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    Look at the sources – Were the Beatles were the most popular group in Britain? Essay

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    1. Source A suggests that the Beatles were the most popular group in Britain. As it says in the source, “The nation held its breath because that evening the four Beatles, all the fab four, were appearing live on Juke Box Jury.” This suggests top us that everyone and everything in Britain had come to a standstill because the Beatles were on Juke Box Jury. The source also suggests that they were idolised and admired by most teenagers.

    The source is written first hand by Joanna Lumbly in her autobiography, so obviously she was there to experience it. However the source was written almost thirty years later so she may have forgotten details or even may have exaggerated the truth. One example where it seems she may have exaggerated the truth is when it says, “an extraordinary silence and emptiness had descended upon London, on Britain, on England.” This is doubtful, as she was only in a small part of London so first of all she wouldn’t nknow that even the whole of London had gone silent never mind the whole of England.

    2. Source C suggests that the Beatles liked their fans, as their fans were well behaved, as the source says, “They’d only want your autograph; and you could chat.” The source also suggests that the fans acted normal around them as the Beatles understood them and didn’t run away or get scared of their fans like other stars around that time did.

    Source C was written by Sir Paul McCartney who was a member of the Beatles, so it was written first hand and from experience. However it was written twenty years after so he may have forgotten details of what the fans were actually like, he may have just remembered the good bits.

    Source A suggests that the Beatles fans were completely in ore of them and would do anything to see them. The source says that everyone was inside to see them perform live as there were no repeats then it’s obvious that all of their fans would be inside watching it. The source was written b y Joanna Lumbley thirty years later so some details may have been forgotten or exaggerated.

    Source C does support Source A as they both say that the Beatles fans were willing to do anything to see them and they both agree that the fans were well behaved fans that just idolised a band they just wanted to meet.

    Source B suggests that the crowd at the Mad Mod Ball were crazy about the Stones. As the Source is written by a teenager it suggests that the crowd was probably full of teens and out of control. The source describes the crowd as a heaving, maniacal, screaming mob. This suggests t hat the Stones would have been overwhelmed by their fans reaction to them. Also it suggests that with the mob surrounding the stage when the Stones would try and leave they would do anything to make sure that they didn’t. The Source is written by a teenage fan that was very close to the Stones at the Ball. However it was written thirty years later so she could have forgotten things and exaggerated them.

    Source C does not support Source B as they disagree on the behaviour of the fans as Source C suggests the fans were well behaved and Source B suggests that the fans were badly behaved, and that they did not respect the bands unlike Source C.

    3. Source D is useful in helping us to understand because it suggests that the programme, Ready, Steady, Go, and influences younger teenagers to aim for their dreams. In Source D it did not tell us the time, the day and the channel the programme was on. This is because everyone knew it was on at half past six on a Friday night, on ITV. They knew when it was on because the show was extremely popular. They also knew it was shown once a week, it was live meaning there were no repeats if you missed it. Teenagers watched the show because it was always full of Stars and teenagers could see the latest fashions. This influenced teenagers as they would go out and buy the clothes they had seen the Stars wearing.

    In conclusion Source D teaches us that the changes in television programmes influenced teenagers and taught them that they could do whatever they wanted. It tells us this because they were sat watching people who had once started off a teenagers with a dream just like the viewers.

    Source E is useful because it suggests that like television, radio changed to cater for teenage tastes. Before Radio Luxemburg and other stations like it, teenagers could only listen the BBC which was the only providing station about. The BBBC was aimed at the older generation and aired programmes such as “Sing Something Simple” and “The Billy Cotton Bandshow” which were not interesting for teenagers.

    Radio Luxemburg provided a station for teenagers. This would have also made them think that they could follow their dreams as they were listening to bands such as the Beatles. Listening would also helped build their determination to do things as if they were listening to Luxemburg they had to be determined as it was only played at night, it was a very bad signal and adverts such as the Horas Batchelor and his impalliable gambling schemes based at Keynsham would be played every two seconds. So listening going against your parents wishes. However the Source was written thirty years after the station came about so details could have been forgotten or exaggerated.

    In conclusion Source E tells us that the radio also changed to cater for teenage tastes. As well as pirate radio being introduced the BBC realised that radio for teenagers was the future and began broadcasting programmes for them. Together Sources D and E are useful in helping us to understand why teenagers believed that the 1960’s gave them opportunities as they tell us that radio and television began to aim programmes at them instead of adults.

    4. Source F suggests that throughout the 1960’s television changed to show programmes that in those days were seen as unsuitable for all ages. Mrs Mary Whitehouse set up a campaign to stop such programmes being shown. She claimed that the programmes needed to be stopped being shown because they were influencing people badly. She campaigned against programmes such as “Coronation Street” and the play “Poor Cow” which were showing things such as sex before marriage and swearing. She also attacked the BBC for showing programmes tat were against Christian faith. Source F does suggest to us though that it was not just the BBC showing unsuitable programmes but ITV as well.

