The 1940's & 1950's pre-rock & roll
era, in which the youth market had not yet separated from the mainstream,
was dominated by solo singers such as Dickie Valentine, Max Bygraves
and Frankie Vaughan
, whose style was a leftover from Big Band era,
or derivative of musical theatre
, as epitomised by Tommy Steele
In the 1960's, despite the coming of rock & roll and the beat group craze started by The Beatles, an updated version of
vocal pop persisted. Female vocalists such as a teenage Helen Shapiro, Cilla Black, Petula Clark, Sandie Shaw, Lulu etc. all achieved
huge success, as did Englebert Humperdinck and Tom Jones, the latter remaining a much-loved and popular soloist
right into the 21st century. Another singer who came to promince in this era, Dusty Springfield, is now widely regarded as one
of popular music's greatest solo artists.
During the 1970's vocal pop began to fade away under the barrage of rock. Solo singers like Leo Sayer felt the need to
dress up in costume to maintain the interest of the audience, which was also served up with a fare of gimmicky novelty songs sung
by children, actors and men dressed as furry animals.
The late 1980's through to the modern day has seen a revival of vocal pop, both solo and harmony, in the form of
prefabricated boy & girl bands, the "pop princess" and the rise of the TV talent show, geared shamelessly at the lucretive
teen and even pre-teen market. Take That, The Spice Girls, Westlife, Kylie Minogue and Will Young are examples of such acts.