The reason that the singer-songwriters were so popular is because they really related to people of the younger generations in the fact that they were shying away from typical social traditions in relation to marriage and love. Some of the important factors and qualities were that they believed that there are no real soul mates in the world and that people can fall in love with more than on person on their life. They also wrote a lot of break-up songs to talk about how younger teens and adults could learn about their faults in past relationships and could make the next one work better. In previous generations people believed that you got married and were supposed to be happy forever. "You're So Vain" was a very popular song during this time period because most people thought that men always thought songs were about them because they thought they were so much better. Did some people's parents forbid them to listen to some of this type of music because they disagreed with what the lyrics were portraying?
During this time period, the singer-songwriters that found fame tended to be more radical and reflected the mindset of the listeners. Many viewers wanted to rebel against their parents. They no longer wanted to be restricted by rules, but wanted to create their own personal lifestyle which emulated who they wanted to be. In the article, it explains that singer-song writers showed that there were no perfect match or soul mate. This was reflective of a time where many used to be ashamed of divorce. Now the music culture was exhibiting people's desire to live a life for themselves, and not for tradition.
I think there are a couple of reasons why singers and songwriters were becoming popular in the early 1970's. The younger generations were starting to use music as a mode of change. In the article by Judy Kutulas, she writes, "Music was the most fully realized part of the counterculture experience," and then goes on to say, "It undermined authority, loosened inhibitions, and dramatized peer experiences." I think this explains perfectly why they became so popular. Music was a way of differentiating themselves from their parents generation in a time of rapid change in the United States. The younger generation used music to get across their thoughts and feelings without just stating them upfront, whether it was about peace and war or love and sex, all topics that might not have been the most comfortable to talk about before. For the songs we listened to in class, I think Woodstock describes this idea in both the lyrics and the rhythm of the music.
In the advertisement from Woodstock there is a large emphasis being yourself, and singer-songwriters might have been seen as more genuine to the audience at the time since they didn’t have someone writing their music for them. This freedom revealed itself in the lyrics of the songs because the artist could communicate their genuine feeling on even the most controversial topics, such as with Bob Dylan when he writes about how times are changing and there is nothing anyone can do about it. This desire for tings to change might be seen as anti-authorial and the older generations, especially those who went though World War II where to whole country was united though authority, would not necessarily approve of this message.
Members of the baby boom generation were raised to conform but during the sixties maybe "revolutions" in varying degrees altered their personal goals. White, college educated middle class boomers were able to experience periods of exploration and temptations through the sexual revolution and the women's movement. The major factor that reinforced the popularity of singer-songwriters was because the songs were about liberation and political revolution and not about an "idealist love life" songs like "Where's It Gonna Get Me". Donald Horton statistic stated that 83% of all popular songs were about love with the largest number focused on "courtship". These songs embodied the woman's typical role in society and we saw a shift in the 1970's when women empowerment and liberation started to become popular these songs just weren't relatable anymore.
The popularity of singer-songwriters of the early 1970s can be attributed to the culture at the time. The “free to be you and me” generation was made up of individuals who sought freedom and radical counterculture also known as “hippie culture.” This is why Woodstock was so popular along with the artists associated with it like Joni Mitchell and Crosby, Stills, and Nash. These artists’ lyrics and sound captured the thought and feelings of a generation. This new music culture was radically different from the time period before it where most songs, especially by female singers, centered on getting married and finding love as the only end goal. Instead, these artists sang about love as a by-product of freedom and finding one’s self. This music revolution was so popular and has had such lasting effects that we still listen to these classics by these artists today, and in fact, the “hippie music culture” is on the rise again today with modern day music festivals and indie artists.
Singer-songwriters in the 1970s were somewhat different than the previous decades. The singers of this time wanted to be different from their parents. They had different opinions on premarital sex. These people were the baby boomers and also part of many revolutions. They were the change of views people had as seen through Bob Dylan’s “Times They are a-Changin.” His lyrics talk about how the times are changing, and if you do not start swimming you will sink like a stone. A female singer-songwriter of this time usually did not sing about their "typical roles." During this time feminism was getting popular, and they were showing that through their music. Also, during this time people were confused about love. Many songs reflected this such as "You're So Vain."
Singer-songwriter’s popularity during the early 1970s could be explained by numerous things, but what stands out the most to me is their subjects and themes. 1970’s songs, particularly Woodstock era songs, were very anti-war and promoted “free-love”. Most young Americans opposed the war in Vietnam and the violence that came with it, as well as establishments and traditions (such as abstinence until marriage) set forth by their ancestors. Young Americans used the lyrics and music of popular songs to as a means to express how they felt towards the war and establishments. I believe the songs in this decade became more than just jaunty tunes, but vehicles to express ones views on current events and the happening around them.