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How the Beatles Rocked the Kremlin

Monday, May 13, 2013

Leslie Woodhead reveals how the music of the Beatles played a major role in waking up an entire generation of Soviet youth, opening their eyes to 70 years of bland official culture and rigid authoritarianism. In How the Beatles Rocked the Kremlin, he writes about how, in the USSR, music fans risked repression to hear the Beatles, and the Beatles and the bands they inspired helped break down the walls of Soviet culture.

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Leslie Woodhead
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Comments [3]

Joe Mirsky from Pompton Lakes NJ

Wait til They Hear Rock and Roll

The American Federation of Musicians vowed never to play ragtime music at their national meeting in 1901. Ragtime was considered low music by some and was sometimes attacked with a whiff of racism.

The Commissioner of Docks in New York City forbade it in summer pier concerts and the Superintendent of Vacation Schools in New York would not allow ragtime in school music programs.

Thomas Preston Brooke, conductor of the Chicago Marine Band made music history in 1902 by giving a ragtime only concert at the Cincinnati Zoo, which was so popular he gave two ragtime concerts a week after.
Brooke gave a passionate defense of ragtime in the Chicago Tribune in 1902, saying that ragtime was not a fad, that it “pleases the God-given sense of rhythm”, and it will last “for centuries to come after we have been forgotten."

May. 13 2013 12:59 PM
Heather Cross from Brooklyn, NY

This interview is fascinating... I was on a cultural exchange in Tver, Russia in 1996 for several weeks and the high school students were absolutely obsessed with the Beatles song "Today"

May. 13 2013 12:56 PM
sanych

I am afraid Mr. Woodhead gives Beatles too much credit.

The simple fact that he stated himself is that ALL Western culture was banned or discouraged.

My explanation is that like anywhere there are people who like Beatles and some who like Rolling Stones and Mr. Woodhead was focusing on the later ones.

BTW, for me it was Gloria Gayner...

May. 13 2013 12:51 PM

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