A History of Pop Music

This article was written by Samuel Phineas Upham

There was a time, not too long ago, when teen-aged females dominated the air waves. They were making a new kind of music, one geared toward youth culture. They took on names like The Crystals and The Shirelles. Their music sold records by the millions, spawning a movement of innovative song writing that went throughout the 60s.

The record was also popularized during that era, leading many young kids to flock to soda jerks and other public places where they could listen to music together on jukeboxes.

Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra had just popularized the so-called Crooners movement, performing with full orchestras behind them. The Ink Spots continued the trend with their brand of early-stage R&B/Lounge, but Glenn Miller’s “In the Mood” officially signaled the coming of something more.

Pop music charts first got their start in 1952, and Elvis Presley was bringing his early take on rock n’ roll to the scene. He ruled the 50s, supplanted only by the tour de force that was the Beatles in the 1960s. The 80s largely missed the pop scene, but the popular music would again claim center stage with the boy bands of the 90s.  Groups like N’Sync and Backstreet Boys set the foundation for some of the popular music we hear today.

The 2000s have just expanded on the trend, adding a slew of new stars to the mix of popular music available for play. Solo groups formed out of some of the 90s bands, and singers like Mariah Carey and Selena found prominence in the budding form of R&B, which would phase slowly into the umbrella genre of “pop music.”

About the Author: Samuel Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Samuel Phineas Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media & Technology group. You may contact Samuel Phineas Upham on his Twitter page.