Hungary in the 50’s and 60’s
It’s time to take a look at the Hungarian beat period that started 50 years ago, and say which songs we like the most. The Hungarian stars combined good remakes of English songs and local tastes, a naughty smile and rebellion.
Historical background:

After the wartime years almost everything changed all over the world. New music styles were established in the USA, for instance the rock and roll. A lot of things changed in Western Europe these years: the street view, the living, the mentality, the society, the policy, the culture and the music.
But in Hungary, after 1948 the political system did not tolerate any western trend.
The Soviet army occupied the country. The people were sick of the communist dictatorship and after Stalin’s death the revolution of 1956 broke out.

People needed change. A lot of things happened in Hungary in the 50's and 60’s.

The 50's
We call these years the 'years of hard dictatorship'. The Hungarian Radio played an important role in people's life.
Music styles from these years:
  • old movement songs;
  • labour movement songs;
  • new Hungarian songs;
  • political songs.

Songs from the 50's

Korda Gyorgy.jpg
Sennyei Vera.jpg
Vamosi Janos.jpg
Zente Ferenc es Galambos Erzsi.jpg

Korda György

Szeretni kell / We have to love

Sennyei Vera


Vámosi János, Vass Éva

2 x 2 néha 5 / 2 x 2 sometimes 5

Zenthe Ferenc, Galambos Erzsi

Mondta-e már más is neked
Has someone else already told you

Listen the mentioned songs

Korda György - Szeretni kell / We have to love
Sennyei Vera - Ivett

Vámosi János, Vass Éva - 2 x 2 néha 5 / 2 x 2 sometimes 5
Zenthe Ferenc, Galambos Erzsi - Mondta-e már más is neked / Has someone else already told you

The 60's
These years are the years of the soft dictatorship. A lot of new music styles appeared and many banned musical styles were allowed. At the start of the '60s, the Hungarian Television televised amateur contest called, Ki Mit Tud? (Who Knows What?) and lots of singers and bands became famous.
Music styles from these years:
  • classical music;
  • folk musics;
  • ‘esztrád’ music;
  • jazz;
  • rock and roll (the American style);
  • hard rock and metal.

Songs and bands from the 60's


Metro was a very famous Hungarian rock band in the 1960s and early 1970s. When the Hungarian government cracked down on rock music that they considered subversive, Metró left the music industry. Band leader Zorán Sztevanovity has pursued an active solo career after his tenure with the band.

Metro - Gyémánt és arany


The members of Pannónia are the former members of the band Atlantis. They got popular with this happy song.

PannóniaSohse halok meg / I will never die


Omega has achieved great international success through releases in multiple languages, and tours in England and Germany in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s. Their 1969 song "Gyöngyhajú lány" became an international hit, and was later covered by Griva on their 1987 self-titled album, with the title "Devojka biserne kose", and by Scorpions on a 1995 live release, with new lyrics and the title "White Dove".
The flute and the whistle suppresses all the other sounds at the beginning. And then you hear the majestic guitar sound and you wish for once you could just stare at a pretty boy or girl.

Omega - Ha én szél lehetnék / If i could be wind

Omega - Gyöngyhajú lány


This is a dynamic Fenyő song. It has some eastern sounds and spices. You can hear the influence of the Beach Boys in the sound of bass and also the impact of Eastern Europe.

Hungária Repül a varázsszőnyeg / The magic rug is flying


The posterity was really cruel to Atlantis, by not even acknowledging this band that was one of the most popular band in the 60’s. This song has a touching monologue.

AtlantisKislány gyere velem sétálni / Come with me to walk little girl

Zalatnay Sarolta

So cool that is the first thought coming into everybody's mind. It is completely absurd which was liked by people.
Zalatnay Sarolta.jpg

Zalatnay SaroltaVörös rák / Red crab


About the ILLÉS ZENEKAR, the Illés Band, one of the most successful rock groups in Hungary.The band is often compared to the Beatles as regards the time period of its activity, its artistic and cultural influence and continuing popularity.
The band's name was originally taken from the family name of Lajos Illés, one of the members.

Illés was founded in 1960, but did not gain wider popularity outside of students clubs until 1963. This was the time the Hungarian language programs of Radio Luxemburg, broadcast illegally to Hungary, started to influence Hungarian youth culture. They were the first wildly popular band of the "new" beat music. They mixed in folk music as well, both Hungarian and from the Balkans. Lyrics was very important and they included some political criticism in their songs when they expressed how people want to have freedom. They also sang about love and parties and craziness.The These young people movie showed youth culture of the time. Some of the most popular bands and singers of the time appear in the film, including Illés and Omega while the main female role is played by another famous Hungarian pop singer, Koncz Zsuzsa.
Most famous songs:

Amikor én még kissrác voltam / When I was still a little boy

Sárga rózsa / Yellow rose

Óh, mondd / Oh, say

One of the first beat songs in Hungarian. There are no better songs that quote the Kinks. This is a fresh song that survived the list.

By the late 1960's, a great number of beat bands had emerged in Hungary. Fans of Illés and Omega soon started rivalries, paralleling the Beatles – Rolling Stones rivalry in the West.