From the beginning of the record industry, American blues, jazz and rock-and-roll inspired musicians all around the world, particularly in Britain. In the mid-1960s, the proverbial turn-tables turned when British music and culture took the United States by storm. This phenomenon has come to be known as the British Invasion. American youth frenzied around British pop and rock groups such as The Rolling Stones, the Kinks, the Animals, and, perhaps most notably, the Beatles.
After the assassination of John F. Kennedy in November 1963, America was ripe to accept the spirit of The Beatles music. Walter Cronkite featured a special on the Beatles in December of that year, and after the Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan show in February 1964, “Beatlemania” began. The group continued to produce chart-topping hits with messages of peace and love until the group’s eventual dissolution in the 70s. Conventional American media outlets painted this counter-culture movement in a negative light, deeming it an ‘invasion.’ On the other hand, the youth that the music inspired would consider the movement a salvation during a chaotic time marked by the assassinations of JFK, RFK, MLK, the Cold War, Vietnam war, Civil Rights Movement, and more.
British culture made its way beyond music into American fashion, film, television, and literature. The phenomenon continued into the early 70s, forever changing the course of global musical and cultural history.