Saturday, February 7, 2009

They came, they conquered

Good morning, it's Saturday, February 7. Oh, yeah, I'll tell you something. I think you'll understand.

That's right, on this date in 1964 The Beatles arrived in New York for their first American visit, and the world shook forever. "I Want to Hold Your Hand'' -- considered one of the most significant singles in music history -- was riding high atop the charts, and two days later the group would make its first live appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. Quivering mothers and fathers turned to each other and uttered these now-famous words: "Uh oh...''

(Little known fact: The mopheads' arrival in the U.S. stole the thunder from Garth Brooks, who was celebrating his second birthday back home in Oklahoma and already toiling over early drafts to "Friends in Low Places'' with his No. 2 pencil.) Just kidding, it was his birthday but everyone knows that song was written by Dewayne Blackwell and Bud Lee.

The Beatles transformed ... well ... EVERYTHING. It's hard to imagine, especially after 45 years, how they were able to make such a profound and lasting impact in such a relatively short span of time. The Stones are still touring, for crying out loud. The Beatles ended their touring career in 1966 and moved into the studio, where things really got interesting. They were done as a group by 1970.

Contrarian music fans continue to start fights by asking "Stones or Beatles?'' but I'm not going there. Not today, on the anniversary of it all.

1. I Want to Hold Your Hand, Beatles
2. You Don't Own Me, Lesley Gore
3. Out of Limits, Marketts
4. Surfin' Bird, Trashmen
5. Hey Little Cobra, Rip Chords


  1. God Bless the Beatles for doing their thing — very well — then getting off the stage, so to speak. Nothing worse than a band hanging on waaaaaay past its prime. Did someone mention the Stones?

  2. Check out the video of the Beatles' first U.S. visit, it has all the Ed Sullivan clips plus some of their first concert in Washington DC at the old Coliseum. They just set up their amps on stage with one overhead mic, and they rocked beyond belief. The video is a great reminder what powerful live performers they were.

    As for attacking the Rolling Stones, that's just silly.