of freedom across Eastern Europe.