From the Swinging Sixties period in the U.K. to the flower power era of America, a considerable cultural and societal shift took place in the 1960s and 70s, with everything from music and fashion to politics and literature becoming increasingly progressive.
It was a brilliant time to grow up and was responsible for many of the “cult-classics”, “greatest hits”, and "cultural icons" that we continue to hold in such high regard. With that in mind, we've delved deep into the archives and compiled a list of cool and timeless photos from the period.
1. The British invasion
While America being flooded with British actors and musicians is nothing new, back in the 1960s, it was almost unheard of to hear a non-American artist on the radio until the British Invasion of the mid-1960s took full swing. Spearheading this cultural phenomenon were the Beatles while other acts as the Dave Clark Five, the Ki, ks and the Rolling Stones soon followed.
A sign of the rising "counterculture" movement on both sides of the Atlantic. leading rock and pop bands from the U.K. soon became a staple part of American radio, and to this, today, continue to dominate the airwaves stateside.
2. A young Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta attend the Grease premiere, 1978
Grease has stood the test of time and cemented itself in the canon of Hollywood's greatest movies, and it all started in 1978! Here, Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta are pictured attending a Grease premiere party and naturally, both look hella fly.
Looking the part, the two would become pop-culture icons, with their fictional high school romance inspiring countless other kids to find their own Sandy and Danny.
3. An attractive airline stewardess poses for an American Airlines advert, 1970
Airlines have somewhat of a dark past when it came to hiring staff. In the 1960’s, their sole purpose was to serve and make sure they looked incredibly attractive to passengers to add gloss to the airline. A clear objectification of women, this unashamed practice was finally challenged in 1971 when the National Organization for Women (NOW) protested against workplaces that were “sexist and degrading to women”.
One particular campaign protesters took umbrage against was the National Airlines “Fly Me” slogan. As well as coming down hard on the executives who used attractive women for one sole purpose, protestors argued that men should be hired as well and portrayed in company advertising. Today, you'll probably see at least one male flight attendant on your flight, while airline advertising now focuses on the flight experience as opposed to how pretty their stewardesses are.
4. Keith Richards hounded by journalists in Oslo, Norway, 1965
The Rolling Stones are arguably the biggest rock band in history, and their ascent into the upper echelons of the charts started in the 60s with a series of European tours. With the Beatles already household names in America, the Stones weren't quite on that level, but in time, their fanbase proliferated on a level not seen before for a rock outfit.
5. Gary Anderson designed the ubiquitous recycling logo in a contest in 1970. He beat 499 entries to the $2,500 prize
The now ubiquitous recycling logo wasn't designed by a high-level advertising executive but a 23-year-old Swedish student in 1970. Gary Anderson, who beat out 499 others to the prize, would use the money to study at Stockholm University, which led to a successful career as a graphic designer and architect. As one of the most recognizable logos in the world, Anderson's logo has been called one of America’s “most important design icons”.
6. A grid girl decorates a Ferrari 312 at the 1968 British Grand Prix
While Formula 1 has recently parted company with grid girls in the wake of various women's movements, there's no denying that their inclusion on the grid added a spot of gloss to the sport, as evidenced by this photogenic woman posing on the bonnet of Chris Amon's Ferrari 312 race car.
The unnamed model bears a canny resemblance to Francoise Hardy's character in the 1966 movie, Grand Prix.
7. A young skater glides past two women in Los Angeles, 1975
When a few bored surfers in the early 1950s grew tired of having nothing to do when the waves were flat, they thought up the 'skateboard.'
Years later, the recreational activity became one of America's favorite activities- especially amongst the youth of California. This photo, taken in 1975 during the peak of the craze, was captured by the photographer Hugh Holland, who admitted he was in the right place at the right time when a beach kid skated past two bikini-clad women.
8. The counterculture movement spawned the well-known phrase, "Flower Power."
At the height of the Vietnam protests, the 'Flower Power' slogan, an expression coined by American Beat poet Allen Ginsburg, was seen by many of the younger generations as a means of protest against pro-war governmental policies and American Dream ideals.
Years later, the flower has become a symbol of hippy culture and was viewed by many as the catalyst for the counterculture movement that followed.
It was sold as '3 days of Peace & Music,' but Max Yasgur's festival became so much more. It became iconic, and a slap in the face to an America that preached freedom, but offered little in return. Unjust wars in Vietnam persisted, and the persecution of blacks raged on. It was a divisive period in America, and Woodstock's four-day event of music and psychedelic escapism was perhaps just as synonymous with the period.
The festival also spawned a plethora of ideas and influences. Fashion lines became inspired by more garish garments; musicians became energized with writing lyrics that stood for more than just the wants of their record labels, and a younger generation dragged America into a new period of enlightenment and possibility.
10. Debbie Harry poses for Chris Stein, 1976
Away from acting, Blondie also had a successful career as an actress with over 60 film roles and a number of TV appearances to her name. A photogenic face, Debbie Harry wasn't shy to strut her stuff for editorial covers, either, as this sensual photo of a skimpily-clad Harry shows.
Debbie Harry's new wave rock band Blondie were groundbreaking and were one of the first to find mainstream success with a female as the lead singer. The blonde bombshell and "Heart of Glass" hitmaker also became one of the first women rockers to grace the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.
