There were many musical groups in the 1960's. I am going to talk about a few of the most widely known groups. I will be talking about the Beatles, the Monkees, the Rolling Stones, and the Beach Boys.

The Beatles history can be traced back to about 1955 when Paul McCartney joined up with John Lennon's band, The Quarrymen. Lennon played lead guitar, McCartney was on rhythm guitar, Stu Sutcliffe played bass and there were several fill-in drummers. A few months later, thirteen-year-old George Harrison joined them and took over the lead guitar job from Lennon. In 1960 Peter Best became their regular drummer, and also around this time they changed the band's name to "The Silver Beatles", then soon after that to just "The Beatles". The Beatles started out playing clubs night after night in Hamburg, Germany. Sutcliffe left the band in 1961 and McCartney took over the bass duties.

After becoming local favorites in Hamburg, they returned to Liverpool to play at The Cavern Club where they began to draw a large following. In early 1962, Brian Epstein, their manager, had them record a demo tape for Decca records, who would turned them down, as did several other different record companies. Epstein found producer George Martin of EMI records and Martin signed the Beatles to EMI's Parlophone Records. Unfortunately, Martin didn't think Best was a good enough drummer, and wanted a session drummer to fill in for him when they recorded. And that's how Ringo Starr became part of the Beatles.

Their first single, "Love Me Do"/"P.S. I Love You," was recorded in September of 1962. It barely made to the British Top 20.The song was written by Lennon and McCartney, which was something almost unheard of in rock 'n roll at the time, up until then most rock bands only did cover songs. The Beatles phenomenon didn't really kick in until early 1963 when "Please Please Me" hit number one on the British charts. The Beatles debut LP, Please Please Me (the album) topped the British music charts for 30 weeks. They were one of the biggest rock acts in the UK, and "Beatlemania" would soon take over America and the rest of the world. In December 1963 "I Want to Hold Your Hand," was their first official U.S. release, and after their appearance on The Ed Sullivan Television Show in February of 1964, they had the top five best selling singles in the U.S. They also had the number one and number two spots in the album charts, and several other entries throughout the Top 100. Nobody at that time, or afterwards would dominated the pop music market like the Beatles did. The Beatles also, opened the door for just about every other rock band that followed them. The Beatles continued to put out one after another number one hits until their breakup in 1970. When the Beatles called it quits in 1970, Paul and John were no longer talking to each other, because John was insulted by McCartney's solo Ram album, which he claimed had bad references to him and his new wife Yoko Ono. In turn he put out a song he wrote about Paul called "How Do You Sleep" which went down as one of rock's all time put down songs. In time, Lennon and McCartney did make up and became friends again; tragically, Lennon was later assassinated in December 1980 in New York City.

Their first two films, A Hard Days Night and Help! were big hits, and their two biggest albums were the double LP White Album and the part concept album Abbey Road.

The Monkees began when U.S. television producers, Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider were inspired by the new pop phenomena. They began auditions for the show about a struggling pop band in 1965. The final choices were Michael Nesmith who sang and played guitar, Peter Tork who played bass and sang, Davy Jones who sang, and Mickey Dolenz who played the drums and also sang. On September 12, 1966 the first episode on The Monkees was shown on NBC-TV. In the beginning the ratings were low, but soon the show became a huge success. The singles "Last Train To Clarksville" and "I'm A Believer", plus a million-selling debut album helped establish that the band had become the latest teenage sensation, and were often compared to the Beatles. But an unfortunate rumor that the Monkees' early sessions had been completed by Boyce and Hart and their background band, the Candy Store Prophets. The Monkees had just overdubbed the vocals.

The Monkees musical supervisor Don Kirshner was fired which left them with the complete power of artistic freedom. "Headquarters" the Monkees first album on which the band actually played was an instant success both commercially and artistically. It consisted mostly of material ranging from country-rock to vaudevillian pop. The appeal of the Monkees television series had declined, and the last episode aired March 25, 1968. In 1995 Rhino Records produced a 21-volume video collection, which contained all 58 episodes of their television series.

The Rolling Stones were formed in 1962 by blues purest, guitarist, and harp player Brian Jones. Jones wanted to start an R&B band. The first person to join him was pianist Ian "Stu" Stewart, followed by guitarist Geoff Bradford. In June, Mick Jagger, a singer and Keith Richards who played guitar joined them. Bass player Dick Taylor also joined the band at that time, but no set drummer joined at first. Bradford ended up leaving the band shortly after Richards and Jagger joined. Several drummers would play with the band such as Mick Avory, Tony Chapman, Charlie Watts and Carlo Little. Jones was The Rolling Stones early leader and the one to come up with the name, which he took from a Muddy Waters' song. Dick Taylor left that December and Bill Wyman took over the bass duties. In January 1963 Charlie Watts finally decided to take up on an earlier offer to join The Rolling Stones and the heart and soul of the band was now in place. They started out playing gigs in small clubs. In March of 1963, the Stones first studio work took place but it wasn't until they met Andrew Oldham that things would start to come together for them. That May Oldham signed the band to work for him and his partner Eric Easton, but there would be one more change, Oldham didn't feel Stewart's image fit in with the rest of the Stone's and insisted on him being out of the main line up. Luckily for the Stones, Stu agreed to become their road manager and still play his piano in sessions for the Stones until his death in December 1985. Success came to the Stones rather abruptly as they changed from blues to a rock band. In the years to come the Stones would experiment with just about every kind of rock music there was. Although, they would never wander too far away from the blues.

