If you are interested in music before the sixties, read my research on the pre-rock era. Although it doesn't dwell much on conscious music, it briefly outlines the evolution of the music industry, which matters since it is the vehicle that ushers in most of the music we hear. Most pre-rock hit music is rooted in pro-Victorian era establishment, but I do touch on how blues and jazz paved a new direction for American popular music as well as the first wave of popular rock and roll hit songs in the fifties.
Otherwise, I place the beginning of the timeline for conscious music in the early sixties. Even though there were several songs prior to the sixties that touched on enlightenment, social issues or innovative ideas, I think the key to what I'm talking about began with Bob Dylan. Of course, Dylan himself was influenced by earlier folk artists such as Woody Guthrie, but it was Dylan who really got people thinking about lyrics and expanded the subject matter to the point where it was okay to write about anything outside the pop norm, especially social issues.
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