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The arts in society: You're Sick, Daddy

Geoffrey Cannon, New Society, 25 April 1963

2018 author's note: My very first published piece, written for New Society, of which I was a founder-member of staff as the sub-editor and production editor and then art director, arts pages editor, and writer specialising in "popular culture". I was just 23. It was an exciting time. Tim Raison of New Society was the first editor to admit 'pop music' to The Arts in Society, and gave me space and scope to hack out new territory. This piece is on "the teen scene". I reminisce about "beat" as distinct from "pop" records, such as 'Why Do Fools Fall In Love', 'Blueberry Hill', 'Don't Be Cruel', and 'Jenny Jenny', all released in the mid-1950s, emancipating me when I was at school. I say that "pop" music is "a complex musical phenomenon", and recommend Colin MacInnes, who I commissioned for New Society as a regular Out of the Way columnist. I point out that all those in Britain born in 1939 or later grew up in their teens and twenties in a post-war, post-National Service, post-Empire world, had money to spend, and wanted to have fun. "Britain is changing its national character."

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Total word count of piece: 1715

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