Last Updated 25 May 2020

1960’s course work the Beatles

Category Beatles, work
Essay type Research
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Source A can tell us many things about the impact of the Beatles in the 1960's; they were considered new fresh and an extremely "cool" band. They were a nation wide love, everyone seemed to be watching then as their first priority, with shops and stalls all closed when the Beatles were on television. Even in rush hour, when many people were normally trying to make their way home or get to their destinations, the streets were deserted, everyone knew where and what time the Beatles were playing. It was as though the nation was put on to pause when the Beatles were about to perform. Joanna Lumley herself remembers being in a hurry to get home in order to not miss the Beatles playing on TV.

The fans watched eagerly as though the Beatles were a drug many people were addicted to. The Beatles seemed to have caught every ones hearts and eyes; they had a new approach to music which seemed to be able to attract almost everyone.

Many people saw the Beatles as icons; they were 'cool, hip, smart, lippy, charming and funny.' Definite icon qualities attractive to the young and the general public felt they could relate to them, often being called by their first names.

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The Beatles new approach to music , however , was not only loved by the public but was also highly influential in the entertainment and music industry providing inspiration to many bands and changing the face of music forever.

For some people the 60's was seen to be the best times of the life's due to the new entertainment and what the Beatles brought in the way of fresh new music -'it was very heaven to be alive'.

Question 2

The effects of pop music in the 1960's are shown in source A, B and C, however all in slightly different ways.

Source C is a description of a Beatles concert by Paul Macartney in 1984, he talks of there being a lot of screaming- therefore implying more screaming than in 1984, when people must have been more held back and more reserved than the 60's when at concerts seeing the live bands fans went crazy for seeing their star. This point was supported by source B, a description of a concert at which the stones were playing. However the audience is described a 'maniacal, screaming mob'. They both talk of an extremely load and energetic crowd.

However Paul Macartney believed many people exaggerated the crowds so they seemed like a manic mob when all they really wanted was to see their idols and the possibility of getting an autograph. It seems Macartney really knows what he is talking about and comes across as being nice and genuine to his fans talking of him chatting to his fans instead of running away from them in the manner of Jonny Ray.

The way the Beatles were with their fans, being so friendly and willing to talk to them, may have been one of the reasons why the Beatles became so big. Source A really supports this fact, and tells us a lot of how big and popular they really were describing it as though they were everyone's purpose to get home when they were performing on television.

Source A does support source C on this point however I don't think it supports it in any other way. Source B on the other hand doesn't really support source C as they are extremely contradictory about what is said about the effects of pop music on fans being harmful or just very enthusiastic.

Macartney knew that the fan crowds were completely harmless and controllable. Where as some stars such as the stones saw them as being dangerous, when all they really wanted was to be as close as possible to their pop star.

The sources were all written some time after the 1960's period, leaving time for exaggeration, source B is written closer to the 1960's than sources A and C, and to me seems to be less likely to be exaggerated and more truthful about the facts and information that is given to us in the source.

Although the sources do support each other on certain aspects, they don't really give us a broad view of the effects of pop music in the 1960's telling us very little apart from how big some bands were and how the fans reacting to them.

Question 3

Sources D and E are not particularly useful in helping you to understand why many young people believed that the 1960's gave them opportunities they had never had before. I think that the source were not particularly useful as they tell us only one aspect of young peoples lives at the time.

However source D, and advert fro a popular music show 'Ready, Steady, GO' in the TV times in 1965 does tell us some useful points. The presenter, Cathy McGowan, was at the time an extremely popular model and an idol for many girls in Britain. They would copy her hair styles and dress sense. So fro many people it was the one show to see if u had an idol as they were likely to be shown on this show. It was the only show at the time which showed the public their music stars performing without them having to go to a concert. People were fanatical about seeing the show, it was compulsory viewing and the one and only time in the week the public got to hear and see popular music. Although very popular the show tended to represent older tastes in music and did not cater fro teenagers.

The source is good in showing that music and popular culture had a great impact upon how people viewed television and how celebrities became real stars, and were able to become idolised by the young.

Source E, a description of radio in the 1960's, was written in the 1990's and there fore like some of the other source has the possibility of being exaggerated. However the source does tell us some useful point whether exaggerated or not.

Radio before the 1960's did not cater to the teenage audience and the source implies that many teenagers had nothing much to listen to that was provided on the radio for them, before the invention of 'Radio Luxembourg'saying that many teenagers were stuck with their parents.

The new channel provided precisely what the young wanted, and because of that, would have been extremely popular providing a channel that played popular new music which no other radio station had done before.

