This past spring, the exhibition Trouble in Paradise: Music and Los Angeles 1945–75 opened at The Grammy Museum in Los Angeles as part of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time initiative. The show—which featured an audio-visual timeline wall, a digital jukebox, and two galleries of video, music, photography, and historical artifacts—explored the popular myths, social realities, and political upheavals of life in post-WWII LA through the city’s multiple music scenes. The following is the text from the exhibit’s timeline, a guide to the key political tensions, cultural breakthroughs, and musical moments of the period that helped shape the making of this exhibition
Josh Kun discusses the origins of Easy Listening music as a Post-War Western musical genre. The soft muzak of KWXY, especially the sound of Ray Coniff, follows listeners as they drive through the California desert, creating a “theatre of memory” in which the past and present collide in a sublime soundscape.