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Describe popular culture in Britain at the beginning of 1960s

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Introduction

Describe popular culture in Britain at the beginning of 1960's In this essay, I will describe popular culture in Britain and discuss how it developed and modified throughout the 1950's to the beginning of the 1960's. Additionally, I will be looking at how media such as fashion, music and TV had a high influence on this change. Popular culture is the culture of mass population, i.e. the culture within the working class. In Britain, popular culture can be summarised by a renowned quote: 'in the 1950's, daughters tried to look like their mothers, in the 1960's mothers tried to look like their daughters.' This shows that 1960's was an incredible period of rapid change throughout Britain. It was a decade where a huge change in the society was evident throughout the nation. One area of popular culture is music. In the 1950's, the popular genre of music was Jazz and the most common styles of Jazz were bebop and swing. Crooners (artists) such as Frankie Laine and Perry Como were the two main vocalists of the 1950's. Factors of this genre were seen through these artists' and many other artists' songs. Examples of these characteristics are firstly, artists used to always perform and record with full orchestral backup; secondly, formal dressing during performances was always compulsory and finally the lyrics of the majority of songs were purely made to entertain. ...read more.

Middle

Therefore, the musical material British artists such as Cliff Richard were creating was enthused and some say 'practically copied' by Elvis's music and performance. Artists such as Elvis and Cliff became social icons; people wanted to sing like them, dance like them and most of all look like them. As a result, we can say that the change in music had an influence of the change in fashion. As much as this is true, the creations of the designer Mary Quant also had a significant impact on society's taste of fashion. In the 1950's before Quant's creations, the idea of fashion was to look sophisticated, mature and be a miniature version of your parents. At this time, fashion required women to force themselves into corsets and girdles in order to achieve a particular shape. Skirts were kept long and hung down to the calf whilst being puffed out with layers of petticoats. Mary Quant's work was against all of this. One writer described her shop as: "a shop that's aim is to look childishly young and naively unsophisticated". Everything the 50's fashion was not. The faces of the sixties were Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton. Both models advertised youthful cloths and were tall and slim. ...read more.

Conclusion

This yet again shows us how America had such a high impact on Britain, that even years after the programme was created in the US it was imitated on BBC more than a decade after. Jukebox Jury was a pop themed panel show, (screened every Saturday) which was first broadcasted throughout the nation on BBC on the 1st June 1959. It featured stars such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Seekers. This made it exceedingly popular as these famous bands were roll-models for the youth, therefore teenagers wanted to look and sing like them and programmes on TV such as Jukebox Jury made it easier for the teens as it gave them a clear image as to what to look like. Seeing that the wages increased, teenagers now had the power to not follow their parents, and now that they had an image as to what to look like, it influenced them onto buying cloths just to look like these artists. So this pop programme not only played a big part on television but it also played a part in fashion for teenagers. Television developed vastly; from cookery programmes to pop themed panel shows. It was evident that television had a significant force on the society as it was described as the success of working class people to break out of their routines. ...read more.

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