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30 Days of Philly Arts: The 1968 Exhibit at the National Constitution Center

India, 1968: (l-r) Pattie Boyd, John Lennon, Mike Love, the Maharishi, George Harrison, Mia Farrow, Donovan, Paul McCartney, Jane Asher, Jenny Boyd
India, 1968: (l-r) Pattie Boyd, John Lennon, Mike Love, the Maharishi, George Harrison, Mia Farrow, Donovan, Paul McCartney, Jane Asher, Jenny Boyd
Today is the last day to see the National Constitution Center’s interactive 1968 Exhibit”, about one of the most intense, eventful, important and tumultuous years in 20th century history. It was a year when Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix were high on the music charts and on drugs, and when Frank Borman, James Lovell and William Anders soared “Eight Miles High” into space to become the first humans to travel to the moon and back on Apollo 8. In 1968 television brought the Vietnam War home to America on the nightly news and revealed the war at home as protests against the war increased and activists clashed with police on the streets of Chicago outside the Democratic National Convention. It was the year when the country was shocked by the assassinations of former U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, who followed his brother JFK into death while campaigning to follow him into the White House as President, and when Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was gunned down in Memphis while supporting striking workers. But despite the dark overtones of this year, it also was a year of unprecedented influence of America’s youth on pop culture, and a “groovy” year for distinctive art, music, design, movies, and fashion.

The National Constitution Center has arranged 12 exhibition spaces, one for each month of 1968, to cover the look, feel, sounds, and events of the year. There are three lounges, including the Music Trip Lounge filled with rock memorabilia and an interactive album cover design station. There are artifacts like an actual U.S. Army helicopter flown in the Vietnam War, a replica of the Apollo 8 command module, and historical footage and firsthand accounts of the history of the year. Go here for tickets and more information about the exhibit. Below, watch a couple of video snapshots from 1968.

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Jerry Blavat to speak at the National Constitution Center’s 1968 Exhibit on Wednesday, August 21st

Jerry Blavat, The Geator With The Heater, with his pal Sammy Davis, Jr.
Jerry Blavat, The Geator With The Heater, with his pal Sammy Davis, Jr.
This Wednesday, August 21st at 11AM, Jerry Blavat – The Geator With The Heator, The Boss With The Hot Sauce – will speak at the National Constitution Center as part of center’s 1968 Exhibit. During “Stories of ’68.” the Geator will share his memories on music and more from the year 1968. This program is free with regular museum admission. Go here for more information on the appearance and the The 1968 Exhibit at the Constitution Center. The Geator hosts The Geator’s Rock ‘N’ Roll Rhythm and Blues Express weekly on WXPN on Saturday’s at 6PM. He recently published his must-read autobiography, You Only Rock Once: My Life In Music. 1968 was a busy year for the Geator (when is any year NOT a busy year for The Geator?). His local television show, Jerry’s Place, was going strong, and The Geator appeared on The Monkees; watch a clip of it below. The Geator has no shortage of fantastic stories and we’re certain he’ll share some great ones tomorrow at the Constitution Center.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Funky Friday Dance Party, Joe Cocker, Buckwheat Zydeco, and Miniature Tigers

Tonight the funk moves east to the National Constitution Center. Host of World Cafe, David Dye will be there DJing the Funky Friday Dance Party. This shindig is totally FREE and doors open at 4 p.m, dancin’ starts at 5. Anyone can go but you MUST RSVP. The party will also be broadcasted live on WXPN, so get out there and get funky!

Blues-y rock legend and grammy award winning singer Joe Cocker has been an established musician since the 1960′s. He has released over 21 studio albums and a number of hits, including his sensational cover of The Beatles’ “With a Little Help from My Friends.” Cocker performs tonight at the Tower Theatre with Huey Lewis & The News. Tickets to the all ages show are $65-100, show begins at 8 p.m.

Professional creole stylist Buckwheat Zydeco will be in town tonight. He was the first zydeco artist to be signed to a major label, Island Records in 1986 and has appeared in numerous television and film appearances. He has also collaborated with Willie Nelson, Elvis Costello, Keith Richard, among others. Buckwheat Zydeco will be performing at the Sellersville Theater at 8 p.m. The venue’s cabaret area is cleared out so be sure to bring your dancin’ shoes! Tickets to the all ages show are $21.50, grab yours here.

Indie dream poppers Miniature Tigers have gained critical acclaim from Rolling Stone, Spin, and have toured with acts such as Ben Folds and fun. Their latest release, Mia Pharaoh, an album that shines among others with enthusing synth-pop beats and blends of modern pop mixed with psychedelic rock. Below, watch a video for the song “Sex on the Regular” from the new album. Miniature Tigers play at the North Star Bar tonight with Team Spirit and Strange Seasons. Tickets to this all ages show are $10-12, show kicks off at 7 p.m.

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Win a pair of tickets to the opening reception of “From Asbury Park To The Promised Land” at National Constitution Center

Be the first in line to see the exhibition “From Asbury Park To The Promised Land: The Life And Music Of Bruce Springsteen” at National Constitution Center! This boardwalk-themed event—which will take place from 5:30-9:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 15th—will feature performances by the B-Street Band (including Vini “Mad Dog” Lopez on drums) and nostalgic summertime treats such as boardwalk fries, Johnson’s popcorn, and salt-water taffy as well as beers from Flying Fish Brewing Company. This is your exclusive chance to tour ”From Asbury Park To The Promised Land” before it opens to the public!

To enter the contest, all you have to do is post a comment below (by 5 p.m. Friday, February 10th) and tell us why YOU want to attend the opening celebration. Five randomly picked winners will each win a pair of tickets for the event!  (Just make sure to use a valid email address when posting your comment; we promise not to sell your contact info or sign you up for anything—we just want to be able to get in touch with you if you win.)

[UPDATE 10:10 a.m.] The opening night reception is now SOLD OUT. If you haven’t purchased tickets yet but still want to go, you’ve got until 5 p.m. today to enter our contest!

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