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Music, TV, and Film were extremly important in the 1960s. As the 1960's began, rock and roll, folk, country and soul music became popular styles of music which everyone enjoyed. This music was celebrated at a three day outdoor music festival called Woodstock that was the first of its kind. Also during this time period, TV was extremely popular. Animated TV shows as well as family oriented shows were the main forms of televised entertainment during this time period. Additionally, film was extremely popular during this time. During this time period, there were a variety of films for everyone to enjoy.

Beginning in the late 1950's and continuing into the 1960's, Elvis Presley began to popularize rock and roll. This trend continued on with other singers/bands such as the Beatles and the Grateful Dead. Rock and roll was not the only form of music in the 1960s. Folk music and soul music also began to grow as popular types of music. Bob Dylan and Peter, Paul, and Mary were popular folk musicians during this time period.

Popular Musicians of the 1960's:
  • Elvis Presley
    Elvis Presley
    Elvis Presley
    - Although he did not begin his music career in this era, his music was extremely popular during this time period. He came up with a lot of new songs that were extremely popular. However, during this time period, he focused more on film than he did on music. For more information on Elvis, you can visit his official website:
  • Johnny Cash - During this time, Johnny Cash was an extremely well known country music singer. He had created two major albums during the decade and his music was enjoyed by everyone. One of his songs, "Ballad of the Alamo," was used as the theme song for the 1960 film The Alamo. For more information on Johnny Cash, you can visit his official website:
  • The Supremes - Soul music trio from Detroit. Its members were Diana Ross, Florence Ballard, and Mary Wilson. They were an extremely popular motown/soul music group. In 1965, they recorded their most well known song, "Stop! In the Name of Love." However, in the late 1960's, the group split up as Diana Ross went solo and Florence Ballard left the group.
  • Jimi Hendrix - After being honorably discharged from the army, Jimi Hendrix continued to pursue his music career throughout the 1960's. He did so by performing with well known musicians of the time, such as Ike and Tina Turner and Little Richard. After playing with them for a little while, Hendrix decided to go on his own so that he could have the role as "lead" rather than "back up." In 1966, Hendrix created a new band called, The Jimi Hendrix Experience. This band was highly successful and is most commonly known for the song "Wild Thing." Unfortunately, Hendrix passed away at the young age of twenty seven in 1970. For more information on Jimi Hendrix, you can visit his website:
    Bob Dylan
    Bob Dylan
  • Bob Dylan - He was born Robert Allen Zimmerman, but then changed his name to Bob Dylan when he began performing. He was inspired by folk singer Woody Guthrie. He began his career by singing his folk songs in local coffee houses. After playing in the coffee houses for a while, Columbia Records approached him and signed him to a record deal. Many of his songs were based on social activism and his views on current events. He began his career as a folk singer but then later became more of a rock/folk singer. As a singer, he made a significant impact on society. He was one of the first to sing a rock/folk style of music along with incorporating current events in his music. For more information on Bob Dylan, you can visit his website:
  • Peter, Paul, and Mary - The group was named for the three members: Peter Yarrow, Paul Stookey, and Mary Travers. A lot of the songs they sung were recordings of the songs of others, such as Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind" and Pete Seeger's "If I Had a Hammer." Even though they recorded a lot of songs that weren't their own, they still had many original songs. One of their most famous original songs was "Puff the Magic Dragon." To this day, this song is still an extremely popular children's song. Similar to Bob Dylan, a lot of their songs contained responses to current events in society. For more information, you can visit their website:
  • Beatles - In 1964, the Beatles came to the USA. This band was comprised of John
    The Beatles
    The Beatles
    Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison. After appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show on television, "Beatlemania" (America's infatuation with the Beatles) began. During this time period, they had several best selling records and singles. Some of their more famous records included "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" and "The Beatles." Some of their famous singles included "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds." In 1970, however, this extremely successful band broke up and each of the members went their separate ways. Click here to see the Beatles playing live at Shea Stadium. For more information, you can visit their website:
  • Grateful Dead -The Grateful Dead originally began their career as the "Warlocks" but later changed their name to the Grateful Dead after being inspired by the Egyptian Book of the Dead. The Grateful Dead was well known for its involvement in the psychedelic era of the 1960s. The Grateful Dead was from the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco which was known for being part of the psychedelic phenomenon. The Grateful Dead had a cult like following. Their followers, nicknamed Deadheads, would attend as many concerts as they possibly could. Jerry Garcia, the lead guitarist, was looked upon as being the leader of the band. When he died in 1995, the band officially broke up and each of the members went their separate ways. For more information on the Grateful Dead, you can visit their website:
    Poster from Woodstock
    Poster from Woodstock

