Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Simon and Garfunkel: **^Songs of America (to mmboe)


This is a documentary presentation put together and Simon and Garfunkel in 1969, giving them a platform to express their ideas of what was going on around them.  This was a very troubled time in our history.  It had been a few years since President Kennedy had been assassinated, and more recently had seen the assassinations of Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King, as well as the shooting of George McGovern.  As a result, Simon and Garfunkel decided to respond to what they were seeing in the news.  This documentary is the result.  As they started working on it, it was going to be sponsored by AT&T.  However, as they previewed the documentary they decided to back out as it was too political, and too one sided. In the end it was sponsored by a toothpaste company with a statement at the end indicating they thought these two young men deserved a platform because of their success in music. 
This documentary presents views of President Kennedy, Martin Luther King,Cesar Chavez and Bobby Kennedy, to the music "Bridge Over Troubled Water."  It showed life pictures of their stories, and except for Cesar Chavez, showed their funeral trains.
Bridge over Troubled water is very well done.  The first two verses are presented with Art Garfunkel and piano.  On the third verse Paul Simon and an orchestra.  Having the orchestra carry the piano notes at the end is very effective and very moving. 
Paul Simon talks about his feelings with regards to Woodstock.  They then sing "Scarborough Fair" as their depiction of the mood of Woodstock.  The visual overlaps scenes of the Vietnam War.  Art Garfunkel shares his feelings of war.
A quote form Coretta Scott King introduces the song "El Condor Pasa (If I Could):"

 I must remind you that starving a child is violence; suppressing a culture is violence; neglecting schoolchildren is violence; punishing a mother and her family is violence
This documentary 

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