In California in 1969 two very different men were famous for two very different reasons: Charles Manson and Merle Haggard. Join authors Jeffrey Melnick & Rachel Rubin as they discuss these two notorious figures.
Charles Manson's Creepy Crawl
50 years after the notorious Tate-LaBianca murders, Charles Manson and the Manson Family continue to haunt and fascinate America. No crime or criminal has touched the social, political, or cultural life of America in the same way.
"Creepy crawling" was the Manson Family's practice of secretly entering someone's home, and without harming anyone, leaving only a trace of evidence that they had been there, some reminder that the sanctity of the private home had been breached.
Now, author Jeffrey Melnick reveals just how much the Family creepy crawled their way through Los Angeles in the sixties and then on through American social, political, and cultural life for fifty years, firmly lodging themselves in our minds. Even now, it is almost impossible to discuss the sixties, teenage runaways, sexuality, drugs, music, California, or even the concept of family without referencing Manson and his "girls."
Not another Charles Manson history, Charles Manson's Creepy Crawl explores how the Family weren't so much outsiders as emblematic of the Los Angeles counterculture freak scene, and how Manson worked to connect himself to the mainstream of the time. Ever since they spent two nights killing seven residents of Los Angeles—what we now know as the "Tate-LaBianca murders"—the Manson family has rarely slipped from the American radar for long.
From Emma Cline's The Girls to the TV show Aquarius, as well as two major films in 2019, including Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, the family continues to rivet America. What is it about Charles Manson and his family that captivates us still?
Author Jeffrey Melnick sets out to answer this question in this fascinating and compulsively readable cultural history of the Family and their influence from 1969 to the present. Previously published in hardcover under the title Creepy Crawling this paperback edition has a new epilogue.
Merle Haggard's Okie from Muskogee
Every now and then, a song inspires a cultural conversation that ends up looking like a brawl. Merle Haggard's Okie from Muskogee, released in 1969, is a prime example of that important role of popular music. Okie immediately helped to frame an ongoing discussion about region and class, pride and politics, culture and counterculture. But the conversation around the song, useful as it was, drowned out the song itself, not to mention the other songs on the live album-named for Okie and performed in Muskogee-that Haggard has carefully chosen to frame what has turned out to be his most famous song. What are the internal clues for gleaning the intended meaning of Okie? What is the pay-off of the anti-fandom that Okie sparked (and continues to spark) in some quarters? How has the song come to be a shorthand for expressing all manner of anti-working class attitudes? What was Haggard's artistic path to that stage in Oklahoma, and how did he come to shape the industry so profoundly at the moment when urban country singers were playing a major role on the American social and political landscape?
50 years after the notorious Tate-LaBianca murders, Charles Manson and the Manson Family continue to haunt and fascinate America.
Every now and then, a song will grab the kind of attention that hosts conversations, debates, disputes, and brawls. Merle Haggard's Okie from Muskogee, released in 1969, is a prime example of that important role of popular music. Okie immediately helped to frame an ongoing conversation about region and class, pride and politics, culture and counterculture.