Greenwich Village: Music That Defined A Generation

Greenwich Village

Did you write the book of love.
And do you have faith in God above.
If the Bible tells you so? — Don McClean

Greenwich Village: Music That Defined A Generation, opened in Manhattan last night. The film by Laura Archibald is about the Greenwich Village music scene and how it sparked political, social and cultural changes. It highlights the greatest folk singers, songwriters, authors and performers from Greenwich Village and how they collectively became the voice of the Baby Boomer generation. The film features rare footage, new performances and interviews and of course, music.

Greenwich Village

Greenwich Village was the birthplace of the singer/songwriter who wrote and sang songs about love and relationships. Between 1961-1973, many musicians in The Village came together to sing about the radical social upheaval of the time. They sang about civil rights, Vietnam and the government, and they promoted peace and harmony. Their passive protest in Washington Square in 1961 resulted in riot squads that attacked and arrested singers and civilians. It was cited as the first freedom of speech revolt and made Greenwich Village a beacon of hope for an entire generation.

I have to wonder where they are all now? Wearing flip-flops and hanging out on the beach with Jimmy Buffet? Still smoking dope? Why aren’t they singing in the streets now? Maybe they got tired.

I’m looking forward to seeing this documentary, although a couple things I’ve learned about it are disappointing. Joan Baez and Simon and Garfunkel are not featured in the film even though they were a huge influence on folk music and were a big part of the Greenwich Village music scene.

Featured artists include:

Arlo Guthrie
Ben Taylor
Buffy Sainte-Marie
Carolyn Hester
David Amram
Don McLean
Doug Yeager
Eddie Brennan
Eric Andersen
Happy Traum
Ian Tyson
Israel Horovitz
John Doherty
John Flynn
John Sebastian
Jose Feliciano
Judy Collins
Kenny White
Kris Kristofferson
Lucy and Carly Simon
Michelle Phillips
Oscar Brand
Owen Elliot
Paul Colby
Pete Fornatale
Pete Seeger
Peter Yarrow
Sonny Ochs
Steve Earle
Susan Sarandon
Sylvia Tyson
Terri Thal
The Chapin Sisters
Tom Bernardin
Tom Chapin
Tom Paxton

Click here to read the New York Times Review of Greenwich Village: Music That Defined a Generation.


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  1. says

    Me, I think they are living in gated communities in Las Colinas, Texas and Orange County, California clipping bond coupons and relishing their defined benefit pensions and medicare. Not that I am bitter about it or anything.

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