From KCRW DJ Anne Litt:
I wish every LA music fan could walk through the PST exhibit “Trouble In Paradise: Music In Los Angeles 1945-1975” at the Grammy Museum with it’s curator, Josh Kun. In addition to being an Associate Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism at USC, Josh is a great storyteller and historian of the sounds of Southern California. I learned more in our 30 minute talk than I ever knew before.
There’s no denying that the Beach Boys, Beach Blanket Bingo and surfing aren’t a huge part of our culture, but the point of this exhibit is that there is so much more and it’s much more complicated and integrated than you would ever know.
Josh and I discussed years as much as music, meaning that if you cross-reference any year in music, you find all different scenes in Los Angeles thriving and being created. We talked about Ritchie Valens, Johnny Otis, Hadda Brooks, Neil Young, Laurel Canyon, South LA, East LA, the Sunset Strip, interstates, cars + the politics, social struggles and art of the era.
As part of the exhibit, there is a jukebox that is full of every classic song from our city and region. The contents of that jukebox are gold. When compiled alongside the art and photos of the time, it’s undeniable the impact that the 30 years following WWII have had on the music and culture of Los Angeles today.
Listen to our conversation below and go see it for yourself. The exhibit closes this Sunday. More info
– Anne Litt