    Source F is part of an article that was written in the Daily Mail in 1964. The Daily Mail is likely to print such articles as it is a very conservative paper that agrees with traditional ideas and does not like change so obviously would back Mrs Whitehouse.

    Source G suggests that pop stars were taking drugs throughout the 1960’s. Janis Joplin, a rock star, died of a drug overdose. At the time Janis Joplin died people came to the conclusion that if the Stars that the teenagers idolised were taking drugs it would influence teenagers to take them too. People also thought that the songs that were sung had changed as well, as at the beginni9ng of the 1960’s song lyrics were about love, however by the end of the 1960’s song lyrics were more about drugs. Examples of this is the famous Beatles song, “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” and The Byrd’s song, “8 Mile High”.

    Source G is part of Janis Joplin’s biography. It is a factual account of her life and death and doesn’t not put blame on to anyone for her death. However it is written twenty years after her death when views on drug had changed a lot, as drugs are now a lot more common. Also details may have been forgot or even exaggerated.

    Sources F and G focus on a couple of bad influences in the 1960’s although there were many more, such as the pill and abortion. The Pill was thought to encourage sex before marriage and abortion was seen as murder, Both of these were thought to lead to a decrease in morals. In conclusion it is understandable that people thought the 1960’s was a period of bad influences.

    5. Popular culture changed in many different ways throughout the 1960’s. Many different aspects of popular culture went through a variation of changes. Areas that went through change include television, music, society and opportunities that were available.

    Music was one of the main changes throughout the 1960’S. The main reason for change being the public began to realise how important music was to teenagers. In Source A Joanna Lumley explains that she had to get home to watch the Beatles performing live on Juke Box Jury, but is wasn’t only her in the source it suggests that it was the whole of Britain also. Everyone thought it was important to see them because they were the most popular band in Britain and there were no repeats. However the source was written thirty years after Joanna Lumley experienced living life in the 1960’s so she may have exaggerated some details. Although she dopes make it clear how much the Beatles were admired.

    Television was another major change. Television changed as it began to show programmes that were aimed at a teenage audience. Source D tells us that the programme Ready, Steady, Go was loved by teenagers. Source D is an advert from the time the programme was shown on television, but the advert does not tell us the name of the show, the time it was on or what channel it was on. This tells us how popular the programme was if it didn’t need to include this detail in the advert, as everyone already knew it was on at half past six on channel three. Teenagers loved the show as it showed all their favourite bands performing live.

    Radio also changed to cater for teenagers. Before the 1960’s radio was aimed at adults, but this soon changed. Radio Luxembourg was the first radio station that was aimed at a teenage audience, it was a pirate radio station that could only be heard late at night and it had a very bad signal, but despite this teenagers loved it. The popularity of Radio Luxembourg lead to other radio stations such as the BBC realise that teenagers were the future of radio.

    During the 1960’s there was also a time of changes in opportunity. Teenagers had more opportunities as television and radio had realised that teenagers were the future. For example in Source I we see that the number of students in full time education rose from 200,000 in 1961 to 390,000 in 1969. These figures show that teenagers were getting more opportunities because they were staying on in full time education after school, which meant opportunities to get better jobs.

    Although many changes in the 1960’s were good many were also bad. Many encouraged the change and in return many didn’t.

    There were bad changes in music, as the songs changed from being love songs to songs about drugs, such as the Beatles song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”. As the music teenagers listened to was about drugs people began to assume that it would have a bad influence on teenagers and they too would start taking drugs. Also the statement “Tune in, turn on, drop out” led society to believe that everyone was using drugs and it was encouraging teenagers to take them as the statement meant, tune into music, turn onto drugs and drop out of society.

    Changes in television were not welcomed by many people as they disagreed with programmes that portrayed real life being shown on television, as they thought they would lead to a break down into society. In Source F we see how Mrs Mary Whitehouse as well as other members of the public, were disgraced at seeing things such as sex, abortion and bad language being broadcast on television. She was campaigning against the BBC and ITV to stop them showing programmes that went against the Christian Faith and influenced society badly. The article was published in the Daily Mail which is a conservative paper that also liked traditional views, and so it agreed with Mrs Whitehouse. This meant they could have slightly exaggerated the content of some programmes.

    In the 1960’s there weren’t really any bad opportunities available, although some were seen as bad at the time in the long run they are actually good. The pill and abortions became legalised and this was seen as a bad thing as many people thought that it encouraged underage sex and premarital sex. Some people saw abortion as murder and this caused a lot of upset throughout Britain. However with many people becoming more educated about sex and contraception the pill wasn’t actually a bad thing.

    In conclusion after studying the good and bad points of how popular culture changed throughout the 1960’s, I believe that the statement, “Popular culture in the 1960’s did more harm than good”, is incorrect be cause I do not believe it did. In the 1960’s people got more opportunities than they have ever had before, the pill and abortion became available which lead to a decrease in unwanted pregnancies and television and radio began to cater for teenagers and not just adults. The 1960’s was a decade of change that changed the future forever.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    Look at the sources – Were the Beatles were the most popular group in Britain? Essay. (2017, Jul 03). Retrieved from

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