ⓘ 1960s in music


1960 in music

Renato Carosone announces his retirement, at the height of his popularity. April 17 – Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent and Cochrans girlfriend Sharon Sheeley are injured in a car accident near Chippenham in England. Cochran dies in a hospital in Bath, Somerset, from severe brain injuries. February 6 – Songwriter Jesse Belvin dies in an automobile accident in Los Angeles; he is co-author of "Earth Angel", The Penguins classic from 1954. 14-year-old Neil Young founds The Jades with Ken Koblun. January 14 – Elvis Presley is promoted to Sergeant in the United States Army. Spring – "Skokiaan" by Bil ...


1961 in music

October – John Cages book Silence: Lectures and Writings is published in the United States. July 1 – French composer Olivier Messiaen marries pianist Yvonne Loriod privately in Paris. The score of Haydns Cello Concerto No. 1 is discovered by musicologist Oldeich Pulkert in the Prague National Museum. William Alwyn sets up home with fellow-composer Doreen Carwithen, his former pupil, at Blythburgh in England. March 25 – Elvis Presley performs a benefit show at the Block Arena in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The show raises $62.000 for the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial fund. The Leeds International Piano ...


1962 in music

October 20 – Peter, Paul and Marys self-titled debut album reaches No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart. August 17 – Telstar is released in the UK. The song will eventually be the first song by a British group ever to reach the top spot on the Billboard Top 100 in the United States, proving to be a precursor to the British Invasion. January 5 – The first album on which The Beatles play, My Bonnie, credited to "Tony Sheridan and the Beat Brothers" recorded last June in Hamburg and produced by Bert Kaempfert, is released by Polydor. March 19 – Bob Dylan releases his debut album, Bob Dylan, ...


1963 in music

February 16 January 7 – Gary U.S. Bonds files a $100.000 lawsuit against Chubby Checker, claiming that Checker stole "Quarter to Three" and turned it into "Dancin Party." The lawsuit is later settled out of court. January 4 – At Cortina dAmpezzo in Italy, Dalida receives a Juke Box Global Oscar for the years most-played artist on jukeboxes. January 12 – Bob Dylan portrays a folk singer in The Madhouse of Castle Street, a radio play for the BBC in London. January 3 – The Beatles begin their first tour of 1963 with a five-day tour in Scotland to support the release of their new single, "Love ...


1964 in music

January 1 – Top of the Pops is broadcast for the first time, on BBC television in the U.K. January 18 – The Beatles appear on the Billboard magazine charts for the first time. January 15 – Vee Jay Records files a lawsuit against Capitol Records and Swan Records over manufacturing and distribution rights to Beatles albums. On April 9, Capitol Records is granted an injunction restraining Vee Jay Records from further manufacturing, distributing or advertising recordings by the Beatles. January 3 – Footage of the Beatles performing a concert in Bournemouth, England is shown on The Jack Paar Sh ...


1965 in music

January 17 – The Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts book Ode to a High Flying Bird, a tribute to jazz great Charlie Parker, is published. The Animals show at New Yorks Apollo Theater is canceled after the U.S. Immigration Department forces the group to leave the theater. The Rolling Stones and Roy Orbison travel to Sydney to begin their Australian tour. January 21 January 4 – Fender Musical Instruments Corporation is sold to CBS for $13 million. January 12 – Hullabaloo premieres on NBC. The first show included performances by The New Christy Minstrels, comedian Woody Allen, actress Joey ...


1966 in music

May 17 – Bob Dylan and the Hawks later The Band perform at the Free Trade Hall, Manchester, England. Dylan is booed by the audience because of his decision to tour with an electric band, the boos culminating in the famous "Judas" shout. The Metropolitan Opera House Lincoln Center opens in New York City with the premiere of Samuel Barbers opera Antony and Cleopatra. The opera is rejected by the critics. January 8 – Shindig! is broadcast for the last time on ABC, with musical guests the Kinks and the Who, 2 days earlier, the birthday of Elvis Presley is celebrated in the final Thursday episo ...


1967 in music

The year 1967 was an important one for psychedelic rock, and was famous for its "Summer of Love" in San Francisco. It saw major releases from The Beatles, Small Faces, Eric Burdon & The Animals, Big Brother and The Holding Company, The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, Moby Grape, Traffic, Pink Floyd, Love, The Beach Boys, Cream, The Byrds, The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Velvet Underground, Procol Harum, The Monkees, and The Jimi Hendrix Experience.


1968 in music

January 13 – Johnny Cash performs his famous concert at Folsom State Prison in California. February 18 – David Gilmour joins Pink Floyd, replacing founder Syd Barrett, who had checked himself into a psychiatric hospital. February 21 – McGraw-Hill, Inc., outbids eight other publishers and pays $150.000 for the U.S. rights to Hunter Davies authorized biography of the Beatles. The Open Pibroch Competition of the Scottish Piping Society of London is held at the London Scottish headquarters at Buckingham Gate. First place is won by Robert Brown, for the ninth time in ten years, with a performan ...


