Musically-Built Racial Freedom?

I feel so fortunate to have grown up in a period of time where music of all kinds was delivered on the radio leaving behind the race card. At least for me it was? It was in the early to mid 60’s, long before the segregation of the day had a chance at destroying the innocence of it all. I know segregation was alive and well during that time, but somehow many musicians didn’t  cop to it. I miss that kind of deposit to my being, though I get a taste of it listening to a 60’s and 70’s oldies station.


Whether it was Little Richard, Elvis, The Beatles, Rolling Stones and so many others, we had it all. Even after getting my driver’s license and trying to afford gas and insurance at the age of 16, doing a paper delivery route that unfortunately was a losing deal, the joy to be on the road at 4 in the morning hearing music that even included performers my parents liked, made it an enjoying time.

I, at this point must reveal that I was as white-bread as could be, growing up in a small eastern Washington state town that unfortunately was very conservative and predominately white-bread too. Thankfully the tunes we got to hear were not all necessarily that way either, they must have been piped in from San Fransico or parts unknown to me, but I loved it.

The Ed Sullivan Show also was a great weekly program that broke  with the racial prejudice that at the time was one of the saddest periods to live in. His show was a break from the rest of the pathetic stuff going on and a chance to see some of the greatest performers ever, regardless of color.

The privilege to watch some of the greatest Soul groups like the Four Tops not only singing but dancing in a synchronized  fashion, let’s face it fans, we were treated to history on B&W TV. Makes one wonder a bit where Michael Jackson picked up some of his moves, Ya think?

I don’t know if there will ever be another time in history concerning music such as what we witnessed back then. So much has changed, a different station for every conceivable difference in musical style now exists. I think it almost makes us prefer one over the other more because of it. It’s so easy to become so selective now. Changing channels on the radio is so quick, some of us don’t even have to do much at all. With our pre-set channels of our favorites, we have made a conscious decision that our selective choices in music far outweigh the chance to hear  artists we had no idea they even existed. Time doesn’t go backward, I know, but I miss some of the old days, with limited choices, but unlimited  surprises!.