ANDREW GRANT JACKSON is the author of Still the Greatest: The Essential Songs of the Beatles’ Solo Careers. He directed and co-wrote the feature film The Discontents (2004) starring Amy Madigan. He has written for Slate’s ‘Blogging the Beatles,’ Yahoo!, music magazines Burn Lounge, Mean Street, Dispatch and the Hollywood monthly magazine Ingenue. He lives in California.
50 years ago, the friendly rivalry between musicians and turned 1965 into the most ground-breaking year in music history ever. It was the year rock and roll evolved into the premier art form of its time and accelerated the drive for personal freedom throughout the Western world.
The feedback loop between the artists and their times ignited an unprecedented explosion of creativity. The Beatles released Rubber Soul and performed at Shea Stadium, the first rock concert to be held in a major American stadium. Bob Dylan released “Like a Rolling Stone”—the quintessential anthem of the year—and went electric at the Newport Folk Festival. The Rolling Stones' hit song "Satisfaction" catapulted the band to world-wide success.
This was not only the year of rock; new genres were born, such as funk and psychedelia. Soul music became a prime force of desegregation as Motown crossed out of the R&B charts on to the top of the Billboard Top 100. Country music reached new heights with Nashville and the Bakersfield sound and competition between musicians coincided with seismic cultural shifts wrought by the Civil Rights Movement, the Pill, psychedelics, and Vietnam.
In 1965, Andrew G. Jackson combines fascinating and often surprising personal stories with a panoramic historical narrative.