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The Beatles Land at JFK: Were You There?

Friday, February 07, 2014

The Beatles' mop tops drove the ladies wild. (United Press International/Wikipedia Commons)

The Beatles made their first stateside appearance 50 years ago today, arriving at the newly named JFK to thousands of screaming fans and hundreds of reporters. Sunday is the 50th anniversary of their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, marking what's known as the beginning of the British Invasion. Jim Von Schilling, professor of English and Humanities at Northampton Community College and the Baby Boomer Studies area chair for the American and Popular Culture Associations, talks about what happened when John, Paul, George and Ringo came to the U.S.

Guests:

Jim Von Schilling
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Comments [14]

Cervantes

Sir ilfg,surely thy tongue runneth over with self deceit,and thy troubled ramblings be not other, than the sulphur laced perturbations of an onerous countenance, no infirmed mortal should ever have to fathom....

Feb. 07 2014 12:23 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Illfg

A lot of the preceding American rock n' roll that hit Britain in the mid-1950s magically influenced all the English kids, and of course American rock n' roll was the raw material that fed the Beatles, but they went on and stretched the envelope in every imaginable direction. They were the Einsteins of rock n' roll. They took it and went into unimaginable territory. They were the explorers who found new ground that others later on went into.

Feb. 07 2014 12:06 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Illfg

A lot of the preceding American rock n' roll that hit Britain in the mid-1950s magically influenced all the English kids, and of course American rock n' roll was the raw material that fed the Beatles, but they went on and stretched the envelope in every imaginable direction. They were the Einsteins of rock n' roll. They took it went into unimaginable territory. They were the explorers who found new ground that others later on went into.

Feb. 07 2014 12:05 PM
genejoke from Brooklyn

They had to stop touring due to the insanity of all those Beatlemaniacs - it was too much trouble security-wise and sound equipment was not yet advanced enough to drown out the overpowering audience noise.
Most of their early songs are pretty hokey, but their last few records still hold up incredibly well today.
The next generation of rock bands - Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple - all made their own impact.

Feb. 07 2014 12:05 PM

i think the beach boys created major breakthroughs in modern music before the beatles. after all the beatles were a fan of the beach boys first.

Feb. 07 2014 12:00 PM
Nancy from Manhattan

I had recently turned 6 that night the Beatles were on Ed Sullivan. I recall that my aunt and uncle came over to watch the show with our family; I was sitting on the floor. I recall that my aunt made a bit of fun of the "yeah, yeah, yeah"s the Beatles sang, and my thought was: "Oh, you'll eat those 'yeah, yeah, yeah's one day!" Guess I was pretty sure the Beatles would endure.

Feb. 07 2014 11:58 AM

tween dreams, lol. how pathetic. same crap goes on with modern boy bands like one direction. "which one is your favorite?".

Feb. 07 2014 11:57 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

I took to the Beatles very slowly when they first came out, but came to appreciate what they were doing, which was creating profound breakthroughs in popular music that has influenced every modern musician ever since. But the "Doowop" music that preceded them still remains the music genre that will always makes me feel young and happy again. Nothing cheers me up like the old simple but rousing "Doowop" music. This was the music of MY teens and will keep me mentally young for the rest of my life.

Feb. 07 2014 11:56 AM
Amy from Manhattan

I watched them on TV, & I was complaining about not being able to hear the lyrics because the screaming fans drowned them out! So it wasn't (entirely) the fans' fault--the microphones weren't set up right?

I never could understand the screaming reaction or why anyone would react this way.

Feb. 07 2014 11:56 AM

"Brilliant and charismatic songwriters and performers" - what a crock. they stopped touring before they wrote their "most important work". additionally, their catalog is filled with filler, awful songs. They had a handful of "brilliant songs".

Feb. 07 2014 11:53 AM
er-nay from UWS

WMCA " The Good Guys" was maybe the biggest of the radio stations pushing the beatles

Feb. 07 2014 11:49 AM
genejoke from Brooklyn

The importance of The Fab Four cannot be overstated. Brilliant and charismatic songwriters and performers. It's not their fault that countless awful pop stars and sh!tty rock and pop bands followed in their wake.

Feb. 07 2014 11:48 AM
Karen from NYC

I wasn't at the airport, but I was at the Plaza Hotel, where the Beatles stayed during their time in NYC. I was 13. My mother forbade me to go, but I went anyway - my first "No, ma'am" act. My allowance was docked for a month, but I didn't care, I met kids from all over the City - the world - and had a wonderful time. A liberating experience for a kid from Brooklyn - the Beatles were about more than just the Beatles.

Feb. 07 2014 10:06 AM

the first real boy band. over hyped sellouts. The anger john lennon would display in lyrics and in public towards the end of the beatles was a guilty conscious knowing that he would never be respected as a true "artist" but instead as a fab 4 illusion. The proof that they weren't worth the praise is after the beatles broke up they very much became irrelevant. Led Zeppelin, the Stones, The Who and others dominated the 70's. Paul McCartney's "Wings" were for those who couldnt believe the beatles were gone. No one I know even knows more than 1 song (the one guns n roses covered).

Thanks Beatles. We now have crap like N Sync, one direction and justin bieber because of you.

Feb. 07 2014 10:04 AM

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