1960s & 1970s: The Decades of Hippies and the Rock & Roll Revolution.HAIR01.jpg

The 1960s and 1970s were a tumultuous period for the United States, with the Cold war, Vietnam War and Civil Rights causing massive public unrest. Music became innately tied up into causes, opposing certain ideas, influenced by the sexual revolution, feminism, Black Power and environmentalism. The '60s, is a term used, in some cases nostalgically to describe the counterculture and social revolution near the end of the decade. As well as to describe the era as one of irresponsible excess and flamboyance. The decade was also labeled as the "Swinging Sixties" because of the libertine attitudes that emerged during this it. Rampant recreational drug use and casual sex has become inextricably associated with the counterculture of the era. The '70s were an extremely interesting time period. Filled with crisis, new technology, and great entertainment. It will always be an interesting part of history.



The 1960’s in the United States was a decade marred by social unrest, civil rights injustice, and violence both home and abroad. These were some of the factors that lead to a cultural revolution. The revolution attempted to diverge the fabric of American society. Teenagers were living dangerously and breaking away from the ideals that their parents held.

In the process they created their own society. They were young and had the nerve to believe that they could change the world. Their leaders had lofty goals as well. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had dreams of a truly equal America. John F. Kennedy dreamed of a young vigorous nation that would put a man on the moon. The youth wanted to live in a state of love, peace, and freedom . Through the stormy decade of the Nineteen Sixties it seemed that popular music was at the eye of every storm. During this time musicians reacted to what they saw, often the youth of the Sixties were living out lyrics and popular songs of the day. Some remember the decade’s music as a representation of the moral decline and the representation of the inappropriate ideal of the youth. The youth movement became the counterculture and they became hippies. The hippies preached mysticism, honesty, joy, and nonviolence Music played an intricate part in the hippie lifestyle. The music reflected the sentiment of the youth. It became an outlet for teenagers to express themselves and voice their concerns about society. Songs like “Blowin in the wind” by Bob Dylan began opening up the minds of the youth to the social problems facing America such as the civil rights movement.


The chaotic events of the 60's, including war and social change, seemed destined to continue in the 70's. Major trends included a growing disillusionment of government, advances in civil rights, increased influence of the women's movement, a heightened concern for the environment, and increased space exploration. Many of the "radical" ideas of the 60's gained wider acceptance in the new decade, and were mainstreamed into American life and culture. Amid war, social realignment and presidential impeachment proceedings, American culture flourished. Indeed, the events of the times were reflected in and became the inspiration for much of the music, literature, entertainment, and even fashion of the decade. The 1970s saw various forms of pop music dominating the charts. Often characterized as being shallow, 70s pop took many forms and could be seen as a reaction against the high-energy and activist pop of the previous decade. The term "rock & roll" had become nearly meaningless. This decade saw the breakup of the Beatles and the death of Elvis Presley, robbing rock of two major influences. Pop music splintered into a multitude of styles: soft rock, hard rock, country rock, punk rock, folk rock and the dance craze of the decade, disco. But whatever sub-genre(s) you preferred, rock music was big business.