This is a big week in the history of music! On February 7th, 1964, The Beatles arrived at New York’s Kennedy Airport, and on February 9th, more than 70 million people watched the Beatles appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. After the appearance, the world would never be the same. And on this Sunday, CBS will air The Night That Changed America, which will be a celebration of The Beatles 50th anniversary appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. The 2 1/2 hour special will air at 7 pm Central on Sunday February 9th. Too bad The Walking Dead comes back on the same night at around the same time.
Did you know The Beatles caused huge controversy in Alabama? Yep, after The Beatles came back from the Philippines, the damage from a John Lennon comment earlier was already beginning. Many religious and social conservatives in the United States was in uproar, and here in Alabama, things got crazy. In an interview with British reporter Maureen Cleave published in the Evening Standard on March 4th 1966, Lennon had offered his opinion that Christianity was dying and that the Beatles were “more popular than Jesus now”. After the comment was made, the interview was reprinted in the American teenage fan magazine DATEbook with a front cover story. After that happened, radio stations in Alabama were ready to burn the albums from The Beatles.
Radio station WAQY in Birmingham, Alabama announced it was banning Beatles music and would hold a bonfire to burn Beatles records. Dozens of other radio stations followed suit and several stations also held bonfires. Attempting to make light of the incident, Harrison said, “They’ve got to buy them before they can burn them.” Soon, Lennon and The Beatles apologized and said the interview was quoted and misrepresented entirely out of context. Later in the year, The Beatles had a scare when a firecracker was set off in Memphis, TN during a concert stop. And let’s not forget about the Ku Klux Klan threats. Yep, one interview almost ruined The Beatles forever, and Alabama had a big hand in almost ruining the careers of The Beatles.
Now, I wanted to share my top Beatles songs I like to listen too. These songs are the tops on many lists and even today, people still listen to music of The Beatles. This list is in no particular order.
Let It Be
Here Comes The Sun
A Day in the Life
Strawberry Fields Forever
I Want to Hold Your Hand
In My Life