The impact of the Beatles on pop music in Australia: 1963–66 Academic Article uri icon


  • For young Australians in the early 1960s America was the icon of pop music and fashion. This was the result of the projection of America through the mass media and the numerous American rock'n'roll acts that were brought to Australia by Lee Gordon, an American entrepreneur who lived in Sydney (Zion 1984). This overall tendency led the American, A. L. McLeod, to observe when writing about Australian culture in 1963 thatin general, Australian popular music is slavishly imitative of United States models; it follows jazz, swing, calypso or whatever the current fashion is in New York or San Francisco at a few months distance. (McLeod 1963, p. 410)Yet by late 1963 the potency of America was in decline. For while the Californian surf music craze made a somewhat delayed impact, especially in Sydney, the popularity of the Beatles was gathering momentum. This can be traced crudely through the Top Forty lists of the day: in Sydney the song ‘From Me To You’ entered the charts on 12 July 1963 and eventually reached number six (Barnes et al. 1979, p. 50).

publication date

  • October 1987

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