Diehard music fans would know that 50s was the decade that changed the world of music forever. The evolution continued in the 60s as it was an era that produced legends who are still inspiring generations of musicians.
Music composed during the 50s & 60s era reflected cultural changes that followed the detrimental effects of the World War II, along with the racial tensions. Genres like R&B and rock rose to prominence and much credit for their popularity goes to the African American musicians of that time. Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Les Paul, Alan Freed and Jerry Lee Lewis are some of the names that popularized the early R&B laced with rock n roll. As studio compositions led to live performances, 50s & 60s era tickets experienced a boom, especially during the mid 50s.
50s High-Octane Rock n Roll
The initial years of rock n roll were among the best that the genre enjoyed. Possibilities were endless and both the artists and the genre thrived on creative freedom. The town of Tiptonville in Tennessee gave birth to an artist Carl Perkins, who went on to earn the title of the “King of Rockabilly”.
Carl Perkins’s name is etched in the rock n roll and rockabilly history for his achievements as well as contributions. His influence was such that even the legends like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, the Beatles and Jimi Hendrix covered his songs.
Creator of one the best-selling songs of all time, Perkins’s track “Blue Suede Shoes” played an important role in shaping the rock n roll style. The song not just defined the rockabilly music but also launched the Sun Records in Memphis that later steered the careers of Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis.
The early 50s featured rock songs that were ‘soft’ and inoffensive. Light melodies and meaningful lyrics that touched the listeners. Eventually R&B trickled its way down into classic rock and fans got a taste of rock n roll. Artists like Pat Boone and Rosemary Clooney played a vital role in bridging the music styles and cultures.
Pat Boone’s rendition of “Tutti Frutti” presented an eclectic fusion of pop with R&B. His musical approach made rock n roll non-threatening and he popularized a genre that would have otherwise buckled to the pressures. Through his neatly combed hair, signature white buck shoes and charming smile, Boone was able to reach out to parents as well as the teenagers. Songs like “Ain’t That a Shame” and “April Love” made him one of the biggest charting artists of the 50s.
Rosemary Clooney blurred the lines between pop music and jazz, rising to popularity with the songs “Mambo Italiano”, “Hey There” and “Botch-a-Me”. A prominent name in the “girl movement”, Clooney enjoyed superstardom during the golden age of adult pop.
While Elvis Presley can’t be credited for inventing the rock n roll genre, his version became immensely popular during the mid 50s. He drew in a diverse audience, from youngsters to adults to oldies. A true innovator, he had a strong influence on the youth and promoted a culture of good fashion sense and perfect hairstyle. His trademark flashy suits, suggestive grin and swiveling hips didn’t offend – it inspired.
Elvis Presley evolved with time and changed his musical style to remain relevant in the field of music. His performing style and onstage swagger promoted huge sales of 50s & 60s era tickets, as his tours witnessed sold-out attendance.
The Thriving 60s
By the time 60s rolled in, rock n roll experienced an explosion that took the genre to newer heights. 60s music enjoyed a diversity that included folk and country influenced rhythms, psychedelic rock and beat. While R&B remained popular, it infused traces of funk and soul that was mostly associated with girl bands.
The Everly Brothers, Ray Charles, the Four Seasons, Marvin Gaye, The Beatles and Louis Armstrong dominated the music charts, along with the icon Presley. Memphis-based the Sun Record Company kick started the careers of all these artists.
The early 60s witnessed the British invasion and it paved way for the Beatlemania. The Beatles led by Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison went on to become the most influential British band of the era. They completely shook the rock n roll genre, peppering it with hard rock, Indian music, pop ballads and psychedelia. Their hits like “A Hard Day’s Night”, “Michelle”, “Let it Be” and “Free as a Bird” dominated the charts, making them the best-selling band in music history.
Berry Gordy Jr. launched the Motown Record Company in 1959 and it was in full swing in the early 60s. Featuring talent like no other, it’s credited for producing a sound that changed America. In a span of ten years, from 1961 to 1971, artists like Diana Ross, the Supremes, the Miracles, Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye helped the company score 110 Billboard Top 10.
In 1960, the company scored its major hit by Mary Wells as the song “Bye Bye Baby” broke through the charts and became the most popular song on the radio. The lyrical collaboration of Smokey Robinson and Berry Gordy produced the Billboard R&B chart-topper “Shop Around” that was originally sung by the Miracles. In 1966, Marvin Gaye’s “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” took the fans by storm and its 1970 cover by Diana Ross got a Grammy nod.
50s & 60s Era Tickets
Those who have acquired a taste for quality, meaningful music always turn to the era of 50s and 60s, as that’s when the art form offered its best. The explosion of rock and soul, the smooth jazz and doo-wop melodies and country folk, all these genres enjoyed a prime time in the 60s.
Artists like Tony Bennett and Paul McCartney, who recorded major hits during that time are still active and tour around the world. In the 50s, Bennett recorded the up-tempo pop number “Rags to Riches” that topped the charts. At 91, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award holder is still touring and selling out venues wherever he performs.
After wrapping up a successful 2017 “One on One” tour, the legendary Paul McCartney is also likely to announce fresh dates for 2018. News is that the “Cut Me Some Slack” singer has a new album in pipeline that’s expected to release sometime in 2018.
The Modern Times crooner and Rock n Roll Hall of Famer, Bob Dylan is also hitting the road on his “Never Ending Tour 2018”. Fleetwood Mac, Ringo Starr, The Beach Boys and Queen, among many others are still rocking the stage, proving that age is just a number. As these legends perform live on select dates, make sure you don’t miss out on iconic shows.