Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Soundtracks: Songs That Defined History


Music perhaps isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think about the most traumatic or galvanizing events of modern times. An image or an influential person probably is. But over time, such events become imbued with music, a phenomenon explored in “Soundtracks: Songs That Defined History,” an eight-part documentary series that begins Thursday, April 20, on CNN.
The first episode centers on the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968. It looks first at how music helped drive the civil rights movement, then at how it expanded King’s message after his murder, the patience of “We Shall Overcome” giving way to more insistent forms like hip-hop. Episode 2 takes up the terrorist attacks of September 2001, with artists like Kix Brooks, Billy Joel and Paul Simon talking about how their songs were used for healing or for affirmation of American resilience. Later subjects include the fall of the Berlin Wall, the women’s rights movement and the Vietnam War.

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