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Subject: When did the 50's begin?

Written By: Marty McFly on 04/18/05 at 8:36 pm

(Please, no "January 1, 1950" responses, hehe!) ;D

I always associated the 1950's with the beginning of the teen culture, malt shops, early rock & roll/doo wop, the birth of TV and many other things like that. And, of course, throw in a little of BTTF's 1955 for good measure! ;)

It seems that those things began around 1954 and were full swing by 1956 (although 1955 was pretty much the same as the rest of the decade. Even 1955 and '52 have a very different feel). However, what in your opinion truly jumpstarted the revolution in culture all at once - and how exactly?

Just on the other end, what/when would you say ended the 50's? I'd say either JFK's assassination or the beginning of the Beatles US popularity, only 3 months apart from each other. 1962 still seems closer to 1955 than 1964/5.

Subject: Re: When did the 50's begin?

Written By: Albert on 04/20/05 at 11:38 pm

It may sound crazy, but I disagree strongly with this common notion that the things associated with "the 50's" ended with JFK's assassination & The Beatles. I'd say what ensued was a mixed time, if you will, with cultural aspects entering the picture with the others still very much present (a mixed time especially after 1966 even into the 70's). I collect old music as well as old photos, always being sure to know when exactly they're from, and also have talked to people who were there, so these are some of my sources. Yes, the things commonly associated with the 50's certaintly weren't gone in 1965. I'll point to music as just one example, if you're familiar with these 2 songs perhaps (as just 2 examples of very, very many). "Unchained Melody" by The Righteous Brothers (specifically actually Bobby Hatfield of The Righteous Brothers) peaked at #4 for 2 weeks beginning August 24, 1965, and "Keep on Dancing" by The Gentrys peaked at #4 for 1 week beginning October 30, 1965 For just 1 example of a later tune, "This Magic Moment" by Jay & the Americans peaked at #6 for 1 week beginning March 8, 1969. If you'd like more examples, I can give plenty. And yes, it was all there: checkered shirts, malt shops, black & white shoes, greasers, record hops, etc etc etc! (A mixed time, indeed, especially beginning in '66.) 

Subject: Re: When did the 50's begin?

Written By: Albert on 04/22/05 at 2:50 am

Answering the first question more specifically, I feel that things commonly associated with that decade (though in actuality being present for far longer than it) began (not full-fledge, mind you, just some of it started) in the late-30's, and went all the way to when the "mixed" period as I call it culminated in 1977. I know, I'm throwing curveballs here, but I earnestly believe what I say.

Subject: Re: When did the 50's begin?

Written By: sputnikcorp on 04/22/05 at 8:22 am

after the korean war and trumans presidency.

Subject: Re: When did the 50's begin?

Written By: hot_wax on 04/24/05 at 1:13 pm

Marty,I think,"Bill Haley and his Comets" separated the 1950 music generations in 1954 with their song "See you later Alligator", it was the ground breaking the song to the musical cultural change and his song "Rock Around the Clock" in 54/55 was the anthem that unleashed and solidified the music movement and gave birth to that teenage generation's cultural change and their own identity. That song abolished the 1940's WWII thinking of the 1950's and Alan Freed anointed the music labeling the it "Rock N' Roll". The 50s' ended when the real Elvis was drafted into the army in 1959.

"got to go"

Hot wax

Subject: Re: When did the 50's begin?

Written By: Mergal on 04/26/05 at 10:12 pm

1954/55 when rock'n'roll stepped in.

Subject: Re: When did the 50's begin?

Written By: Philip Eno on 04/27/05 at 12:21 pm

Mdnight?

Subject: Re: When did the 50's begin?

Written By: Trimac20 on 04/30/05 at 6:58 am

Having never lived in the era...all I base my perceptions on are history, old books.etc. But it could be true to say that while things (pop music.etc) changed alot throughout the 50s, others didn't (ie. society as a whole, role of women.etc). Socially, the early 60s were pretty much the same as post-war, but the music was a world apart. Rock and Roll is definately the most relevant musical s'tyle today'; and its barely 50 years old. Almost every pop music genre today IS, or at least strongly infused with rock and roll.

Subject: Re: When did the 50's begin?

Written By: Marty McFly on 05/08/05 at 7:02 pm


Marty,I think,"Bill Haley and his Comets" separated the 1950 music generations in 1954 with their song "See you later Alligator", it was the ground breaking the song to the musical cultural change and his song "Rock Around the Clock" in 54/55 was the anthem that unleashed and solidified the music movement and gave birth to that teenage generation's cultural change and their own identity. That song abolished the 1940's WWII thinking of the 1950's and Alan Freed anointed the music labeling the it "Rock N' Roll". The 50s' ended when the real Elvis was drafted into the army in 1959.

"got to go"

Hot wax


I must've missed this before, but great points. :)

I've heard that "Rock Around the Clock" was the first song that was responsible for a teenage riot of sorts (included in a movie in 1954/55). I do think 1954 was the first 50's-like year, even if the teenage culture and rock revolution was just starting. Based on what I know of history, it was full-blown by late 1955/early '56.

This means November 1955 was a very interesting time in this shift! I wonder if the movie or people's reactions, etc. would've been slightly different if Marty went to, say, January of the same year?

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