50 Great Moments and Memories of the 1960s, from a British perspective - Kindle Edition. 50 Great Moments and Memories of the 1960s paperback details here.
A little ebook I've recently completed. Due to come out on Friday, via Amazon.
29. Bob Dylan and the Folk Revival
Bob Dylan not only revived folk music, but he influenced The Beatles and The Byrds, and countless others, as he brought the protest song into the mainstream. Popular songs, Dylan emphasised, didn't need to be just about love. Blowin' in the Wind, The Times They Are a-Changin' and Masters of War all struck a chord - with fears over the Cold War, and a thirst for a better future all helping to make Dylan a key voice for both youngsters and those sick of the cycle of war. Vietnam also made Dylan look like a prophet.
Encouraged by Pete Seeger, Dylan's fame spread very quickly, though another young folkie, Joan Baez, was already a bigger name by the time Bob and Joan became a couple. Joan Baez saw Dylan's genius at first hand, and recorded some of his songs, while The Byrds produced a whole album of Dylan covers.
Dylan's decision to go electric in 1966 provoked cries of "Judas!" on a fraught tour of the UK, but Like a Rolling Stone gave him his first US number one. The song was acclaimed by many as a work of genius, and it is widely considered to be one of the greatest songs of the 20th Century. Going electric, then, didn't seem to harm Dylan's career at all. A motorcycle accident did, however, halt Dylan's remorseless rise, but, by 1967, only The Beatles really rivalled him as the most important young music act in the English-speaking world.
A raft of gifted singer-songwriters followed in Dylan's wake, including Britain's answer to Dylan - Donovan. Tim Hardin, Phil Ochs and Joni Mitchell also became big names, as some folkies became as feted as pop stars. Something that would have seemed unthinkable a decade earlier.
30. The Prisoner
Unwavering obedience to authority was really challenged in the 1960s, and, as far as TV shows were concerned, none more so than in The Prisoner. Patrick McGoohan was superb in the lead role of Number 6, and he is a character who is taken to a mysterious place called The Village. The place seems idyllic - but only if you try not to leave, and risk being stopped by a Rover...
Number 6 is also unhappy being a number, and is determined not to toe the line. Number 6 has a nemesis as well - Number 2. But, because Number 6 is so strong-willed, a new Number 2 is called in regularly to try and make The Village's most difficult resident an unquestioning robot. Number 6 worked for the security services, but resigned, and the reason he did so is a question he's not keen to answer.
In the beautiful, unusual setting of Portmeirion, The Prisoner was one of the more stylish TV shows of the 1960s. With impressive guest stars, and with its not always being easy to fathom, The Prisoner gained a cult following, and the Six of One official Prisoner appreciation society exists to this day.