For a long time, in most parts of the world, people saw Americans as cowboys. Mainly because that's how we saw ourselves. From 1955 to 1964, adult Westerns made up as much as 25% of all prime-time television. Wagon Train, Maverick, Gunsmoke, Bonanza, and dozens of other programs painted the rough justice of the American West. At least the popular version of it.
On Highway 61 is the new book from Dennis McNally, subtitled Music, Race, and the Evolution of Cultural Freedom, and he’s on the phone with David Lewis to talk about the importance of music during the 1960’s civil rights turbulence.