11. Lynda Carter tucks into an ice cream, 1972
Lynda Carter was a big deal in the 60s and 70s. Throwing on the spandex to play the brilliant Wonder Woman, Carter had first made a name for herself in a string of guest appearances in hit shows such as ‘Starsky & Hutch before the Wonder Woman television series aired in 1976.
Away from acting, Carter dabbled in music and released her debut album, Portrait’ in 1978, two songs of which were included on an episode of Wonder Woman. But Carter was far from an entertainer, she was also a prominent campaigner on a number of issues, including LGBT rights and eventually, cancer research. A starlet in every sense of the word, Carter was the antithesis of a true Wonder Woman.
12. Jean Shrimpton, 1964
Jean Shrimpton was one groovy baby! Long considered to be the world's first supermodel, Shrimpton's ethereal features graced the covers of an array of prestigious magazines including Elle, Vogue, Vanity Fair, and Glamor.
13. Three's Company cast poses for a photo, 1976
Thanks to its relatable characters and comic themes, the American sitcom Three's Company was a hit the moment ABC aired the first series in 1977, and its surging popularity eventually spawned one of the biggest ever audiences for a television show.
In fact, after its initial six-season run, Three’s Company went onto become the highest-rated midseason show ever broadcast on American television, with Janet, Chrissy, and Jack's escapades proving a constant source of amusement with viewers, and it wasn't until 1984 that the show drew to a conclusion.
14. Martin Scorcese and Robert DeNiro hang out on the set of Taxi Driver, 1976
Taxi Driver has long been considered Martin Scorsese's best work, and the same is often said of DeNiro's visceral portrayal of its lead character. Despite the hard subject matter, the famous cinematic duo had a lot of time for each other away from filming, and it's probably for these reasons that their partnership in cinema has remained so strong.
15. The most famous Coca-Cola advert staring NFL star Joe Greene was first shown in 1979
Coca-Cola commercials are a popular fixture with t.v. viewers because they've built up an extensive portfolio of recognizable adverts, but their most famous has to be the one with Hall of Famer Mean Joe Greene from the Pittsburgh Steelers back in 1979. Offering a great opportunity to transform his formidable defensemen image, Greene gets offered a coca-cola by the little boy and after drinking it, he becomes a new man and even hands the kid his jersey.
The advert allowed Greene to reinvent himself as one of the sport's nice guys, and it remains one of America's most iconic adverts.
16. Sally Field, 1966
Starting off her career in television, Sally Field came to fame on the sitcoms Gidget, The Flying Nun, and The Girl with Something Extra.
The beautiful actress eventually became one of the most in-demand actresses in Tinseltown, and she wasn't short of attention in the looks department either, as evidenced by her broad portfolio of photoshoots, most of which captured her innocent smile and girl next door looks.
17. Jane Fonda, 1958
Okay. so this photo doesn't quite fall under the 60s and 70s category, but it's a great snapshot into the life of a young starlet in the early years of her success. The person in question is, of course, Jane Fonda, a two-time Academy Award-winner of majestic beauty, as showcased when pictured playing cards in the back of a limo in 1958.
18. Andy Warhol, Edie Sedgwick and Chuck Wein appear from a manhole in New York, 1965,
Corporate photographer Burton Samuel Glinn captured visionary artist Andy Warhol- a prominent figure in the visual art movement- popping out of a manhole with the model Edie Sedgwick and entertainment manager Chuck Wein.
Wein had worked closely with both Sedgwick and Warhol, while the iconic artist's relationship with Sedgwick came from their artistic collaborations, with the artist putting the fashion model in many of his short films in the 1960's which led her to be named "The Girl of the Year" in 1965.
19. George Harrison in India, 1966
George Harrison may never have been the most famous Beatle, but he will still be immortalized in rock n' roll history, and be the intrigue of many photos. In this one, he posed outside India's famous Taj Mahal temple on a holiday with his wife Pattie in 1966.
Recalling his time there, he said: “In September, after touring and while John was making how I won the war, I went to India for about six weeks. First, I flew to Bombay and hung out there. again, because of the mania, people soon found out I was there. I stayed in a Victorian hotel, the Taj Mahal, and was starting to learn the Sitar. Ravi would give me lessons, and he’d also have one of his students sit with me. My hips were killing me from sitting on the floor, and so Ravi brought a yoga teacher to start showing me the physical yoga exercises.”
20. Frank Sinatra looking like the ultimate stud on the set of the 1967 detective movie, Tony Rome
Frank Sinatra didn't achieve the same success in film that he did in his legendary music career, but he still turned heads as Miami private investigator Tony Rome in the film's namesake. The film also stars Jill St. John, Sue Lyon, and Gena Rowlands and chronicles Tony Rome's escapades as he searches for a diamond pin that a wealthy heiress reports missing.
A sequel, Lady in Cement, saw Sinatra reprise his role as Tony Rome, with his co-stars that time round being Raquel Welch and Dan Blocker. Coming under the neo-noir genre, both films were part of a growing trend int the late-1960s neo-noir to reboot the once popular, hard-boiled detective and police dramas the likes of Hitchcock and other esteemed directors made.