3 Popular music and the counterculture
The rock ‘n’ roll musical phenomenon of the 1950s was strongly associated with teenage rebellion. While the youthful fans of the rock ‘n’ roll bands of the 1950s might have been largely ‘rebels without a cause’, the fans of 1960s rock music – many of whom identified with the counterculture – definitely did have one. Although it would be incorrect to think of the counterculture which developed in 1960s America as a unified movement, those connected to the movement were often concerned with, or involved in, the Anti-Vietnam War and Civil Rights Movements. The counterculture challenged the social mores and structures of the older generation. Student protests (which peaked in 1968) and the sexual revolution were significant expressions of this. Music and musical taste became extremely important to the counterculture. In particular, rock and folk music became its soundtrack.