1969 in music

Eric Burdon & The Animals disband. January 18 – Pete Best wins his defamation lawsuit against The Beatles. Best had originally sought $8 million, but ended up being awarded much less. John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr hire Allen Klein as The Beatles new business manager, against the wishes of Paul McCartney. January 30 – The Beatles perform for the last time in public, on the roof of the Apple building at 3 Savile Row, London. The performance, which was filmed for the Let It Be movie, is stopped early by police after neighbors complain about the noise. February 3 January 12 – Le ...

1960s in music

ⓘ 1960s in music

For music from a year in the 1960s, go to 60 | 61 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66 | 67 | 68 | 69

This article includes an overview of the events and trends in popular music in the 1960s.

In North America and Europe the decade was particularly revolutionary in terms of popular music, as it saw the evolution of rock. At the beginning of the 1960s, pop and rock and roll trends of the 1950s continued; nevertheless, the rock and roll of the decade before started to merge into a more international, eclectic variant. In the early-1960s, rock and roll in its purest form was gradually overtaken by pop rock, beat, psychedelic rock, blues rock, and folk rock, which had grown in popularity. The country- and folk-influenced style associated with the latter half of 1960s rock music spawned a generation of popular singersongwriters who wrote and performed their own work. Towards the decades end, genres such as Baroque pop, sunshine pop, bubblegum pop, and progressive rock started to grow popular, with the latter two finding greater success in the following decade. Furthermore, the 1960s saw funk and soul music rising in popularity; rhythm and blues in general remained popular. The fusion of R&B, Gospel -and original rock and roll was a success until the mid-part of the decade. Aside from the popularity of rock and R&B music in the 1960s, Latin American as well as Jamaican and Cuban music achieved a degree of popularity throughout the decade, with genres such as Bossa nova, the cha-cha-cha, ska, and calypso being popular. From a classical point of view, the 1960s were also an important decade as they saw the development of electronic, experimental, jazz and contemporary classical music, notably minimalism and free improvisation.

In Asia, various trends marked the popular music of the 1960s. In Japan, the decade saw the rise in popularity of several Western popular music groups such as The Beatles. The success of rock music and bands in Japan started a new genre, known as Group Sounds, which was popular in the latter half of the decade.

In South America, genres such as bossa nova, Nueva cancion and Nueva ola started to rise. Rock music began leaving its mark, and achieved success in the 1960s. Additionally, salsa grew popular towards the end of the decade. In the 1960s cumbia entered Chile and left a long-lasting impact on tropical music in that country.


1.1. The U.K. Beat music

In the late 1950s, a flourishing culture of groups began to emerge, often out of the declining skiffle scene, in major urban centres in the UK like Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham and London. This was particularly true in Liverpool, where it has been estimated that there were around 350 different bands active, often playing ballrooms, concert halls and clubs. Beat bands were heavily influenced by American bands of the era, such as Buddy Holly and the Crickets from which group the Beatles derived their name, as well as earlier British groups such as the Shadows. After the national success of the Beatles in Britain from 1962, a number of Liverpool performers were able to follow them into the charts, including Cilla Black, Gerry and the Pacemakers and the Searchers. Among the most successful beat acts from Birmingham were the Spencer Davis Group and the Moody Blues. From London, the term Tottenham Sound was largely based around the Dave Clark Five, but other London bands that benefited from the beat boom of this era included the Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds and the Kinks. The first non-Liverpool, non-Brian Epstein-managed band to break through in the UK were Freddie and the Dreamers, who were based in Manchester, as were Hermans Hermits. The beat movement provided most of the groups responsible for the British Invasion of the American pop charts in the period after 1964, and furnished the model for many important developments in pop and rock music.


1.2. The U.K. The British Invasion

By the end of 1962, the British rock scene had started with beat groups like the Beatles drawing on a wide range of American influences including soul music, rhythm and blues and surf music. Initially, they reinterpreted standard American tunes, playing for dancers doing the twist, for example. These groups eventually infused their original rock compositions with increasingly complex musical ideas and a distinctive sound. In mid-1962 the Rolling Stones started as one of a number of groups increasingly showing blues influence, along with bands like the Animals and the Yardbirds. During 1963, the Beatles and other beat groups, such as the Searchers and the Hollies, achieved great popularity and commercial success in Britain itself.

British rock broke through to mainstream popularity in the United States in January 1964 with the success of the Beatles. "I Want to Hold Your Hand" was the bands first No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, starting the British Invasion of the American music charts. The song entered the chart on January 18, 1964, at No. 45 before it became the No. 1 single for 7 weeks and went on to last a total of 15 weeks in the chart. Their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show February 9 is considered a milestone in American pop culture. The broadcast drew an estimated 73 million viewers, at the time a record for an American television program. The Beatles went on to become the biggest selling rock band of all time and they were followed by numerous British bands.

During the next two years, Chad & Jeremy, Peter and Gordon, the Animals, Manfred Mann, Petula Clark, Freddie and the Dreamers, Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders, Hermans Hermits, the Rolling Stones, the Troggs, and Donovan would have one or more No. 1 singles. Other acts that were part of the invasion included the Kinks and the Dave Clark Five. British Invasion acts also dominated the music charts at home in the United Kingdom.

