Ruth Brandin Und Die Sputniks – Mich Hat Noch Keiner Beim Twist

In the dark days of the Cold War, long before Germany was reunited, the government of East Germany feared foreign cultural influences undermining its legitimacy. A response was to create homegrown pop music to fend off Chubby Checker, the Beatles and others. A new dance, the Lipsi, was made up, and Ruth Brandon and the Sputniks sang and played in 1964, to fight off Western influences.

If that sounds daft and difficult, or yet another naive, though maybe well-intentioned communist policy, cultural protectionism remains a government response in many freer countries, even today. Canada limits foreign content on the radio in peak hours. Internationally, free trade agreement negotiations invariably debate ways to encourage cultural diversity within a country’s borders. This is discussed as a means to fend off foreign influences, typically meaning, American.

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