In this episode of the East Germany Podcast – Radio GDR we once again go on a journey of politics and pop music in East Germany, this time focusing on the 70s and 80s
Our good friend John Paul Kleiner (GDR Objectified) is back in the East Germany podcast host chair for this one. He is joined by Dr. Edward Larkey, an expert on GDR music and author of Rotes Rockradio. Populäre Musik und die Kommerzialisierung des DDR-Rundfunks (Red Rock Radio. Popular Music and the Commercialization of GDR Broadcasting.)
For this, the third and final episode considering the ways in which the ruling SED Party tried to instrumentalize popular music to further its ideological aims, the focus is on the final two decades of the GDR. John Paul and Ed look at how the music listening habits of young East Germans evolved over this period and what difference the change in Party leadership from Walter Ulbricht to Erich Honecker made in shaping authorities’ approach to Youth Culture.
We’ll hear about the cultural touchstone that was 1973’s World Festival of Youth and Students in East Berlin, an event that has come to be known by some as “The Red Woodstock”. Other topics discussed will include the Festival of Political Song, an event which Ed attended while living in the East and we even get a first person account on this event from Chris Tait, the singer/guitarist of Chalk Circle, a Canadian alternative band that performed at the festival in 1989.
For a Spotify playlist of songs mentioned in this episode, click here: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4B04wy0DnTgh7n9iBYYfGx?si=3feb0KOcQjaGgGNnrqUtkA
To read the GDR Objectified post on the World Festival of Youth and Students in 1973, visit: https://gdrobjectified.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/the-red-woodstock/.
Check out the Spotify playlist that accompanies Politics and Pop Music in the GDR Part 2.
Links and Resources Mentioned on Episode 27 of the East Germany Podcast – Radio GDR.
- Dr. Edward Larkey
- GDR Objectified
- Politics and Pop Music of East Germany Part 1
Politics and Pop Music of East Germany Part 2
- Politics and Pop Music of East Germany Playlist 1.
- Politics and Pop Music of East Germany Playlist 2.
- For more information on the World Festival of Youth in Students, check out this post on the subject on the GDR Objectified blog
Check out the first in the Why We Are Fascinated by East Germany with Steve Minegar.