The British Invasion helped internationalize the production of rock and roll, opening the door for subsequent British and Irish performers to achieve international success. In America it arguably spelled the end of instrumental surf music, vocal girl groups and for a time the teen idols, that had dominated the American charts in the late 1950s and 60s. It dented the careers of established R&B acts like Fats Domino and Chubby Checker and even temporarily derailed the chart success of surviving rock and roll acts, including Elvis Presley. The British Invasion also played a major part in the rise of a distinct genre of rock music, and cemented the primacy of the rock group, based on guitars and drums and producing their own material as singer-songwriters.


1.3. The U.K. British blues boom

In parallel with Beat music, in the late 1950s and early 1960s a British blues scene was developing recreating the sounds of American R&B and later particularly the sounds of bluesmen Robert Johnson, Howlin Wolf and Muddy Waters. It reached its height of mainstream popularity in the 1960s, when it developed a distinctive and influential style dominated by electric guitar and made international stars of several proponents of the genre including the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, the Yardbirds, Fleetwood Mac and Led Zeppelin.

A number of these moved through blues rock to different forms of rock music and as a result British blues helped to form many of the subgenres of rock, including psychedelic rock and heavy metal music. Since then direct interest in the blues in Britain has declined, but many of the key performers have returned to it in recent years, new acts have emerged and there have been a renewed interest in the genre.


1.4. The U.K. British psychedelia

British psychedelia emerged during the mid-1960s, was influenced by psychedelic culture and attempted to replicate and enhance the mind-altering experiences of hallucinogenic drugs. The movement drew on non-Western sources such as Indian musics ragas and sitars as well as studio effects and long instrumental passages and surreal lyrics. Established British artists such as Eric Burdon, the Who, Cream, Pink Floyd and the Beatles produced a number of highly psychedelic tunes during the decade. Many British psychedelia bands of the 1960s never published their music and only appeared in live concerts during that time.


2.1. North America Folk music

The Kingston Trio, the Weavers, Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Odetta, Peter, Paul and Mary, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, The Byrds, Judy Collins, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Carolyn Hester, Phil Ochs, Tom Paxton, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Dave Van Ronk, Tom Rush, Fred Neil, Gordon Lightfoot, Ian and Sylvia, Arlo Guthrie and several other performers were instrumental in launching the folk music revival of the 1950s and 1960s.


2.2. North America Rock

Roy Orbison was one of rocks famous artists who wrote ballads of lost love.

In the early part of the decade, Elvis Presley continued to score hits. For most of the 60s, Presley mostly released films. Presley decided to get away from films by 1969; his last #1 song on the charts was Suspicious Minds which was released in 1969.

By the 1960s, the scene that had developed out of the American folk music revival had grown to a major movement, utilizing traditional music and new compositions in a traditional style, usually on acoustic instruments. In America the genre was pioneered by figures such as Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger and often identified with progressive or labour politics. In the early sixties figures such as Bob Dylan and Joan Baez had come to the fore in this movement as singer-songwriters. Dylan had begun to reach a mainstream audience with hits including "Blowin in the Wind" 1963 and "Masters of War" 1963, which brought "protest songs" to a wider public, but, although beginning to influence each other, rock and folk music had remained largely separate genres, often with mutually exclusive audiences. Early attempts to combine elements of folk and rock included the Animals "House of the Rising Sun" 1964, which was the first commercially successful folk song to be recorded with rock and roll instrumentation. The folk rock movement is usually thought to have taken off with the Byrds recording of Dylans "Mr. Tambourine Man" which topped the charts in 1965. With members who had been part of the cafe-based folk scene in Los Angeles, the Byrds adopted rock instrumentation, including drums and 12-string Rickenbacker guitars, which became a major element in the sound of the genre. By the mid-60s Bob Dylan took the lead in merging folk and rock, and in July 65, released Like a Rolling Stone, with a revolutionary rock sound, steeped in tawdry urban imagery, followed by an electric performance later that month at the Newport Folk Festival. Dylan plugged an entire generation into the milieu of the singer-songwriter, often writing from an urban point of view, with poetry punctuated by rock rhythms and electric power. By the mid to late 60s, bands and singer-songwriters began to proliferate the underground New York art/music scene. The release of The Velvet Underground & Nico in 1967, featuring singer-songerwriter Lou Reed and German singer and collaborator Nico was described as "most prophetic rock album ever made" by Rolling Stone in 2003. Other New York City based singer songerwriters began to emerge, using the urban landscape as their canvass for lyrics in the confessional style of poets like Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath. In July, 1969, Newsweek magazine ran a feature story, "The Girls-Letting Go," describing the groundbreaking music of Joni Mitchell, Laura Nyro, Lotti Golden and Melanie, as a new breed of female troubadour: "What is common to them are the personalized songs they write, like voyages of self discovery, brimming with keen observation and startling in the impact of their poetry." The work of these early New York based singer-songwriters, from Laura Nyros New York Tendaberry 1969, to Lotti Goldens East Village diaries on Motor-Cycle her 1969 debut on Atlantic Records, has served as inspiration to generations of female singer-songwriters in the rock, folk and jazz traditions. Dylans adoptation of electric instruments, much to the outrage of many folk purists, with his "Like a Rolling Stone" succeeded in creating a new genre. Folk rock particularly took off in California, where it led acts like the Mamas & the Papas and Crosby, Stills and Nash to move to electric instrumentation, and in New York, where it spawned singer-songwriters and performers including the Lovin Spoonful and Simon and Garfunkel, with the latters acoustic "The Sounds of Silence" being remixed with rock instruments to be the first of many hits.

