He was the ultimate banjo player...
... best known for performing alongside the guitar-playing Lester Flatt with the Foggy Mountain Boys. Among their signature songs were “Foggy Mountain Breakdown,” which was used as the getaway music in the 1967 film “Bonnie and Clyde,” and “The Ballad of Jed Clampett,” the theme song of the 1960s television sitcom “The Beverly Hillbillies.”For TV and movie watchers of the 60s, this was the sound of freedom — Jed moves away from there, there being wherever it was that the poor mountaineer "lived," and Bonnie, she follows Clyde, who said to her:
You're different.... You know, you're like me. You want different things. You got somethin' better than bein' a waitress. You and me travelin' together, we could cut a path clean across this state and Kansas and Missouri and Oklahoma and everybody'd know about it. You listen to me, Miss Bonnie Parker. You listen to me.And later, she says: "You know what, when we started out, I thought we was really goin' somewhere. This is it. We're just goin', huh?"
That's what poured into our ears back in the 60s, lubricated by banjo music. Adrienne Rich got her cultural foothold in the 60s:
Once mastered, poetry’s formalist rigors gave Ms. Rich something to rebel against, and by her third collection, “Snapshots of a Daughter-in-Law,” published by Harper & Row, she had pretty well exploded them. That volume appeared in 1963, a watershed moment in women’s letters: “The Feminine Mystique” was also published that year.
In the collection’s title poem, Ms. Rich chronicles the pulverizing onus of traditional married life.....I'm going to pulverize your onus, baby. The funny thing though: Rich was a lesbian. And yet she married a man:
In 1953 Ms. Rich had married a Harvard economist, Alfred Haskell Conrad, and by the time she was 30 she was the mother of three small boys....I think I once bought one of her books. It seemed like something in the spirit of the times that one should partake of, but I never read it. I find most poetry annoying, and hers was no exception. I did read that essay "Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence," which all the radical feminists were taking terribly seriously circa 1990. It was the assigned text in one of the law school radical feminist reading groups I participated back in those days. There were all these earnest, intelligent, heterosexual women who studied that text and gabbed about it until they genuinely got their minds around the amazing realization that they should not be heterosexual. Not that they should be having sex with women, but in some other, conceptual way. I'd tell you what the concept was but my mind is not longer around that particular realization, and I don't have the time right now to redo all that hard intellectual work that I did amongst the feminists in 1990/1991.
By 1970, partly because she had begun, inwardly, to acknowledge her erotic love of women, Ms. Rich and her husband had grown estranged. That autumn, he died of a gunshot wound to the head; the death was ruled a suicide. To the end of her life, Ms. Rich rarely spoke of it.
I'm sure it was all about freedom, but I'm free of that now. Since I'm quoting Bob Dylan today:
A self-ordained professor’s tongue
Too serious to fool
Spouted out that liberty
Is just equality in school
“Equality,” I spoke the word
As if a wedding vow
Ah, but I was so much older then
I’m younger than that now