Washington Park

A Protest against Slow Music

Changing culture in the 1950s

My second source brings us to Washington Park. Also during the 1950’s (1957 to be specific), a free concert was held; however, the teenaged girls at the concert did not care for the music because it was too slow. They protested by throwing rocks at the band playing during the concert. Many adults were outraged, as the concert was free, but many parents understood. They knew their daughters preferred more fast-passed music to dance to. In Theresa Richardson’s presentation on the youth counter culture after World War II, she explains this outrage among young girls toward slow music. She writes about the counter culture during this time period and the causes. She writes that after the war, the youth’s experiences were changing. They wanted to be less responsible and less like adults. Not only that, but society was thriving during this time. These girl’s parents probably grew up in the years of the Great Depression and World War II (or even World War I). This was a peaceful time, where society was thriving and rationing was a thing of the past (Richardson, 2012).
Even more influential, these children had spending money to go out and be youths. She writes about the “need” to consume. Children were also able to drive and vote as teenagers, which may have led to a feeling of control and power over their life. In this way, they did not have to “grow up” as quickly as their parents did (Richardson, 2012). Charles F. McGoven, a professor at the College of William and Mary, writes that rock music was born in the 1950s and soon became the “sound of young America.” It was criticized as advertising delinquency, as well as sex. In addition, many rock and roll artists collaborated with races other than their own; leading to listeners of different races (McGoven). Perhaps these reasons drew the rebelling youths to this type of music, and this type of protest.

Street Address:

Washington Park [map]

Cite this Page:

“Washington Park,” Albany Walks for Health, accessed November 17, 2019, http://www.albanywalksforhealth.com/items/show/155.


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