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Britain in the 1960s.

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Britain in the 1960s History Coursework Assignment 1) Popular culture in the early 1960s was greatly influenced by the changing standards of the decade before. The 1950s was an era which saw Depression, wartime, make-do and sacrifice; but on the lighter and more innovative side there was the invention of cars, television, and rock and roll; as well as changes in fashion. Indeed, many aspects of the 1950s had formed the foundation of what is now known as 'the Swinging Sixties'. There was also the impact of America transforming popular culture in music. Rock and Roll had emerged from the USA and Elvis Presley was the famous singer idolised by teenagers who wanted their own type of music. The British version of Elvis was Cliff Richards who at first, trying to impersonate Elvis, had a rough image. But this did not appeal so he tried out a clean cut image. He starred in movies such as 'Summer Holiday' and one of his songs was 'Living Doll'. Because many people, especially parents, thought that the music was distasteful, pop music was only given limited time to be played on the BBC. ...read more.


And with the skilful backing of their young manager, Brian Epstein, they rose to become superstars before anyone had invented the word. They were the Beatles. Within their wake came other Liverpool bands such as 'the Searchers' and 'Gerry and the Pacemakers'. What really draw youths even in remote Suffolk villages was the loud and compelling beat and the exuberant presentation, although the lyrics were undistinguished - just a noisier form of traditional love songs. It was the Beatles who stood out though, and their success in the 1960s was overwhelming. Their records stormed the charts with a string of hits such as 'From Me To You' (which spent seven weeks at no.1), 'Love Me Do', 'Please Please Me', 'I Wanna Hold Your Hand' and many more. Rapidly, they won the ultimate prize of conventional showbusiness success, appearing at the London Palladium in October 1963. During November in the same year their single 'I Wanna Hold Your Hand' sold more than one million copies in only three days. Not only that but they appeared before the royal family in Royal Variety Performance. ...read more.


But by the 1960s this had all changed. Youth was now a time to be enjoyed and prolonged as long as possible. People in their twenties and even thirties began to listen to pop music made by the Beatles and other bands, as well as follow teenage fashions - the two trends which showed most clearly that "youth" had arrived. In the words of a song by the Who: I hope I die before I get old. 3) It is true to say that in many ways, the 1960s was a decade of contradictions. This was due to the huge amount of change and reforms Britain was going through, leaving many unsure about the overall direction the changes were taking them. Yet many others thought it is for the better. Even before the decade was over people had called it the 'Swinging Sixties', though many thought that it had swrung too far. As the Prime Minister Harold Macmillan said at the beginning of the '60s, there was a 'wind of change' blowing through Britain. Some acclaimed that it was an 'age of affluence' and it was in many respects. There was a widespread rise in the standard of living which continued from the 1950s as more people television sets, washing machines and motor cars. ...read more.

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