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The 60's were massively important to the progression of pop and rock music. It not only continued the innovations in music brought about by the pioneers of the 40s and 50's, it established the commercialism and wide acceptance of the formats. It also provided a breeding ground and marketplace for singer-songwriters.

The Blues were coming to the fore thanks to the efforts of Alexis Korner and John Mayall.  The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, The Animals and, from Belfast, Them, provided a wider acceptance of the genre through exciting live performances and hitting the charts. Not until the British Invasion of the USA would the Blues start to be recognised commercially in its home country.

Later in the decade, bands were moving more towards producing chart material, although the lyrics and musical forms were becoming more progressive, leading to the term Rock and all its variations.

There was so much going on in the 60's that it cannot be properly portrayed in a few sound-bites.  For example, the many musical styles in the UK alone provided Beat, Mod, Soul, Psychedelia, Progressive, Heavy, Folk, Rhythm & Blues, Funk, Jazz, Pop, Blues to name but a few.

 In America, the early 60's music scene was developing in its own way with pop singers and vocal groups dominating the charts. Following the British Invasion later on in the decade, new sounds and attitudes were gaining acceptance.  The Vietnam War led to an extremely vocal protest movement, with song lyrics reflecting this rebelliousness, later providing the focal point for music festivals, such as Woodstock.

 The cities in the UK had their own club scene which was very different from the charts, with both live performers and specialist DJ's.

Clubs in the early 60’s, particularly in London, weren’t about playing the latest chart hits, they were more into Rhythm & Blues, soul, modern jazz or bluebeat (later known as Ska).  

Being part of, and important to, the Mod culture of the time meant that any groups playing cover versions of these styles needed to be authentic and proficient, with a real feel for the music - many weren’t and therefore not acceptable to the club crowd.  

The exceptions included Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames and Herbie Goins and The Night-timers.

By now the TV show ‘Ready, Steady, Go! was establishing itself as a Mod favourite, with many of the acts coming from America. Initially, Mod groups were thin on the ground until The Who and Small Faces made their mark.  It wasn’t long before other Mod groups joined the scene, including The Action, The Riot Squad, The Creation and The Birds.

In the London clubs  artists like Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band at The Flamingo and Jimmy James & The Vagabonds at The Marquee, soon established Soul in the mid-sixties.  

Tamla Motown was establishing itself as a more commercial, danceable version of soul and ‘Ready, Steady, Go! dedicated a whole show to several of their major acts thanks, in part, to the efforts of huge fan Dusty Springfield.

At its best, the Club scene provided a meeting place for the fashionable young - a place to dance, listen to their favourite sounds and new music from the USA and Jamaica.  

You can listen to various ‘60s TASTERS by clicking on the PROGRAMS tab.


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