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The beliefs, values, behavior, and material objects that constitute a people’s way of life.
Purchased, used, or accepted broadly rather than by a tiny fraction of a population or market; common, usual, or conventional.
Any culture whose values and lifestyles are opposed to those of the established mainstream culture, especially to western culture.
Modern American Marxist political groups are examples of countercultures — they promote a worldview and set of norms and values that are contrary to the dominant American system.
Counterculture is a sociological term used to describe the values and norms of behavior of a cultural group, or subculture, that run counter to those of the social mainstream of the day, the cultural equivalent of political opposition. Counterculture can also describe a group whose behavior deviates from the societal norm.
In the United States, the counterculture of the 1960s became identified with the rejection of conventional social norms of the 1950s. Counterculture youth rejected the cultural standards of their parents, especially with respect to racial segregation and initial widespread support for the Vietnam War.
As the 1960s progressed, widespread tensions developed in American society that tended to flow along generational lines regarding the war in Vietnam, race relations, sexual mores, women’s rights, traditional modes of authority, and a materialisticinterpretation of the American Dream. Hippies became the largest countercultural group in the United States. The counterculture also had access to a media eager to present their concerns to a wider public. Demonstrations for social justice created far-reaching changes affecting many aspects of society .
The counterculture in the United States lasted from roughly 1964 to 1973 — coinciding with America’s involvement in Vietnam — and reached its peak in 1967, the “Summer of Love. ” The movement divided the country: to some Americans, these attributes reflected American ideals of free speech, equality, world peace, and the pursuit of happiness; to others, the same attributes reflected a self-indulgent, pointlessly rebellious, unpatriotic, and destructive assault on America’s traditional moral order.
The counterculture collapsed circa 1973, and many have attributed its collapse to two major reasons: First, the most popular of its political goals — civil rights, civil liberties, gender equality, environmentalism, and the end of the Vietnam War — were accomplished. Second, a decline of idealism and hedonism occurred as many notable counterculture figures died, the rest settled into mainstream society and started their own families, and the “magic economy” of the 1960s gave way to the stagflation of the 1970s.
Source: Boundless. “Countercultures.” Boundless Sociology. Boundless, 03 Jul. 2014. Retrieved 29 Nov. 2014 from https://www.boundless.com/sociology/textbooks/boundless-sociology-textbook/culture-and-socialization-3/culture-worlds-32/countercultures-204-8929/
The 1960’s were a time of upheaval in society, fashion, attitudes and especially music. Before 1963, the music of the sixties still reflected the sound, style and beliefs of the previous decade and many of the hit records were by artists who had found mainstream success in the 1950s, like Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, Dion, and The Everly Brothers. In 1963 and the years to follow, a number of social influences changed what popular music was and gave birth to the diversity that we experience with music today. The assassination of President Kennedy, the escalation of the war in Vietnam and the forward-progress of the Civil Rights Movement all greatly impacted the mood of American culture and the music began to reflect that change. The “British Invasion” also began around 1963 with the arrival of The Beatles on the music scene and the type of rabid fandom that followed them would change the way people would view and interact with music and musicians forever. In this section we will cover the history of the “British Invasion”, Motown and R&B, Folk and Protest music, and the large amount of variation that emerged in Rock music throughout the sixties.
Popular Music Genres of the 1960’s
Surf Rock and Psychedelic Rock
Roots Rock and Hard Rock
Folk Rock and Protest Music
The Beatles, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Cream, The Yardbirds, Donovan, Manfred Mann, The Kinks, Herman’s Hermits, Tom Jones, Dusty Springfield, The Animals The Marvelettes, The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, The Four Tops, The Drifters, The Temptations, The Miracles, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight & the Pips, The Spinners, Aretha Franklin The Beach Boys, The Ventures, The Champs, The Doors, The Grateful Dead, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Jefferson Airplane, Jan and Dean, The Kingsmen, The Trashmen Janis Joplin, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Steppenwolf, Roy Orbison, Procol Harum, The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Animals, The Band, The Troggs Bob Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, The Mamas & the Papas, Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills & Nash, The Lovin’ Spoonful, The Byrds, The Turtles, Gordon Lightfoot, Peter, Paul and Mary The Persuasions & The Heartaches & The Concepts & The Five Jades & The Notations & The Chessmen & The Five Sharks & The Royal Counts & The Zircons & The Five Fashions & The Del Capris & The Shells
The “British Invasion” is the name given to the period of time in the early to mid-1960’s, during which many British rock bands and pop artists found mainstream success in the United States and worldwide. Many of these bands first started by covering American songs and showcasing an American Rock ‘n’ Roll and R&B influence in their sounds. As these bands gained popularity, many of them ventured into new music territory and created their own unique styles. The one band that comes to mind when speaking of the British Invasion is The Beatles, who first broke into the US music scene in 1963, but really became popular in 1964 after appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show. The Beatles dominated worldwide charts from that point in time until they broke up in 1970. The phenomenon that surrounded them was known as Beatlemania and many up and coming music acts emulated their “Liverpool Sound”. The band holds many musical records to this day reflecting album sales and number one singles and they’re music remains some of the most popular of all time. They can be easily described as the most influential group of the 1960’s. Some other notable British Invasion acts include The Rolling Stones, The Animals, The Who, Herman’s Hermits, Tom Jones, and Donovan, some of whom reached comparable success levels to the Beatles but had different influences on music all together.
