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What a Long Strange Trip it's Been: a Review of Rock's Greatest Decade

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In conjunction with our current traveling exhibit, Strange Kozmic Experience, The GRAMMY Museum offers this master class taught by Executive Director Robert Santelli. You are invited to explore the 1960s, a decade of rock's greatest bands and artists, memorable albums and most significant music events.

The decade began with rock & roll in critical condition. A majority of its pioneering artists had left the scene: Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens tragically died in a plane crash. Jerry Lee Lewis married his cousin and fell from grace. Elvis was in the army. Little Richard found Jesus. Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins re-discovered their country roots. Chuck Berry was serving time. Congress called the music "un-American," bringing down its first disc jockey, Alan Freed.

Rock historians point to The Beatles as the saviors of the music, transforming rock & roll and unleashing a tidal wave of new ideas and sounds. They took America by storm and, only months after the death of President John F. Kennedy, they made America smile and dance again.

What a Long Strange Trip it's Been: a Review of Rock's Greatest Decade consists of five classes, and reflects on the music that emerged from one of the most controversial eras in American history.