One of the tenets of the rock ethic was to create original material. But rock was meeting a great challenge with an overwhelming amount of nostalgic material. The roots of American popular music were folk, rock, country, soul, jazz and classical. The culture began to reflect on the fifties starting in 1972 with the hit "American Pie" paying tribute to Buddy Holly. Then in 1973 was the film American Graffiti, which inspired the television series Happy Days a year later. The fifties made an even bigger comeback with the death of Elvis Presley in 1977. After John Lennon was murdered in 1980 the media and critics began to reflect on The Beatles' influence since the sixties.
In the summer of 1981 a novelty record called "Medley" by Stars On 45 paid tribute to the Beatles with a collage of mostly Beatle songs. The record topped the charts. It was a strange record because even though there had been medleys in the past, even by the Beatles themselves, there hadn't been a medley before that featured so many songs on one hit record. It inevitably inspired other medleys such as "The Beach Boys Medley," which featured actual Beach Boys recordings. A similar treatment surfaced in "The Beatles Movie Medley." Meco did a medley of movie themes with "Pop Goes The Movies." Other medley tributes were paid to the sixties, Motown, Stevie Wonder, The Rolling Stones.