Folk rock reached its peak of commercial popularity in the period 1967–68, before many acts moved off in a variety of directions, including Dylan and the Byrds, who began to develop country rock. However, the hybridization of folk and rock has been seen as having a major influence on the development of rock music, bringing in elements of psychedelia, and in particular, helping to develop the ideas of the singer-songwriter, the protest song and concepts of "authenticity".


2.3. North America Psychedelic rock

Psychedelic musics LSD-inspired vibe began in the folk scene, with the New York-based Holy Modal Rounders using the term in their 1964 recording of "Hesitation Blues". The first group to advertise themselves as psychedelic rock were the 13th Floor Elevators from Texas, at the end of 1965; producing an album that made their direction clear, with The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators the following year.

Psychedelic rock particularly took off in Californias emerging music scene as groups followed the Byrds from folk to folk rock from 1965. The Los Angeles-based group the Doors formed in 1965 after a chance meeting on Venice Beach. Although its charismatic lead singer Jim Morrison died in 1971, the bands popularity has endured to this day. The psychedelic life style had already developed in San Francisco since about 1964, and particularly prominent products of the scene were the Grateful Dead, Country Joe and the Fish, the Great Society and Jefferson Airplane. The Byrds rapidly progressed from purely folk rock in 1966 with their single "Eight Miles High", widely taken to be a reference to drug use.

Psychedelic rock reached its apogee in the last years of the decade. In America the Summer of Love was prefaced by the Human Be-In event and reached its peak at the Monterey Pop Festival, the latter helping to make major American stars of Jimi Hendrix and the Who, whose single "I Can See for Miles" delved into psychedelic territory. Key recordings included Jefferson Airplanes Surrealistic Pillow and the Doors Strange Days. These trends climaxed in the 1969 Woodstock Festival, which saw performances by most of the major psychedelic acts, but by the end of the decade psychedelic rock was in retreat. The Jimi Hendrix Experience broke up before the end of the decade and many surviving acts moved away from psychedelia into more back-to-basics "roots rock", the wider experimentation of progressive rock, or riff laden heavy rock.


2.4. North America Surf rock

In the early 1960s, one of the most popular forms of rock and roll was Surf Rock, which was characterized by being nearly entirely instrumental and by heavy use of reverb on the guitars. The spring reverb featured in Fender amplifiers of the day, cranked to its maximum volume, produced a guitar tone shimmering with sustain and evoking surf and ocean imagery.

Duane Eddys "Movin and Groovin" is thought by many to be the main contender for laying the groundwork as the first surf rock record, while others claim the genre was invented by Dick Dale on "Lets Go Trippin", which became a hit throughout California. Most early surf bands were formed during this decade in the Southern California area. By the mid-1960s the Beach Boys, who used complex pop harmonies over a basic surf rock rhythm, had emerged as the dominant surf group and helped popularize the genre. In addition, bands such as the Ventures, the Shadows, the Atlantics, the Surfaris and the Champs were also among the most popular Surf Rock bands of the decade.


2.5. North America Garage rock

Garage rock was a raw form of rock music, particularly prevalent in North America in the mid-1960s and is called such because of the perception that many of the bands rehearsed in a suburban family garage. Garage rock songs often revolved around the traumas of high school life, with songs about "lying girls" being particularly common. The lyrics and delivery were notably more aggressive than was common at the time, often with growled or shouted vocals that dissolved into incoherent screaming such as the influential Washington based band, The Sonics. They ranged from crude one-chord music like the Seeds to near-studio musician quality. There were also regional variations in many parts of the country with flourishing scenes particularly in California and Texas. The Pacific Northwest states of Washington and Oregon had perhaps the most defined regional sound.

The style had been evolving from regional scenes as early as 1958. "Louie Louie" by the Kingsmen 1963 is a mainstream example of the genre in its formative stages. By 1963, garage band singles were creeping into the national charts in greater numbers, including Paul Revere and the Raiders Boise, the Trashmen Minneapolis and the Rivieras South Bend, Indiana. In this early period many bands were heavily influenced by surf rock and there was a cross-pollination between garage rock and frat rock, sometimes viewed as merely a subgenre of garage rock.