The Stones were the number two rock band behind the Beatles by the mid sixties. By the late sixties things weren't going well between Jones, Jagger, and Richards. Jones wanted credit for the songs he helped write in the studio, although he would never receive it. In May of 1969, Jones left the band. Unfortunately, less than a month later his body was found at the bottom of his swimming pool. The band soon hired blues guitarist Mick Taylor to take Jones' spot in the group. Taylor played a cleaner guitar than Jones and unlike Brian stuck to just the guitar. The Stones have put out twenty-six studio albums and another seven live albums. They also produced numerous other live boots; compilations and greatest hits albums abound. Their top four albums were released between 1968 and 1972: Beggars Banquet ('68), Let It Bleed ('69), Sticky Fingers ('71) and Exile on Main Street ('72). Some of their best songs are "Satisfaction," "Start Me Up," "Like A Rolling Stone," and "100 Years Ago."

The Beach Boys classic songs depict the spirit of the Californian lifestyle. They have become an American icon to a worldwide audience. The Beach Boys' first hit "Surfin'" (1961) launched a string of chart-topping songs that spans nearly forty years and includes eternal anthems of American youth: "Surfin' USA," "Surfer Girl," "Fun, Fun, Fun," "I Get Around," "California Girls," "Wouldn't It Be Nice," "Kokomo" and more. For The Beach Boys, it all began in the home of Murry and Audree Wilson in the Los Angeles suburb of Hawthorne, in the bedroom shared by their sons, oldest brother Brian taught his younger siblings, Dennis and Carl, to sing. Mike Love, the Wilson brothers' first cousin joined in on Christmas carols at holiday gatherings. Until 1961, singing was just something the Wilson and Love families did for fun. It was when the foursome became five in 1961, with the addition of Al Jardine, Brian's High School football teammate and El Camino Junior College classmate, that the self-named "Pendletones" began to take their singing a little more seriously.

Thanks to a remarkable chain of events, they recorded their first single "Surfin" which was released on the Candix label. The Beach Boys California garage band sound and an original song about a local fad had immediate teen appeal. The single "Surfin'" reached the Top 3 on Los Angeles radio hit lists. Since each of the newly named "Beach Boys" earned only about $200 each from that moment of fame the recording business probably felt more like a hobby than a job. The Beach Boys were determined to have a career, and cut a demo tape that would turn out to be their first major label record. With their tape and the help of the Wilson brothers' father, Murry, the Beach Boy's secured a record contract with Capitol Records in mid-1962. Their first single, "Surfin' Safari" was practically an overnight success, the Beach Boys became one of Capitol's hottest acts. In the late summer of 1962, the group recorded "Surfin' Safari," which triggered an avalanche of music. Capitol Records released 20 Beach Boys' albums from 1962-1969, many of which went "Gold" and hit the Top 20.

The Beach Boys scored 16 Top 40 hits from 1962-1965 including "I Get Around" and "Don't Worry Baby," one of the greatest singles of all time, and a #1 hit for the group at the very height of "Beatlemania". In 1966, the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds album and the "Good Vibrations" single, earned the group worldwide acclaim, and established group leader Brian Wilson as the influential genius of modern pop music. A year-end poll in one of England's music papers at the end of 1966 found the Beach Boys topping the Beatles as the #1 vocal group in the world. From 1967 to1969, the Beach Boys had five more Top 40 hits and released a number of albums.

The Beach Boys also pioneered the concept of the self-contained band and revolutionized the recording business. With Murry Wilson's help the Beach Boys turned the system upside down. They demanded and won the right to control their records, becoming the first and for a long time only rock artists to completely control their musical output. Their chart success alone would have earned the Beach Boys their spot in The Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame, not to mention 32 Platinum and Gold record awards and worldwide sales estimated at over 100 million. VH-1 recently named Pet Sounds as the #3 album in the Top 100 Albums in Rock 'n' Roll History, and the Beach Boys were also honored at the 2001 Grammy® Awards, receiving The Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy.

I hope you enjoyed my report on musical groups in the 1960's. Even to this day, about 40 years later, the Beatles, the Monkees, the Rolling Stones, and the Beach Boys influence music. They will be remembered throughout history as some of the most popular Rock 'n Roll bands.