The Very Best of Herman’s Hermits The Rolling Stones: Hot Rocks 1964 – 1971 The Best of The Animals The Very Best of the Yardbirds
Motown And R&B
The “Motown Sound” and popular R&B music had a major significance in terms of the Civil Rights movement and integration in American society during the sixties. Motown started as a Detroit-based record label in the late fifties and early sixties, but it quickly turned into much more as the acts gained popularity worldwide. Motown records consisted mainly of African-American groups, singers, songwriters and management and their musical and business success proved in breaking down the barriers of segregation and granted African-American performers and musicians a chances to reappropriate much of the success that had been credited to white rock ‘n’ rollers and pop artists who had success in singing “black music” during the previous decade. Two of the most influential groups to come out of the Motown sound were Smokey Robinson and the Miracles and Diana Ross and the Supremes, both of which had as much chart success as any of the rock groups that dominated the airwaves during the sixties. The success of Motown also paved the way for R&B singers and groups who were not necessarily a part of the movement to also enjoy mainstream success. Some other popular Motown and 60’s R&B artists include The Temptations, The Marvelettes, The Four Tops, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, and the Jackson Five.
The Definitive Collection: Smokey Robinson and The Miracles The Supremes Gold The Essentials: The Drifters The Very Best of Aretha Franklin: The 60’s
Rock And Its Subgenres
While rock ‘n’ roll music entered the popular music spectrum in the 1950s, rock music really came into its own in the 1960s. Rock music dominated the popular music scene during the decade and as the genre grew and changed, many diverse and new subgenres emerged, all tied to original rock but each with their own unique style and purpose. These specific subgenres also had varying levels of popularity throughout the decade and many are still popular today. Quite a few rock bands and musicians oscillated between these genres depending on what was popular at the time and used it as a way to experiment with finding their own true sound. Some of the rock subgenres that we will touch upon are surf, psychedelic, roots, and hard rock. It is important to remember that the specific artists we discuss in these various sections often fall into more than one category and it is up for debate amongst their fans what genre they best represent. We have tried our best to categorize these artists and realize there was much cross-over during the decade.
Surf Rock and Psychedelic Rock
Surf rock began in Southern California as a type of dance music that was mostly instrumental and it became quite popular in the early to mid sixties, until the British Invasion took over the music scene. The subject matter for surf rock was quite literally surfing, however, that expanded as the genre grew in popularity to songs about girls, cars and general teenage antics. The most influential and popular group to come out of the genre were The Beach Boys, whose vocal harmonies and well-crafted compositions came to define the genre. The Beach Boys were one of the only bands to come out of the genre and sustain their success. Some other important surf rock acts include Jan and Dean, The Ventures and The Champs.
The Beach Boys Greatest Hits Volume 1 The Essential Jefferson Airplane Experience Hendrix: The Best of Jimi Hendrix The Best of The Kingsmen
Psychedelic rock was popular during the latter half of the 1960s and reached its peak at the end of the decade. Psychedelic music was associated with the hippie counter-culture and hallucinogenic drug use and it was created with the intention of “enhancing” the experience of listeners who were using LSD or other mind-altering substances. The lyrics were often strange and made reference to drugs and bands would often use instruments that were not usual, like the sitar, tabla, harpsichord and organ. There was much experimentation in the sound and much of it was influenced by Eastern and Indian music. Psychedelic rock along with Folk rock became two of the most recognizable sounds associated with 1967’s “Summer of Love” phenomenon. Many popular rock bands experimented with this genre, including The Beatles, The Doors, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Jefferson Airplane, Cream, Pink Floyd, and The Yardbirds.
