Tag Archives: Beatles

“Johnny B. Goode”

31 Mar

The guy with the new guitar sound and great rock and roll lyrics, Chuck Berry, released the rock and roll anthem “Johnny B. Goode” on March 31, 1958. Rolling Stone magazine placed it at #1 on their list of the “100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time.

 

 

 

How many bands covered this after the fact?

It Was 50 Years Ago Today!

7 Feb

It was Friday, February 7, 1964 when the English band The Beatles landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport. They were welcomed with screams and shouts from New York teenagers eager to catch sight of the new sensation group. Two days later, they made their American debut on the television variety show, The Ed Sullivan Show. More than 73 million viewers tuned in to set a television record. After that, virtually every American teenage girl wanted to hold one of the Fab Four’s hands. Beatlemania had officially arrived.

“Everywhere It’s Christmas”

6 Dec

On Dec. 6 1963, the Beatles began a tradition of recording and releasing goofy spoken-word and musical  Christmas messages for fans.

This continued until 1969.

A compilation of all of them.

Five in the top Five!

4 Apr

 

On April 4, 1964,  Billboard  listed the Beatles with America’s Top Five records.

(#5) “Please Please Me”

(#4) “I Want To Hold Your Hand”

(#3) “She Loves You”

(#2) “Twist And Shout”

(#1) “Can’t Buy Me Love”

Nine other Beatles singles were in the Hot 100 at the same time.

The Beatles on Ed Sullivan

9 Feb

On Sunday, Feb. 9, 1964, over 73 million Americans gathered around television sets to see what all the excitement was about.

The Beatles made their live U.S. television debut on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” An estimated 73.7 million Americans watched as the Fab Four  performed “All My Loving,” “Till There Was You,” “She Loves You,” “I Saw Her Standing There,” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” While they performed “Till There Was You,” a sign flashed on the screen when John appeared that read, “Sorry, girls, he’s married.”
Sullivan read a telegram to the audience just before the band’s performance that said, “Congratulations on your appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show and your visit to America. STOP. We hope your engagement will be successful and your visit pleasant. STOP. Sincerely Elvis and the Colonel.”
A future music star from Britain also performed on the Sullivan show that night. Davy Jones performed as part of the cast of the Broadway show “Oliver” two years before he became a Monkee.

The Beatles appeared on three consecutive Sundays in February 1964 to great anticipation and fanfare as “I Want to Hold Your Hand” had swiftly risen to No. 1 in the charts. Their first appearance on February 9 is considered a milestone in American pop culture and the beginning of the British Invasion in music.

A forty-ninth anniversary is usually not that significant…

7 Feb

It was 49 years ago today, that The Beatles came to the US to play…

Ravi Shankar 1920- 2012

12 Dec

Labeled “the godfather of world music” by  George Harrison, Ravi Shankar inspired many professional musicians as well as millions of lovers of music to explore the traditions of Indian music.

“He was legend of legends,” Shivkumar Sharma, a noted santoor player who performed with Shankar, told Indian media. “Indian classical was not at all known in the Western world. He was the musician who had that training … the ability to communicate with the Western audience.”

I am one of many that met Ravi Shankar through the Beatles, and Shivkumar Sharma has a point. But I rather think this notion is more accurate for popular music and it’s audience. All types of  music from the east was making inroads into the western sound-scape. Many composers in the west were influenced by Asian and middle eastern music long before George Harrison of the Beatles became entranced with it.

Claude Debussy (1862-1918)  was one western composer of many. Debussy’s principal influences included the music of Russia, the exotic colors of Asian music (which he first heard at the Paris International Exposition in 1889), and the ideas of writers and poets like Stéphane Mallarmé, Paul Verlaine, and Charles-Pierre Baudelaire.

An introduction to Indian music by Ravi Shankar.

Shankar on music.

Chants of India. George Harrison produced Shankar’s album Chants of India (1997), in which classical Indian forms (mantras and chants based on Sanskrit prayers) were combined with a choir and Western instrumentation including vibraphone, harps, violins and cellos. Harrison also edited Shankar’s autobiography, Raga Mala (Garland of Ragas, 1999), and once dubbed him “the Godfather of world music”.