In August 1959 Joe Hall and the Corvettes brought out a single ‘bongo-beatin’ beatnik’ who explained : ‘I’m a bongo-beatin’ beatnik and I just don’t dig rock’n’roll / … / no, no, I don’t wanna rock’n’roll / I’d rather stay in my pad and be a bongo-beatin’ daddy-o / … / well, baby, you can’t drag me off this seat / I don’t wanna move my feet’ / … / oh, baby, you know I can’t be seen boppin’ like a jumpin’ bean / cos the beat generation plays it cool / well I don’t wanna be no fool / oh, baby, I can’t bop with you / so don’t ask me to cos I’m a beatnik’
Shel Silverstein, composer of ‘a boy named Sue’ and the country hit ‘put another log on the fire’ composed a skit on the beatniks.
The provenance of the following video from film-cans from the Pinewood stock is unknown. It is presented by British Pathé as 1950s dancing but this is simply thee archivists’ guess for it is clearly early 1960s as regards the sartorial fashion. The atmosphere is very middle-class and one senses mod and beatnik leanings than any ted or rock’n’roll styles.
1948 Kerouac introduced the phrase “Beat Generation” in 1948 to characterize a perceived underground, anti-conformist youth movement in New York. The name arose in a conversation with writer John Clellon Holmes. Kerouac allows that it was Huncke, a street hustler, who originally used the phrase “beat”, in an earlier discussion with him. The adjective “beat” could colloquially mean “tired” or “beaten down” within the African-American community of the period and had developed out of the image “beat to his socks”, but Kerouac appropriated the image and altered the meaning to include the connotations “upbeat”, “beatific”, and the musical association of being “on the beat”, and “the Beat to keep” from the Beat Generation poem. William Burroughs, Allen Ginsburg, Jack Kerouac
1955 Oct 7th poetry reading by Allen Ginsburg (Kerouac present), influenced poet community (comparable to European existentialists)
1957 Oct 7th San Francisco, named after the Beat generation poets and Sputnik, because “they were so far out”.
Beat Generation revulsed by rock’n’roll, saw it as a bastardisation of jazz and a plot by established music industry.
Bob McFadden 1959 June sang ‘Beat Generation’
Folk music lapped up by Beatniks.