Baby Boomers rocked our pop culture, says Steve Gillon

Historians in the News

When historians at the end of the 21st century look back at the impact of 20th-century Baby Boomers on entertainment and the arts, two things will stand out: TV and rock and roll.

This generation of Americans, totaling about 78 million, has certainly influenced other art forms. But when it comes to television and rock music in particular, neither would have emerged, flourished and dominated without the consuming and creative power of those Americans born from 1946 to 1964 - the largest generational cohort in history.

The Boomers and pop culture are synonymous, says Gary West, a California consultant with two online identities, MrPopHistory and MrPopCulture, and a mission of tracking and posting online a week-by-week roundup of what happened in pop culture since the 1950s. The Boomers, he says, were the first generation to be raised on TV, to be influenced by TV ads, to have their own record players and so on.

Steven Gillon, resident historian at the History Channel and a professor at the University of Oklahoma, says,"We still have episodes of 'Leave It to Beaver' playing in our heads - it accounts for our desire to re-create a world that was always imaginary....

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