What was trending in the 50s?

Life in 1950s UK was as different, yet as similar, to now as could be. Our youngsters were fascinated with cars, fashion, music, and films, just as they are today, the only thing to have really changed is the technology. Considering that the 1950s were way before a man ever walked on the moon, today’s gadgets would have seemed like something from a sci-fi movie back then. But what was popular all those decades ago?

Icons

Some of the popular icons of film, television and pop culture were:

  • Norman Wisdom – actor and comedian
  • Harold Macmillan – politician and British Prime Minister
  • Diana Dors – actress often dubbed the ‘English Marilyn’
  • Stanley Matthews – footballer

Films

In the 1950s, war films were rife, and top class movies such as Bridge on the River Kwai and the Dambusters were as popular then as they are today. Other popular films include:

  • The Ladykillers- Alec Guinness original film is now a cult classic and was voted 13th out of 100 best films of all time
  • The Belles of St. Trinian’s – cast with some of the best comedic actors and actresses of the time
  • I’m Alright Jack – a popular Peter Sellers classic

Music

Some of the most popular artists to hit the UK charts were:

  • Bill Haley & his Comets – Reached number one with Rock around the Clock
  • Cliff Richard – Started his career in the 1950s and is still going strong today as one of the worlds most successful artists
  • Shirley Bassey – Another star with longevity, no list of 50s music artists would be complete without her

Television

Popular 1950’s TV shows were:

  • Dixon of Dock Green – on air for 21 years making it one of the longest-running police TV shows
  • Sunday Night at the London Palladium – at its peak saw viewing figures of around 28 million (about 50% of the UK population at that time)
  • Emergency Ward 10 – the first UK medical soap opera