The 1960s were a pivotal time in rock and roll and music in general, in part due to the "British Invasion" of groups and singers such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Dusty Springfield and The Kinks. Motown, a record company founded by legendary producer Barry Gordy, was another element to '60s music and featured groups and singers including The Temptations, The Supremes, Smokey Robinson and Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. Political unrest and drug culture were two themes that permeated the music of the period due to the Vietnam War and the invention of acid, a type of hallucinogen.
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No groups of the '60s list is complete without The Beatles, who regularly top "best of" lists as the greatest artists of all time. Comprised of John Lennon (rhythm guitar, vocals), Paul McCartney (bass guitar, vocals), George Harrison (lead guitar, vocals) and Ringo Starr (drums, vocals), the group came out of Liverpool, England, in 1960 and enjoyed a 10-year reign as one of the biggest acts in the world until they broke up in 1970. Classic albums include "Revolver," "Sergent Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," "The White Album" and "Abbey Road." The Beatles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.
Dusty Springfield was a blond British soul singer who came to fame in the '50s but the height of her career was arguably in the '60s through early '70s as Springfield had no less than 18 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart from 1964 through 1970. Hit songs include "Wishin' and Hopin," "I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself," and perhaps most famously, "Son of a Preacher Man." Springfield was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame shortly before her death in 1999.
Perhaps the most famous of the American "girl groups" of the early '60s, according to History of Rock, The Ronettes achieved fame under the production of Phil Spector and his "Wall of Sound." The group was comprised of Ronnie Bennett, her sister Estelle and their cousin Nedra Talley. With their huge beehive hairdos and smoky black eye make-up The Ronettes set themselves apart from other girl groups of the period with their "tough, sexy but sweet" personas. Hit songs include "Be My Baby," "Baby I Love You," and "Do I Love You." Ronnie Bennett married and later divorced Spector. The Ronettes were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.
Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter who first came to fame in the early '60s. In addition to singing and writing his own songs, Dylan plays the guitar, harmonica and keyboards. As with The Beatles, Dylan's career has lasted well into the 21st century. Dylan's '60s hits include "Blowin' in the Wind," "The Times They Are A-Changin," "Like a Rolling Stone" and "Positively 4th Street." Dylan was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.
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