官方APP下载:英语全能特训(微信小程序版,支持苹果手机、安卓手机)
创办于2003年
UNSV记不住?那就记中文谐音“忧安思危”吧!
  Slow and Steady Wins the Race!
UNSV英语学习频道 - Slow and steady wins the race!
网红英语口语课程——OMG美语,2011-2016完整课程视频打包下载发布!1170课,12.3G
手机微信学英语
打开手机微信,扫描以下二维码,即可通过我们的微信小程序学英语。
英语全能特训(微信小程序)
UNSV英语学习频道淘宝网店
淘宝网店购买咨询
客服短信:18913948480
客服邮箱:web@unsv.com
初级VIP会员
全站英语学习资料下载。
¥98元/12个月

#206: Popular Culture in '50s

阅读次数:

VIP会员专享下载:(非VIP会员无权下载!如果想下载,但还不是VIP会员,请点此订购
下载方式:使用鼠标右键(注意是鼠标右键!)点击下面的MP3音频/MP4视频链接,然后选择“另存为…”。
MP3节目录音(英文版) MP3节目录音(英文版)  MP3节目录音(中文版) MP3节目录音(中文版) 
文章正文
同步字幕
American teenagers taking dance classes in 1953
American teenagers taking dance classes in 1953

STEVE EMBER: Welcome to THE MAKING OF A NATION - American history in VOA Special English. I'm Steve Ember.

Imagine a time machine. You've just climbed into it for the purpose of visiting the United States - in the nineteen-fifties.

What would you expect to find?

In the nineteen fifties, America was a nation whose population was growing as never before. It was a nation where the popular culture of television was both reflecting and influencing its lifestyle.

(MUSIC)

But it was also a nation that believed it was on the edge of nuclear war.

Americans were happy to put World War Two behind them. The war ended in nineteen forty-five. People were hopeful. They thought the world would be peaceful for a while.

By nineteen fifty, however, political tensions were high again.

The United States and the Soviet Union were allies in World War Two. But, after the war, they became enemies in what came to be known as the Cold War.

Communists took control of one eastern European nation after another. The Soviet Union led by Josef Stalin strengthened its armed forces. However, the United States thought America alone possessed the most powerful weapon of all -- the atomic bomb.

(MUSIC)

But in nineteen forty-nine, a United States Air Force plane discovered strange conditions in the atmosphere. What was causing them?

The answer came quickly: the Soviet Union had tested its own atomic bomb.

The nuclear race was on. The two nations competed to build weapons of mass destruction.

A "doomsday clock" on the cover of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists warned of a growing danger of nuclear destruction. Members of that group were afraid of what science had produced, and even more afraid of what it could produce.

By nineteen forty-nine, the time on the doomsday clock was three minutes to midnight.

(SOUND)

In nineteen fifty, North Korea invaded South Korea. The Korean war increased efforts in the United States to develop a weapon even more deadly than the atomic bomb. That weapon was the hydrogen bomb.

The Soviets were also working to develop their own hydrogen bomb.

A family bomb shelter in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1958
A family bomb shelter in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1958

Some Americans built bomb shelters in their backyards, hoping to have a safe place for their families in case of a nuclear attack.

Other Americans, however, were tired of being afraid. After years of sacrifice, they wanted to enjoy the good life in a growing economy.

Nineteen fifty-two was a presidential election year. Americans elected Dwight Eisenhower, a military hero of World War Two.

The years after the war produced the Baby Boom generation. In nineteen fifty there were twenty-four million young children in America. By nineteen sixty that number was thirty-five million.

More families meant the need for more houses. And bigger families needed bigger houses. In nineteen fifty alone, almost one and a half million new homes were built in America.

Most of these new houses were located in suburbs, the areas outside cities. People moved to the suburbs because they thought the schools there were better than city schools. They also liked having more space for their children to play in.

(SOUND)

More space meant children had room to lay out electric train sets. In a lot of American homes, playing with electric trains was an activity that brought the whole family together.

Television ads for Lionel trains even featured baseball great Joe DiMaggio.

TV ANNOUNCER: "Lionel Trains proudly present The Joe DiMaggio Show, starring the Yankee Clipper, Joe DiMaggio himself"

The late nineteen fifties brought the Barbie doll and a big circular tube of colorful plastic called the Hula Hoop. People had to learn to move their hips in a circular motion, like a hula dancer in Hawaii, to spin it around their body.

Also popular was the poodle cut -- not for dogs, but for women who wanted to look stylish. They fixed their hair into lots of small curls, like the hair on a poodle.

Actress Mary Martin had made the poodle cut famous in the musical "South Pacific." That play opened on Broadway in New York in nineteen forty-nine.

Marilyn Monroe and baseball great Joe DiMaggio; they were married for 10 months in 1954 and then divorced
Marilyn Monroe and baseball great Joe DiMaggio; they were married for 10 months in 1954 and then divorced

(MUSIC: "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend")

In Hollywood, one of the biggest movie stars of the nineteen fifties was Marilyn Monroe. She starred in films like "Gentleman Prefer Blondes" in nineteen fifty-three. Her platinum-blonde hair style also became popular among American women.

JAMES DEAN in "Rebel Without A Cause": "I woke up this morning, you know, and the sun was shining. And it was nice, and all that type of stuff. And the first thing, I saw you, and I said, now, boy this is gonna be one terrific day..."

Another famous actor was James Dean, best known for the nineteen fifty-five movie "Rebel Without a Cause." That same year he died in a car accident at the age of twenty-four.

In literature, there were writers and poets who came to be known as the Beat generation. These included Jack Kerouac, Gregory Corso and Allen Ginsberg. To them, much of life in nineteen-fifties America was empty and meaningless.

The painter Jackson Pollock represented a spirit of rebellion in art. Pollock would drop paint onto a canvas. What did his works mean? People had to decide for themselves.

Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley

(MUSIC: "Don't Be Cruel")

In music, the rebel was Elvis Presley -- the king of rock and roll.

Elvis Presley was a twenty-one-year-old truck driver when he sang on television for the first time.

Some parents and religious leaders thought he was a bad influence. They thought the way he moved his body to the music was too suggestive. But young people screamed for more. They listened to Elvis' music on records, on the radio and on the television program "American Bandstand."

(MUSIC)

"American Bandstand" became the most popular dance party in America. Every week, young people danced to the latest songs in front of the TV cameras.

(MUSIC)

But it wasn't all rock and roll. Whether on Bandstand-type television programs or at local "record hops," or at home, young Americans - and their parents - danced cheek to cheek to romantic ballads as well.

Television in the nineteen-fifties included dramas acted live on TV.

And there were quiz shows, and game shows, and comedy programs.

(MUSIC)

If Elvis was the king of rock and roll, Lucille Ball was the queen of comedy. During the nineteen fifties, millions of Americans watched "I Love Lucy." Lucille Ball starred with her husband Desi Arnaz. They played Lucy and Ricky Ricardo. Ricky is a Cuban bandleader in New York. Lucy is a housewife who wishes she could be famous like her husband.

LUCY: "What will I have to do?"

RICKY: "You gonna have to get me back on the television show."

LUCY: "How?"

RICKY: "I don't know how. But, if you don't, I'll ... "

LUCY: "I will, Ricky. I'll get you back on the show. Don't even think of what you'll do if I don't [imitating Ricky's Cuban accent]."

Lucille Ball and "I Love Lucy" were both big influences on generations of entertainers and TV comedy producers.

Variety shows offered a mix of entertainment. Americans watched shows hosted by comics like Milton Berle, Jackie Gleason and Sid Caesar.

Ed Sullivan was not a comedian, but for years his show brought new acts into American homes every Sunday night.

Television shows were all in black-and-white. But one night in nineteen fifty-three, Americans got their own time-machine glimpse into the future of TV. It happened with an announcement during Sid Caesar's "Your Show of Shows."

NBC TV NEWSMAN: "This is Richard Harkness in Washington. This week will long be remembered in the annals of television, for on Thursday, December seventeenth, the Federal Communications Commission approved Compatible Color Television."

That meant that owners of TV sets could still watch programs broadcast in color -- in black and white -- instead of having to buy a new set. Color TV's popularity grew quickly, and the prices of color TVs came down, meaning more color TVs in American homes, and more and more programs produced in color.

TV ANNOUNCER: "The following program is brought to you in living color on NBC."

During the nineteen fifties, most of the people who appeared on television were white. If black actors appeared, they were usually in jobs working for white people.

But in real life, a civil rights movement was beginning to gather strength. Legal battles were fought to end racial separation, especially in public schools.

In nineteen fifty-four, the United States Supreme Court made a historic ruling. The case was known as Brown v. Board of Education. The court ruled that the requirement in some states for racially separate schools was unconstitutional. The court rejected the idea that schools for black students could be "separate but equal" to those attended by white students.

By the nineteen sixties, the civil rights movement would shake American society.

Dwight Eisenhower was president for most of the nineteen fifties. He faced the problems of communism, nuclear threats and racial tensions. "Ike" had a calm way of speaking to the public. Many Americans saw him as a fatherly president. They thought that even in a dark and dangerous world, everything would be all right.

Were they correct? We'll try to answer that in future programs.

You can find our series online with transcripts, MP3s, podcasts and pictures at www.unsv.com. And you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter at VOA Learning English. I'm Steve Ember, inviting you to join us again next week for THE MAKING OF A NATION -- American history in VOA Special English.

___

Contributing: Jerilyn Watson

This was program #206. For earlier programs, type "Making of a Nation" in quotation marks in the search box at the top of the page.

二十世纪五十年代的美国,人口数量飞速增长,电视的出现反映并影响着人们的生活方式。但是与此同时,美国人也担心,自己正生活在核战争的边缘。

美国人很高兴看到1945年二战的结束,大家满怀希望,以为世界和平已经来临。然而,1950年,政治局势再次出现紧张。二战期间,美国和苏联是盟友,但是战后却逐渐成为敌人,出现了后来的冷战。

苏联接二连三地控制了东欧国家,并在斯大林的领导下,加强了自己的武装力量。然而,美国以为,自己是世界上唯一掌握最强大的武器原子弹的国家。

*苏联原子弹*

1949年,美国空军飞机在大气中发现了奇怪的现象,他们很快找到了答案,原来是苏联试验了自己的原子弹。核竞赛由此展开,双方争着研制大规模杀伤性武器。

原子科学家公报封面上的"世界末日时钟",警告人们核毁灭的风险正越来越大。该团体的成员对科学的产物原子弹感到恐惧,对今后还会研制出什么武器更加担心。到1949年的时候,世界末日时钟距离午夜只有三分钟了。

*韩战打响*

1950年,朝鲜入侵韩国,韩战打响后,美国也加紧研制比原子弹杀伤力更大的武器 氢弹。苏联也在研制氢弹。一些美国人在后院建起防空洞,为可能发生的核攻击做准备。另外一些美国人则不愿提心吊胆地生活,经过多年牺牲后,他们想在经济蓬勃增长的时候过几天好日子。

1952年是美国大选年,二战英雄艾森豪威尔将军成为美国下一任总统。二战过后美国生育率大增,出现了所谓的婴儿潮。1950年,美国只有2400万个孩子,到1960年时,孩子的人数已经猛增到3500万。

家庭的增加需要更多住房,人口更多的家庭需要住更大的房子,光是1950年一年,美国新建住房就多达近150万栋。大多数新建住房都在城市边缘的近郊地带,大家觉得那里的学校质量比城里的好,所以都愿意搬到那里去,更何况郊区地方大,能让孩子有更大的活动空间。

空间大了,就意味着孩子们可以在屋里架起电动火车模型,当时的美国,很多家庭会一家人聚在一起玩电动火车。纽约扬基棒球队球星狄马吉奥也为莱昂内尔火车做广告。

*文学艺术风貌*

芭比娃娃和呼啦圈也是20世纪50年代后期出现的,当时女人还流行烫小卷儿,著名女演员马莉.马丁在1949年纽约百老汇上演的音乐剧《南太平洋》里就留这种发型。

20世纪50年代美国好莱坞最璀璨的电影明星之一是玛丽莲.梦露。她1953年主演了影片《绅士爱美人》,她在电影里留的金发发型也受到女性观众的争相效仿。

50年代最著名的男演员之一是詹姆斯.迪恩,他的代表作是1955年《无因的反抗》。这部电影上映的同一年,迪恩在一起车祸中不幸丧生,当时只有24岁。

50年代的文学届出现了所谓的"垮掉的一代",对这些作家和诗人来说,50年代的美国生活充满了空虚和无聊,他们中间的代表人物包括作家杰克.凯鲁亚克,诗人格雷戈里.柯索和艾伦.金斯堡。

