Rewind to the Good Tunes!

Posted on April 7th in Uncategorized. No Comments

Music, today, is definitely not what is once was. Electronic music dominates the radio and pop artists dress up in crazy costumes. Rewind a couple of decades and we’ll return to the time when music had purpose and was raw with talent. Real singers. Real instruments. Real artists. These artists transformed not only the music industry, but also culture and societal norms. Before “Bieber Fever,” there was the cultural phenomenon of “Beatlemania.” Add the music of singer-songwriter Bob Dylan and we have two of the most influential music artists of all time. Let’s dive a little deeper.

In Liverpool, England in the year 1960, 4 men created a rock band that pioneered the rock era. The Beatles had emerged and was ready to take over the world. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr embodied the ideals of counterculture and forward movement. John Lennon and Paul McCartney took on leadership roles, writing and composing some of the greatest hits of all time. The band’s presence in the music scene bred a fan frenzy called “Beatlemania.” This frenzy consisted of intense levels of hysteria and high-pitch squeals at concerts and arrivals all over the world.

According to the Recording Industry Association of America, the Beatles are the best-selling music band in history, selling over 600 million records worldwide. Billboard magazine ranks the rock band as the most successful “Hot 100” artist of all time. Lastly, their single, “Hey Jude,” made with only 3 chords, spent 9 weeks at number 1 in the US. This makes the single not only the longest number 1 single for any Beatles song, but also of “all-time” on US charts. Billboard named it the 10th biggest song of all time. However, the band came to an end when John Lennon privately left the group in September 1969. This then followed with public acknowledgement of the break-up when Paul McCartney quit the band in April 1970. It was an end of an era, but definitely not an end to their legacy in music.

Around the same time as The Beatles, folk rock singer-songwriter Bob Dylan also emerged. Bob Dylan transcended genres and became one of the greatest folk and rock singers of all time, tackling social issues like war and civil rights. Influenced by Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis, Dylan embraced his own sound and in turn, forever shaped the music scene with his unique sound and message. Born Robert Allen Zimmerman in 1941, Dylan signed his first recording contract in 1961 and still releases music to this day with his most recent album Tempest in 2012. Known for his raw voice and acoustic guitar, Dylan celebrated numerous sold-out tours. In 1965, Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man” reached #1 on Billboard’s single chart, making it his first and only self-pinned #1 hit. Some of Dylan’s hit songs include “Like a Rolling Stone” and “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.”

In 1989, Dylan was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame where Bruce Springsteen declared that “Bob freed the mind the way Elvis freed the body…He invented a new way a pop singer could sound, broke through the limitations of what a recording artist could achieve, and changed the face of rock and roll forever.” Bob Dylan was not only an artist, but also an innovator and activist. No wonder he was the first rock star ever to receive the nation’s most prestigious award for artistic excellence: Kennedy Center Honors.
The Beatles and Bob Dylan are responsible for some of the greatest cultural shifts in society and music norms. Their music transcended genre and resonated with the hearts and minds of millions of citizens all over the world. Their sound was unlike any before them and they sung with purpose and conviction, changing the rules of music. Put the phones down and pop in the vinyl because this music will last forever.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *