episode date - June 12, 2007
It was forty years ago today (more or less). As you may already know, each weekly episode of American Hit Radio celebrates an anniversary of popular music. Sometimes we look back fifty years, sometimes forty, sometimes thirty, sometimes twenty, and sometimes an even ten.
For the month of June, in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Summer of Love, we will spend each Tuesday looking back at music from that summer forty long years ago.
June 1967 was a time when music began to experience a radical shift that permanently altered the way we think of ‘popular’ music. By far, the biggest arbiter of change was “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” Released in the first week of June, “Sgt. Pepper” was the Beatles’ eighth album, and the first to be released after they vowed to stop touring. Compared to previous efforts (but definitely NOT when compared to today’s snail-like pace), it took the band a significant amount of time to complete the record. Upon its release, it changed everything in its wake. The simple teen songs that once defined rock and roll were rendered obsolete, replaced with ornate melodies and elaborate orchestrations, and often full of obscure, artful references, perhaps even poetry. The new music bore literally no resemblance to the classic rock and roll that influenced the Beatles at the start of their careers. For the first time, society as a whole viewed ‘popular’ music, notably the new style of rock and roll music, as an art form.
Roll over Eddie Cochran, tell Buddy Holly the news.
For today’s show, we feature “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” in its entirety, with a few comment s thrown in from time to time. We hope you enjoy the program.
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