Rock 'n' Roll in the
They began with "The Twist" by Chubby Checker watch
Also, the Pony, the Mashed Potatoes, the Loco-Motion, the Freddie, the Monkey, the Swim, the Jerk . . . . you get the idea.
Here are some examples
Fast forward about a third of the way past the lame introduction to see demonstrations of these and others
Did you recognize some of those dances in the video?
The Beach Boys
famous for their "Surfer Songs"
The theme of their songs and the lyrics were not too memorable, the music itself was remarkably sophisticated. Brian Wilson experimented with new multi-track recording techniques to create a unique sound. Their singing style used tight falsetto harmonies that ventured well outside the standard "three chords" common to popular styles.
"California Girl" listen
"Wouldn't It Be Nice?" watch
Speaking of recording innovations, Phil Spector was a record producer who was somewhat of a control freak. He used many studio instruments in his recordings, utilized reverb and echo effects, and controlled balance and blend factors to produce what came to be known as "the wall of sound." This was his signature sound and influences studio production to this day.
Phil Spector (1940- )
Hard-driving rock had begun to lose popularity in the early 60's - more popular was soft rock like Bobby Darin, Neil Sedaka.
Nice - but not too exciting. Meanwhile, upstart British bands had been listening to American R&B, blues, and skiffle.
Skiffle was a British version of American jug band music. The most famous skiffle singer of the time was Lonnie Donegan. Here's an example: "Rock Island Line" listen
The Beatles' career as a group spanned the years between 1962-1970.
Their first visit to America was in 1964. They took the U.S. by storm.
Their music change a LOT during that time. They were so incredibly popular (Beatlemania) that they could experiment and innovate.
They did not have to have a certain sound to sell records.
The Beatles are the only group in history to have 20 songs reach #1
Paul McCartney and John Lennon also rank #1 and #2 as the songwriters with the most #1 hits.
The Beatles' album, entitled The Beatles (1968) is number 9 in the top 10 best-selling albums in U.S. history
It sold 19 million albums!$
By the end of the 60's, rock 'n' roll was THE most popular style of music, in no small part due to the phenomena of "The Fab Four"
John, Paul, George and Ringo
They're not standing in that order, of course.
That's just the order they're always listed!
"I Want to Hold Your Hand" watch
also some examples of
ignore the subtitles :-)
The other perspective of the British Invasion
were the . . .
Why the anti-Beatles?
ran all over
The Rolling Stones
fostered the image of contrast to the Beatles
A parody of the Beatles' hit, "Let It Be," the Stones released "Let it Bleed"
The Rolling Stones
40 years later in 2008,
they performed at the Super Bowl
The Beatles and the Rolling Stones were only the most popular of many British groups that had significant success in America.
Some of them are listed below.
Many changes were taking place in the popular culture of the 60's. The Baby Boomers were maturing past the teenie-bopper stage.
There was much political unrest because of the war in Vietnam.
Young people were very engaged in this political debate because their lives depended upon it - there was a draft, not a volunteer army.
Vietnam era Draft Notice
a form of protest in the 60s was to burn your draft card
The civil rights movement was galvanizing.
There arose a "counterculture" that reacted to the mainstream that, in their perception, caused these political conundrums. The counterculture rejected "middle-class" values, governmental policies, and capitalism.
They turned to communal living, hallucinogenic drugs, and free love.
This group was relatively small, but influential in personifying this passive rebellion.
They were called "hippies" and aspects of their philosophies, causes, beliefs, fashion, and of course, music had far-reaching influence
Popular music never exists in a vacuum, and in fact is an expression of its culture.
This was particularly true in the 60's.
Some longer songs (less driven, more designed to put one into a frame of mind; related to concepts of drug experiences) were less applicable to the old AM radio format of 3 minutes. FM radio was a new format more accessible to improvisational and extended styles.
lead singer, Grace Slick was the first
"tough-image" female rock star
"White Rabbit" listen
Notice the drug references in the context of 'Alice in Wonderland'
The Grateful Dead
a band with a unique sound,
combining elements from several "roots" styles
(Jerry Garcia was a former bluegrass banjo player)
Fans of the Grateful Dead followed (follow) the band
from town to town attending every concert.
Known as the "Deadheads," they are probably
the most loyal fans of any group
"Stuck in the Middle with You" listen
from Southern California
a more cynical, less Utopian-minded perspective
"Light My Fire" listen
(another example of extended length song)
Jimi Hendrix was the most innovative and influential guitar player of the 60's and was a huge influence on the electric guitarists of rock music. Hendrix was left-handed, so he played his right-handed guitar upside down and restrung. He was a flamboyant showman and would play the guitar with his teeth, behind his back, and even set it on fire.
Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970)
"Purple Haze" listen
"Star Spangled Banner" watch
Then his thoughts in a subsequent interview
Janis Joplin (1943-1970)
"Ball & Chain" listen
Do you hear the multiphonics?
(Multiphonics is when an instrument (or voice) that normally can produce
only one note at a time, produces more than one.)
Joplin also had a crossover hit on the pop charts
"Me and Bobby McGee" listen
It was (of course) her biggest hit
and was released posthumously.
The quintessential statement and manifestation of the counterculture was a phenomenon called
August 15-17, 1969
Woodstock was an outdoor music festival, like others that were popular at the time. It was held in New York State, near the town of Bethel.
There were 31 acts booked to appear on the main stage
The organizers originally expected 60,000 people
Then 186,000 tickets were sold
Over 400,000 showed up.
31 Acts were booked to appear on the main stage,
Joan Baez , Arlo Guthrie, Tim Hardin, Incredible String Band, Ravi Shankar, Richie Havens, Sly and the Family Stone, Bert Sommer, Sweetwater, Quill, Canned Heat, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jefferson Airplane, The Who, Grateful Dead, Keef Hartley Band, Blood, Sweat and Tears, Crosby, Stills & Nash (&Young), Santana, The Band, Ten Years After, Johnny Winter, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Joe Cocker, Mountain, Melanie, Sha-Na-Na, John Sebastian, Country Joe and the Fish, Paul Butterfield Blues Band
13 months later, Jimi Hendrix was dead
14 months later, Janis Joplin was dead
Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison all died at age 27. Along with Brian Jones (of the Rolling Stones), Kurt Cobain (Nirvana) and others, the list is part of The 27 Club.
Created and maintained by Vicky V. Johnson