Rolling Stones Altamont Banquet

Rolling Stones Altamont Banquet

It is an extraordinary  Rolling Stones bookend: December 6, 1968 and December 6, 1969. The Stones released Beggars Banquet on the former date. The album was a return to a more rock sound than the previous Satanic Majesty's Request  of 1967.

Rolling Stones Altamont Banquet

Rolling Stones Altamont Banquet

The more popular the band, the more they seemed to attract media criticism and those bands rewarded the critique with more to criticize. The first cover, the cover that the record companies immediately dismissed, was a dirty bathroom wall full of  graffiti. It was always a Rolling Stones banquet of needling their detractors.
Rolling Stones Altamont Banquet
rejected cover for Beggars Banquet

Altamont Free Concert

1969. The year of so many festivals crowned with the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. And exactly one year after the Stone's Beggars Banquet release, it was time for Woodstock's odd uncle: the Altamont Free Concert, at the Altamont Speedway in northern California. The Rolling Stones organized it with themselves headlining along with Santana, The Flying Burrito Brothers, The Jefferson Airplane, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. The Grateful Dead refused to play shortly before their scheduled appearance due to the increasing violence at the venue.
That violence, captured in the film Gimmie Shelter by by Albert and David Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin , shows how attempts to control the crowd failed.

From Wikipedia: At one point Jefferson Airplane...Marty Balin is knocked out by a Hells Angel; Paul Kantner in response: "Hey, man, I'd like to mention that the Hells Angels just smashed Marty Balin in the face, and knocked him out for a bit. I'd like to thank you for that." To which a Hells Angel sitting on stage grabs a microphone, and replies: "You're talking to my people. Let me tell you what's happening. You, man, you're not happening!"   (click for full article>>> Wikipedia article on Gimme Shelter)

Montgomery Alabama December 1955

Montgomery Alabama December 1955

Alabama, for better or worse, is typically seen as the the epicenter of the late 20th century's civil rights movement. Of course, what happened there had happened or was also happening in other states. Rosa Parks, her refusal to yield her seat, the subsequent fine, and the bus boycott were a recipe for other strategies. Here's Montgomery December 1955.

Montgomery December 1955

Montgomery Alabama December 1955
Martin Luther King, Jr in front of boycotted bus.
Monday 5 December 1955: The courts found Rosa Parks guilty and fined her for refusing to give up her seat a city bus. The Montgomery Bus Boycott, organized by Martin Luther King Jr., began on this day. Most of the 50,000 African Americans living in Montgomery supported the boycott by walking, bicycling and car-pooling. The one-day boycott was so successful that the organizers met on Monday night and decided to continue. They established the Montgomery Improvement Association to organize the boycott and elected the King  as president. Jo Ann Robinson served on the group’s executive board and edited their newsletter. [NYT article re the start of the boycott>>>Montgomery Bus Boycott]
Montgomery Alabama December 1955
Thursday 8 December 1955 : Black taxi drivers charged ten cents per ride, a fare equal to the cost to ride the bus, in support of the boycott. When city officials learn of the tactic an order went out to fine any cab driver who charged a rider less than 45 cents.(NYT article re refusal to settle boycott>>>No settlement]
December 17, 1955: Martin Luther King, Jr and other Montgomery Improvement Association representatives met with white leaders in an unsuccessful attempt to resolve the bus dispute. The boycott, initially launched as a one-day statement of protest, had been going on for nearly two weeks at this point.
December 30, 1955: Montgomery Mayor W. A. Gayle urged Montgomery citizens to patronize city buses or risk losing the bus company's business. [NYT article re ongoing boycott and price increase>>>January. Boycott continues.]
Montgomery Alabama December 1965
On June 5, 1956, a lower federal court ruled that any law requiring racially segregated seating on buses violated the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. That amendment guarantees all citizens, regardless of race, equal rights and equal protection under state and federal laws.

Montgomery Alabama December 1965

 

The city appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. On November 13 it ruled that bus segregation was unconstitutional. The city appealed certain parts of the decision, but on...

Montgomery Alabama December 1965

December 17, 1956 the court refused to reconsider its ruling. On December 20 the Montgomery Improvement Association voted to end the boycott and on December 21 the boycott ended. It had lasted 381 days.

	

December 5 Music Contrasts

December 5 Music Contrasts

What was #1 on Billboard sometimes offers an interesting contrast and December 5 in the 60s does just that. From Bonanza‘s TV star Lorne Greene singing his cowboy song Ringo, to the fresh-faced California Beach Boys in concert, to a group of “hippies” singing about confusion and distrust of the status quo.

December 5 Music Contrasts

Lorne Greene
December 5 Music Contrasts
Lorne Greene on Bonanza
December 5 – 11, 1964: “Ringo” by Lorne Greene #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. A "one-hit-wonder" the song only stayed at #1 for a week. Lorne Greene stuck around as a successful actor much longer.

Though there was an acgtual outlaw Johnny Ringo, the song's story is not an accurate one.  The country song became a hit on both the pop and easy listening charts before the country charts. That was unusual.  Don Robertson and Hal Blair wrote the song.  

The fact that a certain very popular band had a very popular drummer by the same name encouraged RCA to release the song.

Beach Boys

December 5 Music Contrasts
Beach Boys 1965
December 5, 1964 – January 1, 1965:  The Beach Boys Beach Boys Concert was the Billboard #1 album. It would stay there nearly a month. Brian had not yet decided to go psychedelic.

The concert album was not quite as "live" as one would have thought. Vocals are overdubbed. Most of the album was part of a 1964 Sacramento concert (as advertised), but a couple of the songs were from December 1963.  There were other studio enhancements as well. 


Keep in mind that Beatlemania and the British Invasion were at their height by December 1964, but the Beach Boys' popularity kept this album #1 for four weeks!

Buffalo Springfield

December 5 a contrast in music
Dewey Martin, Jim Messina, Neil Young, Rich Fury, and Stephen Stills
December 5, 1966 – On this date, the Buffalo Springfield recorded “For What It’s Worth." It will be released on January 9, 1967.  They did not write it as an anti-war song, but it became one nonetheless and an anthem to many of the Baby Boomer generation.

For a larger explanation about the song's origins, see Sunset Strip Riots

A very thorough piece on the song >>> For What It’s Worth, explained

 

What's so funny about peace, love, and activism?