How Did People Listen to Music in the 60s?

How did people listen to music in the 60s? It’s a question that’s been asked a lot recently. Thanks to the internet, we can take a trip back in time and explore how people listened to music back then.

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Music in the 60s- an overview

The 1960s was a decade that saw massive changes in music. It was a time when rock and roll became the dominant form of popular music, when folk music and pop music began to merge, and when R&B and soul began to develop as distinct genres. The decade was also marked by the rise of psychedelic rock, the birth of garage rock, and the establishment of singer-songwriter as a viable form of popular music. Here is a brief overview of the major musical developments of the 1960s.

The Beatles

The Beatles were an English rock band that became arguably the most successful act of the 20th century. They contributed to music, culture, and fashion of the 1960s and their influence on popular music is still evident today.

The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones are an English rock band that formed in 1962. The first stable line-up consisted of Brian Jones (guitar, harmonica), Mick Jagger (lead vocals, harmonica), Keith Richards (guitar, vocals), Bill Wyman (bass), Charlie Watts (drums), and Ian Stewart (piano). Stewart was removed from the official line-up in 1963 but continued to work with the band as a contracted musician until his death in 1985. The band’s primary songwriters, Jagger and Richards, assumed leadership after Andrew Loog Oldham became the group’s manager. Jones left the band less than a month before his death in 1969, having already been replaced by Mick Taylor, who remained until 1974. After Taylor left the band, Ronnie Wood took his place in 1975 and has been on guitar in tandem with Richards ever since. Since Wyman’s departure in 1993 he has been credited as an honorary member along with Stewart.

The Stones have released 30 studio albums, 23 live albums and numerous compilations; their estimated album sales are more than 250 million worldwide. They have released 108 singles to date, the most recent being “Doom and Gloom” from their 2012 studio album GRRR!. In 1989 they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; in 2004 they ranked number 4 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 100 Greatest Artists of All Time list (and greatestband list) – behind only The Beatles, Bob Dylan ,and Led Zeppelin – having been ranked number 1 by USA Today readers that same year; they received the Kennedy Center Honors’ lifetime achievement award in 2006., they ranked number 37 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock list., Jerry Lee Lewis described them as “the greatest rock’n’roll band of all time”. According to Billboard magazine ,they are also the second highest-grossing live act ever based solely on concert ticket sales grossing $1.4 billion between 1989 and 2007.,

The Stones were at the forefront of the British Invasion of bands that became popular in America in 1964–1965; other members of this so-called British Invasion movement were led by The Beatles . Their initial popularity was built on a rebellious image which contrasted sharply with that of their chief rivals The Beatles , beginning with their fashion style , spiky haircuts and their “anti-materialistic” attitude combined with an earthy Australian image which appealed to teenage street gangs at a time when Britain was undergoing great social changes.,
While many particularly older fans initially criticized them for playing blues-based music rather than pop songs like The Beatles did during this era , Jagger countered by saying that he preferred listening to Muddy Waters over any contemporary pop artist anyway – thus helping ingratiate them even more with existing Blues fans while appealing to more younger Rock fans alienated by pop music becoming increasingly bland during this era.,
Critics also notedJagger ‘s throaty vocal delivery particularly on early tracks such as “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” which helped set him apart vocally from many other contemporary pop singer/songwriters who often used cleaner multi-tracked vocals .,”


In the 1960s, the music of Motown played an important role in the Civil Rights Movement. Motown artists like Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and The Supremes used their music to speak out against racism and promote equality. African American communities across the country rallied around Motown music, and it became an anthem of the civil rights movement.

Psychedelic Rock

Psychedelic rock, also referred to as psychedelia, is a diverse style of rock music that emerged in the mid-1960s. The genre is characterized by its use of electronic and experimental music, as well as elements of pop, folk, and blues. Psychedelic rock was often used by bands in an attempt to replicate the experience of psychedelic drugs; however, many bands simply used psychedelic imagery and themes in their music to express their feelings about social issues, love, and drug use. The Beatles were one of the first and most influential psychedelic rock bands; other well-known psychedelia acts include The Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd, and Jefferson Airplane.

Folk Rock

Folk rock is a music genre that combines elements of folk music and rock music. Folk rock originated in the United States and Britain in the mid-1960s. Folk rock performers mixed the sounds of rock with traditional folk songs, often updating the lyrics to reflect modern issues. Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” (1963) and The Byrds’ “Mr. Tambourine Man” (1965) are examples of early folk rock.

Surf Rock

In the early 1960s, American surf rock dominated the airwaves. Groups such as The Beach Boys, Jan and Dean, and The Ventures created a sound that was at once unique and infectious. These artists were heavily influenced by the sounds of Dick Dale and Duane Eddy, two guitarists who had popularized the use of reverb and echo in their recordings.

Garage Rock

Garage rock is a raw form of rock and roll that was first popularized in the United States and Canada in the 1960s. It is characterized by simple, often distorted guitar work, primal rhythms, and wild, enthusiastic vocals. garage rock bands were often made up of young, amateur musicians who rehearsed in their parents’ garages or basements.

The first garage rock hits were recorded by artists such as the Kingsmen (“Louie Louie”), the Trashmen (“Surfin’ Bird”), and the Knickerbockers (“Lies”). These records were crudely recorded and replication, but they captured the excitement of live performances.

The popularity of garage rock was short-lived, but the style left an enduring mark on rock music. Many of the techniques and attitudes developed in the garage would be appropriated by punk rockers in the 1970s.

R&B and Soul

The 1960s was a decade of change for music. A new generation was coming of age, and they were looking for music that reflected their own lives and interests. At the same time, the industry was starting to take notice of this demographic shift and began to produce music specifically for them.

One of the most popular genres of music in the 60s was R&B. This stands for Rhythm and Blues, and it was a style that mixed together jazz, gospel, and blues influences. The result was a sound that was both soulful and catchy, and it quickly gained a following among young people.

Artists like Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, and Stevie Wonder were responsible for some of the greatest hits of the decade, and they continue to be loved by fans today. If you’re looking to explore the sounds of the 1960s, R&B and Soul is a great place to start.


Back in the 60s, people listened to music a little differently than we do today. For one thing, the music industry wasn’t nearly as consolidated as it is now, so there was a lot more variety in what people were listening to. And for another, people tended to gravitate towards certain genres depending on their age and where they were from. So, if you were looking to get your hands on some good tunes back then, you might want to start with these three genres:

Jazz was huge in the 60s. Whether it was smooth jazz or bebop, everyone seemed to be grooving to this style of music. If you wanted to get your hands on some good jazz records, you might want to start with Miles Davis or John Coltrane.

The Beatles were arguably the biggest band of the 60s, and their influence can still be felt today. If you’re looking for some good Beatles records, you might want to start with “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” or “Rubber Soul.”

And last but not least, there’s Motown. This style of R&B was created by Berry Gordy in Detroit in the late 50s, but it really came into its own in the 60s. If you’re looking for some good Motown records, you might want to start with The Supremes or The Temptations.

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