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Barry Drake Examines Rock & Roll History in the 70s

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10/4/2010 —

Rock Historian Barry Drake will explore one of the most confusing, misunderstood, and criticized decades in rock & roll history, the 70s, when Penn State York’s free Cultural and Performing Artists Series continues Thursday, Oct. 14. This multimedia presentation, “70s Rock – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly,” is set for 7 p.m. in the Conference Center of the Main Classroom Building and is free and open to the public. This program is sponsored by Penn State York and MediaOnePA.

Drake, often called a walking encyclopedia of rock & roll, is a graduate of Manhattan College and has been involved in the world of music since buying his first rock & roll record in 1954. He grew up in New York City and saw everyone from Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry at the Brooklyn Paramount in 1957, to Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin at the Filmore in 1967. In 1965, Drake became a performer and songwriter and in 1970 was signed to Capitol Records. Since then, Drake has recorded three albums and has extensively toured the United States and Europe.

In 1984 Drake added rock & roll lectures to an already busy concert schedule. His lectures have become the most popular shows on college campuses. Drake is the five-time winner of the Campus Lecturer of the Year Award by the National Association for Campus Activities and the three-time winner of the Campus Lecturer of the Year Award by Campus Activities Magazine. Drake combines his extensive knowledge of music and abilities as a dynamic entertainer in his four lectures with the program on the 70s set for Penn State York.

As the 70s began, the Vietnam War, the draft, and Richard Nixon were still with us and so was some of the best rock music ever made. Groups like Led Zeppelin, The Grateful Dead, and Pink Floyd were just reaching their full potential in the early 70s. Singer songwriters such as James Taylor, Elton John, and Joni Mitchell made rock music more personal than ever. By the mid-70s rock was no longer the music of the counterculture, it was the culture.

With this growth and mass acceptance, the fiery spirit of the music began to go soft, allowing for the rise of pop rock and disco. Punk and reggae appeared; restoring the outlaw spirit of rock & roll and by the late 70s triggered a new wave explosion which brought excitement and creativity back to rock. Drake will take audiences through these exciting musical changes during his multimedia presentation.

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