February 10, 2014
More Music

The British Invasion


Scott: I have got Tom with me now, and today we are taking a look at a week that changed music history, right?

Tom: That is right, Scott. Fifty years ago this week, The Beatles came to the U.S. for what was supposed to be just a TV appearance. Well, it turns out that 74 million people tuned in and the Fab Four changed the way that America looked at rock ‘n roll. They also started a cultural revolution.

Fifty years ago, The Beatles touched down in America and people fell in love.

Fan: They’re great! I think they’re boss!

Tom: With that, John, Paul, George and Ringo invaded the U.S., mop tops and all. Their appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, a popular variety show at the time, kicked off Beatlemania.

Charles Rosenay: It was just so vibrant and energetic, and I loved every note and every inflection. And it was the British voices, and it was the haircuts, and it was their personalities. It was just everything.

Tom: Looking back, Beatles drummer Ringo Starr says it was a mutual love affair.

Ringo Starr: We were in America where all the music we loved came from, so it was just really great. And, you know, that was the start of our love with America.

Tom: But even today, The Beatles remain rock legends and are thought of as one of the most influential and successful bands. The group was honored over the weekend. New York’s legendary Ed Sullivan Theater went retro with a replica of the marquee from the night The Beatles first performed in the U.S. And there was a special concert held that featured all-star performances of Beatle classics.

Adam Levine: They were kind of my sole influence for music, for everything. I wasn’t even just wanting to do it for a living. For me, it was just since I was a little kid listening to the records, obsessing over them, learning how to play based on them. They’re just the best. They’re the best ever.

Tom: Ringo and Paul McCartney, the two surviving Beatles, rarely play together. But they did for this landmark event in the history of rock.

Ringo: It does mean a lot that we’re still out there doing what we love to do, and that’s play.

Tom: Which is why they are considered one of the greats in modern music.

Now, just to give you guys an idea of how big these guys are, The Beatles are the best-selling band in history.

Scott: In history?

Tom: You heard me.

Scott: That is pretty cool!


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