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The Decline of Hippie Music

Many of the best of the 60s rockers found their careers floundering in the mid-70s to the late 70s as the music scene turned to punk and adult contemporary music. Where had the fun-loving hippie tunes gone? Few people during the mid-70s to the late 80s would have admitted to listening to Donovan, the Monkees, Bob Dylan, or any of the other hallmarks of the 60s (except perhaps the Beatles, who never go out of style). The problem was thought to be an embarrassment about the mellow music of the 60s, but perhaps it was something more- perhaps it was embarrassment at the naivet´┐Ż.

When asked what turned her away from the music of the 60s, a baby boomer recently said, "We were wearing ratty clothes and believing what the music taught us. We believed that it was all about the music and being with friends. Meanwhile, the people singing those songs were living in mansions. There were a lot of us living in communes while the people teaching us about being hippies were being waited on hand and foot. But, we didn't know it back then."

How many other baby boomers are there who felt betrayed by their musical idols? The time for hippie music came and went, as baby boomers grew older and more cynical. But, in the late 80s, the music of the 60s came back into fashion and brought it to an entirely new audience. The late 80s also started a trend toward rehashing old groups in the form of pretender groups such as the "New Monkees." The new bands that were fabricated to replace the old ones were nowhere near as innovative or talented as the original bands were. This in turn lead to a resurgence of the original folks themselves. The ones who had made it through alive began touring again and even putting out new albums.

Today, most of the big players from the 60s and 70s that are still living are getting on in years but are nonetheless talented players who draw crowds in the tens of thousands when they play. Recent tours by the Rolling Stones, Donovan, the Moody Blues and the Temptations are generating millions as well as introducing new fans to the music of another era.


Time Life has a new, enormous collection of hippie music- the
Flower Power CD set. Packed full of the best of the 60s, it's the only set to have all of the best hits in one neat little package.

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