Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Coming up: "State of the Union: The American Dream in Crisis 1967-1973"

Out Nov. 9. Pre-order from Amazon now.


By mid-1968 there was a growing consensus that something had gone horribly wrong with the American dream.

The nation’s youth had loudly made their feelings clear, but now the older, pre-Beatles generations began to look at the country – with urban riots, Vietnam, and the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy – and wonder what the hell was happening. 

This album includes rare classics (The Beach Boys’ ‘Fourth Of July’), lost masterpieces (Roy Orbison’s seven-minute ‘Southbound Jericho Parkway’), and forgotten gems by some of the biggest names in the business (Elvis Presley’s ‘Clean Up Your Own Back Yard’). 

Reactions to America’s existential crisis ranged in subject matter from divorce (Frank Sinatra’s ‘The Train’) and the break-up of the nuclear family (The Four Seasons’ ‘Saturday’s Father’), to eulogies for fallen heroes (Dion’s ‘Abraham Martin and John’), sympathy for Vietnam vets (Johnny Tillotson’s ‘Welfare Hero’), the church’s institutional racism (Eartha Kitt’s intense ‘Paint Me Black Angels’), and even questioning the ethics of the space programme (Bing Crosby’s terrific ‘What Do We Do With The World’).

Compiled by Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs, State Of The Union follows on from their highly acclaimed English Weather and Paris In The Spring compilations. With clear parallels between today's fractured country and the USA fifty years ago, this is a fascinating condensation of what Americans were thinking when they turned on the TV, or the radio, or simply walked down Main Street in 1968.

  1. CLEAN UP YOUR OWN BACK YARD - Elvis Presley
  2. BRAND NEW DAY - Della Reese
  4. THE TRAIN - Frank Sinatra
  5. SATURDAY'S FATHER - The 4 Seasons
  6. 4TH OF JULY - The Beach Boys
  7. WINE IN THE WIND - Anita Kerr & The Anita Kerr Singers
  8. WHAT DO WE DO WITH THE WORLD? - Bing Crosby
  9. LORD OF THE MANOR - The Everly Brothers
  10. HITCHHIKER - The Four Preps
  11. PAINT AMERICA LOVE - Lou Christie
  12. MR BUSINESSMAN - Ray Stevens
  13. PAINT ME BLACK ANGELS - Eartha Kitt
  15. QUESTIONS - Bobby Darin
  16. THIS CRAZY WORLD - Paul Anka
  17. TAKE A LETTER MARIA - Mel Torme
  18. CHERRYSTONES - Eugene McDaniels
  19. SOME PEOPLE SLEEP - The Tokens
  21. DO YOU BELIEVE THIS TOWN - Dean Martin
  22. WELFARE HERO - Johnny Tillotson
  23. SAVE THE CHILDREN - Teresa Brewer
  24. REVOLUTION - The Brothers Four

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