Woodstock Music Festival:
The Woodstock Music Festival was a three day music festival in Bethel, New York from August 15-18, 1969. This festival was the first of its kind. It was an outdoor concert where nearly 35 bands played throughout the three days. Famous bands such as the Grateful Dead and the Who performed at Woodstock. Hundreds of thousands of people from all over the country flocked to Bethel so that they could attend this landmark festival. Although tickets were sold for the concert, so many people came to see it that it was so overwhelming that the concert became free of charge. Woodstock was a significant event in US history because it was able to unify people from all over the country under the umbrella of music.

Significance in the 1960's:
In the 1960's, music acted as a new means for people to express themselves. Using music, singers and bands, such as Bob Dylan, were able to express their feelings towards events that were taking place in society, such as war. Also, music in the 1960's provided an escape for Americans. A majority of this music was considered "psychedelic" rock music and it allowed the listeners to escape the pain of reality and just relax and focus on the music.

TV was extremely popular during the 1960s. During this decade, television was dominated by three main networks: CBS, NBC, and ABC. Towards the end of the decade, a new channel, PBS, and cable television became available to consumers. In the middle of the decade, TV made the transition from viewing only in black and white to viewing in color. Throughout the 1960s, everyone enjoyed watching a variety of shows. There were animated cartoons, such as Alvin and the Chipmunks and the Flintstones, live shows, such as American Bandstand, mock horror shows, such as the Addams Family, science fiction shows, such as Star Trek, and family oriented sitcoms, such as the Beverly Hillbillies.

Popular Shows of the 1960s:
  • American Bandstand - This show was an extremely popular show among teenagers during the 1960s. American Bandstand was a live show, hosted by Dick Clark, which filmed American teenagers dancing the newest and most popular dances, such as "The Twist." This show also gave singers, such as the Beatles, an opportunity to showcase their songs. Additionally, this show was groundbreaking during this time period because it allowed African-Americans to dance on the show alongside white teenagers.
  • The Flints
    The Flintstones
    The Flintstones
    tones - Cartoons were extremely popular during this time period. The Flintstones was one of the most popular cartoons of the time. The Flintstones was set in the prehistoric era in the town of Bedrock. Its main characters were Fred, Wilma, and Pebbles Flintstone and Barney, Betty, and Bam-Bam Rubble. The Flintstones also had a lovable purple dinosaur named Dino. This show is known for its trademark line, "Yabba Dabba Doo!" The Flintstones was created by Hanna-Barbera Productions.
  • The Jetsons - This show was viewed as the futuristic counterpart of the Flintstones. The Jetsons was one of the most popular cartoons of the time. This show was a cartoon TV show that was set in the future. Being a futuristic family, the Jetsons had a robot for a maid and they traveled in an "aerocar" which looked like a flying saucer. As the theme song explains, this family was made up of "George Jetson. His boy Elroy. Daughter Judy. Jane his wife." Both the Jetsons and the Flintstones were created by Hanna-Barbera Productions.
  • Beverly Hillbillies - This show was a comedy that was centered around the fictitious Clampett family. In this show, the Clampett family, who lived in the Ozarks, became extremely rich when they discovered oil on their property. Since they became wealthy, they decided to move to Beverly Hills and live there. However, they were obviously out of place in Beverly Hills because they were hillbillies and the people living there were uptight individuals. This popular show was on the air from 1962-1971.
  • The Addams Family - The Addams family was on TV for three years from 1964-1966. This show was part of the "mock horror" craze of the 1960s. This show was based around the lives of the members of the mys
    Star Trek
    Star Trek
    terious Addams family.
  • Star Trek - Airing from 1966-1969, Star Trek was an extremely popular science fiction show during this decade. This show followed the lives of Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, Dr. McCoy, and their crew as they traveled around outer space on their starship, The Enterprise. Throughout their outer space journeys, they would have to fight off attacking aliens and anything else that stood in the way of their travels.

These TV shows were extremely significant to the 1960s. Many of these shows popularized the cartoon genre, which became a favorite genre of many. Also, during this time period, TV shows, such as American Bandstand, promoted racial equality by allowing white teenagers to dance alongside African American teenagers in an era where racial integration was considered taboo. Finally, these shows are extremely significant because they are still popular today in the 21st century.

