It obviously dates me to say that I still remember when the Beatles were still together, but then I don’t claim to be old enough to remember when they did the Ed Sullivan show 50 years ago – to be exact, February 9, 1964. The Beatles were mentioned now and again on the elementary school playground on occasion, but “Paul is dead” barely got as far as Cupertino, California, and I never bought the idea to begin with. What I remember from that far back was merely that they had long hair and that their music tended to annoy older people. In fact, there was a nursery rhyme about the hair:
How I wonder where you are…
It wasn’t until a few years after they broke up, maybe 1973 or so, that I actually discovered the music. My mother bought the album “The Beatles 1962-1966”, also known as the Red album, and we played it. And played it. On my next birthday, I asked for and got the Blue Album (The Beatles 1967-70) for my birthday. In “A Day in the Life”, John said, “I’d love to turn you on…” I think he succeeded.
It’s not an accident that the Beatles are still popular after 50 years. The music, even in 1964, was ahead of its time, but by the time Revolver and Sgt. Pepper rolled around, it was ahead of our time. The White Album and Abbey Road sound as fresh today as they ever did. According to Rolling Stone’s 2012 list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, the Beatles have #1 (Sgt. Pepper), #3 (Revolver), #5 (Rubber Soul), #10 (The White Album), #14 (Abbey Road) in the top twenty, with four other British releases and one American release in the top 500. And that doesn’t take into account the fact that they released quite a number of non-album singles, with some of the finest music ever recorded. Think “Hey Jude”, and go from there.
I like to post on social media about some of the cool things we are offering, usually with a comment like, “I might have mentioned once or twice that we get cool stuff around here.” One of the items in our April 26th Entertainment & Music Auction is a Beatles-autographed backdrop from the February 9, 1964 Ed Sullivan show. Considering the speed at which this item hit the wire services, I think this qualifies as cool stuff, and it attests to the Beatles’ popularity even today. But then, Tomorrow Never Knows.
By Stewart Huckaby