Even if the word “pop” disappears from the English vocabulary, the influence of pop will remain. Pop has become part of British — and American — history. There has always been a closecultural link, or tie, between Britain and English peaking America, not only in literature but alsoin the popular arts, especially music. Before the Second World War the American exported jazzand the blues. During the 1950s they exported rock and roll, and star singers like Elvis Presleywere idolized by young Britons and Americans alike.
The people responsible for the pop revolution were four Liverpool boys who joined together ina group and called themselves the Beatles. Unlike the famous solo stars who had their songswritten for them.
They played in small clubs in the back streets of the city. the Beatles wrote their own words andmusic.
They had a close personal relationship with their audience, and they expected them to join inand dance to the “beat” of the music. Audience participation is an essential characteristic ofpop culture. Some pop groups, in particular the Rolling Stones, did more than justentertainment.
They wrote words which were deliberately intended to shock. They represented the anger andbitterness of youth struggling for freedom against authority, and for this reason they wereregarded by some people as the personification of the “permissive society”. The Beatles, on the other hand, finally wonthe affection — and admiration —of people of all ages and social backgrounds. As theydeveloped, their songs became more serious. They wrote not only of love, but of death and oldage and poverty and daily life. They were respected by many intellectuals and by someserious musicians. Largely thanks to the Beatles, pop music has grown into an immense andprofitable occupation.