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The Youngsters

How did they live?

Young people in post-war America had no defined identity but they prospered economically, due to the enormous number of jobs and high wages. Consumption and mass spending skyrocketed.

There was the baby boom. They married more and earlier, and most had more than three children. Scientific discoveries and inventions like television made life more comfortable. The car and household appliances became indispensable.

Chuck Berry – No Particular Place to Go (1964)

Own authored song recorded at the legendary Chess Studios in Chicago. In it, one of the fathers of rock and roll tells us a story of a girl and a car.


In this song, Chuck Berry perfectly expresses the cult of the car, a symbol of the economic emancipation of teenagers in the 1950s. The car provided independence, speed and a place for love. Complementary satellites flourished around it, such as drive-in theaters, road-in burgers and chicken-yace, all of which were perfectly captured in films like Rebel Without a Cause.

What was their culture like?

Despite the baby boom, they had more free time. Thus, the leisure industry appeared (cinema, radio, music, press, television, clothing, sports, travel, etc.). The belief in science, technology, progress and futurism prevailed.

New initiatives in the field of the communication industry proliferated and created the image of a new youth culture: Marilyn Monroe, James Dean or rock and roll, symbolized by the jeans.

Bill Haley and His Comets - Rock Around the Clock (1954)

Version of a song composed in 1952 by Max Freedman and James Myers. A generational hymn that hooked the American youth of the Age of Opulence.

The appearance of the song Rock Around the Clock in the film Blackboard Jungle (Seed of Evil, 1955) was a milestone. Directed by Richard Brooks and starring Glen Ford, it perfectly portrays the social context of young Americans in the 1950s. At that time, rock and roll became a catalyst for youthful attitudes. It amuses them, involves them, unites them and expresses what they feel. Young people wanted their own music and the industry had a new market.

How was their relationship with adults?

The current relationship between teachers (adults) and apprentices (young people) breaks down. Generational conflict and youth rebellion appear. Women become aware of their marginalization and claim their legitimate rights.

For the first time in history, young people acquire a social presence, a capacity for initiative, a leading role in public opinion, political weight, the will to make demands, etc. American teenagers get their own culture.

Jerry Lee Lewis - It'll be mine (1959)

Track composed by Jack Clement, Sam Phillips' right-hand man on Sun Records. Nicknamed the Cowboy, in 1959, he was signed as a producer by the almighty Rca in Nashville.


Rock and roll, in which young people felt identified, offended adults, who reacted with record burning, sermons and bans. Asa Carter, a member of the Alabama Citizens Council, said in 1956, "Rock is a means of lowering the white man to the level of the black man. And Cardinal Strich of Chicago in 1957 declared, "Catholic youth must not tolerate the tribalism of rock and roll. According to sociologist Enrique Gil Calvo: "From that time, all that remains are the jeans and the fossilized fetish memory.