by Jenny Nehrt, Student Assistant James Madison University’s Special Collections is continuing our blog post today commemorating the Class of 1964’s 50th reunion! Today we focus on what the students of Madison College were listening to on the radio, and on their record players.
The Breeze, 1963
The pop culture scene in the US at that time was being swept up in the “British Invasion.” The Rolling Stones album England’s Newest Hit Makers, was released in the U.S. in May 1964 and was widely received. A few months earlier, The Beatles, arguably one of the most influential bands in history, performed on The Ed Sullivan Show to a crowd of screaming fans and over 73 million television viewers.
Beatlemania? The Breeze, February 29, 1964
Beatlemania seemed here to stay but not all Madisonites were fans. The February 29, 1964 Breeze ran two editorial articles (originally published by other colleges) that made it clear not all students were a fan of the “Beatle noise” and blamed their popularity on “thousands of screaming teenagers.” Despite the harsh reviews, the British Invasion was here to stay and drew plenty of fans from both Madison population and JMU students today.
A wide range of bands and singers performed at Madison throughout the Class of 1964’s time in school.
Like any good song, Madison College takes a variety of components to make it a hit. Though their tastes varied, these kooky kids all came together to make a groovin’ sound! Hopefully the Class of 1964 will show us their moves at their reunion!