The British Invasion of 1964–66 greatly influenced garage bands, providing them with a national audience, leading many often surf or hot rod groups to adopt a British Invasion lilt, and encouraging many more groups to form. Thousands of garage bands were extant in the USA and Canada during the era and hundreds produced regional hits. Despite scores of bands being signed to major or large regional labels, most were commercial failures. It is generally agreed that garage rock peaked both commercially and artistically around 1966. By 1968 the style largely disappeared from the national charts and at the local level as amateur musicians faced college, work or the draft. New styles had evolved to replace garage rock including blues-rock, progressive rock and country rock. In Detroit garage rock stayed alive until the early 70s, with bands like the MC5 and the Stooges, who employed a much more aggressive style. These bands began to be labelled punk rock and are now often seen as proto-punk or proto-hard rock.


2.6. North America Blues-rock

The American blues-rock had been pioneered in the early 1960s by guitarist Lonnie Mack, but the genre began to take off in the mid-60s as acts followed developed a sound similar to British blues musicians. Key acts included Paul Butterfield whose band acted like Mayalls Bluesbreakers in Britain as a starting point for many successful musicians, Canned Heat, the early Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, Johnny Winter, the J. Geils Band and Jimi Hendrix with his power trios, the Jimi Hendrix Experience Band of Gypsys, whose guitar virtuosity and showmanship would be among the most emulated of the decade. Blues-rock bands like Allman Brothers Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd and eventually ZZ Top from the southern states, incorporated country elements into their style to produce distinctive Southern rock.


2.7. North America Roots rock

Roots rock is the term now used to describe a move away from the excesses of the psychedelic scene, to a more basic form of rock and roll that incorporated its original influences, particularly country and folk music, leading to the creation of country rock and Southern rock. In 1966, Bob Dylan spearheaded the movement when he went to Nashville to record the album Blonde on Blonde. This, and subsequent more clearly country-influenced albums, have been seen as creating the genre of country folk, a route pursued by a number of, largely acoustic, folk musicians. Other acts that followed the back-to-basics trend were the group the Band and the Californian-based Creedence Clearwater Revival, both of which mixed basic rock and roll with folk, country and blues, to be among the most successful and influential bands of the late 1960s. The same movement saw the beginning of the recording careers of Californian solo artists like Ry Cooder, Bonnie Raitt and Lowell George, and influenced the work of established performers such as the Rolling Stones Beggars Banquet 1968 and the Beatles Let It Be 1970.

In 1968, Gram Parsons recorded Safe at Home with the International Submarine Band, arguably the first true country rock album. Later that year he joined the Byrds for Sweetheart of the Rodeo 1968, generally considered one of the most influential recordings in the genre. The Byrds continued in the same vein, but Parsons left to be joined by another ex-Byrds member Chris Hillman in forming the Flying Burrito Brothers who helped establish the respectability and parameters of the genre, before Parsons departed to pursue a solo career. Country rock was particularly popular in the Californian music scene, where it was adopted by bands including Hearts & Flowers, Poco and Riders of the Purple Sage, the Beau Brummels and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. A number of performers also enjoyed a renaissance by adopting country sounds, including: the Everly Brothers; one-time teen idol Ricky Nelson who became the frontman for the Stone Canyon Band; former Monkee Mike Nesmith who formed the First National Band; and Neil Young. The Dillards were, unusually, a country act, who moved towards rock music. The greatest commercial success for country rock came in the 1970s, with artist including the Doobie Brothers, Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt and the Eagles made up of members of the Burritos, Poco and Stone Canyon Band, who emerged as one of the most successful rock acts of all time, producing albums that included Hotel California 1976.

The founders of Southern rock are usually thought to be the Allman Brothers Band, who developed a distinctive sound, largely derived from blues rock, but incorporating elements of boogie, soul and country in the early 1970s. The most successful act to follow them were Lynyrd Skynyrd, who helped establish the "good ol boy" image of the subgenre and the general shape of 1970s guitar rock. Their successors included the fusion/progressive instrumentalists Dixie Dregs, the more country-influenced Outlaws, jazz-leaning Wet Willie and incorporating elements of R&B and gospel the Ozark Mountain Daredevils. After the loss of original members of the Allmans and Lynyrd Skynyrd, the genre began to fade in popularity in the late 1970s, but was sustained the 1980s with acts like.38 Special, Molly Hatchet and the Marshall Tucker Band.


2.8. North America Progressive rock

Progressive rock, sometimes used interchangeably with art rock, was an attempt to move beyond established musical formulas by experimenting with different instruments, song types and forms. From the mid-1960s the Left Banke, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and the Beach Boys, had pioneered the inclusion of harpsichords, wind and string sections on their recordings to produce a form of Baroque rock and can be heard in singles like Procol Harums "A Whiter Shade of Pale" 1967, with its Bach inspired introduction. The Moody Blues used a full orchestra on their album Days of Future Passed 1967 and subsequently created orchestral sounds with synthesisers. Classical orchestration, keyboards and synthesisers were a frequent edition to the established rock format of guitars, bass and drums in subsequent progressive rock.

