Friday, November 20, 2009

The Sixties - The Greatest Music Decade

By Ray Weber

Rock and roll was big in the fifties but it was really defined in the 60s when some of the greatest rock bands in history emerged. These artists continue to influence the direction and style of music today. They were frequently intoxicated and many died young as a result, but during the 60s, we found more music legends than possibly any other decade.

The sixties bands included every genre of music from hard rock to soul, bubblegum rock to beach music, Motown to rockabilly. This was the generation that included such diverse popular music groups as The Four Seasons and The Rolling Stones; the good boys and the bad boys.

The era of Woodstock and man landing on the moon was a decade of blaring electric guitars, wa-wa effects, drum solos and strange lyrics. Those who were only toddlers or babies during this decade likely don't understand the wa-wa effect or the fuzz effect. Guitars screamed, capitalized on feedback and made use of the two aforementioned effects. Yes, wa-wa and the fuzz effect were at the guitarist's discretion and made the hard rock sound of the 60s unique.

A decade and music of contrasts

The music of the 60s found its adherents based on age group. Young teens were into the bubblegum rock bands who sang repetitive, sometimes silly lyrics. Songs like 'Yummy, Yummy, Yummy' and 'Simon Says' appealed to young teens and tweens. The older teens and young twenty-somethings listened to serious rock music. Groups and musicians like Jimmie Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Rolling Stones, Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR), The Guess Who, The Animals, The Beatles and Steppenwolf.

Many solo musicians became legends during the 60s. Singers like Ray Charles, Dion, Roy Orbison, Percy Sledge, James Brown, Marvin Gaye and Otis Redding had top-ten hits and became music legends. These musicians were the inspiration for a new generation of rock and rollers.

The Motown Sound

What would the 60s be without Motown? The soul, rhythm and blues and gospel sounds of the Motown sound were distinct from other 60s music, but also produced some of the greatest hits of all time. The Temptations, Diana Ross and the Surpremes, Aretha Franklin, Jackie Wilson, Stevie Wonder, Smokie Robinson and the Miracles, The Four Tops and the Jackson Five all made their mark on the decade.

In 1966 alone, the percentage of hits on the national charts from just the Berry Gordy-managed artists was an astonishing seventy-five percent. This was one of the few decades, along with the latter half of the seventies, that supported two different sounds, both hitting the tops of the charts concurrently.

The number of bands, twosomes, soloists and studio acts that made great music during the 60s are too numerous to mention. The 'blue-eyed soul' of the Righteous Brothers stood in stark contrast to the folksy music of Simon and Garfunkel. Chubby Checker sang the Twist during this generation while The Rolling Stones sang Jumpin Jack Flash. The difference in music styles during this single ten-year span found fans of every music style. It became hard to define 'pop' music when so many styles were popular.

Few decades will ever equal the sixties for legendary artists, diverse music and interesting personalities. The music from this one decade will live on as the true classics of popular music.

The Retro Baby was founded in 2004 and quickly gained an enthusiastic following. The website soon followed. We have built TheRetroBaby on the philosophy of customer satisfaction and original, unique products.

From our humble beginnings, and the expansion of our warehouse and shipping operation in south Florida, The RetroBaby developed our original offering of hip, trendy clothing for babies and toddlers. Our clothes hearken back to the days of Jimmy Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, the Beatles and the Stones; clothes that you won't find on the baby next door. You can pay tribute to the greats of rock and roll and popular culture with our unique clothes.

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