The Nineteen Sixties
The 1960s was the decade of change, revolution and freedom for both Britain and America. To many the 60's are remembered as the 'swinging sixties' a golden age, which was enjoyed immensely, but others blame the 1960's for some of the failings in society.
In the mid 1950's Britain was recovering from a long period of economic hardship after a long and draining war. Shortages and austerity were still very much part of everyday life there was little mobility in Britain as most could not afford a car, the choice of radio stations could be counted on one hand all of which catered for adults not children. The concept of consumer choice was simply 'Can I afford it?' or 'do they have it in stock' the answer was usually no to both. Times were hard but this was soon to change.
Britain suddenly seemed to emerge from its gloom, people believed for the first time in years that they could truly leave there troubles behind them. Like the USA, Britain enjoyed full employment and rising living standards. Things seemed to change very rapidly; fashions altered continuously, becoming more extreme. Skirts became shorter and shorter whilst colours became brighter and brighter. Music also changed, artists started to challenge traditional social views. They sang rock and roll music which adults strongly disapproved of, despite which becoming extremely popular with white teenagers. They were starting to think for themselves.
During the late 1950's, early 1960's. The average wage rose by 90% and unemployment dropped dramatically to only 2%! There were many new inventions such as the television, which now, nearly everyone could afford. The newest invention of all was 'the teenager.' Even the word itself was new. In the 1940's teenagers were seen as mini adults who were expected to behave and act as there parents did. By the 1960's teenagers no longer had to follow the fashions and interests of their elders. They had their own unique style and their own views which demanded to be heard. Everything seemed to be aimed at the young
"In the 1940's daughters tried to look like their mothers, in the 1960's mothers tried to look like there daughters'
Describe popular culture in Britainat the beginning of the 1960's.
The 1960's saw a new generation emerge, a generation that took the country by storm. A generation with money to spend that manufacturers now had to cater for. -The Teenager.
In 1959 British teenagers were spending £8.00 a week (their wages) on luxuries for themselves such as clothes records, entertainment and cosmetics. This money provided them with independence and freedom, giving them a change to re-invent themselves, making them realise they no longer had to be the mirror image of their parents.
Everything was new and nothing stayed the same for a length of time. Everything was changing. Manufactures saw potential and realised that whatever was new was going to sell. In large quantities. The teenager brought with it, new fashions, new film and television and new music. Making Britain seem exciting bright and youthful.
Music saw a major change and revolutionised many youngsters' lives. Teenagers demanded their own style of music, something that was different. In the mid 1950's the amount of radio stations available could be counted on one hand, all of which catered for parents not teenagers. Radio paid little attention to pop music. Radio Luxemburg was the only way for teenagers to listen to the music they wanted, reception was however, of very low quality and the sound faded out frequently.
Music was a massive part of the 60's. America seemed to lead the way with the likes of Elvis Presley. His was a never before heard sound - 'rock and roll'. This was at first seen as black music sung by white artists and became extremely popular. The power of radio helped to spread this type of music. Elvis himself became the highest paid artist...
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