Aired on Treasure Island Oldies – Dec 03, 2023
In December of 1966, an LA-based singer/songwriter would pen the words to a protest song that has become timeless.
The success of this song was just the beginning for this folk rock performer who remains the only musician to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame twice in the same ceremony …
This folk rock singer/songwriter, who was born in Dallas, Texas, eventually found his way to California after an early life of being raised in a military family and moving around.
During his travels he developed an interest in blues and folk music. He dropped out of Louisiana State University in the early 60s and played in a series of band, including one called the Continentals which featured future Eagles’ guitarist Don Felder. Subsequently, he ended up in a nine-member vocal harmony group that included a vocalist/guitarist by the name of Richie Furay. The group broke up in 1965.
Soon after, he founded his own folk rock group, Company, and went on a six week tour of Canada where he met Neil Young.
In 1966 Young and Furay reunited with our featured folk rocker forming the core of what was to become the Buffalo Springfield.
That folk rocker, of course, was Stephen Stills, who on April 18, 1997, was inducted twice into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a member of both the Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills & Nash.
Often considered to be an anti-war song, the inspiration for Stills’ Dec 1966 composition was inspired by the Sunset Strip curfew riots that had begun a month earlier, in November. Annoyed by the traffic congestion and the noise caused by the crowds of young people going to clubs and partying along the Strip, local residents and businesses lobbied Los Angeles County to pass local ordinances stopping loitering and enforcing a strict curfew on the Strip after 10 pm. The young music fans, however, felt the new laws infringed upon their civil rights. This resulted in violent clashes between young people and the police on the Strip.
In presenting the song to Ahmet Ertegun of Atlantic Records, Stills is reported as saying, “Here it is, For What It’s Worth,” this week’s Tom Locke moment in time.
YouTube video of this song:
This “Moments In Time” story is yet another example of a “golden oldie” or forgotten favorite that earned its place in the evolution of Rock & Roll.