1950s Online Resources

The following links are resources for Exploring America in the 1950s: Beneath the Formica.

Lesson 1

Atom and Evil” by Golden Gate Quartet

Old Man Atom” by The Sons of the Pioneers 

Great Atomic Power” by The Louvin Brothers

If I Forget Thee, O Earth” by Arthur C. Clarke

Duck and Cover: Bert the Turtle Civil Defense Film

When They Drop the Atomic Bomb” by Jackie Doll and His Pickled Peppers

Lesson 2

Nobody Here But . . .” by Isaac Asimov

The art of Arthur Radebaugh

Disneyland’s “House of the Future

Lesson 3

Joseph McCarthy’s 1950 speech from Wheeling, WV

Ballad of Noble Intentions” by Edwin Rolfe

Political Prisoner 123456789” by Edwin Rolfe

Little Ballad for Americans” by Edwin Rolfe

Wasn’t That a Time” by Pete Seeger

Get That Communist, Joe” by The Kavaliers

Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Dartmouth College commencement address

Lesson 4

Levittown: Documents of an Ideal American Suburb by Peter Bacon Hales

I Can Dream, Can’t I” by The Andrews Sisters

Goodnight Irene” by The Weavers

Come On-a My House” by Rosemary Clooney

Wheel of Fortune” by Kay Starr

Because of You” by Tony Bennett

Excerpts from The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit by Sloan Wilson

Lesson 5

Brown v. Board of Education

Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott

History of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference

Backgrounds on W. E. B. DuBois, Booker T. Washington, and A. Philip Randolph

Harlem” by Langston Hughes

We Are Americans Too” by Nat King Cole

Excerpts from Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Lesson 6

Every Day I Have the Blues” by B. B. King

Rocket 88” by Jackie Brenston and His Delta Cats

How Many More Years” by Howlin’ Wolf

Boogie in the Park” by Joe Hill Louis

Drivin’ Slow” by Johnny London

Bear Cat” by Rufus Thomas

Just Walking in the Rain” by The Prisonaires

Top 10 African American musicians of the 1950s

That’s All Right” by Elvis Presley

Blue Moon of Kentucky” by Elvis Presley

I’ll Never Let You Go” by Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley live in 1957

Shake, Rattle, and Roll” by Bill Haley and His Comets

Maybellene” by Chuck Berry

Tutti Frutti” by Little Richard

Lesson 7

Jack Kerouac reads from On the Road

America” by Allen Ginsberg

Howl” by Allen Ginsberg

This Is the Beat Generation” by John Clellon Holmes

Lesson 8

Excavation by Willem de Kooning

Gotham News by Willem de Kooning

Cardinal by Franz Kline

Black Reflections by Franz Kline

Eve by Barnett Newman

Adam by Barnett Newman

At Five in the Afternoon by Robert Motherwell

Mural Fragment by Robert Motherwell

Blue Poles by Jackson Pollock

Autumn Rhythm (Number 30) by Jackson Pollock

Jackson Pollock at work

What Abstract Art Means to Me

Lesson 9

Peggy Sue” by Buddy Holly

Come On, Let’s Go” by Ritchie Valens

Chantilly Lace” by The Big Bopper

American Pie” by Don McLean