It was a great opportunity in the eyes of the young and the channel which was specifically directed towards them played nothing but pop music and was very commercial, the older generation were not so fond of it. But it helped music to become a much more dominant talking point for the young.

Even thought reception was dismal and faded out every minute or so it was the only way to hear pop music on the radio at the time and many people now remember it fondly.

The two sources both support the fact that music and celebrities were more broadcast and that for them was a huge opportunity, however neither of them tells us anything of other aspects of opportunity in teenagers' lives and are therefore not very useful in helping us to understand why many young people believed they had more opportunities.

Question 4

The 1960's was a period of great changes, some for the better and others consider by some people for the worst. Some people did not like the changes that occurred and came to see the 1960'd as a period of bad influences on British society.

Source F is part of an article from the Daily Mail, a conservative newspaper, reflecting right-wing political views. This shows how Mrs Whitehouse had traditional views and values and it is portrayed in the article that she was not pleased by the changes in the 1960's.

The source talks about Mrs White house launching 'a national campaign' to help writers who she believed deserved to have their work shown on television rather than the television shows she obviously disapproved of such as 'Coronation Street' which started on ITV in the 1960's and showed everyday life. She obviously believed many programmes unsuitable to viewers and thought that they should be replaced with more Christian viewed programmes, replacing the scenes of sex, drugs and violence with more traditional valued programmes.

Mrs Whitehouse would have also been a different generation, a teenager in the 1920's with less power than that of the teens of the 1960's.the 1920's were different for social Values, with a far more traditional type of society were teenagers had less freedom of expression and more responsibilities.

In source G we are told of a singer, Janis Joplin who was extremely popular and at a time where music played an important part in social life popular singers were idolised.

Many bands at the time were taking drugs, drinking, and staying out late in popular clubs and at the time there was a huge drug culture. Many other bands and musicians such as the top Mod band, The Who, wrote and performed what appeared to be socially dangerous music. They were also part of the 'Psychedelia movement', encouraging experimentation with drugs.

It was these people , Janis Joplin and The Who , which the young idolised and had great influence over, to people like Mrs Whitehouse they were bed role models and set the scene of drugs to seem 'cool' and acceptable.

Although Janis Joplin was a worse case scenario, she died of a drug over dose this at least showed teenagers the problems of drugs.

Teenagers appeared to be following in their idols footsteps and it somewhat seemed as tough they were being encouraged to be rebellious and have freedom of expression rather than have responsibility and obligation.

Many saw the introduction of the contraceptive pill and the legalisation of abortions as an increase in sexual immorality and were seen with disaprovement.

The combined effect of the pill and abortion however did allow women to plan their lives with more ease and effectiveness. They could then limit the number of children and decide when they wanted them. This provided many women with more control over their lives.

However Mrs Mary Whitehouse would have and I am sure did believe that they would encourage immorality and sex before marriage which were both against the Christian beliefs. Some also believed that it could lead to a break down of social values.

Some people began to believe that these changes were not a good thing for society, and that the changes were undermining the family and as a result creating a weaker society, it would have been people such as Mrs Whitehouse who would have seen things in this way, people who believed in more traditional views and values.

Whether this is correct I do not know, however even though something's such as drugs were more than likely a bad influence on society, without many of the changes the world would have become a very different place and women would possibly lead very different lives.

Things such as the pill and abortion were definitely in my opinion great movement in science and a huge advantage fro women, however I can see why people with Christian views were opposed to it and how they later become to se the 60's as a period of bad influences with a higher rate of teenage pregnancies it is possible to blame it on the changes and a possible increase in sexual immorality.

I think that many people who thought it was a period of bad influence were possibly mostly the older generation - Mrs Whitehouse's generation who felt afraid of the dramatic change in society and the behaviour of the young in the 1960 in comparison to their day. They would have also been the right age to have children of teenage to twenties who would have been experiencing all the changes the society now allowed them. Such as drugs and even dramatic changed in fashion with the introduction of the mini skirt, a huge thing at that time to be wearing a skirt 8 inches above the knee and it was so new and different. For many people change is scary and this was a period of huge change some good some bad however it is always easy to look back and see only the bad and not what was good from the 60's also.

Question 5

The quote 'Popular culture in the 1960's did more harm than good' I believe to be untrue. The 1960's did have some bad points which were possibly bad at that in that period and have not continued through to this day whereas most of the good things that were brought about in the 1960's such a new fresh exciting music 'rock 'n' roll' and new bands such as the Beatles, the new fashions and social ways of life have been continued and adapted to the way of life which we lead nowadays.

