BORN IN THE USA/MADE IN THE GDR: HOW WESTERN POPULAR MUSIC SHAPED A COMMUNIST RECORD MARKET CONVERSATION WITH SVEN KUBE
What did the Cold War sound like? How did political ideologies shape the differing experiences of musicians and consumers in the capitalist versus the communist world? Did the Iron Curtain muffle the raucous sounds of western popular music? Or were consumers in communist countries able to access capitalist pop? All these questions and more find answers in the work of cultural historian, and 2022 Hagley-NEH Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Sven Kube.
Blending archival research with oral history and personal experiences, Kube uncovers the fascinating story of a worldwide youth culture of popular music bisected by the geopolitical divisions of the Cold War period. From the 1960s to the 1980s, the grassroots innovation taking place in western popular music could not be replicated in the centrally-planned economies of the east. Nevertheless, eastern consumers, especially in the German Democratic Republic, got their hands (and ears) on novel music and sonic forms emanating from the west. Kube traces these connection through the mechanisms of technology transfer, cultural transmission, and economic policy.
In support of his scholarship, Sven Kube received the Hagley-NEH postdoctoral fellowship from the Center for the History of Business, Technology, & Society at the Hagley Museum & Library.
The audio-only version of this program is available on our podcast. Interview available at https://www.hagley.org/research/history-hangout-sven-kube.
Recorded on Zoom and available anywhere once they are released, our History Hangouts include interviews with authors of books and other researchers who have use of our collections, and members of Hagley staff with their special knowledge of what we have in our stacks. We began the History Hangouts earlier this summer and now are releasing programs every two weeks on alternate Mondays. Our series is part of the Hagley from Home initiative by the Hagley Museum and Library. The schedule for upcoming episodes, as well as those already released, is available at https://www.hagley.org/hagley-history-hangout.
Carol Ressler Lockman