Founded in 1926 by Leicester-born composer and music publisher Lawrence Wright, Melody Maker was one of the earliest British weekly music newspapers. The publication mainly covered jazz until Chris Welch and Ray Coleman applied deeper perspectives to American-influenced local rock and…

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First published as Fabulous in January 1964 (with The Beatles on the cover) and aimed squarely at the teenage market, the magazine’s big selling point was the full-page colour pin-ups not yet found anywhere else. At its peak, Fabulous enjoyed…

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Launched two years after the NME, and founded by former Weekly Sporting Review editor Isidore Green, Record Mirror never attained the circulation of its rival, though it published the first UK album chart in 1956. By the end of 1960, circulation…

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British music paper Sounds appeared in 1970 with a weekly colour centrefold and robust rock music coverage. Sounds came early to the punk scene thanks to John Ingham and Giovanni Diadomo. Other significant contributors included Garry Bushell, Sandy Robertson, Mick Middles, Phil Sutcliffe,…

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1 9 6 6 (UK) 13 x 5 minute episodes 1 9 7 1 (UK) 13 x 5 minute episodes Originally part of the Watch with Mother children’s series, Joe was a lovely little still frame animation concerning the titular little boy and his family.…

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The son of a music teacher, Michael ‘Jimmy’ James became part of the Kingston (Jamaica) music scene at an early age, working with the producers Coxsone Dodd and Clancy Eccles, and recording numerous singles for Lyndon Pottinger at Tip-Top Records…

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Ever since June 1956 – when she released Baby Honey and I’m Crazy Darlin’ under the name of Sherry Lee on the Mar-Vel label – Jackie DeShannon (real name Sharon Lee Myers) has been an artist to be reckoned with. This Kentucky-born singer/songwriter is…

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Gimme Shelter follows The Rolling Stones on their 1969 US tour, catching them at their absolute apex. Interspersed with the live concert footage we see the negotiations between lawyers and promoters who must find a last-minute alternative venue for a free concert scheduled…

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America’s most successful pop group The Monkees – Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones, Mike Nesmith and Peter Tork – fractured their cheeky TV image (and anticipated much of MTV’s self-deprecatory style) with this insane collage of surreal sketches and visual jokes to…

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Few soundtracks have changed the face of popular music more than the one for The Harder They Come, which single-handedly put reggae on the map, paving the way for Bob Marley’s breakthrough album a year later. Billed as “Jamaica’s very first feature-length film”, it…

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Privilege was director Peter Watkins’ first feature film. It was made after he quit the BBC in disgust following the Corporation’s banning (supposedly after lobbying from the Home Office) of The War Game, his pseudo-documentary detailing a nuclear attack on Britain.…

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This exploitive censor-baiting beatnik drama attempts to mix the beat generation of the late Fifties with a juvenile-delinquency storyline. In doing so, it exploits adolescent sexuality, rock ‘n’ roll, middle-class slumming, prostitutes, strippers and sly intimations of lesbianism and incest,…

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The brainchild of a young Berkeley dropout named Jann Wenner (pictured above), Rolling Stone magazine was founded in 1967 with a mere $7,500 and a few volunteers on the second floor of a San Francisco print shop. Debuting on 9…

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There has always been fast food of sorts, but 1950s America put mass-produced, flavour-rich but nutritionally-poor fast food on the culinary map. It was the decade that quick-service restaurant chains began to open and franchise, heralding a seismic shift in…

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Tiger Beat was founded in September 1965 by Charles “Chuck” Laufer, his brother Ira Laufer, and television producer and host Lloyd Thaxton. Marketed primarily to adolescent girls, the magazine featured teen idol gossip and articles about movies, music and fashion.…

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From humble beginnings in 1952 when publisher Maurice Kinn bought the title The Musical Express & Accordion Weekly for £1000 and re-branded it as New Musical Express, the NME became an essential weekly purchase for generations of music fans, populated by characters as notorious…

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Kiddies construction toy “Stickle Bricks” was invented by Denys Fisher in 1969. The colourful plastic shapes – squares, rectangles, triangles and circles – could be interlocked using “teeth” and joined together in many different ways.

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By the late 1970s, Dungeons & Dragons had become a favourite pastime of certain types of too-smart-for-their-own-good, socially awkward adolescents who preferred to think of themselves as Chaotically Good Elves in a mystic realm rather than as the Chaotically Dressed…

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“Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out” From 1960 onwards, while teaching psychology at Harvard, Timothy Leary began experimenting with drugs on prison inmates and then on himself and his friends. Leary was soon dismissed by Harvard and set up his…

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American born promoter Lee Gordon arrived in Sydney in 1953, after a chance meeting with an Australian used car salesman, and immediately put his American know-how to work. Gordon was responsible for bringing 472 American entertainers (including Nat King Cole,…

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It remains the defining assembly of rock music – an unprecedented gathering of at least 300,000 young, long-haired, raggedy-clad Americans “going up the country” in New York’s Catskill Mountains, searching for answers, hoping for transcendence . . . and finding,…

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January 01 – Chinese and North Korean forces advance across the 38th Parallel and through UN lines. 01 – First episode of The Archers is broadcast nationally on the BBC Light Programme. 01 – Bill Byford (Saxon) born. 04 – Communist…

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In 1966 England hosted the World Cup, in a climate of football fever generated in-part by the much-loved mascot World Cup Willie. The cartoon lion appeared on everything from beer to breakfast cereals. Of the 16 nations that reached the final…

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January 01 – The US gives $216 million in aid to South Vietnam. 01 – The 1955 Cotton Bowl Classic American football game is won by the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. 02 – President José Antonio Remón Cantera is assassinated…

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January 01 – Groucho Marx dies in Los Angeles. 02 – Legendary jazz pianist and composer Erroll Garner dies. 03 – Former Home Secretary Roy Jenkins announces he is leaving Westminster to become President of the European Commission in Brussels. Conservative…

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January 01 – French singer Maurice Chevalier dies (b. 1888) in Paris. He is 83. 03 – An IRA bomb injures 55 women and children when it explodes in a Belfast department store. 04 – Rose Heilbron is the first…

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January 01 – Britain, Denmark and Ireland join the European Economic Community (the “Common Market”) bringing the total number of member states to nine. 01 – Baseball star Roberto Clemente is killed in a light plane crash off Puerto Rico.…

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Infamous ‘Granny Killer’ John Wayne Glover began his reign of terror at Mosman in Sydney’s north, murdering six elderly women over a 13-month period in 1989 and 1990. Each time the calculating serial killer struck he would force his victim…

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