Popular Culture at the Beginning of the 1960's Essay

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Popular Culture at the Beginning of the 1960's

1960's Britain had not yet developed its own style and was still in America's shadow. Britain was dominated by 1950's fashion and traditional values. But there were elements of change developing in radio, TV and theatre and this is what I'm going to explore.

At the beginning of the 1960's music was still heavily influenced by America. During the 1950's everyone was listening to Elvis Presley but by the late 1950's / early 60's new elements entered the music industry including new British artists. In 1959 Billy Fury, Cliff Richard and Adam Faith all appeared in the charts. They started to produce records basing their songs and styles on Elvis and his
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Jackie Kennedy became a new fashion icon, wearing shifts and A-line dresses which had been designed in 1954/5 but not worn till 1960. They soon became popular. It gave women a new sense of freedom and allowed them to dress in their own way. Mary Quant opened her first shop in Carnaby Street which soon became very popular. She opened the way for a new generation of British fashion.

The third type of popular culture controlled by America was film. The British film industry was in decline. Most films in the cinema were American, such as 'West Side Story' and 'Psycho'. A new brand of film featuring pop stars interested lots of teenagers. 1960 saw the start of something new in cinema, the 'Carry On' films. They showed a new British humour which people had never seen in films before. Other films were gritty and realistic, that showed the working class and set the scene for what was to come.

In Britain, radio was also starting to show are more distinctive style. It became one of the main sources of entertainment with shows like 'The Goon Show'. This surreal comedy became very popular. Another well liked radio show was 'Beyond the Fringe', a satirical comedy that criticized the way the country was run in a light-hearted comedic way. But this made people think more about politics and changed the way people thought.

TV was also starting to become very popular
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