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Author Topic: Question for older members: The early 60s compared with "the 60s"  (Read 583 times)
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Miser
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« on: April 29, 2017, 10:49:36 PM »

I wanted to ask:
Is anyone here old enough to remember the time prior to Beatlemania? The era from around 1960 to 1963? I am curious as to how that era differed in terms of pop culture and such from what we know as "the 60s." I feel The Beach Boys was a big part of the early '60s zeitgeist. Am curious to hear any/all memories and thoughts.
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JK
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« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2017, 02:22:24 AM »

Hi Miser.

I'm in that category, unfortunately (but fortunately for this topic). I was at school in the UK in those days. That means that for us The Beatles hit in about November '62 with "Love Me Do", some months after "Surfin' Safari" appeared in the Billboard top 20 (it was released in the UK but I never heard it at the time).  "Surfin' USA" was widely played in the UK in mid '63.

So we had the whole Beatles/British Beat hysteria a full year before it hit the US. This meant that at school you professed your liking for The Rivieras' "California Sun" (or "Surfin' USA") at your peril. Just one other classmate and myself were fans of American pop. It was a great time, since the US charts were of almost entirely US music. Of course, everything changed in January '64. 
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« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2017, 05:25:01 AM »

While having some scattered memories of music in 1962, it was as a six year old in 1963 that I really remembered music. Remember my sister and her friend dancing to It's My Party by Lesley Gore, the 45 spinning on our hi-fi (my sister was 12 at the time). Also lots of girl groups such as the Shirelles and the Chiffons. Andy Williams was very popular.
I remember The Beach Boys - Surfin USA, Surfer Girl, In My Room, but not Be True to Your School. Also Surf City..
Remember lots of instrumentals.

Looking at the Billboard Top 100 list confirms what I remember. Lots of solo acts, vocal groups accompanied by bands, instrumentals.

Although there were vocal guitar bands regionally, I only saw a few listed on the top 100 - besides The Beach Boys, there were the Fireballs (Sugar Shack), and of course, the Kingsmen (Louie, Louie).

I honestly don't remember hearing Sugar Shack back then, which is curious as it was the #1 song that year. My oldest sisters controlled the radio playing back then - maybe they didn't like it and changed the channel.
My memory could be faulty, but don't remember hearing Louie Louie until 1964.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2017, 06:14:33 AM by NOLA BB Fan » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2017, 03:44:43 PM »

My dad was very young at this time, so the only thing that stuck with him in this period musically was Ricky Nelson.  He said some people regarded him as a west coast Elvis or just an Elvis ripoff.  This time period was essentially an extension of the 50s.  Kennedy/Beatlemania/Vietnam changed all that within a couple years.  Depending on how and where you were raised, it was still very easy to live as if "the 60s" weren't happening, though.   
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SMiLE Brian
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« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2017, 03:55:14 PM »

Night and day
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« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2017, 06:27:59 PM »

Night and day

That about nails it, SB. The rose colored glasses were shattered around 1963 leaving our innocence in the dust. The overlap between the two times was incredible and won't be repeated in my lifetime. Glad I got to experience it, though.
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« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2017, 02:20:20 AM »

Thanks, guys.

Before 1963, British pop was largely a spinoff of what was happening in the US. That's simplifying things a bit, of course, but it was largely the case.

The Beatles put a stop to that. We then had a full year of British Beat to ourselves. To us, the whole British Invasion thing was utterly surreal, typically American in a way----five Beatles singles in the top five! You lot never do things by halves! LOL

You certainly had a rude awakening in '63. We Europeans were quite literally out of the firing line...
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