50 Years of The Beatles!

Feb 5, 2014

The Beatles in 1964 at Kennedy Airport.
Credit United Press International / Creative Commons

In February of 1964, the Beatles appeared not once, but on three consecutive Sunday nights on "The Ed Sullivan Show," attracting what was the the largest audience in television history, and still might be the largest percentage of all possible viewers. To some of us, the whole thing is still kind of exciting 50 years later. But why?

We're going to explore that question a lot this hour on the show, but of course, there's no one answer. Friend of the program Bill Curry points out that The Beatles, in addition to everything else, hit a demographic sweet spot. If you start the baby boom clock running in 1947, its oldest members in 1964 were, to quote from a song, "just 17." This enormous generation was ripe for a pleasure that was both youthful and adult. 

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  • Steve Metcalf - Music critic, composer, and pianist, and is the Ed Sullivan of the Garmany Chamber Music Series Hartt School at the University of Hartford.
  • John Platoff - Professor of music at Trinity College in Hartford
  • Dick Robinson - Former host on WDRC in Hartford, and Founder and President of The Society for the Preservation of the Great American Songbook
  • Rex Fowler - Co-founder Aztec Two Step, and co-founder of The Nutopians