1960's - An American Revolution
The SIXTIES were a time of revolution. Every aspect of life was changing: music, art, fashion, politics, technology, business, and of course, lifestyle. The SIXTIES brought love, peace, war, assassination, civil rights, liberation, and even the first landing on the moon. It was certainly a decade of change.
Rock and roll of the SIXTIES was as diverse and changing as the times. We started the decade with innocent love songs and ended the decade with the world's largest rock concert, Woodstock. Famous tunes were about love, heartbreak, sex, drugs, war and peace. We turned to music to celebrate our highest highs and our lowest lows. We experienced folk music by stars such as Carole King and Paul Simon. The country raved over California or Surf Music, some called it, by the famous Beach Boys. Soul and R and B continued to top the charts and heavily influenced what became known as rock and roll. Motown's recording artists blasted the country with musicians such as Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, and Aretha Franklin! And then the British persuasion on American rock and roll with The Beatles and Eric Clapton just captivated the country!
The radio industry endured major changes in the sixties as well. Payola (taking bribes in exchange for playing certain music) became a fairly common practice, and the industry got caught at it in the early '60s. There were almost 2,000 record companies generating as many as 250 new records a week, and the competition for airplay was unbelievable! Alan Freed, who was credited as one of the very first rock and roll deejays was sentenced to prison for such bribery. New technological advances such as FM, radio automation, and the launch of satellites changed the radio industry forever. FM was not popular initially, but by the mid-60's, stations needed programming, so the anti-war sentiment of Americans was reflected on the FM stations with progressive rock.
By the end of the decade, the primary formats on the radio included Top 40, MOR (middle of the road), which focused on strong personalities and heavy community involvement, Beautiful Music, which was background music on unimportant FMs, and Progressive Rock. There were a few Country and Western stations and some Soul Stations. However, Rock 'n' Roll still dominated the SIXTIES!