Unless you've been living in a San Francisco fog the last few months, you know that 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love. In January the Human Be-In at the Polo Grounds in Golden Gate Park ushered in the year and made the Haight-Ashbury district the counterculture's epicenter. Among other observances, the de Young Museum's current show provides an overview for those who don't, or can't, remember it.
The library is an excellent resource to know more. Books, music, films, and more, we've got it. A simple search of the library catalog using the phrase "summer of love" can get you started. One good book to begin with is the de Young exhibition's colorful catalog, Summer of Love: Art, Fashion, and Rock and Roll.
What were people reading in 1967? Ira Levin's Rosemary's Baby came out that year. Elia Kazan's The Arrangement spent the summer of 1967 at the top of the New York Times best seller list. What could be more evocative of the year than Richard Brautigan's Trout Fishing in America, released in October? Other top fiction titles included William Styron's The Confessions of Nat Turner and S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders. In international publishing, One Hundred Years of Solitude first appeared in Spanish that year and Solzhenitsyn's Cancer Ward was banned in the Soviet Union. In non-fiction, Piri Thomas's memoir Down These Mean Streets came out and William Manchester's Death of a President was the top-seller of the spring and summer.
Movies of the Summer of Love? The library stocks lots of them. Summer releases that year included You Only Live Twice, The Dirty Dozen, In the Heat of the Night, and Bonnie and Clyde. Other 1967 releases that stand up over time are Wait Until Dark, Cool Hand Luke, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, and The Graduate.
Music? You could make the argument that it was the best year ever. We've got CDs of so many of the top bands. Check Hoopla, too, for the songs of 1967. So much music: Magical Mystery Tour and all its great songs, A Whiter Shade of Pale, Light My Fire, Feelin' Groovy, Ain't No Mountain High Enough. This list could go on and on and on. Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical opened in October with all its great songs, too.
What song brings 1967 to life for you? Leave us a comment and let us know.