Mudcat Café message #4080287 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #31329   Message #4080287
Posted By: GUEST,henryp
19-Nov-20 - 05:18 PM
Thread Name: Vietnam era protest songs
Subject: RE: Vietnam era protest songs
[Buffy St Marie] attended the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where she studied philosophy (with an Asian focus) and education. She received a bachelor’s degree in 1962. Sainte-Marie began performing her songs in coffeehouses during her college years, and after graduation she moved to New York City to take part in the bohemian arts scene of Greenwich Village. (Britannica) Sainte-Marie wrote Universal Soldier in 1962, a time when people fretted over missile gaps. (

The college vocal harmony group The Highwaymen were first to record The Universal Soldier in 1963. (They had already had a gold record in 1961 with Michael [Row The Boat Ashore].) (Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame) The Highwaymen ?– Universal Soldier / I'll Fly Away Label: United Artists Records ?– UA 647 Format: Vinyl, 7", 45 RPM, Single, Styrene, Mono Country: US Released: Sep 1963. (Discogs)

In 1963, an obscure Louisiana-based country singer called Bob Necaise released ‘Mr. Where is Viet-Nam’. It was the first record made in the United States to allude to the Vietnam War in its title and highlighted that, according to opinion polls, most Americans paid little or no attention to the developing conflict in Indochina, which would consume their nation for 20 years. (History Today) However, the date of 1963 is disputed on; MISTER, WHERE IS VIET NAM? w & m Robert Necaise. 2 p. © Robert Necaise; 10Jun71; EU259064. Definitely 1971, unless it was re-issued. Anyway the only copyright filings were in 1971. Nothing before that.

One of the earliest notable protest songs of the JFK-era was published in the New York folk magazine Broadside on 20 September 1963, two months before Kennedy’s assassination. ‘Talkin Vietnam’ by Phil Ochs criticised the government for ‘training a million Vietnamese, to fight for the wrong government, and the American way’. It also attacked South Vietnam’s Catholic president Ngo Dinh Diem for his one family rule and suppression of the majority Buddhist population: ‘families that slay together, stay together’. However, songs that focussed solely on opposing the Vietnam conflict were uncommon until 1964. The turning point was the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. (History Today)