News Update :

Sixties icons still rocking

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Beach Boys release their first album of new songs in years next week to mark their 50th birthday -- joining an elite band of icons celebrating half a century of music that still rocks the world. In the same year the California group first surfed into the charts -- 1962 -- Bob Dylan was strumming his way into pop culture history, while the Beatles and the Rolling Stones led a revolution on the other side of the Atlantic.

Why the sudden early 60s creative explosion? One answer: as post-war baby boomers came of age in a world of growing wealth, they fervently embraced the freedoms -- cultural, financial and sexual -- offered by the new decade.

“They were just old enough to be the first people from the white working class in the first world to grow up in relative affluence and education,” professor Toby Miller of the University of California, Riverside, told AFP. “They were white boys who had an interest in black music that transcended color lines, and there were record companies and TV companies and promoters that had identified these emergent market niches for their eventual audiences.” Of the burst of history-making music icons who emerged in 1962, arguably the biggest were the Beatles, who exploded on the world stage as the “Fab Four” from their native Liverpool, via an intense apprenticeship in Hamburg, Germany.

Their first single, “Love Me Do,” came out that year, triggering a tsunami-like wave of Beatlemania which swept across the Atlantic at the head of a British musical invasion of the United States.

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