Roots Rock and Hard Rock
Roots rock emerged in the mid to late 1960s as a combination of several genres and subgenres of rock music that were popular at the time. Roots rock combined elements of folk music, blues, country and rock ‘n’ roll. And, the genre was exemplified by its “back to basics” sound. Bob Dylan is thought to have pioneered the genre with the release of his 1966 album Blonde on Blonde that demonstrated what roots rock was to become. Many of the most popular bands of the time joined the “roots revival” and crafted albums of their own that featured and experimented with a roots sound. Some of the bands that created music in the style of this broad genre included The Rolling Stones, The Doors, The Beatles, The Band, and Creedence Clearwater Revival.
The Essential Janis Joplin The Very Best of The Doors The Who: Greatest Hits The Best of The Troggs
Hard rock took the elements of rock ‘n’ roll and made them heavier as the genre formed in the middle of the decade. The sound is characterized by more aggressive tones and delivery. Hard rock vocalists are identified by their higher range and distinct and often raspy voices. The music was influenced heavily by blues rock, garage rock, and rhythm and blues. This style became associated with rebellious youth and an anti-authority demeanor, with a few acts even destroying their own instruments on stage (like The Who). Due to their hard-partying lifestyles, many musicians that were a part of the hard rock scene developed drug and alcohol problems. As a result of these problems, quite a few influential musicians died at a young age from substance abuse or accidents related to substance abuse like Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. Notable hard rock bands form the 1960s include The Who, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks and Steppenwolf.
Folk Rock And Protest Music
Folk rock came onto the scene as a popular genre in the mid-sixties and much of it grew out of the protest movements that were active during those turbulent times. Much of the folk rock and protest movement was born out of the emerging group of singer-songwriters that were influenced by the folk musicians of the 1930s. Bob Dylan became one of the most prominent songwriters of the decade with many popular groups such as The Byrds and Peter, Paul and Mary covering his songs successfully. Dylan even saw success as a solo performer and was recognized by his unusual voice. This genre was characterized by its melodic sound and did not necessarily have to connect to the protest movements at the time, although lyrically a lot of the folk rock contained protest messages.
The Essential Simon and Garfunkel Retrospective The Best of Buffalo Springfield The Essential Bob Dylan The Best of The Mamas and the Papas
Protest music was distinctly different in that it always had a message and was not confined to the sound and style of folk rock. This music was often a reaction to social injustice, cultural changes, and news events. And, in many cases, it brought awareness to the younger generation who would then join the protest, therefore growing the movements. This genre was not necessarily specific to certain artists either, as many mainstream musicians decided to contribute to the cannon with their own feelings. For example, R&B and Soul singer Same Cooke wrote and recorded “A Change Is Gonna Come” in 1963, a song that became an anthem for the Civil Rights movement in America, along with others like Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” and James Brown’s “Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud” from 1963 and 1968 respectively. Another issue that protest music was used to address was the war in Vietnam and its escalation during the decade. As more and more American troops were being sent to Vietnam with virtually no progress being made, an anti-war movement began to gain steam in the mid-sixties and protest music accompanied it. Some examples of anti-Vietnam songs were Pete Seeger’s “Waist Deep in the Big Muddy from 1967, The Door’s “The Unknown Soldier” from 1968, and Bob Dylan’s “Masters of War” from 1963. Both folk music and protest music were connected to the “hippie” movement at the time and greatly influenced and were influenced by the feelings of freedom, love and peace that characterized the hippies. Some examples of folk rock and protest musicians from the 1960s include Peter, Paul and Mary, Cat Stevens, Buffalo Springfield, Simon and Garfunkel, and Pete Seeger.
The Golden Age of Acappella 1963-1973 exploded in urban America along the acappella corridor that stretched from Boston to Philadelphia; a regional sound that captured the heart and minds of young people in the inner cities. The birth of Acappella as a new urban music genre began in New York City in a small record shop called Times Square Records run and operated by Irving “Slim” Rose. The term Acappella was the word that Slim Rose came up with to promote music that was made without music. Recordings made without music was played on the radio by vocal groups, vinyl acappella records were sold in record stores and Acappella Shows drew hundreds of teenagers throughout New Jersey and New York. Thus a new urban sound created a niche in the music industry competing with Motown, British Invasion, folk and many other musical genres. Acappella became the starting point and catalyst for oldies radio programing, reissues of records of the late 40’s and 50’s and the preservation and promotion of rhythm and blues vocal groups. Amid the social and cultural revolution taking place during the 1960’s acappella as a whole rose above ethnic and racial barriers and became a dynamic musical movement in American history. I would like to thank Abraham Santiago who wrote the paragraph about Acappella Music for us If you would like to find out much more about the subject please visit http://www.ricocreative.com/harmonyreview.htm
The Chessmen Album Cover The Heartaches Album Cover Poster For 1st Acappella Review Show in New York
Music Festivals And Their Influence
The sixties was a decade in which music festivals flourished, especially at the end of the decade. The Monterey Pop Festival took place in 1967, and featured some of the most popular rock musicians of the time and was one of the first heavily attended rock festivals. Many of the most popular acts of the decade had their first major American appearance at this festival like Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and The Who. The Woodstock Music and Art Fair of 1969 represents one of the most iconic events of the sixties and is thought of as the culmination of the social revolution that took place during those times. It was a free concert that lasted for three days and showcased some of the most iconic musicians of the time. It is thought to have exemplified the popularity of the hippie counter-culture with an estimated 500,000 attendees reveling in free love, peace and rock music.
Top Songs Of The 1960s
Popular songs from the Sixties Decade, arranged by year but in no particular order. Do you remember listening to these songs on the radio?
The Twist- Chubby Checker
It’s Now or Never – Elvis Presley
Georgia On My Mind – Ray Charles
Teen Angel – Mark Dinning
Save the Last Dance For Me – The Drifters
Cathy’s Clown – The Everly Brothers
Walk, Don’t Run – The Ventures
Stand By Me – Ben E. King
Blue Moon – The Marcels
Please Mr. Postman – The Marvelettes
The Wanderer – Dion
Calendar Girl – Neil Sedaka
At Last – Etta James
The Lion Sleeps Tonight – The Tokens
Surfin’ Safari – The Beach Boys
Sherry – The Four Seasons
Return to Sender – Elvis Presley
You’ve Really Got a Hold On Me – The Miracles
Love Me Do – The Beatles
Green Onions – Booker T. & the M.G.s
I Can’t Stop Loving You – Ray Charles
She Loves You – The Beatles
Louie Louie – The Kingsmen
Surfin’ USA – The Beach Boys
It’s My Party – Lesley Gore
Be My Baby – The Ronettes
Hey Paula – Paul & Paula
Ring of Fire – Johnny Cash
Twist and Shout – The Beatles
House of the Rising Sun – The Animals
I Want to Hold Your Hand – The Beatles
Oh, Pretty Woman – Roy Orbison
Where Did Our Love Go? – The Supremes
The Way You Do the Things You Do – The Temptations
You Really Got Me – The Kinks
Like A Rolling Stone – Bob Dylan
(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction – The Rolling Stones
My Generation – The Who
My Girl – The Temptations
The Sound of Silence – Simon & Garfunkel
Mr. Tambourine Man – The Byrds
Help! – The Beatles
Good Vibrations – The Beach Boys
Yellow Submarine/Eleanor Rigby – The Beatles
When A Man Loves A Woman – Percy Sledge
Wild Thing – The Troggs
Uptight (Everything’s Alright) – Stevie Wonder
Monday, Monday – The Mamas and the Papas
These Boots Are Made for Walkin’ – Nancy Sinatra
A Whiter Shade of Pale – Procol Harum
For What It’s Worth – Buffalo Springfield
I’m A Believer – The Monkees
Light My Fire – The Doors
All You Need Is Love – The Beatles
Happy Together – The Turtles
Somebody to Love – Jefferson Airplane
All Along the Watchtower – The Jimi Hendrix Experience
(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay – Otis Redding
Chain of Fools – Aretha Franklin
What A Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
Piece of My Heart – Big Brother & The Holding Company (Janis Joplin)
Hey Jude – The Beatles
White Room – Cream
Sugar, Sugar – The Archies
In The Year 2525 – Zager and Evans
Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In – The Fifth Dimension
My Way – Frank Sinatra
Whole Lotta Love – Led Zeppelin
Space Oddity – David Bowie
Bad Moon Rising – Creedence Clearwater Revival
Some hits from the 60’s
Apache The Shadows 1960
The Lion Sleeps Tonight The Tokens 1961
Please Mr. Postman The Marvelettes 1961
Return To Sender Elvis Presley 1962
She Loves You The Beatles 1963
I Want To Hold Your Hand The Beatles 1963
Baby Love – The Supremes 1964
The House Of The Rising Sun – The Animals 1964
I’m Into Something Good – Herman’s Hermits 1964
I Got You Babe Sonny & Cher 1965
Wild Thing The Troggs 1966.
Good Vibrations The Beach Boys 1966
These Boots Are Made For Walkin Nancy Sinatra 1966
A Whiter Shade Of Pale Procol Harum 1967
Lily The Pink Scaffold 1968
I Heard It Through The Grapevine Marvin Gaye 1969
Honky Tonk Women The Rolling Stones 1969
Something In The Air Thunderclap Newman 1969
In The Year 2525 Zager & Evans 1969
Bad Moon Rising Creedence Clearwater Revival 1969
Charles “Hank” Bukowski
nobody has the strange and
hidden power, nobody is
exceptional or wonderful or
magic, they only seem to be
it’s all a trick, an in, a con,
don’t buy it, don’t believe it.
the world is packed with
billions of people whose lives
and deaths are useless and
when one of these jumps up
and the light of history shines
upon them, forget it, it’s not
what it seems, it’s just
another act to fool the fools
there are no strong men, there
are no beautiful women.
at least, you can die knowing
and you will have
the only possible
TO SET THE MOOD MUSIC -THE BRITISH INVASION
ENGLAND IN THE 60’S ARTICLE 1
Ancient elegance and new opulence are all tangled up in a dazzling blur of op and pop.
For a few years in the 1960s, London was the world capital of cool. When Time magazine dedicated its 15 April 1966 issue to London: the Swinging City, it cemented the association between London and all things hip and fashionable that had been growing in the popular imagination throughout the decade.
ENGLAND IN THE 60’S ARTICLE 2
London’s remarkable metamorphosis from a gloomy, grimy post-War capital into a bright, shining epicentre of style was largely down to two factors: youth and money. The baby boom of the 1950s meant that the urban population was younger than it had been since Roman times. By the mid-60s, 40% of the population at large was under 25. With the abolition of National Service for men in 1960, these young people had more freedom and fewer responsibilities than their parents’ generation. They rebelled against the limitations and restrictions of post-War society. In short, they wanted to shake things up…
Added to this, Londoners had more disposable income than ever before – and were looking for ways to spend it. Nationally, weekly earnings in the ‘60s outstripped the cost of living by a staggering 183%: in London, where earnings were generally higher than the national average, the figure was probably even greater.
This heady combination of affluence and youth led to a flourishing of music, fashion, design and anything else that would banish the post-War gloom. Fashion boutiques sprang up willy-nilly. Men flocked to Carnaby St, near Soho, for the latest ‘Mod’ fashions. While women were lured to the King’s Rd, where Mary Quant’s radical mini skirts flew off the rails of her iconic store, Bazaar.
Even the most shocking or downright barmy fashions were popularised by models who, for the first time, became superstars. Jean Shrimpton was considered the symbol of Swinging London, while Twiggy was named The Face of 1966. Mary Quant herself was the undisputed queen of the group known as The Chelsea Set, a hard-partying, socially eclectic mix of largely idle ‘toffs’ and talented working-class movers and shakers.
Music was also a huge part of London’s swing. While Liverpool had the Beatles, the London sound was a mix of bands who went on to worldwide success, including The Who, The Kinks, The Small Faces and The Rolling Stones. Their music was the mainstay of pirate radio stations like Radio Caroline and Radio Swinging England. Creative types of all kinds gravitated to the capital, from artists and writers to magazine publishers, photographers, advertisers, film-makers and product designers.
But not everything in London’s garden was rosy. Immigration was a political hot potato: by 1961, there were over 100,000 West Indians in London, and not everyone welcomed them with open arms. The biggest problem of all was a huge shortage of housing to replace bombed buildings and unfit slums and cope with a booming urban population. The badly-conceived solution – huge estates of tower blocks – and the social problems they created, changed the face of London for ever. By the 1970s, with industry declining and unemployment rising, Swinging London seemed a very dim and distant memory.
