What you need to know about 1960s music

Metin Kutusu: Woodstock, 1969
Woodstock Festival, 1969

1960s are known to be the decade that witnessed great political and cultural changes in many parts of the world. After WWII, people started to take a stance against wars, discrimination and suppression. Civil Rights Movements, assassinations of political leaders, Vietnam War and Flower Children are the concepts that anyone who is interested in this decade should surely know. Although there are many aspects that are thought to be the milestones of that decade, music might be the one that was most affected by the ongoing cultural evolution.

Let’s set out a journey through the most iconic figures who we instantly remember from the legendary 60s music life.

1. The Beatles

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The Beatles

What can we say about the Beatles really? They are the most famous music band of all times and holder of many records worldwide. In 60s, they gained popularity not only in England but also America as well. They paved the way and inspired a lot of singers and bands coming after. Just listen to Hey Jude, Don’t Let Me Down, Come Together, Let It Be, Here Comes the Sun, Yesterday and you will be amazed by the things they contributed to our world with.

2. Jimmy Hendrix

Jimmy Hendrix (Photo by David Redfern)

Jimmy Hendrix, American guitarist, songwriter and singer, is thought to be the best guitarist of all times. He learnt how to play guitar on his own when he was a little boy. Although he was left-handed, he was famous for playing the right-handed guitar. His most famous songs include All Along the Watchtower, Hey Joe and Purple Haze. He died in London in 1970. He was 27 years old, becoming one of the first members of “The 27 Club”.

3. Janis Joplin

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Janis Joplin

Janis Joplin, American songwriter and singer, was one of the most successful and famous singers in 1960s. She sang rock, blues and soul music. Me and Bobby McGee, Summertime, Piece of My Heart are amongst her best songs. She died at the age of 27 in 1970, a month after Jimmy Hendrix, and sadly became another member of “The 27 Club”.

4. The Doors

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The Doors

The Doors was also an iconic band which reflected the soul of the 60s best. Jim Morrison was the lead singer of the band and the love of the audience was more for him rather than The Doors. He wrote beautiful poems and in later years he wanted to be known as a poet rather than a singer. Light My Fire, Love Me Two Times, Riders on the Storm, L.A. Woman and many other songs were the hits of their times and still admired by the rock music lovers. Jim Morrison died in Paris in 1971, at the age of 27 (again!) and turned the 27 Club into a legend.

5. Led Zeppelin

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Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin, another music band born in England, is accepted as the pioneers of the Hard Rock music genre. His albums were sold in 300 million copies all over the world till today, which makes them 2nd right after The Beatles. Although the band’s active years expanded until 1980s, Led Zeppelin was formed in 1968 and succeeded in releasing two albums including hits like Babe I’m Gonna Leave You and Whole Lotta Love. But it is highly suggested to put on your headset and especially listen to their epic masterpiece, Stairway to Heaven, if not yet.

6. David Bowie

David Bowie

David Bowie, English singer and songwriter, started his music career in 1960s and continued to make albums until 2016, the year he died. He released many singles in his first years, but 1969 marked his great success with Space Oddity. He became an iconic star with his stage shows and costumes as well. The Man Who Sold the World, Starman, Heroes, Ziggy Stardust are only a few of a great collection in his entire career. The magazine Rolling Stone named him “The Greatest Rock Star Ever” after his death in 2016.

7. Rolling Stones

Rolling Stones

Rolling Stones was one of the English rock music bands that released many hit albums through the 60s. Satisfaction, Ruby Tuesday, Angie, Brown Sugar, Paint It Black are among their great songs. Years later, they admitted being “inspired” by Erkin Koray’s Bir Eylul Aksami while writing Paint It Black. We are not sure whether to smile or frown at this news. However, it is definitely not a reason to stop loving them!

Photo Credit (in the order above)


  1. As a person who was born in 90s, but still listening to the songs of 60s and 70s generation when travelling or studying, I sometimes feel sad about what I have missed by being a part of 90s generation and you made me rethink again what it would be like living in 60s, and I bet it would be AWESOME!! Thank you for taking us back to the years of hope and good music :*

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