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16 Inspiring Songs That Honor JFK

From the Police to Tori Amos, check out these unique ways musicians paid tribute to the President

JFK

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On Nov. 22, 1963, the Beatles released their second album, the Beach Boys played to a record-breaking crowd in Marysville, CA, and Elvis Presley wept with gal pal Ann-Marget as they watched the shocking news on television about President John F. Kennedy's assassination.

Before that day, rock and roll was still in its happy-go-lucky infancy. After that fateful convertible ride through Dallas, the '60s became The Sixties, and a fast-maturing rock and roll would help guide the cultural and political shift waged by a generation that began to question the ways of the world. As we recognize the 50th anniversary of the day JFK was shot this week, here are some of our favorite musical nods to Kennedy and the tragedy that shattered Camelot. – PAT PEMBERTON

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Phil Ochs, “Crucifixication’

On a shuttle from Washington, D.C., to New York, Ochs began singing this folk song with lyrics about JFK's fall. As he did, Robert F. Kennedy — who was sitting near the back of the two-thirds empty plane — began to cry, suddenly realizing the song was about is brother, according to the documentary Robert F. Kennedy: A Memoir.

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