Week 12. Sitcom Families: The Ricardos, Petries, & Mansons in the Atomic Coldwar
Week 12. Great Balls of Fire: American Westerns & Rock ‘n’ Roll
- Jack Hamilton, Just Around Midnight: Rock and Roll and the Racial Imagination(Harvard University Press, 2016).
- Film: Don Siegel, Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
- Film: John Ford, The Searchers (1956)
- *Bruce, Lenny, Blah Blah Blah and obscenity conviction clips (1961)
- *TV Episode: Dick Van Dyke Show, Season 3, Episode 1 “That’s My Boy” Original Airdate September 25, 1963. [Streams on Netflix]
- *Class Playlist and House Un-American Activities Committee Clips
- *Clip, “America” from Robert Wise, West Side Story (1961) [Below]
Rosie the Riveter Propaganda Song from World War II
“America” from West Side Story
House Un-American Activities Committee Multimedia during the Great Depression & Cold War
Above is a quick overview of the House Un-American Activities Committee History
Above is a talk show interview with John Wayne in the 1970s reflecting back on the Anti-Communist Hollywood Blacklists and his role in American Westerns during the Cold War
Above: Oral history clips taken from actors and screenwriters impacted by the Hollywood blacklist
Above, James Earl Jones performs an excerpt of Civil Rights leader and musical theater/ cinema star Paul Robeson’s House Un-American Activities Committee Interrogation
Baseball in the Great Depression & WWII
Weekly Assignments And Upcoming Deadlines
- Select an early Rock ‘n’ Roll song recorded in the United States between 1945 and 1960 that we have not discussed in class to date and see where you can find traces of its historical life. Can you find a newspaper review of the song written at the time? A concert poster from that specific era? An interview about it? Post your song below in the comments along with its archival trail, and provide an analysis of both 1) its lyrical and musical content and 2) its historical context. Things to possibly investigate include the significance of the record label it’s on, how the song was distributed, how it was received, if it was meant for a segregated or integrated audience, the technology used to record the song, if there are hired studio background singers, what instruments are used, etc. How does early Rock sound different or similar to you compared to more iconic bands that dominated the 1960s?
- For extra credit / to make up a previously missed weekly assignment: Watch and write a response to the Oscar-winning documentary film Morgan Neville, Twenty Feet from Stardom (2013). Your response should discuss how the film intersects with major class themes.