During the 1960s, film was an extremely popular form of entertainment. During this era, a variety of popular films were created. There were Audrey Hepburn movies, such as Breakfast at Tiffany's, action packed movies, such as James Bond: Dr. No, musicals, such as The Sound of Music, provacative films, such as the Graduate, and movies that broke racial boundries, such as Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.
  • My Fair Lady - This romantic comedy hit the big screen in 1964. My Fair Lady starred Audrey Hepburn as a lowly flower sales girl. As the result of a bet, a linguistics professor, played by Rex Harrison, attempts to teach Hepburn's character how to speak using proper grammar and diction. Although at the beginning of the movie, the professor is not a huge fan of the flower sales girl, he eventually falls in love with her. This musical movie popularized many of its musical numbers such as "The Rain in Spain" and "I Could Have Danced All Night." This romantic comedy was one of Audrey Hepburn's many famous movies during the 1960s. This movie won the Academy Award for best picture in 1964.
    To Kill a Mockingbird
    To Kill a Mockingbird
  • To Kill a Mockingbird - This movie was the film adaptation of Harper Lee's novel To Kill a Mockingbird. It hit the big screen in 1962 and starred Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch. Based on the novel, this movie centered around Atticus Finch, a lawyer, as he tried to defend an African American named Tom Robinson (played by Brock Peters), who was accused of raping a white girl.
  • The Sound of Music - This movie is about a nun, Sister Maria (played by Julie Andrews), who leaves the nunnery to work as a nanny for the Von Trapp family. Throughout the movie, all of the characters sing a variety of songs, such as "My Favorite Things." The Sound of Music takes place in the hills of Austria during World War II/the Nazi regime. This movie was made in 1965. This movie
    The Graduate
    The Graduate
    won the Academy Award for best picture in 1965.
  • The Graduate - This movie came to the big screen in 1967. In The Graduate, the character Benjamin Braddock, played by Dustin Hoffman, has just graduated from college and is seduced by his father's business associate's wife, Mrs. Robinson. After having an affair with her, he falls in love with Mrs. Robinson's daughter. Since this movie, the character Mrs. Robinson has retained notoriety. This movie was just one of many provocative movies of this era. Simon and Garfunkel recorded a song called "Mrs. Robinson" which appeared in the movie and was very popular.
  • James Bond: Dr. No - In 1962, James Bond: Dr. No, the first James Bond movie ever cre
    James Bond: Dr. No
    James Bond: Dr. No
    ated, hit the big screen. In this movie, James Bond was played by Sean Connery. Although this was not the most financially successful of the James Bond movies, this movie was important because it was the first movie in a series that still creates new movies today. This movie was also significant because it introduced the first "Bond Girl." This film was the most realistic out of all of the James Bond films of the 1960s. One of Bond's most famous lines, which was made popular after the release of this movie, was "Bond, James Bond."
  • Guess Who's Coming to Dinner - This movie was a groundbreaking film because it featured white actors acting alongside African American actors. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner stars Sidney Poitier, Katharine Houghton, Katharine Hepburn, and Spencer Tracey. In this movie, Houghton brings home her African American fiance (Poitier) to meet her parents (Hepburn and Tracey). This film, which was enjoyed by nearly everyone, helped teach tolerance in the form of entertainment. Katharine Hepburn later won an Oscar for her performance in this movie.

The movies of the 1960s were extremely significant. Many of these films popularized the musical genre, such as Sound of Music and My Fair Lady. Additionally, James Bond: Dr. No paved the way for future James Bond movies as well as future action hero/spy themed movies. Finally, during this era, movies were significant because they used lightheartedness to break racial tension, such as in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.

  • At the start of the 1960's, 45 million families had TVs. By the end of the decade, nearly 60 million families had TVs. This statistic shows how important television was to the decade.
  • In the movie Hairspray, the Corny Collins show is based on the popular 1960s show, American Bandstand.
  • The 2005 film Rumor Has It... is loosely based on The Graduate.
  • Guess Who's Coming to Dinner was remade in 2005 as Guess Who. In the remake, the roles were reversed in that it was an African American girl bringing her white boyfriend home to meet her family.
  • In the stage version of My Fair Lady, which was produced before the film version, Julie Andrews played the main character. But when it came time to film the movie, the directors decided to choose Hepburn to play the lead role in the movie as opposed to Andrews.

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Picture Citations:
Grateful Dead:
Alvin and the Chipmunks:
Sound of Music:
Bob Dylan:
Woodstock Poster:
The Flintstones:
Star Trek:
To Kill a Mockingbird:
The Graduate:
James Bond: Dr. No: