Tag Archives: Vietnam

A Quick One Before I Go: VE Day and Travel

8 May

Today we celebrate the 67th anniversary of VE day. Tomorrow I travel to the U.S. capital, and then take a taxi to National Harbor, Maryland, for a conference I must attend for work. Thus, I am feeling a little patriotic as this Tuesday work day comes to a close, and before I wrap up my stay in the office and bid you all adieu until next week (I may or may not have a chance to post until then), I want to leave you all with a little pride. What better way to celebrate a war victory than with “Ballad of the Green Berets.”

Songs often viewed as proud American classics tend to be jingoistic. “Ballad of the Green Berets,” in typical army fashion (as it is sung by a true staff sergeant who was recuperating from a leg wound suffered as a medic in Vietnam) is straight forward. Like a command, it tells the story of the brave men of the Green Berets, a U.S. special operations force.

The lyrics to this #1 hit that stayed at that spot for five weeks in 1966 were written by Robin Moore (he wrote “The French Connection” which mostly everyone knows as the movie). The lyrics were written in honor of Green Beret James Gabriel, Jr, the first native Hawaiian to be killed in Vietnam.

Electric Music of Barry Melton

14 Jun

Barry Melton may not be easily recognizable in the sea of 1960’s psychedelic guitarists, but his influence on the genre should not be understated. Melton co-founded and played lead guitar for the late 60’s psychedelic juggernaut Country Joe and the Fish, best known for the famous perversion of their own “f-i-s-h” chant at Woodstock. Melton celebrates his 64th birthday today.

Like stated above, most people know of Country Joe and The Fish because of their iconic Woodstock performance. This was the pinnacle of the band’s success and lifted them on a pedestal for the anti-Vietnam campaign. But in the popularity of The Fish’s chant followed by “I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin-To-Die Rag, many listeners do not get the full range of the band’s talent. The Fish played an eclectic form of moving psychedelic folk and blues that was both efficient and enjoyable. Barry “The Fish” Melton contributed to the band’s underrated sound and for that we thank him.

Check out some early Fish from their debut album Electric Music for the Mind and Body. This is “Love.”

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