Baby Boomers Remember it Too! – 50s and 60s Music Still Lives Today!
Styles in music are continuously changing so Elvis and the others ushered in a new musical era.
Each generation likes to have its own heroes and a wide generation gap appeared following World War II.
50s and 60s music brought on a cultural revolution, not seen before or since.
After the austerity of the war, people wanted to have fun. Dances were popular and record shops did good business.
Ballroom Dancing To Early 50s Music
The early part of the 50s had its share of crooners and balladeers. Perry Como’s relaxed style appealed to the older generation and country music fans enjoyed Frankie Lane’s cowboy songs.
Johnnie Ray however, was the opposite of relaxed and liked to belt out a song to the back of the hall. Mainstream popular music went on unchallenged until Rock and Roll burst onto the scene.
Enter — 1950s Rock And Roll Music — Seen Elvis Lately?
When Elvis first wiggled his hips, he paved the way for a very different kind of 50s and 60s music. Teenagers were jumping around to Hound Dog and Heartbreak Hotel and nothing would ever be the same.
In addition to Elvis, the airwaves were full of Bill Haley, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Fats Domino.
Rock and Roll spawned new dance crazes and radio DJs spread the message. Elvis fans cried for days when he was enlisted into the army.
Did You Know That John Lennon Listened To 50s Music?
During the late 50s, many young English men sat in their bedrooms, trying to copy the songs they heard coming from America.
Among them were John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison. Hundreds of groups were formed and would reinterpret the music of the 50s and 60s.
50s And 60s Music Gives Birth To The Beatles And The Brits
The Beatles and others burst on the scene in the 1960s and led what was known as The British Invasion to America.
They had absorbed the American sounds and sold it back to them! Groups such as the Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Small Faces, and the Who dominated the charts.
Music from the 50s and 60s evolved into experiments with different instruments, influenced by many genres, and hair got longer and longer!
Guitar Strumming In The 60s Music
From the mid 60s, lyrics became more poetic and guitar solos more expressive.
Popular groups included the Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix Experience, Grateful Dead, The Doors and Jefferson Airplane.
The Folk Music Explosion Of The 1960s
There was also a big folk revival during the 1960s, fueled by protest songs from Bob Dylan. Many folk artists came from small clubs into the large theaters, including Joan Baez, Tim Hardin, Tom Paxton, and Tim Rose.
Dylan shocked the folk purists when he used an electric guitar. The combination of electric guitars and folk songs was dubbed folk rock and one of the leading exponents was The Byrds.
Much of 50s and 60s music was revolutionary but it took from past traditions and gave them a new twist.
The Jazz Contribution To 50s And 60s Music
Jazz too was to undergo its own revolution with the introduction of Be-Bop in the 1950s, as exemplified by Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie. This kind of free jazz was a shock to a lot of people but it thrilled many others.
Even classical music, the last bastion of tradition, went through changes with music from the 50s and 60s. Contemporary composers, such as John Cage, were controversial in their experimental avant-garde pieces.
The 1950s Music Era
The 1950s, it seems like such a long time to the 80s and the 90s child but not so to old timers. One of the most memorable things about the fifties was the Beat Culture. Hot-rodders and Beats provided inspiration, even in music.
Don’t Forget Old “Blue Eyes”
The 1950s music scene reverberated to the beat with names like Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Pat Boone, and Patti Page among other legends.
This was the time of the Franks, with such names as Frank Sinatra, Frankie Laine and Frank Loesser coming clearly to mind.
This old time music is well remembered for a good number of hit songs with such titles as ‘Sh-Boom’, ‘Earth Angel’, ‘Cry Me A River’, ‘Mr. Lee’ and ‘Rainbow’ coming in mind. Dance hall songs by Fats Domino, The Diamonds and Ray Charles are also well remembered.
Stepping back in time, we meet the famous entertainer Frank Sinatra.
Becoming a successful solo artist in the early to mid 1940s, Frank Sinatra would later come to change the whole 1950s music scene by winning the 1954 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
And Frank signed with Capitol Records to produce smashing hits one after another.
He starred in such musicals as ‘High Society’, ‘Pal Joey’, ‘On The Town’ and ‘Guys and Dolls’. Sinatra’s comeback in the fifties would see him become an Oscar-winning actor and one of the top recording artists in the world producing some of the finest musicals of his time.
The 1950s music scene is also incomplete without a mention of Frankie Laine.
His hit singles “Jezebel”, “Rose, Rose, I Love You”, “Granada”, “Hey, Joe” and “moonlight Gambler” were all top ten hits in the early 50s.
Laine would later come to sing the theme songs for many Hollywood and television westerns opening credits.
In fact, his popularity in the United Kingdom surpassed that in the States with minor hits in the States like “Answer Me, O Lord”, “The Gandy Dancer’s Ball” and “The Rock of Gibraltar” becoming much bigger hits abroad.
His 1957 ‘Greatest Hits’ album is a perennial best seller that does not seem to go out of print.
Who Else is Left in 50s & 60s Music?
Pat Boone, Patti Page and Perry Como were other P artists that had humming tracks as well. Much of the music by the above artists can be attributed to the feel good feeling that the post war optimism had on America.
Since the emerging teenagers had not struggled much through the war years, they wanted something exciting and different. The 1950s music seemed to provide that. Indeed, the vitality of the 50s and 60s music lives on. Purchase this nostalgic music here ..
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