LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — As the 50th anniversary of the debut of the Beatles’ arrival in America was celebrated last week, it was another occasion to reminisce about the “good music” of our history.
The landing of this young English group with their mop-head hair and quartet of voices blending together in the pop sensation music sent waves of hysteria across America, just as the young Elvis had done a few years prior.
Personally, I don’t remember watching that specific Ed Sullivan show. It wasn’t because I was too young to remember, but rather either that I just don’t recall it or I didn’t watch it.
But the songs that sent the Beatles into music history across the world is still a significant part of society. From the flirty, happy-go-lucky love songs of the 1960s to the movie themes to the more intense “acid rock” that marked the late 1970s, the songs of Paul McCartney and John Lennon will forever hold special meaning to millions of people across the world.
I smile every time I hear the more popular favorites, but I find myself more often looking at the “B” songs — those recorded on the flip side of the now-gone 45 rpm vinyl records. As cassette tapes and CDs evolved, I still pick the less popular songs such as “As My Guitar Gently Weeps” and “Nowhere Man” that only true music lovers recognize. “Help,” “The Yellow Submarine,” and “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” depict the movie credits that this band can claim although Sgt. Pepper’s release created intense controversy due to its subject matter.
The Beatles themselves became controversial often, beginning with Ringo Starr’s unforgettable misquote of “We’re more popular than God!” to the drug experimentation and the eventual breakup of the group that was most frequently attributed to John Lennon’s wife, Yoko Ono.