Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Monday, February 10, 2014

Monday Musings: Emotional over the Beatles? Why?

        This weekend, the media was filled with documentaries and stories about the Beatles coming to America 50 years ago. It was February 7, 1964. I have been glued to the radio and TV, hungry for the sound and the photos from back then and tearing up more than I want to admit. 
On Sunday, Parade magazine devoted a good portion of the issue to this phenomena. An essay by Chris Matthews helped me understand a little of why I was so emotional. President Kennedy was assassinated in November, 1963. It was only three months later the British invasion began with the Beatles arrival in the U.S. As a 14-year-old girl, I was distraught over the assassination and filled with despair. The Beatles were so alive, so talented, so witty and so adorable. And their songs, in the beginning anyway, were for the most part, happy. They brought back hopefulness.
In a decade filled with civil rights violence and a foreign war nobody wanted or understood, music helped balance the emotional turmoil. Musicians like Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins, Peter, Paul and Mary, Pete Seeger (and the rest of the folk music scene), along with the Beach Boys, The Four Seasons, and of course the British music, voiced what many of us were feeling and couldn't articulate. John Lennon's Imagine asked us to envision what a world would be like without war. Bob Dylan's Blowin' in the Wind touched on the same subject.
Music has soothed my soul, from the time I was a small child hiding in my room listening to records to drown out my parents fighting. But I'd never made the connection to the turbulence of the sixties and how music helped a generation get through it.

  Thanks to all the songwriters and singers who made a tough time a little bit easier.



Anonymous said...

The 60's was my era also Karen, wonderful music and memories go hand in hand. A great write Karen thanks for sharing.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

They brought a joyful escape when it was very much needed.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I really wish I could travel back in time and see them in a live performance...

Karen Walker said...

Yvonne, I know, we love the same music!
Alex, yup, they sure did
Keith, me, too - I never got to see them perform live.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

There's never been anything like it since then, either. I was born in 66, so I completely missed the Beatles.

~Sia McKye~ said...

I was in elementary school when the Beatles hit. I have to admit, I didn't pay much attention to them and couldn't understand why many classmates and their older sibs were so over the moon with them. :-) Honestly liked other music better at the time. Still, they did have the impact of a bomb on a generation or two.
But I did love many of the folk singers. Simon and Garfunkle were favs of mine at the time. Joan Baez and Peter, Paul, and Mary, too. My parents loved the Beach Boys and The Rolling Stones and I loved their music as a kid.

Music does indeed help one get through many things. Great emotional tool. I always say, you can take away my TV and I could care less, but don't touch my music or my books, lol!

Sia McKye Over Coffee

Pk Hrezo said...

Oh absolutely! The 60s and 70s especially have that music that speaks for a generation. So so important. That's why I love that kind of classic rock and pop. There was a message, not just a desire to make money.
Thanks so much for your support Karen! :)

Karen Walker said...

That's true, Diane. There has never been anything like them since.
Sia, ooh, I forgot Simon and Garfunkel in my post - loved loved loved them.
Pk, you are very very welcome.

Arlee Bird said...

I agree with you. That era holds so many wonderful memories for me and most of them have to do with the music. I was surprised on Saturday morning when a old friend from junior high called me saying that all the Beatles hoopla had reminded him of all the times we used to hang out together and I got him hooked on the music of the Beatles. I guess the 50th anniversary has tapped into the memory banks of many in our generation.

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Bish Denham said...

Here, here. And... I think we grew up during the best time for rock, when it was fresh and new. We got to see it evolve.

Robin said...

I think music has always reflected the reality of the times. That is why each decade the musical styles are so different. What was happening in the 60s was different from the 70s versus the 80s, the 90s, and so on. If we want perspective on the decade, listen to the music. It existed to voice what we couldn't any other way.

Isis Rushdan said...

I wouldn't want to live in a world without music. I connect more with music from the 70's, but every decade has artists worth treasuring.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I found that article in Parade yesterday very interesting! I hadn't realized their US debut was so near Kennedy's death. It sounds as if it were a wonderful time for something more upbeat.

Karen Walker said...

Lee, how wonderful that an old friend got in touch as a result.I guess it has tapped into a stream of consciousness kind of memory
Bish, yup, we sure did.
Robin, I hadn't thought about that, but it's probably true as well.
Isis, me neither
Elizabeth, yeah, I didn't realize the events were so close together.

mooderino said...

It's amazing to think how four boys from Liverpool changed the world. i think it also felt very genuine and unmanipulated, unlike a lot of today's popular stars.

Moody Writing

Jemi Fraser said...

Imagine is such a powerful song - one of my favourites! I find it interesting that tough times seem to bring out such powerful artists!

Carol Kilgore said...

Lots of great music from those years. "I Love You, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah" :)

Anonymous said...

I was born in '75, and even though I like a lot of Beatles songs, I sometimes feel like I don't get what the fuss was about. Maybe that's because I grew up with the musicians who had been inspired by the Fab Four, who had learned as much as they could from them.

Jack said...

That is true. Music does help, a lot. I've found the same thing with myself, when things are really bad it helps to listen to songs I've really come to love. It seems to make things better.