What can you learn from Source A about the impact of the Beatles in the 1960's?

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1) What can you learn from Source A about the impact of the Beatles in the 1960’s?

Source A shows how much the Beatles were loved and idolised. They are very famous people and were, to most, the best music act around in the Sixties.  The Beatles brought about change in both music and television in England during the period, which became known as the “swinging Sixties”.

Source A discusses the first appearance of the Beatles on “Juke Box Jury”.  This was a major change for the British people, as previously all television programmes were aimed at middle aged people and young children.  

The Beatles were a music group aimed at a teenage audience and in Source A Joanna Lumley talks about her memories of their music, their first appearance on television and the impact they had on her life.  She talks about her life at the time when the Beatles were extremely popular. She says, “It was heaven to be alive” which demonstrates the importance of the Beatles in her life and how much she liked them.

The Beatles were seen to be “cool, hip, smart, charming and funny”.  Even London, one of the trendiest and busiest places in England, was described by Joanna Lumley to have “stopped” when the Beatles were on television.

“A silence and emptiness descended on London” when the “Fab Four” appeared on “Juke Box Jury”.  This shows just how much of an impact the Beatles had on London and the rest of the country.  The Beatles were respected, loved and idolised, particularly by many teenagers like Joanna Lumley.

However, the reliability of this source is questionable.  It was written thirty years after the event and much of this statement is obviously exaggerated.  For example, we know that the whole of London did not stop because the Beatles were on television and I know that it would have been mainly teenagers watching the programme as the Beatles did not appeal to most adults or young children.

Not only this, but source A is reflective of only one person’s viewpoint and is not representative of the whole population. Joanna Lumley will also be looking back at her childhood and the Sixties with nostalgia, therefore her opinion of life in the Sixties may be biased.

In conclusion, I believe that this source is reliable, but only to a certain extent.  However, it does demonstrate the impact of the Beatles in the 1960’s and their effect on society and young people.

2) Does the evidence of Source C support the evidence of Sources A and B about the effects of pop music in the 1960’s? Explain your answer.

Yes, I think Source C supports Sources A and B, but only to a certain extent.

The hysteria that was created by pop music in the 1960’s, is mentioned in all three sources, and Sources A, B and C all convey the massive control that the Beatles, and other pop groups like them, wielded over the public.  They all discuss how pop music changed the youth of the time and gave them new opportunities and ideals.

Sources A and B are both written by teenagers in the 1990’s, looking back at the Sixties with nostalgia, whereas Source C is written by Paul McCartney in 1984.

Source A, however, refers to the Beatles and Source B to the Rolling Stones whereas Sources A and C both talk about the Beatles. Despite this difference between Sources B and C, they are not completely unrelated.  They both describe the behaviour of fans and agree that fans were always screaming and that they occasionally chased the performers.  However, Source B describes fans as “manic” whereas Paul McCartney explains that most fans were not that bad; this again shows a difference in the description of events.  Like Source B, Source A does not completely agree with Source C either.  Source C explains that the fans were mainly teenagers and children whereas Source A claims that “everyone” rushed home to see the Beatles on television.  Nonetheless all three sources do agree that fans were sometimes obsessive about their idols.

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There are several discrepancies between the three sources but there are a number of reasons which may have resulted in this difference.  Firstly, each source is representative of one individual, and their viewpoint and experience which may differ to someone else’s.  Another possibility is that their memories of the events may have changed with time.  The different behaviour of fans mentioned particularly in Sources B and C may be simply due to the fact that different pop groups attract different fans.  An alternative to this is simply that Paul McCartney is used to the behaviour of fans unlike other ...

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