History of 60s Music by Darren Dunner
The decade of the 1960's presented social and political changes that had never been seen before. In addition to this, 60s music changed the direction of popular music and Americana as a whole. This decade forever changed America, and it was the young generation, or Baby Boomers that made it happen. After World War II, there was a dramatic increase in the population. An entire generation of young men had returned to the United States and found that the entire country had been transformed from the economically depressed area they once had left, to an economic goliath. Many of them used their G.I Bills to get an education and the country was flush with new jobs. Couples were able to settle down and start a family and they did so in astonishing numbers.It was, supposedly, the perfect existence. The nuclear family lived in comfort. The patriarch had a good job to provide for his family and the loving wife stayed at home to raise the children. The children grew up in a world that was quickly shrinking. Radio and television were becoming permanent fixtures in every home. This technology introduced the Baby Boomers to the music of the 60s. Some of the big names in early 60s music all came out of one recording studio, the Sun Record Company, based out of Memphis, Tennessee. Artists like Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Roy Orbison all got their start at the Sun Record Company. Many of them followed the method introduced by Presley. His music was a mixture of gospel, blues and hillbilly music. B.B. King, who is perhaps the greatest blues musician of all time, knew of Presley long before he became famous. Presley combined blues, gospel, and hillbilly music to help create a new form of music ... Rock and Roll.His first recordings were in 1953, and he made one of his first big breakthroughs in 1956 with his appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. His style was so unique and attractive to the Baby Boomer generation that it helped to influence and direct cataclysmic changes in music genre. The Baby Boomers were the primary fans of 60s music, and their support was what drove other artists, like the Beatles, to develop a new style that would mark their generation as unique. Music is a cultural and social expression of the people, and that was never truer than in the case of 60s music. Baby Boomers' musical choices reflected the postmodern political and social upheavals of the time, including the assassination of a president, an unpopular war, the civil and women rights movements, and the Cold War. It was the music that remains as a lasting representation of their legacy.