Serene Sunday: Hair

Good morning star shine!  For some reason songs from Hair are stuck in my head… hmmm, wonder why?  Particularly one mentioned by our Fitzg.  So, Fitg, this is *your* fault.  Let’s see what the venerable Wiki has to say:

“Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical is a rock musical with a book and lyrics by James Radoand Gerome Ragni and music by Galt MacDermot. A product of the hippie counter-culture and sexual revolution of the 1960s, several of its songs became anthems of the anti-Vietnam War peace movement. The musical’s profanity, its depiction of the use of illegal drugs, its treatment of sexuality, its irreverence for the American flag, and its nude scene caused much comment and controversy. The musical broke new ground in musical theatre by defining the genre of “rock musical”, using a racially integrated cast, and inviting the audience onstage for a “Be-In” finale.  Hair tells the story of the “tribe”, a group of politically active, long-haired hippies of the “Age of Aquarius” living a bohemian life in New York City and fighting against conscription into the Vietnam War.

After an Off-Broadway debut in October 1967 at Joseph Papp’s Public Theater and a subsequent run in a midtown discothèque space, the show opened on Broadway in April 1968 and ran for 1,750 performances. Simultaneous productions in cities across the United States and Europe followed shortly thereafter, including a successful London production that ran for 1,997 performances. Since then, numerous productions have been staged around the world, spawning dozens of recordings of the musical, including the 3 million-selling original Broadway cast recording. Some of the songs from its score became Top 10 hits, and a feature film adaptation was released in 1979. A Broadway revival opened on March 31, 2009, earning strong reviews and winning the Tony Award and Drama Desk Award for best revival of a musical. In 2008, Time magazine wrote, “Today Hair seems, if anything, more daring than ever.”

Bet you didn’t know all that.   Here I was confusing it with Oh! Calcutta!, another musical infamous for full frontal nudity.  I recall wanting to see Hair as a child but my parents heard about the naked cast climbing over the seats, so that was vetoed.

A popular group in the 1960’s, the 5th Dimension recorded two songs together  from the musical, Aquarius and Let in the Sunshine.  Released in 1969, the single held the number one position on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 for six weeks and was certified Platinum.   Wow, I feel old.


7 thoughts on “Serene Sunday: Hair

  1. I love those songs — especially Good morning Starshine!  I sing it a lot! 🙂  I can’t sing the Fifth Dimension songs as well.  They go a bit high for me.  Yep, I feel old too. *Sigh*

    Have you see Angie’s RA slideshow to Hair?  It’s a lot of fun! 🙂

    Thanks for the musical interlude!

  2. Back in my “salad days” they wrote music! But wait – De Storm is drowning out the metal headbangers! There’s hope.

    Oh Calcutta – didn’t grow enough HAIR to cover themselves. But, inspried by everyone’s favourite Vicious Theatre Crtitic – Kenneth Tynan. (Always a black lining, panned by dyspeptic Clive Barnes, a sure way to bring in the bums on seats…)

  3. The “Sense of the 60s” English composition class that I had at uni watched the movie version of Hair. I fell in love with the musical then & there. (Though I already knew & loved the 5th Dimension’s version of “Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In.”)

    So, is it just me, or is “Sodomy” one of the prettiest songs from the musical? 😉

  4. lol, trinalin! Liberating ’60s! Or not. Never Hippie nor flower child, or morphing to Yuppie, moi, but living back then, just take what  applies from “messages”. Then, as now, media messages and images….V ! And V in our corner of RA world.

  5. I haven’t seen the musical but my mom frequently tells me that she associates “Aquarius” with my birth. (I was born that year.)

  6. Ahhh … one of the favorites of my youth!  🙂  (Yes, I’m that old.)  Aquarius was a personal favorite because I am one. 🙂  fitzg, I was a wannabe flower child/hippie …  really too young to do anything, but, like you, I took to heart the messages that had meaning for me.

    The 5th Dimension was a staple in my record-playing days. 😀 Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine along with Stone Soul Picnic and Wedding Bell Blues, to name a few.  *sigh*  Hubby (my MusicMan) will put together a 5th Dimension playlist once in awhile, just so we can reminisce.  Always fun …

    Thanks for the walk down memory lane, judiang! 🙂

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