Instrumentals were common, while songs with lyrics were sometimes conceptual, abstract or based in fantasy and science fiction. The Pretty Things SF Sorrow 1968 and the Whos Tommy 1969 introduced the format of rock operas and opened the door to "concept albums, usually telling an epic story or tackling a grand overarching theme." King Crimsons 1969 debut album, In the Court of the Crimson King, which mixed powerful guitar riffs and mellotron, with jazz and symphonic music, is often taken as the key recording in progressive rock, helping the widespread adoption of the genre in the early 1970s among existing blues-rock and psychedelic bands, as well as newly formed acts.


2.9. North America Pop

Chubby Checker during the early 1960s popularizes the enduring dance craze the Twist with his hit cover of Hank Ballard & the Midnighters R&B hit "The Twist".

Gerry Goffin and Carole King become a very influential duo in pop music, writing numerous number-one hits including the first song to ever reach number-one by a girl group, the Shirelles "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" and the 1962 number-one hit, "The Loco-Motion" which was performed by Little Eva.

"Sugar Sugar" becomes a big hit for The Archies, defining the bubblegum pop genre.

The Monkees were a made for TV band, inspired by the antics of the Beatles in A Hard Days Night. Under contractual reasons, the group were not allowed to play their own instruments, which led to many feuds between the bandmates and music supervisor, Don Kirshner.


2.10. North America R&B and soul music

  • "You Keep Me Hanging On" uses a fast tempo which would prove innovative in the development of disco music.
  • Soul music develops popularity throughout the decade, led by Sam Cooke, James Brown and Otis Redding, among many others.
  • The Detroit-based Motown label develops as a pop-influenced answer to soul music. The label begins a long run of No. 1 U.S. hit singles in 1961 with "Please Mr. Postman" by the Marvelettes. The label would have numerous No. 1 Billboard hits throughout the decade and into the 1990s. Notable Motown acts included the Supremes, the Miracles, the Temptations, the Four Tops, Martha and the Vandellas, Marvin Gaye and the Jackson Five, who debuted in 1969.
  • Aretha Franklins 1967 recordings, such as "I Never Loved a Man The Way I Love You", "Respect" originally sung by Otis Redding, and "Do Right Woman-Do Right Man", are considered the apogee of the soul genre, and were among its most commercially successful productions.
  • Funk begins later in the decade with James Brown and Sly & the Family Stone having early hits.

2.11. North America Country music

Triumph and great tragedy marked the 1960s in country music. The genre continued to gain national exposure through network television, with weekly series and awards programs gaining popularity. Sales of records continued to rise as new artists and trends came to the forefront. However, several top stars died under tragic circumstances, including several who were killed in plane crashes.

The predominant musical style during the decade was the Nashville Sound, a style that emphasized string sections, background vocals, crooning lead vocals and production styles seen in country music. The style had first become popular in the late 1950s, in response to the growing encroachment of rock and roll on the country genre, but saw its greatest success in the 1960s. Artists like Jim Reeves, Eddy Arnold, Ray Price, Patsy Cline, Floyd Cramer, Roger Miller and many others achieved great success through songs such as "Hell Have to Go," "Danny Boy," "Make the World Go Away", "King of the Road" and "I Fall to Pieces." The country-pop style was also evident on the 1962 album Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, recorded by rhythm and blues and soul singer Ray Charles. Charles recorded covers of traditional country, folk and classical music standards in pop, R&B and jazz styles. The album was hailed as a critical and commercial success, and would be vastly influential in later country music styles. Songs from the album that were released for commercial airplay and record sales included "I Cant Stop Loving You," "Born to Lose" and "You Dont Know Me."

By the end of the decade, the Nashville Sound became more polished and streamlined, and became known as "countrypolitan." Tammy Wynette, Glen Campbell, Dottie West and Charley Pride were among the top artists adopting this style. While George Jones - by the early 1960s one of country musics most consistent hitmakers - also recorded countrypolitan-styled music, his background remained pure honky tonk, singing of heartbreak and loneliness in many of his songs. Also, Marty Robbins proved to be one of the genres most diverse singers, singing everything from straight-ahead country to western to pop to blues. and even Hawaiian.

Johnny Cash - who became known as "The Man in Black" - became one of the most influential musicians of the 1960s and eventually, 20th century. Although primarily recording country, his songs and sound spanned many other genres including rockabilly, blues, folk and gospel. His music showed great compassion for minorities and others who were shunned by society, including prison inmates. Two of Cashs most successful albums were recorded live in prison: At Folsom Prison and At San Quentin.

During the latter half of the 1960s, Pride - a native of Sledge, Mississippi - became the first African-American superstar in country music, a genre virtually dominated by white artists. Some of his early hits, sang with a smooth baritone voice and in a style meshing honky-tonk and countrypolitan, included "Just Between You and Me," "The Easy Parts Over," "All I Have to Offer You Is Me" and a cover version of Hank Williams "Kaw-Liga." Pride continued to be successful for more than 20 years, amassing an eventual 29 No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart.

A newly emerging style, which had its roots in the 1950s but exploded in the mainstream during the 1960s, was the "Bakersfield sound." Instead of creating a sound similar to mainstream pop music, the Bakersfield sound used honky tonk as its base and added electric instruments and a backbeat, plus stylistic elements borrowed from rock and roll. Buck Owens, Merle Haggard and Wynn Stewart were some of the top artists adopting this sound, and by the late 1960s they were among country musics top selling artists.

