Bear Family Records , the German music publisher, recently released “Next Stop is Vietnam: The War On Record, 1961-2008, ” a 13-CD set containing 330 Vietnam War-influenced songs–that’s nearly seventeen hours of tunes.
The package also includes a 304-page book with artist and song notes, Vietnam War history and recollections by veterans about on their favorite songs. The book was put together by music scholar Hugo A. Keesing, historian Lois T. Vietri, and authors Doug Bradley and Craig Werner.
It’s hard to argue with the company’s claim that this massive collection is “the most comprehensive anthology of music inspired by the Vietnam War ever released. ” The performers include The Doors, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Bruce Springsteen, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, John Lennon, Yoko Ono, and Country Joe McDonald, The Kingston Trio, Grand Funk Railroad, along with dozens of others.
Also on the CD’s: war-time Public Service Announcements, field news reports, and intercepted North Vietnamese radio transmissions of Jane Fonda and Hanoi Hannah, along with never-before-released tracks recorded during the war by American service personnel.