The 1960's was highly dominated by teenagers, they had more money from a new affluence and were able to buy more music records and clothing and were respected by the entertainment industry (source H) for what they did for music and television.

Source A tells us of 'Beatle Mania' the Beatles were one of the most popular bands and were highly influential upon teenagers and the music industry. Source A is useful in telling us the extent of the effect of the Beatles upon the general public and how popular they really were. However the source is possibly exaggerated as the writer Joanna Lumley looks back on her past.

I believe the public chose the Beatles to be their number one band because of their sheer personality on and off stage, but was equally as much to do with their musical style and material, and with the British youth with far more control over what was popular and what wasn't, they decided the Beatles were the best, taking the rest of the country with them.

The Beatles pioneered the British cultural invasion of the states and the world and allowed many other bands and creative people to follow in their footsteps and show the world what they could do.

The fact the Beatles music is still known and liked today shows they were an extraordinary band, and the way they saw their fans and audiences differently too many other bands would have help in their success. In source B a concert is described and The Stones were playing, the writer of the source 'doubts if the stones ever played so close to their audience again.' and describes The Stones being surrounded by 'a heaving maniacal mob'. This was not how Paul Macartney described his audiences, yes they were usually hysterical but never harmful. He describes them as screaming a lot but not appearing to be scary or in any way threatening.

I believe that the Beatles and the many other bands of the sixties made the way for the way our music is now, so many bands are influenced from bands from the sixties and many bands today which try to invent their own individual style like the Beatles had. The Beatles seemed to sum up the sixties with the music they wrote, their clothes, hair, accents, and their off hand attitudes they were a recipe fro success.

However their impact upon teenagers was unbelievable, they became not just performers, they were heroes. I think this type of idolising someone was harmful however, what with the drug culture in the 1960's many bands including the Beatles were taking drugs.

Source G, a extract form a biography of Janis Joplin, a rebellious teenager with a powerful blues voice became highly successful and lived a life of 'sex, dugs, and rock 'n' roll' always taking things to excess she died of a drug over dose in 1970.

It was people like these who were obviously highly covered in the media through their popularity and the drug habits and the way that all of them were doing it made it seem socially acceptable. These people were the young's idols they looked up to them and copied what they did, the example they set was not the right one and that it was probably one of the reasons some people came to see the sixties popular culture as doing harm, and I probably agree with that. However I do think that the popularity of drugs died out as the years went past and although people still take them today by no means are they considered at all socially acceptable.

Television and radio were also greatly changed due to the new market of teenagers wanting to hear pop music. New radio stations were set up, such as the start of 'Radio Luxembourg (source E) after producers realised that teenagers were the way of the future. And the teens didn't even mind if the reception was lousy and faded out every minute or so it was the only radio station that gave them the chance to hear the music they wanted to listen to, and there was nothing like that before. Then in 1964 'Radio Caroline' began broadcasting, this was pirate radio but was extremely popular with teenagers who could hear non stop pop music for the first time. However was extremely unpopular with the BBC and the government who tried to have them banned.

The new shows introduced on to TV such as, 'Ready, Steady, Go' (source D) and 'Top of the Pops' showing the pop music stars performing in front of their very eyes without having to go to a concert.

'Ready Steady Go' was compulsory viewing and had a wonderfully catchy cry,' the weekend starts here!', giving the feeling of excitement and freedom. The presenter at the time was a popular model and with fashion being very influential upon the young it was yet another reason to watch the show. To most people the music industry was just as case of the young having fun but some people saw the young losing their sense of responsibility and obligation.

Others saw other programmes as being morally un-suitable such as the new programmes showing life as it really was and more scenes of sex, alcohol, and drugs. People such as Mrs Mary Whitehouse believed this (source F). She believed that the traditional family values were being lost through the wrong and influential shows on television and that they should be replaced with more Christian shows which had a sense of purpose.

However the 60's didn't sacrifice things such as education as there were nearly twice as many people in full time education in 1969 than in 1961.

Showing that the young were just having a good social life and were being better educated as a generation.

I think overall the 60's did more good than harm, the period brought in many new and exciting things and gave women more control over their life with the introduction of the pill and legalisation of abortion.

Fashion was new and exciting and always changing with the invention of the mini skirt which was controversial to say the least.

I do think that young people were encouraged to act irresponsibly and it somewhat seemed almost expected of them. However I don't think it has done any real harm to society in the long run.

However I think without all the changes that took place society would have been a worse place of less freedom and more constriction, I don't think the changes that took place have done any real harm and that the changes would have probably taken place in some other period if they had not happen it the 60's.

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