Vietnam Music Monday: “Singin’ in Vietnam Talkin’ Blues”

Singin’ in Vietnam Talkin’ Blues

“Singin’ in Vietnam Talkin’ Blues” was one of two tracks from the album “Man in Black” to be released as a single. (Newseum collection)

Music played an important cultural role during the Vietnam War, representing the rebellious views of a young generation and the traditional values of an older, so-called “silent majority.” The Newseum selected 40 songs released between 1963 and 1973 that typified the music of the Vietnam era. The songs captured the emotions of people for and against the war and reflected the mood of an increasingly diverse country amid dramatic social and political change.

The 40 songs, part of the Newseum’s “Reporting Vietnam” exhibit, are a fraction of the hundreds of recordings that dealt with the war and civil disobedience. Each week, one song from the playlist will be featured. We encourage you to add your favorite songs of the era to the comment section!

Singin’ in Vietnam Talkin’ Blues (1971)

Recorded by Johnny Cash
U.S. Air Force veteran and country superstar Johnny Cash was also a prolific songwriter and host of his own television variety show. “Singin’ in Vietnam Talkin’ Blues” was about his experience performing for U.S. troops at military bases in Vietnam with his wife, country singer June Carter.


Well all night long that noise kept on
And the sound would chill you right to the bone
The bullets and the bombs, and the mortar shells
Shook our bed every time one fell
And it never let up; it was gonna get worse
Before it got any better

Purchase “Singin’ in Vietnam Talkin’ Blues” on Amazon or iTunes.

“Reporting Vietnam,” a new exhibit that marks the 50th anniversary of the start of America’s first televised war, explores the dramatic stories of how journalists brought news about the war to a divided nation.

CBS News

Contributing support for the “Reporting Vietnam” exhibit is provided by CBS Corporation, in memory of CBS News correspondent Bob Simon.

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