Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In
My friend Elizabeth Wollman is a musicologist who wrote The Theater Will Rock: A History of the Rock Musical, from Hair to Hedwig. In her research, she interviewed a number of innovators and participants in the earliest (and latest) Broadway productions that featured rock music.
Here's some of my favorite bits of trivia about Hair:
And, now for your video consumption:
The original West Coast production from the Smother Brothers' Comedy Hour in 1968 (first national television broadcast of any of these songs):
According to David Branculli’s history of the Smothers Brothers, Ed Sullivan’s show had the Broadway cast on a few months after this performance.
The 2008 Broadway revival cast were on Letterman:
The Fifth Dimension’s “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” medley hit the pop charts in 1969.
Oh, and in case your kids need help learning how to dance like hippies, here’s some clips of the real thing:
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Jack Cheng directs the Clemente Course in Dorchester, excavates in the Middle East, and writes in Waban, MA.