杰克逊.波洛克是当时美国著名的抽象表现主义画家,他的作品表现了一种反抗的精神。50年代音乐界的代表人物当然要数美国的摇滚之王猫王普雷斯利了。

普雷斯利首次在电视上演唱,还只是个21岁的卡车司机。一些家长和宗教领袖觉得他对年轻人是坏影响,认为他的舞蹈动作过于大胆,但是猫王深受年轻人追捧。

普雷斯利的歌迷们不仅听收音机,听唱片,还收看他参加电视上的美国乐队大舞台的节目。"美国乐队大舞台"是当时美国最受欢迎的舞会派对。一帮年轻人每星期在摄像机前随着流行音乐翩翩起舞。

当时流行的不光是摇滚乐。不论是在"美国乐队大舞台"这类电视节目上,在本地舞厅里,还是在家中,年轻人和他们的父母也会随着浪漫的民谣而相拥慢舞。

我们在上一部分的建国史话中讲到美国20世纪50年代的文学艺术风貌。50年代的电视上出现了电视剧,智力竞猜节目,游戏节目和喜剧。如果说普雷斯利是摇滚之王的话,那露西.鲍尔就是喜剧王后了。

20世纪50年代,露西.鲍尔出演的《我爱露西》深受观众喜爱,露西饰演一个家庭主妇,她的丈夫里卡多是纽约一个古巴乐队的老板,露西梦想着跟丈夫一样出名。

露西.鲍尔和她主演的《我爱露西》对后来的演员和电视喜剧制片人产生了巨大影响。综艺节目也深受欢迎,50年代著名的搞笑主持人包括米尔顿.伯利,杰基.格里森和锡德.凯萨。埃德.沙利文不是喜剧演员,但是多年里,他主持的节目每星期天都会把好看的表演送到家家户户的电视屏幕上。

当时,电视节目都是黑白的。1953年的一个晚上,锡德.凯萨节目里一段新闻说:"这个星期将被载入电视历史的史册,因为12月17号星期四,美国联邦通讯委员会批准了兼容的彩色电视。"

这就意味着,现有电视机也可以收看新制作的彩色节目,但出来的图像是黑白的。彩电上市后深受消费者欢迎,价格很快就降了下来,美国购买彩电的家庭越来越多,彩色的电视节目也越来越司空见惯。

20世纪50年代,电视上主要是白人,如果出现黑人演员,也基本上是替白人干活的。但在现实生活中,一场民权运动正在酝酿之中,为结束种族分离,特别是公立学校里的法律领域内的斗争正在进行。

*高院否定"隔离但平等"原则*

1954年,美国联邦最高法院做出了历史性的裁决,这就是著名的布朗诉教育委员会案。最高法院裁决,某些州有关种族隔离学校的规定违反了宪法,否定了以前所谓"隔离但平等"的原则。20世纪60年代,美国社会将会受到民权运动的震撼。

美国50年代主要时间都是在艾森豪威尔总统的领导之下。他面临的问题包括共产主义的威胁,核战争的威胁,以及种族关系的紧张。艾森豪威尔很擅于平心静气地讲话,让很多人觉得他有慈父风范。他们觉得,有他在,就算周围是一个黑暗危险的世界,一切问题也都会迎刃而解。

网友的学习评论(0条):
版权所有©2003-2018 南京通享科技有限公司,保留所有权利。未经书面许可,严禁转载本站内容,违者追究法律责任。 互联网经营ICP证:苏B2-20120186
网站备案:苏ICP备05000269号-1中国工业和信息化部网站备案查询
广播台