At the beginning of the 1960s, pop and rock and roll trends of the 1950s continued; nevertheless, the rock and roll of the decade before started to merge into a more international, eclectic variant. In the early-1960s, rock and roll in its purest form was gradually overtaken by pop rock, beat, psychedelic rock, blues rock, and folk rock, which had grown in popularity.
|Girl groups (L-R): The Dixie Cups, The Shangri-Las, and The Supremes in the 1960s|
The country-and folk-influenced style associated with the latter half of 1960s rock music spawned a generation of popular singer-songwriters who wrote and performed their own work. Towards the decade’s end, genres such as Baroque pop, sunshine pop, bubblegum pop, and progressive rock started to grow popular, with the latter two finding greater success in the following decade.
Furthermore, the 1960s saw funk and soul music rising in popularity; rhythm and blues in general remained popular. The fusion of R&B, Gospel and original rock and roll was a success until the mid-part of the decade.
Aside from the popularity of rock and R&B music in the 1960s, Latin American as well as Jamaican and Cuban music achieved a degree of popularity throughout the decade, with genres such as Bossa nova, the cha-cha-cha, ska, and calypso being popular.
From a classical point of view, the 1960s were also an important decade as they saw the development of electronic, experimental, jazz and contemporary classical music, notably minimalism and free improvisation.
Here below are the top 12 girl groups of the 1960s.
1. Martha and The Vandellas.
|Martha and the Vandellas|
Martha and the Vandellas were an American all-female vocal group formed in 1957. The group achieved fame in the 1960s with Motown.
The group’s string of hits included “Come and Get These Memories”, “Heat Wave”, “Quicksand”, “Nowhere to Run”, “Jimmy Mack”, “Bless You” and “Dancing in the Street”, the latter song becoming their signature single.
During their nine-year run on the charts from 1963 to 1972, Martha and the Vandellas charted over twenty-six hits and recorded in the styles of doo-wop, R&B, pop, blues, rock and roll and soul.
Ten Vandellas songs reached the top ten of the Billboard R&B singles chart, including two R&B number ones, and six Top Ten Pop Hits on the Billboard Hot 100.
Selected members of the group were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 and the National Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame in 2013.
2. Patti LaBelle and The Bluebells.
|Patti LaBelle and The Bluebells|
Labelle was an American all-female singing group who were a popular vocal group of the 1960s and 1970s. The group was formed after the disbanding of two rival girl groups in the area around Philadelphia and Trenton, the Ordettes and the Del-Capris, forming as a new version of the former group, then later changing their name to the Blue Belles (later Bluebelles). The founding members were Patti LaBelle (formerly Patricia Holt), Cindy Birdsong, Nona Hendryx, and Sarah Dash.
As the Bluebelles, and later Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles, the group found success with ballads in the doo-wop genre, most notably “Down the Aisle (The Wedding Song)”, “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, and “Over the Rainbow”.
They are notable for being the first contemporary pop group and first black pop group to perform at the Metropolitan Opera House. They were also the first black vocal group to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone.
3. The Angels.
The Angels are an American girl group that originated from New Jersey, best known for their 1963 No. 1 hit single, “My Boyfriend’s Back”.
In 2005, the Angels were inducted in the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.
4. The Crystals.
The Crystals were an American vocal group based in New York City, considered one of the defining acts of the girl group era in the first half of the 1960s.
Their 1961–1964 chart hits, including “There’s No Other (Like My Baby)”, “Uptown”, “He’s Sure the Boy I Love”, “He’s a Rebel”, “Da Doo Ron Ron” and “Then He Kissed Me”, featured three successive female lead singers, and were all produced by Phil Spector.
The latter three songs were originally ranked #267, #114, and #493, respectively, on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. However, two songs were dropped from the magazine’s 2010 update.
5. The Dixie Cups.
|The Dixie Cups|
The Dixie Cups are an American pop music girl group of the 1960s. They are best known for a string of hits including their 1964 million-selling record “Chapel of Love”, “People Say”, and “Iko Iko”.
In April 2007, The Louisiana Music Hall Of Fame honored The Dixie Cups for their contributions to Louisiana music by inducting them into The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.