15 Apr How four boys from Liverpool helped shape a new generation
Rise of rock n roll
Every generation has its particular sound, but none have remained as iconic as the music of the 1960s. Yes, radio had existed for some time but the television had just become popular. And with it, the electronic waves carried through the world, and through the ages, a very real angst, idealism, and hope of a generation.
The birth of the rock and roll culture began in the unlikely small town of Liverpool. Neglected by its citizens, nearly bankrupt and all its factories closing down, the small town gave birth to The Beatles who went on to put it on the map.
In 1962, the city’s most popular group, a troupe of four young men who called themselves The Beatles broke into the coveted Britain’s Top Forty songs list with a folkish rock song, “Love Me Do.” The band’s leaders, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, weren’t the illustrious songwriters that we know now, but song’s momentum shattered American music’s grip on the U.K. pop charts.
By then, youth culture everywhere — not just Britain — had become a subculture in its own right — a byproduct of a large number of children who were part of a post-war population. For them, music wasn’t just entertainment or even a stylized rebellion. For them it was about superseding the values built by the generations before them — values in which the youth had had no say, values that had become outmoded and stale. There’s a lot to thank the teenagers of that era for — an unflinching desire to find out what and why things weren’t allowed and the gall to test these boundaries are some of those things.
Then, two years later, TV legend Ed Sullivan presented The Beatles to an American audience for the first time. Their songs “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “She Loves You,” had already topped the charts, but Sullivan’s eponymous show drew more than 70 million viewers. It was television’s highest watched show of that time.
Virtually overnight, the Beatles’ became a part of the American consciousness. Their arrival announced not only that the music and times were changing but also that the people, the audience had changed.
Many other bands of the same genre such as: The Whos, The Animals, Zombie, Rolling Stone came up with their groovy music, cool and youth-influencing lifestyle.