by: Dale The Green Guy
The term “Boy Band” was coined in the 90’s. Arguably, the New Kids On The Block may have been the first group to be called a Boy Band, although, if you recall, Duran Duran came a few years before them and could have been called the first Boy Band of that era. After that, every new group of young male singers were automatically called a Boy Band. I mean, there was NSYNC, The Backstreet Boys, Boyz II Men and Take That, among others.
But the history of Boy Bands is a bit deeper than some made-up phrase from the 90’s. Back in the 80’s, Menudo certainly fits into this genre’, as does the New Edition and A-ha, and lets’ not forget about those from the 70’s like, The Bay City Rollers, The Jackson 5 and, goodness gracious, The Osmonds!
Back in the day when rock and roll was in it’s infancy, almost everyone who sang the songs was young and in some type of band. The Doo-Wop sound of the 50’s were mostly done by young male singers like the Drifters, The Cadillacs and The Flamingos. Every one of these could have been called a Boy Band, but since that term was far in the future, no one even remotely thought of that moniker.
In early 1964, the first official Boy Band landed in New York City. They were The Beatles, and if ever there was a Boy Band, The Beatles fit the image perfectly. Four boys from Great Britan, in their early 20’s, and to most, with their mop-top hair and engaging wit, they were just a bunch of boys out on a lark. In fact, everywhere they went they were constantly referred to as the “boys,” from public appearances to TV shows and radio gigs. If you were talking about The Beatles you were talking about the “boys.” And because of the Beatles, the entire music industry changed.
Suddenly, everyone wanted to look like and sing like the “boys” from Liverpool, England. Hermans Hermits, The Rolling Stones, The Monkees, The Lovin’ Spoonful, and the list could go on and on. They all wanted to look like and sound like The Beatles, and they were all, what would be known today as, a Boy Band.
The Beatles were the Boy Band that started it all, and although we must give homage to those that came before them, it was The Beatles who led the way and started a movement that even today, with the likes of the latest Boy Band, One Direction, can still be traced back to The Fab Four, all those Boy Band years ago.
Here are The Flamingoes singing “I Only Have Eyes For You.”
The Beatles and “Can’t Buy Me Love.”
The Monkees and “You Just May Be The One.”