Among female acts, the most successful of the lot were Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette and Dolly Parton. Lynn, a native of Butcher Hollow, Kentucky, and indeed, the daughter of a coal miner, would - with the help of her husband, Oliver "Doolittle" Lynn - gain a recording contract with Zero Records in 1960, and while only her first single "Honky Tonk Girl" of her early 1960s releases charted, her early recordings were the springboard for much bigger and better things to come. By the latter half of the decade, and continuing into the 1970s, she was recording songs that defied the stereotype of the woman who had to put up with men, their hard drinking, philandering and other negative traits - for instance, "Dont Come Home A-Drinkin With Lovin on Your Mind" - as well as songs that pushed the genres conservative boundaries "Dear Uncle Sam," a song about the Vietnam War and her willingness to stand up to other women "You Aint Woman Enough To Take My Man").

Parton, a native of the Smoky Mountains town of Locust Ridge, Tennessee, gained national exposure on the nationally syndicated program The Porter Wagoner Show, on which she began appearing in 1967. Two years earlier, she had signed a recording contract with Monument Records and was pushed as a bubblegum pop singer, but had only minor success before one of her compositions – "Put It Off Until Tomorrow" – became a big hit for Bill Phillips a track which Parton provided backing vocals in 1966. Eventually, her mountain-influenced, biographical brand of country and her down-home personality won many fans, and her star power would only begin to rise. Her first major hits were mainly duets with Wagoner, although she had several solo hits - including her breakthrough, "Dumb Blonde" - as well.

Wynette gained acclaim with unique perspectives on the classic themes of loneliness, divorce, and the difficulties of life and relationships, illustrated by songs such as "I Dont Wanna Play House" and "D-I-V-O-R-C-E." However, it was "Stand By Your Man," a song pledging of unyielding faithfulness and standing by men despite their shortcomings, that gave Wynette her career hit. By the late 1960s, she was married to fellow country music singer George Jones.

Among other female newcomers, Connie Smith was among the most successful, as her breakthrough hit, "Once a Day" spent eight weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart in late 1964 and early 1965, the longest-running chart-topper for nearly 50 years. During a career that has spanned 50-plus years, Smiths songs often explored themes of loneliness and vulnerability.

In addition to the syndicated The Porter Wagoner Show, several other television programs were produced to allow country music to reach a wider audience, such as The Jimmy Dean Show in mid-decade. At the end of the decade, Hee Haw began a 23-year run, first on CBS and later in syndication; Hee Haw, hosted by Owens and Roy Clark was loosely based on the comedy series Rowan & Martins Laugh In, and incorporated comedy along with performances by the shows cast or guest performers from the country music field. The Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association awards programs were telecast for the first time in the late 1960s.

The 1960s were marred with tragedy. Johnny Horton, who sang in the saga-song style, was killed in a car accident in 1960. A March 5, 1963, plane crash claimed the lives of Patsy Cline, Cowboy Copas and Hawkshaw Hawkins. Days later, Jack Anglin was killed in a car accident, while Texas Ruby died in a trailer fire in Texas. In July 1964, Jim Reeves lost his life while piloting a plane near Brentwood, Tennessee. Ira Louvin one half of the Louvin Brothers was killed in a car accident in 1965. Success overcame several of those tragic deaths, as both Cline and Reeves had many posthumous hits with previously recorded songs issued after their deaths and enjoyed strong followings for many years, while Louvins brother, Charlie, continued as a successful solo performer for more than 40 years. Other pioneering stars who died during the 1960s included A.P. Carter, Gid Tanner, Moon Mullican, Ernest "Pop" Stoneman, Red Foley, Leon Payne and Spade Cooley.

The 1960s began a trend toward a proliferation of No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart, thanks to ever-changing data collecting methods. When the 1960s decade opened, there were but four No. 1 songs topping the chart five, if one counts Marty Robbins "El Paso", but by the mid-1960s, there were always at least a dozen songs topping the chart annually. In 1967, there were more than 20 songs reaching the top spot for the first time ever in a single calendar year. and that number would only continue to rise during the next 20 years.


2.12. North America Other trends and musical events

  • A few songs such as Bob Dylans "Blowin in the Wind" address the Civil Rights Movement.
  • In 1969, the Rolling Stones organised the ill-fated Altamont Free Concert.
  • Late in the decade, the Monterey Pop Festival and Woodstock Music Festival would epitomize the American counterculture.
  • Songs like "Summertime Blues" and "Eve of Destruction" address the issue of the voting age, which at the time was 21. The issue was that soldiers were drafted at 18, but could not vote. The voting age was eventually lowered to eighteen.
  • Current events become a major influence on popular music. Many songs are written in protest to the Vietnam War. The song "Ohio" was written about the Kent State Massacre, and became a hit for Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.
  • World music sees a huge rise in popularity as many seek interest in other cultures. Ravi Shankar performs at the Monterey and Woodstock festivals. Latin Rock artist Carlos Santana sees popularity throughout the decade. George Harrison develops an interest in the Hare Krishna culture, adding Indian influence to the Beatles music including the use of a sitar. Reggae begins to popularize at this time.

