The rebellious tone and image of US rock and roll and blues musicians became popular with British youth in the late 1950s. While early commercial attempts to replicate American rock and roll mostly failed, the trad jazz–inspired skiffle craze, with its do it yourself attitude, produced two top 10 hits in the US by Lonnie Donegan. Young British groups started to combine various British and American styles in different parts of the U.K., such as the movement in Liverpool known as Merseybeat or the "beat boom".
While American acts were popular in the UK, few British acts had achieved success in the US prior to 1964. Cliff Richard, who was the best-selling British act in the UK at the time, only had one Top 40 hit in the US with "Living Doll" in 1959. Along with Donegan, exceptions to this trend were the US number one hits "Auf Wiederseh'n, Sweetheart" by Vera Lynn in 1952, "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands" by Laurie London in 1959, and the instrumentals "Stranger on the Shore" by Acker Bilk and "Telstar" by the Tornados, both in 1962. Also in 1962, "Midnight in Moscow" by Kenny Ball peaked at No. 2 on the US charts and the Springfields' version of "Silver Threads and Golden Needles" reached the Top 40 in the US.
Some observers have noted that US teenagers were growing tired of singles-oriented pop acts like Fabian. The Mods and Rockers, two youth "gangs" in mid-1960s Britain, also had an impact in British Invasion music. Bands with a Mod aesthetic became the most popular, but bands able to balance both (e.g. the Beatles) were also successful.