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The decade of the 1950’s ended with “the day the music died”; the shocking and untimely death of three of the decade’s rising stars—Ritchie Valens, Buddy Holly, and The Big Bopper—in a plane crash. But the 1960’s would go on to surprise everyone with some of the most revolutionary changes in music, surpassing the expectations set by the previous decade, if that were even possible.
The Rock and Roll trends of the 1950’s continued, with Elvis Presley still enjoying significant popularity after his discharge from the army, but with most of his focus during this decade on films. At the same time, Surf Rock emerged as new form of Rock and Roll, characterized by heavy use of reverb and a shimmering guitar tone which suggested imagery of surf and sand. At the same time that the Beach Boys were rising to prominence on hits such as “Surfin’ USA” and “I Get Around”, the Detroit-based Motown label began its response to this light-hearted pop sound with its own brand of soul music. With the surprise 1961 hit “Please Mr. Postman,” the Marvelettes paved the way for Motown acts such as Marvin Gaye, the Supremes, the Miracles, the Four Tops, and even the Jackson Five, which enjoyed its debut in the latter part of the decade.
By the middle part of the decade, new international forms of influences began to emerge. Folk, blues, psychedelic, beat, and pop rock all began to grow in popularity, bolstered by the emergence of a new artist—the singer/songwriter. And perhaps no new development had a longer-lasting impact than the “British Invasion,” marked by the 1964 American debut of the Beatles with their smash number one hit, “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” The group’s appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show became a turning point for this new wave of global music, paving the way for bands such as the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin.
The British Invasion also meant the potential end to the teen idols and surf music which had dominated the earlier part of the decade, and the rise of psychedelic rock. With the Byrds and the Doors appealing to the new counter-culture youth, the stage was set for the protest music of artists such as Joan Baez and Bob Dylan, with his politically heavy and thoughtful hits “Masters of War” and “Blowin’ in the Wind.” This insightful, intelligent new form music brought the singer/songwriter development to full circle, paving the way for the turbulent end of the decade which was to emerge.
Rounding out the era and setting the stage for the political and cultural conflicts to follow, the Woodstock Music Festival in the summer of 1969 would set the stage for a massive social upheaval to come, and one which would—of course—be reflected in the next decade’s music.
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A famous 60's band booking price can range from $10,000 to over $1,000,000. Unsure? Don’t worry! We can help you find the biggest celebrity name for your budget.
Select and hire famous 1960 Music Artists some of the greatest music icons of the 1960s for your event.