In 1965 My best friend Linda and I were walking barefoot along Tower Bridge when we came face to face with Harold WIlson, he smiled and walked on. We giggled, flabbergasted that he would acknowledge a couple of hippies.
A WALK ACROSS TOWER BRIDGE
“WHEN IN DOUBT DRINK TEA” Ana Christy
GAREY BUSEY’S CONTROVERSIAL INTERVIEW WITH HOWARD STERN
GARY BUSEY MUSIC VIDEO “ALL THESE YEARS”
GAREY BUSEY -HOW TO INTERVIEW BY HUNTERS.THOMPSON ON FILM
GREATEST MOMENT OF GARY BUSEY ON FILM
Gary Busey was born in the east coast Texas town of Goose Creek (now Baytown) on June 29, 1944 and grew up in Tulsa, OK, where his father worked in construction. A born entertainer, Busey’s first outlet was music, and he constructed a drum set out of oatmeal canisters before driving his family truly crazy with a set of Ludwigs. He also sang at the Christian camp where he spent summers and broadened his interests to include acting after he was mesmerized by a matinee of Cecil B. DeMille’s “Samson and Delilah” (1949). As a teen, Busey cultivated an athletic build while working on local ranches and excelled at football, landing an athletic scholarship to Pittsburg State University in Kansas. When a serious knee injury sidelined his sports aspirations, Busey turned his attention to drama, eventually joining the theater department at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. While a student there in 1966, Busey co-founded a bluesy rock band called Carp. After several years of playing local parties and biker bars, they headed to Hollywood in search of a record deal, landing one with Epic and releasing a self-titled album in 1969. When Carp failed to generate much commercial success, most of the band’s members went on to become studio musicians, while Busey took advantage of his new locale to revive his earlier acting efforts.
Busey landed his first small screen role in a 1970 episode of the Western “The High Chaparral” (NBC, 1967-1971) and the following year made his big screen debut as a hippie in the low budget Roger Corman biker flick “Angels Hard as They Come” (1971). In 1972, he returned to Tulsa, where he became a regular performer on a local sketch comedy show and appeared in the locally filmed “Dirty Little Billy” (1972) before snaring a high profile role alongside Jeff Bridges in “The Last American Hero” (1973), about NASCAR racer Elroy Jackson, Jr. That same year he earned the unusual pop culture distinction of being the last character ever to die on “Bonanza” (NBC, 1959-1973). Busey joined the fine supporting cast (including Bridges, again) of Michael Cimino’s feature directing debut “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot” (1974) before enjoying a brief stint as series regular Truckie Wheeler of “The Texas Wheelers” (ABC, 1974-75). Busey returned to the music business in 1975 touring as drummer for Oklahoma songwriter Leon Russell, who had first become a fan of Busey through his popular Tulsa TV character Teddy Jack Eddy. Busey also played drums on Russell’s classic album Will o’ the Wisp that year, in addition to recording with The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Kinky Friedman, and contributing the song “Since You’ve Gone Away” to Robert Altman’s epic film “Nashville” (1975).
Busey’s music background proved key to truly igniting his film career. His turn as the road manager who keeps Kris Kristofferson in line in “A Star Is Born” (1976) brought him his first widespread attention, though his title role in “The Buddy Holly Story” (1978) made him a star. Busey had always felt a special spiritual kinship with the iconic Texas songwriter-guitarist who died tragically young in an icy plane crash, and his spot-on portrayal of the man and his music earned Busey a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his efforts. Despite his highly acclaimed leading role, Busey’s ensuing career consisted mainly of charismatic supporting roles, his potential possibly compromised by a new cocaine addiction that he would battle for decades. He was convincing as a small time carnival hustler in the atmospheric road movie “Carny” (1980) and provided able country boy-support as the protégé of a legendary outlaw (Willie Nelson) in the well-received “Barbarosa” (1982). In one of his rare appearances in a comedy Busey played one of a crew of misfit taxi drivers in “D.C. Cab” (1983) and also contributed the song, “Why Baby Why” to the soundtrack.