3. Latin America, Spain and Brazil


Astor Piazzola won the First Ibero American Music Festival in 1966 with the song "Balada para un loco", that launched him worldwide introducing his New Tango style Nuevo Tango

Musica cebolla

Musica cebolla, a style of music loaded with sentimentality, had its heydays in Chile dispite being derided or ignored by mass media.


3.1. Latin America, Spain and Brazil Bossa Nova

This Brazilian musical style, which means "New Trend", had its origins in the upscale neighbourhoods of Rio de Janeiro. Immensely popular in the early 1960s, it was a fusion of samba and cool jazz. Antonio Carlos Jobim, João Gilberto, Astrud Gilberto, and Vinicius de Moraes became some of the best known artists of the Bossa Nova movement. The latters The Girl From Ipanema, released in 1964, became the first Bossa Nova song to achieve international acclaim. In 1965, it won a Grammy Award for Best Record of the Year. Another prominent Latin pop group was Sergio Mendes and Brazil 66. Their songs included Mas Que Nada, The Joker, and Agua de Beber. In 1966 the group was nominated for a Grammy award for Best Performance by a Duo or Musical Group. They eventually became Sergio Mendes and Brazil 77, and continued playing their brand of Latin pop into that decade.


3.2. Latin America, Spain and Brazil Nueva ola

It was during the 60s that rock music began to gain acclaim in Latin America. In Spanish speaking South America musicians who adopted US and British inspired rock, mainly rock and roll, twist and British Invasion music, were collectively labelled as Nueva ola Spanish for "New Wave". Argentina, having his own Rock and Roll and British Invasion inspired bands and artist, Sandro de America, Sandro y Los de Fuego, Johnny Allon, Los Gatos Salvajes, Los Beatniks, Los Buhos, among others. suffered the Uruguayan Invasion, a series of British Invasion inspired rock bands from Montevideo that moved to Buenos Aires and soon became popular in Argentina Los Shakers, Los Mockers, Los Iracundos. Rock music was during the 60s still largely sung in English, but some bands like Los Macs and others mentioned above used Spanish for their songs as well.


3.3. Latin America, Spain and Brazil Salsa

Even though salsa music began to take form in a New York scene dominated by Cubans and other Latin American communities, Salsa would not become popular all across Latin America until the late 1980s and is now here today.


3.4. Latin America, Spain and Brazil Tango

Astor Piazzola won the First Ibero American Music Festival in 1966 with the song "Balada para un loco", that launched him worldwide introducing his New Tango style Nuevo Tango


3.5. Latin America, Spain and Brazil Musica cebolla

Musica cebolla, a style of music loaded with sentimentality, had its heydays in Chile dispite being derided or ignored by mass media.


4. Australia and New Zealand

The 1960s saw increasing interest in how electronic music could solve both compositional and more practical problems. Composers were also absorbing ideas from overseas, such as indeterminacy and electro-acoustic music, and interpreting them in an Australian context to mixed responses from local audiences.

Early in the decade, Bruce Clarke began toying with the new Moog synthesizer. A musicians strike led him to create a completely electronic soundtrack for a cigarette commercial in 1963. Innovative film makers, like Arthur Cantrill and Dusan Marek, employed tape manipulation, turntables and extended instrument techniques to create soundtracks for their short films. Avowed amateur and Melbourne physician, Val Stephen, became the first Australian to have electronic music released internationally.

After working among the musical avant-garde in Paris, Keith Humbles return to Australia helped to encourage educational institutions to take electronic music seriously. Humbles most notably experimental work was his Nunique series. These vast multimedia events featured simultaneous performances by rock bands, string quartets and theatre ensembles, all according to precise flowcharts.

Humble initiated the Melbourne-based Society for the Private Performance of New Music in 1966, providing a supportive performance space for young innovators both in and outside the academy. Among these were the McKimm/Rooney/Clayton trio, who, since the 1964, had been incorporating graphic scores and aspects of serialism into jazz improvization. Jazz was radicalizing at the fringes: John Sangster explored free jazz concepts and Charlie Munro incorporated Eastern musical elements. Syd Clayton would leave jazz behind in pursuit of a new form of experimental music theatre that incorporated chance operations along with sports and games as musical structures.

Young composers, like David Ahern, emerged, initially inspired by ideas of the European avant-garde, and applying them to Australian icons, such as Captain Cook and Ned Kelly. Ahern would travel to Europe later in the 1960s, where he encountered Stockhausen and Cardew, before returning home with further more radical ideas that questioned the very premises of composer and music itself.


5. Legacy

Its difficult to gauge the lasting impact of 1960s music in popular culture. A 2010 European survey conducted by the digital broadcaster Music Choice, interviewing over 11.000 participants, rated the decade rather low, with only 19% declaring it the best tune decade in the last 50 years, while participants of an American land line survey rated the 1960s a bit higher, with 26% declaring it as best decade in music.