1965-1970 Research Paper

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2. Using two examples of different female performers, describe how changes in the role of women in American society were reflected in popular music between 1965 and 1970.

The 1960’s were a time for people to express themselves and break out of social norms in their everyday life. But this also was a time for women to break norms and change their role in both society and music during 1965-1970. One woman who was breaking many norms in the musical world at the time was Janis Joplin. The performance in particular that sent her into stardom was her performance at the Monterey Pop festival. Joplin was performing a cover of Big Momma Thorton’s song “Ball and Chain” with her band at the time Big Brother and the Holding Company. Joplin sings the old blues song with such vigor and emotion that people didn’t expect to see from a woman, especially a white woman. African American women had more leeway in the way they performed, allowing them to express themselves individually without being under as much
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Southern Soul also started in the early 1960’s and was pioneered by the record company Stax Records. The sound of Southern Soul focused more on the “groove” of the music rather than the lyrics, which was caused by the heavy influence Southern Soul had from gospel music. One of the most famous Southern Soul artists was Otis Redding. Otis Redding signed with Stax records and put out his debut album for them in 1964. Redding also embodied one of the main differences between Motown and Southern Soul; not conforming. Arguably Redding’s most famous song, “The Dock of the Bay”, was disliked by Stax records. They thought it wasn’t with the style of Southern Soul and even his own band thought it might stray away from the reputation they were trying to build. Redding died in a plane crash just three short days later. This song stands as a testament to him expressing himself how he sees fit, not to conform or play to his

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