The History of Pop Music

Pop music has dominated the music scene for decades now, and while other styles come and go, pop has remained as a staple on the music scene. Pop, coined from the term ‘popular’, is called so because it is exactly that, popular. The style of music has mass appeal to listeners of all ages, with lyrics that can be sung along to, and beats that are easy to dance to.

Where did it all start?

Although pop is often considered to have really broken into the music scene in the 1980’s, it was actually almost 100 years before that, when the style started to emerge. If you use the sense of pop music as being a great rhythm that can be easily danced to then ragtime and swing were perhaps the first pop music styles. In the 1930’s and 40’s rockabilly and blues were popular music, but it was the next decade that started to shape the music scene and brought us pop as we know it today.

50’s

Bill Haley & his Comets and Elvis Presley created a sound that was unique, and to some very shocking, but little did they know the music revolution was just beginning. They brought music to the mainstream masses, people who had been indifferent to the music scene before were really sitting up and taking notice. It was also the creation of the music idol and heartthrob, something which is now very commonplace and saw the birth of The Teenybopper!

60’s

Beatlemania needs no explanation, and the Fab Four from Liverpool is arguably the biggest boy band ever. The Teenyboppers were rife, those young teens who idolised their favourite bands, followed them around the country to watch them play, camp out at their hotels hoping to catch a glimpse of their idols and even fainting in their presence. The 60’s also brought us Flower Power and folk music, with Joan Baez and the massive music festival at Woodstock. Pop became a little mellower.

70’s

Pop music in the seventies could be described as eclectic, but it also brought us the future ‘King of Pop’ Michael Jackson and the whole of the Jackson clan. Family groups, such as The Osmonds, Sister Sledge and The Jackson Five dominated the music scene and pop as we know it really started to develop.

80’s

Michael Jackson broke away from his family to become a mega-successful solo artist, Madonna made every young girl feel it was ok to be materialistic and Prince made purple suits a ‘Sign O the Times’. Tiffany sang her heart out in shopping malls, Debbie Gibson was the everyday girl next door and Wham took us to the Edge of Heaven. It is the stuff that school discos were made for.

90’s

Boybands dominated the 90’s with the likes of New Kids on the Block, Nsync and backstreet boys all vying for our attention. Kylie showed us she was a force to be reckoned with as she made the transition from actress to singing sensation.