Throughout history there are periods of time that the world makes a major shift and we are scurrying to keep up with the changing times. In the 14th century it was the Renaissance, for the 18th century it was the Industrial Revolution, and most recently in the 20th century it was the 1960s.
The 1960s were the counterculture and revolution of social norms in America about clothing, music, drugs, sexuality, formality and schooling. The cultural landscape of America was changing as the Baby Boomers entered their adolescence and came to the realization that perhaps the “way things have always been…” was not how life should continue to be – the times they were a’changing. The color line was being actively blurred by activist like Medgar Evans, Malcolm X and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and segregation was not something that we were going to tolerate any longer. So too was the way we received information, with Vietnam raging oversees this was the first time that war was accessible to us live in living color in our living rooms. Women’s roles were also changing with the arrival of more women seeking higher education and the equality in the workplace granted to men.
For me the best way to reflect on all this social change was to turn on the radio. The music truly reflected the changes we were seeing our society. The transformative power of music is to express a feeling or an emotion that one can not achieve through just regular speech. “Beehive” is a celebration of a time in our history where we experimented with new ideas, thoughts and styles to figure out who we were going to be as people. The Supremes, The Angels, Tina Turner, Lesley Gore, Dusty Springfield, Lulu, Carole King, Aretha Franklin, and Janis Joplin were just a few of the women who gave young girls hope at the end of a bad date, or inspired them to want for something more. Whiles “Beehive” won’t change your life any when you walk out of the theatre tonight, it will make you look back at what has come before and appreciate where you’ve been. As the late Aretha Franklin said, “Music does a lot of things for a lot of people. It can take you right back to the moment certain things happened in your life…” I hope that everyone will hear these songs and remember that time in their life where the world shifted.