Throughout the rock ‘n’ roll era, a few moments have changed music forever. Michael Jackson moonwalking across the Motown 25 stage. Elvis Presley performing via satellite. And perhaps one of the biggest game-changers came 50 years ago whens The Beatles made their American debut on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”
Throughout the rock ‘n’ roll era, a few moments have changed music forever.
Michael Jackson moonwalking across the Motown 25 stage. Elvis Presley performing via satellite. And perhaps one of the biggest game-changers came 50 years ago whens The Beatles made their American debut on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”
Seventy-three million people tuned in to watch four lads from Liverpool perform in America for the first time. It was Feb. 9, 1964, the day a musical revolution began.
John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr were all the rage and finally people were going to be able see the Fab Four. The group performed “All My Loving” before a studio audience of screaming girls, but also in living rooms across the country.
A lot has been said about the iconic band, but the fact remains that The Beatles changed everything. They were the originators of albums as an art form. “Meet The Beatles,” “Rubber Soul,” “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” the White Album and “Abbey Road” remain some of the most influential and important albums of all time.
The Beatles are the only artists to occupy the top five spots on the Billboard Hot 100 chart simultaneously: “Can’t Buy Me Love, “Twist And Shout,” “She Loves You,” “I Want To Hold Your Hand” and “Please Please Me.”
I was happy to see Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr get their day in the sun as the Grammys chose to honor the remaining Beatles with a tribute; “The Night That Changed America: The Grammys Salute to the Beatles.” The tribute marked the 50th anniversary of the band’s first appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”
The tribute was awesome and featured an array of talented musicians and singers, including Maroon 5, Jeff Lynne, Dave Grohl, John Mayer, Alecia Keys, Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart, Imagine Dragons, Ed Sheeran, Katy Perry and Stevie Wonder.
This list of performers showcases just what kind of impact the Beatles’ music made. Maroon 5 recaptured some early-Beatles magic with performances of “All My Loving” and “Ticket To Ride.”
Stevie Wonder spoke of the first time he heard the group sing, then offered his take on “We Can Work It Out.” Wonder’s funky version showed how timeless the band’s music is.
John Mayer and Keith Urban did a stellar job on “Don’t Let Me Down,” but my favorite part of the tribute was Alecia Keys and John Legend performing “Let It Be.” Keys and Legend should release the performance as a single. It would be a hit, for sure.
The night wouldn’t have been a success, though, had it not been for surviving members McCartney and Starr sharing the stage again. With a little help from their friends, the two sang “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band,” “With A Little Help From My Friends” and the crowd-pleasing “Hey Jude.”
David T. Farr is a Sturgis, Mich., Journal correspondent. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find The Farr Side on Facebook.