The Folk Revival
“Man, when I was nine, I couldn’t imagine anyone not wanting to be Elvis Presley,” Springsteen remembers.
The first two Elvis Presley albums, both on RCA in 1956, neatly illustrate the basic dichotomy: Elvis Presley shows him onstage, eyes shut and mouth wide open, with his guitar thrust in the air, while Elvis has him seated in a staged pose, strumming his guitar. Here is the musician, they seem to say, and here are his musical instruments, his primary materials: his voice and his guitar.
The relationship of popular culture to ideology in the 1960s and into the 1970s has become of interest to academic sociology, although the alarmed interest of politicians has given way to accommodation. The relationship of the entertainment favored by highly visible classes of teenagers and young adults to the behavior of that audience, and especially its use of drugs, is probably now still too current an issue…
Popular Culture in Britain
In the early 1960s British popular culture emerged from the long winter of postwar austerity, rejvenated by the assertive claims to attention of the young working class. Responding to prime minister Harold Macmillan’s 1958 election message, “You’ve never had it so good”, previously unregarded groups began to demand consumer cultural goods designed specifically for them.
Here Comes Beatlemania!
The Beatles were the most influential, groundbreaking and successful popular music group of the rock era. No artists of any sort, with the arguable exception of Elvis Presley, have achieved the Beatles’ combination of popular success, critical acclaim and broad cultural influence. Read More
British Beat Conquers the World
The Beatles-led British invasion of American airwaves and record stores in the 1960s influenced all aspects of the American popular music scene. In Britain and the United States, few towns were without their amateur groups, almost all of whom attempted to write some of their own material.
It was to California that the focus of musical attention shifted in the middle of the decade. The state had a laid-back image, at a time when ex-Harvard professor Timothy Leary was extolling the virtues of turning on, tuning in, and dropping out with the aid of hallucinogenic drugs, but this was only partly responsible. The tradition of racially integrated audiences on the West Coast had produced a rich ndercurrent of musical culture, out of which emerged the only “indigenous” music that could rival British beat in its ability to inject nw life into popular music.
Rocking Round the World
‘The Rolling Stones are the biggest rock’n’roll band in the world so to secure a performance from them is amazing. The Stones, who first formed in 1961, August 31, and played their first ever gig outside England in 1963 at the Royal Lido Ballroom in Prestatyn. And although the four remaining members – Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood – are now all around 60, they say they are still enjoying performing live.
Soul and Tamla Motown
Soul music was so prevalent by the end of the ’60s that the word itself took on a world of meaning for black America. “Black people identified themselves as soul brothers and soul sisters,” says Nelson George, who has been writing about African-American music and culture for more than 30 years.
As the fervent optimism and vocal intensity of gospel joined with the secular energy of rhythm & blues, a powerful idiom emerged in which individual expression and the social activity of dance combined. The triumph of Soul music meant a lot, signifying a major shift in popular musical taste in America. Songs like Otis Redding’s Respect -especially as performed by Aretha Franklin- or James Brown’s Say It Loud took the music into a more political area.
Rock Festivals: Woodstock, Live Aid
The sixties largest festival took place at Woodstock in upstate New York on 15-17 August 1969, with an estimated attendance of 450.000. In 1969, the combined forces of artists, activists, and passionate teenagers formed the most famous musical performance concert we can remember. It lasted three days and attracted spectators from all over the country. Those who went were there for many reasons.