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The British Invasion. What Happened? and Why Affected the World

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Grayson M'Coy

January 25, 2008

History of Rock and Roll

The British Invasion. What Happened? And Why Affected the World

The British Invasion produced a wide range of successful rock stars. It refers to the fleet of British bands that hit it big when they came to American and were loved by every teenage girl. The United States was known for their rock and roll and pop musicians that extend their cultural influence worldwide.

In the 1950s British popular music commonly known as "Skiffle" emerges with a similar style to American folk music. Lonnie Doneagan was known at the time as one of skiffle's most famous artists. He played his versions of old American songs and it inspired several British artists. Skiffle groups like the "Quarrymen", which was the early version of the Beatles, did not have a drummer. They played with acoustic guitars and banjos ensembles, which are similar to jug bands, who often sang traditional American folk songs, frequently with more spirit than instrumental polish, although early British "Skiffle" was played by highly skilled jazz musicians.

There is in important and interesting point that sparked the transformation of American pop culture in the 1960s "was that young American Audiences were so intensely stimulated by what was, in essence, a second hand version of American musical

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traditions filtered though British sensibilities." (Winkler 349) It was a certain twist Britain's musicians put on American rock and blues that had a profound effect on America's music culture. By the early sixties British teens were greatly influenced by the music of Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, James Brown, and Chuck Berry. Since "Skiffle" was very popular in Britain at the time it provided a gateway for British teens to experiment with early American blues and rock and roll. British band began making appearances using electric guitars and preformed more rock/pop and bluesy types of music. This was a time for British bands to be successful in the United States and other countries, so many bands decided to go on tour. Many people think it is the Beetles that first made the leap over to fame in the U.S. Another British musician known as Dusty Springfield had significant success with his single "I Only Want to be With You" during the latter part of 1963. She continued to have success in the United States with more singles released; and also made T.V. appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show.

It was the Beatles' arrival in on February 7, 1964 in which America's opens their gates to an immense amount of British musical talent. The Beatles perform on multiple tours across the USA along and also going to New Zealand and Australia. Their initial five singles immediately struck the peak U.S. Music Charts. The top five singles were "Can't Buy Me Love", "Twist and Shout", "She Loves You", "I Want to Hold Your Hand", and "Please Please Me". This ignited a new pandemic of Beatles fixation around the globe. The Beatles, also known as the "Liverpool four", consisted of talented musicians John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. They went on to form one of the most successful rock bands in the history of music. The Beatles still

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rank as one of the best-selling musical acts of all time. In Britain, they released over 40 singles and albums that reached number one on the charts. This commercial success was repeated in many other countries. The Beatles were inventors of music videos as another method to express their music culture to everyone.

What really launched the Beatles' career was when they found Brian Epstein he became their effective manager, along with George Martin who was a talented producer. After the Beatles' early hits debuted the States which were "I Want to Hold Your Hand", and almost immediately followed by "She Loves You" and "Can't Buy Me Love". Americans began looking toward Britain culture for music and fashion. Interestingly, London as the refuge of a swinging society was in part a media establishment. However, a new sense of inventiveness and sanguinity developed in Britain that contributed to the success in fashion and art. It wasn't just British bands that American teenagers were in love with; it was also the culture of mainstream Britain. The Beatles performed "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and "She Loves You" on the Ed Sullivan Show. Within a matter of weeks in January 1964, catapulted by 8 hours of strait radio play and appearances on the "Ed Sullivan Show," the Beatles went from four boys playing "Skiffle" to international superstars. Their early hit "I Want to Hold Your Hand" perched in the number one position on Billboard's "Hot 100," record companies that held the distribution rights to earlier Beatles music hurried back on to the scene to make money. At one point in the spring of 1964, the Beatles held down all top five positions on the U.S. singles chart. .

This musical growth caused America to become engulfed in the British music scene. In a matter of years the Beatles had achieved an international reputation. Girls

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everywhere were overjoyed about the four young men from Liverpool who sported shaggy bowl haircuts. As a sign of recognition, guys across the globe began to style their hair similar to the new Beatles' hair style. They develop into the new great British group as they changed the appearance of rock music in America. It was obvious at this point that Beatles mania would not be fading out anytime soon. They had influenced everyone's lives from their teenage girl enthusiasts, to their uneasy parents; even police officers experienced the effects often having to contain the large crowds that followed them far and wide. Did the teenagers take this new found freedom and individuality possibly a little too far? They were sluiced with the change and freedom and saw it as a totally new and adventurous thing that should be collective among everyone. It



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