Pop, Race, & the ’60s episode 5: Sly and the Family Stone and the Rolling Stones
Sly and the Family Stone's "Family Affair" (1971), The Rolling Stones' "Brown Sugar" (1971): Scott Poulson-Bryant, award-winning journalist and cofounder of Vibe magazine, joins Slate pop critic Jack Hamilton to talk about the end of the 1960s, as reflected in the music of Sly and the Family Stone and the Rolling Stones. They listen to songs from the dawn of the 1970s, when both groups were at turning points: “Hot Fun in the Summertime,” which sees Sly Stone complicating his upbeat integrationist pop with darker themes, and “Brown Sugar,” perhaps the most confounding moment in the Stones’ troublesome career.
Pop, Race, & the ’60s episode 4: Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin
Jimi Hendrix's "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" (1968) and Big Brother and the Holding Company's "Ball and Chain" (1968): In this episode, Slate pop critic Jack Hamilton talks to Ann Powers, critic and correspondent for NPR Music and a former critic for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and Blender, about Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin: the only black artist regularly featured on classic rock radio, and one of the only women in the boys’ club of ’60s rock. How do these two virtuosos complicate the standard narrative of the rock revolution?
Pop, Race, & the ’60s episode 3: The Beatles and Motown Records
The Beatles' "Money (That's What I Want)" (1963) and Stevie Wonder's "We Can Work It Out" (1960): In this episode, Slate pop critic Jack Hamilton talks to Oliver Wang, associate professor of sociology at CSU-Long Beach, and pop-charts expert Chris Molanphy about the trans-Atlantic relationship between the Beatles and Berry Gordy's Motown empire. The Beatles included three Motown covers on their second album, and plenty of Motown artists returned the favor. What do these covers tell us about the relationship between black pop and the British invasion? What really happened between Elvis joining the Army and the Beatles arriving in the U.S.? And do we live in the Beatles' world, or Motown's?
Pop, Race, and the ’60s episode 2: Aretha Franklin and Dusty Springfield
Aretha Franklin's "Respect" (1967) and Dusty Springfield's "Son of a Preacher Man" (1968): In the second episode of Pop, Race, and the ’60s, our latest Slate Academy, Slate pop critic Jack Hamilton talks to Emily Lordi about two soul singles, two singers, and the meaning of the contested term "soul."
This Slate Academy is part of your Slate Plus membership. To find out more and to join our private Facebook group, visit slate.com/popacademy.
Pop, Race, and the ’60s episode 1: Bob Dylan and Sam Cooke
Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind" (1963) and Sam Cooke's "A Change is Gonna Come" (1964): In the first episode of our new Pop, Race, and the ’60s Slate Academy, Slate pop critic Jack Hamilton talks to Barry Shank, author of The Political Force of Musical Beauty, about two immensely famous protest songs. Where did Dylan get the melody for “Blowin’ in the Wind”? What makes “A Change Is Gonna Come” so beautiful? And why is Dylan perhaps the most written-about musician of his era while Cooke has been neglected? This Slate Academy is part of your Slate Plus membership. To find out more and to join our private Facebook group, visit slate.com/popacademy.