Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

It Was Fifty Years Ago, Today...

The Marquee of CBS Television Studio 50, from February 9, 1964, eventually to be renamed
"The Ed Sullivan Theater"

and this weekend...

A small tribute from CBS to this 50th Anniversary of the appearance of The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show

Interesting side note - As for that marquee with other guests, Broadway star Georgia Brown was on the telecast to perform a scene from the musical Oliver! She was playing Nancy in that production and playing the Artful Dodger was a young British chap named Davy Jones... So, a Monkee appeared on the same episode of the Ed Sullivan Show that introduced the Fab Four!

The impact of The Beatles really is impossible to overestimate. It's also difficult to quantify in this half century of time that has passed. A lot of history has happened, both for the Four Lads from Liverpool, and for the planet, and certainly for the city that played host to their first prime time national appearance, way back then. It feels like at least a hundred years of stuff crammed into 50!

But The Beatles provided a great deal of the soundtrack to the 1960s in a way that no one else managed. Their music is arguably among the most essential parts of that era, and captures the collective consciousness of our Great Society during those days.

Ed Sullivan and The Beatles, backstage.

Of course, The Beatles appeared on three consecutive Ed Sullivan shows back in February of 1964: the 9th, 16th and 23rd, with the second appearance a telecast from Miami Beach, and then returning to Studio 50 in New York for another go round with more songs before officially launching The British Invasion.

A lot of people examine the assassination of JFK as something that had an impact on how popular the group became, as America needed to heal at that time and this was some sort of tonic. That's complete and utter nonsense. Think about how teenagers regard politics. Do they really care about those elements in any way? Absolutely not. Now, of course there was a certain sadness over the death of the president that everyone felt, but that had no bearing on the success of the Beatles, to my mind.

Truthfully, the people that were most depressed about John F. Kennedy were the very same people railing against The Beatles and the music they played. Those folks must have thought the world was coming apart at the seams, back then!

The Beatles
(L to R: Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Harrison and John Lennon)

No, The Beatles were a phenomenon that was going to happen no matter what else happened. And from their early days of borrowing from Chuck Berry and Little Richard to creating a vast catalog of what we now consider classic songs, this group, from their collective to their individual careers, gave us all something to regard, to enjoy, to celebrate! And that's why CBS and the Grammy Awards are also presenting a special program in honor of this historic moment in music this evening, during Sullivan's old time slot - 8pm Eastern, 7 O'Clock Central.

We can argue the impact of this group, of the musicians that were inspired by them, of the generations they have influenced. But certainly, there was a bit of actual Alchemy that occurred when it all came together before those CBS cameras and for that, I think we can all say, "Yeah, yeah, yeah!"


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 9th, 2014 07:05 pm (UTC)
I highly recommend you read the book Tune In by Mark Lewisohn which just came out in November. Vol 1 covers the Beatles story from before their respective births thru 1963. It's the best and most well researched book on the topic, debunking a lot of "facts" which are more like often repeated rumours (sometimes by the Beatles themselves) and giving all sides to their history. A lot of things, particularly how tone deaf the American record companies were at the time is fascinating.

It also backs up your theory on alchemy to some extent as it seems to have been that way in the UK too. They were far more innovative than most of their peers esp when it came to seeking out new music and influences, and not following trends. People who think they were overrated (esp kids today) have no clue.

As for their influence, well, without them, we'd still be listening to all the bland crooners of the time. The chain of who followed in their wake is staggering (and it goes both ways as they both influenced and were influenced by the Beach Boys, the Stones, the Who, the Kinks, Motown, etc).

Edited at 2014-02-09 07:06 pm (UTC)
Feb. 9th, 2014 07:33 pm (UTC)
As the true Beatleologist on my friendslist, I'm very pleased you were the first comment here!

And I just ordered Tune In from Amazon. Very much looking forward to this!

There's a difference between what a lot of bands were doing, which was listening to and mimicking a sound and what The Beatles were doing which was breaking it down, figuring out what make it work and then incorporating that knowledge into the songwriting and performing process.

That's what put The Beatles above pretty much every group of the era. To have the ear just to hear it was one element, but then to be able to layer the sound into their own original recordings? That's genius.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

Latest Month

November 2017


Page Summary

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by chasethestars