His sports prowess and ability to crank up the high-drama masculine energy made for strong performances as Alabama State football coach Paul Bryant in “The Bear” (1984), and as a baseball playing icon in “Insignificance” (1985), Nicolas Roeg’s gloriously cinematic examination of fame in America. But Busey’s highest profile role of the era was as a nasty drug dealing Vietnam vet in “Lethal Weapon” (1988). His Mr. Joshua had ice in his veins, and though the ruthless albino killer was the actor’s first screen villain, it would certainly not be his last. Busey would go on to make a name for himself with supporting characters that were truly terrifying. His career was interrupted, however, by a motorcycle accident in 1988 that fractured his skull. The actor received a lot of press during his recovery for defending his choice not to wear a helmet and for his claim of a roadside, near-death experience. Doctors feared Busey had suffered brain damage, and his increasingly strange ramblings and pseudo-philosophy while making public appearances seemed to support that theory.
Busey returned to the screen to co-star with Danny Glover in the minor sc-fi hit “Predator 2″ (1990) and the absurd but blockbusting caper/extreme sports hybrid “Point Break” (1991) starring Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves. He was a little too good as the disturbed former psychiatric patient in the routine thriller “Hider in the House” (1991) and continued his villainous run as the evil thug plotting to steal nuclear weapons in Steven Seagal’s mega-hit actioner “Under Siege” (1992). Busey enjoyed a supporting role as a private investigator in the legal thriller “The Firm” (1993) before returning to the sports genre with a co-starring role as an aging pro baseball player in the light “Rookie of the Year” (1993). Busey’s role as a former DEA agent in John Badham’s 1994 actioner “Drop Zone” was ironic, as the actor was shortly thereafter arrested for drug possession, suffered a drug overdose, and spent time in rehab at the Betty Ford Center. Newly sober, Busey became an enthusiastic born-again Christian and ordained minister active with the Promise Keepers men’s group. But just as the unpredictable actor seemed to be gaining a new lease on life, he averted disaster yet again when he was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in his sinus cavity.
After recuperating from surgery and radiation treatment, Busey seemed poised to resume his improved Hollywood standing, landing in a remake of the TV series “Hawaii Five-O” (CBS, 1968-1980), but the show’s pilot was reportedly a disaster and the project never moved forward. Busey rebounded with a starring role in the well-received Spanish-American war miniseries “Rough Riders” (TNT, 1997) and enjoyed cameos in art house flicks “Lost Highway” (1997) and “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” (1998) before a pair of arrests for domestic violence charges filed by ex-wife Tiani Warden and a string of dismal low-budget films reduced Busey’s name to a pop culture curiosity, known more for the mug shot seen ’round the world than for the promise he had once shown as an actor. Embracing his new reputation, Busey began to appear as an oddball artifact on “The Man Show” (Comedy Central, 1999-2004) and Howard Stern’s radio show before cementing his tarnished image as the center of Comedy Central’s “I’m with Busey” reality show (2003). Over 13 uncomfortable episodes, Busey shared his off-kilter wisdom of the world with alleged fan and buddy Adam de la Pena. It was unclear whether Busey’s bizarre philosophical outbursts and explosive behavior were due to a mental unraveling or whether he was amping up the crazy factor for audience benefit.
The show did not paint a flattering portrait of the star but it raised his profile enough to land a recurring role (as himself) on HBO’s hot Hollywood drama “Entourage” (HBO, 2004- ). Busey’s personal life was back in the headlines in 2004 when he was taken to court for failing to pay rent on his rented Malibu home and arrested for not showing up at a hearing related to alleged millions owed his ex-wife. In 2005, Busey claimed his prayers for a fitness opportunity were answered when he was asked to join the cast of the VH1 weight loss chronicle “Celebrity Fit Club 2,” during which he allegedly lost 50 pounds. Busey’s film career was busier than ever regardless of his reputation, with the actor headlining over 20 low-budget and direct-to-DVD titles from 2004-06. He made gossip column headlines in February of 2008 for a red carpet appearance at the Academy Awards that sent nervous stars including Jennifer Garner – whose neck he appeared to either bite or kiss – and E! host Ryan Seacrest looking for the exit. Busey next appeared on the second season of “Celebrity Rehab” (VH1, 2008- ). He claimed to appear on the show not as an addict, but as an inspirational figure for the other patients, which initially confused the show’s star, Dr. Drew Pinsky, Busey nonetheless went through an enormously successful transformation. Following a cameo appearance in the hit comedy “Grown Ups” (2009), starring Adam Sandler, David Spade and Chris Rock, Busey joined the season four cast of the celebrity version of “The Apprentice” (NBC, 2004- ), playing for charity against the likes of model Niki Taylor, former “Survivor” winner Richard Hatch, and rap star Lil Jon.
GAREY BUSEY FILMOGRAPHYd
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