The Patriotism of Jimi Hendrix and The Many Dimensions of Politically Themed Music

Why should Jimi Hendrix’ infamous rendition of the Star Spangled Banner at Woodstock the most patriotic rendition of the song in history?

Why is it that musicians put more more thought into politics than “professional” political scientists?

Wait! Aren’t we supposed to not talk about politics in polite company?

It turns out that musicians have this history of getting political, and actually being more effective at affecting change than actual politicians.

My guest for today’s episode is a professor of political science at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. He’s the author of the book, Politics in Music: Musical and Political Transformation from Beethoven to Hip-Hop. (Order it here.)

In this scintillating conversation, you’ll learn:

The recording of Jimi Hendrix’ playing of the Star Spangled Banner at Woodstock in 1969…[8:48]

Why Hendrix’ rendition of the Star Spangled Banner is the most patriotic in history…[12:52]

The difference between “one-dimensional” and “two-dimensional” political music…[22:55]

Why Whitney Houston’s performance of the Star Spangled Banner was the best “one-dimensional” performance of the song…[25:18]

How political music has evolved since the Vietnam era…[27:17]

Why musicians put more thought into political music than political scientists…[37:09]

The political themes in hip-hop music, specifically from “Straight Outta Compton”…[41:51]

Why Tupac Shakur was like a preacher to his people and how his legacy continues to this day…[44:30]

And Much More!!

Got a question for me or Courtney Brown? Leave a comment below or drop me a line and I’ll get back to you asap 🙂

About the author, James Newcomb

I'm a full time MusicPreneur. Every now and then I play music. Send me an email at!

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