A popular one holds that the country, in the aftershock of President John F.Kennedy's assassination, transferred to the Beatles all the youthful idealism that had begun cresting under JFK.By 1963, they had an act, an image, a repertoire, a following and a manager — Brian Epstein, a local record-store manager.
Young Britons — like John Lennon, Paul Mc Cartney, George Harrison and Richard Starkey, the future lineup of the Beatles — took note of this. In the seaport town of Liverpool, Lennon, Harrison and Mc Cartney first teamed up to form the Quarrymen.Prior to skiffle, the only significant blip on the British pop-culture time line had been a brief flurry of juvenile delinquency occasioned by the arrival of Bill Haley's "Rock Around the Clock" (the record and the film) in the U. A few name changes later, following stints as the Moondogs and the Silver Beatles, they crossed the threshold into the Sixties as simply the Beatles.On another front, however, a movement of musical purists, enamored of black American music, began replicating New Orleans-style jazz (a.k.a. This route would indirectly lead to the Beatles and an indigenous British rock & roll sound.One of the more promising offshoots of the trad-jazz movement was a simplified jug-band style of music known as skiffle.At the time, there was no youth-oriented alternative press to report on and interpret the British Invasion, so the job fell to the establishment media.
Opinions ranged from effete condescension to a bemused thumbs up from more enlightened commentators.
" Riesman answered, "No crazier than hitherto."In other words, the generation gap opened in 1964 with a crack that was more like a friendly grin than a roar of disapproval. They just woke up, looked around and decided they all felt the same way about something that was important to them — and this newfound solidarity was an exciting thing.
There is no lack of theories as to why the States embraced the Beatles with such zeal.
Rock & roll, seemingly so moribund at the start of the decade, set off a fever that defied all attempts to contain it or rationalize it as a fad.
And Beatlemania precipitated a strange collision of generational currents.
Britain's premier skiffler was Lonnie Donegan. Singing in a nasal American twang, he enjoyed a run of hits in the late Fifties; he mostly covered songs by Leadbelly and Woody Guthrie.