In a time of economic prosperity, a rise in the standard of living and rock and roll, also known as the “happy days”, the 1950s were a time looked back on with nostalgia. On the other hand, the 1950s were also met with many problems involving civil rights, the Cold War and McCarthyism. After the end of World War II, Americans came home to jobs available and a period of consensus. Consensus meaning there wasn’t much debate in politics. However tensions quickly rose throughout the nation when Joseph McCarthy made serious accusations about the State Department. He said that at least 205 members of the State Department were members of the communist party. This was after it was released to the public that a couple named Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were secretly communist spies who were staying in the U.S., stealing nuclear weapon secrets. With McCarthy’s remarks such as “They [a communist spy] could even be your neighbor!’ scarring the American public’s mind, many were on edge.
The United States is a country with ever-changing morals, social norms, and ideas. Triggered by significant events such as new laws or wars, the changes that occur usually result in altered attitudes towards existing morals, norms, and ideas. One of the country’s most important changes was the huge cultural shift among young people that took place during the 1960s which had an immense influence on society.
Rock music in the 1960s was egalitarian, eclectic, and real based on a number of reasons. To explain the 'real' piece of rock music in the 1960s, one would have to know that there was war going on overseas that didn't make sense to Americans as to why it was going on (the Vietnam war). There was also still severe inequality between blacks and whites causing protests to occur via the Civil Rights movement, led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. There was inequality between women and mens rights. These issues caused dissatisfaction to occur in the American people. What better way to vent dissatisfaction than through music! Also in addition to the frustrations described above, teen rebellion from the parental obligations was also in full swing. The result of this was 'free love' and experimenting with drugs. This led to creative, and mind you interesting, rock that Americans loved like "I Can't Get No Satisfaction" by The Rolling Stones and "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" by The Beatles. Aside from the above,
The 1960s in my opinion might be the most impactful time period in the United States history for the exception of the United States Independence from England and The Emancipation of Proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln. The 1960s brought a lot of changes for the minorities within the United States and also for the new generation of women. A lot of things were accomplish in the 1960s from minorities like African Americans, Latin Americans and Native Americans finally were given some type of rights in the United States to the men landing in the moon and idea presented by President John F. Kennedy and that many believe that it could not be done, but by the end of the decade it became a reality. John F. Kennedy also was assassinate, but before
The years of the 1950s and 60s was a time where many hardships occurred as global tension was high and as a result many wars occurred as well as movements. The historical issues and events of the fifties and sixties was often propelled by popular culture through art and media such as television, paintings and music. The civil rights movement succeeded in bringing equal rights to the African American population within the United States in a peaceful manner thanks to meaningful art forms. The Vietnam War was widely seen as a controversial conflict and opened insight to Australians as to what was actually happening through music and television which in turn swayed the public opinion of Australia’s involvement with the war.
The 1960s was a tumultuous decade for the United States. Along with the escalation of the Vietnam War, this decade was rocked by the Civil Rights movement and the second wave of the Feminist movements, creating an immense amount of social tension. As a result, people turned to politically-charged music, predominantly Rock n’ Roll, to release their frustrations. However, an equally important musical genre, Soul, was left in the background. Despite the fact that Soul music was not as popular in the United States, artists such as Aretha Franklin released many politically-charged songs that advocated for social justice.
In the 1950’s, America was just starting to develop a common culture. Platforms like The Ed Sullivan Show, were uniting Americans while maintaining the conservative values of the time. Many Americans tried to hold onto the lifestyle and values they were so used to, but the times were changing. The number of women in the workforce doubled, African Americans were fighting segregation, and a new teenage culture was developing. Music, rock n’ roll at that time, became a way to make up the differences between Americans. Elvis Presley, a poor southern boy, made major waves by singing what most considered solely race music enticing teenagers and angering disapproving parents. This changed the common culture of the time by breaking down at least some of the barriers between whites and blacks through teenagers love of music.
Cultural Impact of Rock and Roll Amidst the 1960’s Jimi Hendrix formerly stated, “Music doesn’t lie. If there is something to be changed in this world, then it can only happen through music.” A generation which was earnestly devoted to peace, protest, and revolution, the counterculture amongst the 1960’s yearned for change. Rock and roll was far beyond just a genre of music; it influenced lifestyles, protests, and attitudes, thus, kindling an awakening in the youth of American culture. The distinction between parental and youth culture was a persistent root of concern, considering that teens throughout the world found a sense of belonging in this style of music.
Number two, there was a big increase of drug addicts. Number three, high crime and U.S. inner cities were ruin into ghettos. Lastly, the assassination of political and human right leaders. Overall, there were a lot more then these positive and negative changes I have listed that happened during the 1960s. I just listed the few that stuck out to me the
The 1960’s was also a decade of dramatic change and turmoil across the world. There were nuclear threats across the world including France, China, the United States and Cuba and the dramatic construction of the Berlin wall in Europe. Anti-war protests, social revolutions, the civil rights movement, the gay rights movement and the second wave of progression of feminism were especially important in making the world we have today. Politically important figures such as Martin Luther King Jr and John F Kennedy were also assassinated during the 1960’s which caused uproar in America. The 1960’s was also the decade the first man landed and walked on the moon, Neil Armstrong which had many opportunities for scientists to discover more about the universe.
The progress of music from earlier years to the mid 1950’s was great. Not long after, Little Richard, in 1956, Elvis Presley, made his debut and in 1957, Jerry Lee Lewis. Music attached to those particular names gave people a way to express themselves, the music gave people an idol that “understood” them. Rock and Roll also gave people back in the 1950’s freedom to be who they wanted to
“Music has always been both a barometer measuring and responding to society's problems and possibilities, and the twentieth century was a period that witnessed the emergence of a diverse range of musical styles and genres, each seemingly in reaction to the dominant sociopolitical concerns of the day” (Morgan). Presley, Dylan, and Joplin had the greatest influence on American culture in the 1960’s. Elvis had a great influence on American culture through his influence on music, affect on American culture, and his legacy. Elvis also known as “the King” or “the King of Rock and Roll”was very popular in the 1960’s. Presley created new styles by gyrating his hips and dressing differently.
Radio and Television The music of the 1960s and 1970s definitely had an impact on culture and society in the United States. Protest music, specifically, brought ideas, as well as problems, to the attention of many Americans. Radio stations across the nation were a big part of the spread of protest music. Radio experienced a boom after World War II.
The British Invasion in American music would not have been as prominent without The Beatles, who paved the way for other British groups to come to America and be successful. The 1950’s rock and roll artist like Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, and others, influenced many British groups during the early 1960’s, but in America in the early 1960’s folk music was the popular choice of music. The popularity of folk music was due in large part to what was going on in American society with the civil rights movement, JFK assassination and the Vietnam War and folk music spoke to what was going on in America. The British Invasion ended the popularity of folk music in 1964 with The Beatles and other British groups.
The 1960’s was a time of great conflict and tension for America. Lyndon B. Johnson was elected president in 1963, and many social issues were dividing the United States at this time. The fight for equal rights for every citizen, not just white males, caused many riots, protests, and distress for the country. The Vietnam War was taking place on the other side of the world, but was severely affecting Americans back in the States. It lead to the Anti-War Movement, which still affects America on foreign relations today.