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protest :: Blog

The Story of "Ohio"

Thursday, May 17: 11 a.m.
Posted by Ivan Sheehan
The single for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's "Ohio"/"Find The Cost Of Freedom"

In the first week of May 1970, Hall of Fame Inductee Chrissie Hynde was 18 years old and a Kent State University student, but it wasn't a typical week.

"[After days of protesting] Saturday morning rolled around to news that a curfew had been imposed upon the city... We were all fired up from our spectacle of a protest the night before," wrote Hynde in Reckless: My Life as a Pretender. "The ROTC – the Resident Officers’ Training Corps – was a very unpopular presence on campus. Anything 'military' was unwelcome... obviously, it had to go... a party atmosphere was in full effect. Every dorm room blasted music out: Hendrix, the Beatles, Crosby Stills & Nash, Led Zeppelin, Steppenwolf, Ritchie Havens, Jefferson Airplane... then the real party began. An A-team of longhairs charged down the hill, hurling railroad flares through the windows of the ROTC building. Old and rickety, it went up in flames." The tension on campus continued to escalate leading up to the afternoon of May 4, 1970.

"The grassy, rolling common was teeming with students," recalled Hynde. "I’d never seen it so packed...I pushed my way through the crowd…. Then I heard the tatatatatatatatatat sound. I thought ...


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The Universal Sound of Protest

Thursday, October 13: 9:30 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
"World Have Your Say" host Ros Atkins asks, "Has protest music disappeared?"

This week, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum was honored to host an international discussion when BBC World Service's World Have Your Say broadcast live from the Museum's Alan Freed Studio. The program brought together a diverse panel of guests, including Rock and Roll Hall of Fame President and CEO Terry Stewart and Rock Hall Vice President of Education and Public Programs Lauren Onkey, who traded insights with remote guests English singer-songwriter Billy Bragg, Egyptian rapper and poet Mohamed El Deeb, Yoko Ono and more. Host Ros Atkins posed the question that fueled the program's discussion: Has protest music disappeared?

"We had a spirited discussion about whether music can bring about social change," says Onkey. "It's a difficult thing to measure. The easy thing to do is to pull out a topical song, like an anti-war or anti-apartheid song, and measure it against whether or not something changed about that specific issue. But I think that change is harder to measure, and much broader and sometimes more subtle than that. 

"Songs can educate us about an issue or a point of view from the past – The Specials' "Ghost Town," Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young ...


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