Welcome to Awakenings

Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Beatles Come to America!

Today in Music History: February 7, 1964

They're sweeping the country!
Stay indoors! Beetles invade America's shores! Okay! Not the insect but might as well have been with all the hysteria in the midst. Of course, the mania here is Beatlemania referring to the British rock group sensation, the Beatles spelled with the 'ea' not 'ee'. Interesting though is when you examine the meaning of the word beetle, it is an informal verb meaning 'make one's way hurriedly or with short, quick steps'. Something definitely to ponder when contemplating the impact quick step movements of rock 'n' roll music had on the world. Wonder if the little 'beetle' influenced the group's name.

The Beatles briefly called themselves the Blackjacks before changing their name to the the Quarrymen. It was discovered a local group was already using Blackjacks thus the reason the name was short lived. Fast forward a couple of years and the name changed once again to Beatals as a tribute to Buddy Holly and the Crickets. Another transition led to Silver Beetles onward to yet another change Silver Beatles and ultimately just the Beatles

Just a little bit of Beatle name trivia so let's move on to this day in history and what happened on February 7, 1964...


The Beatles arrive at John F. Kennedy
International Airport, 7 February 1964
Image Source: en.wikipedia.org
The Beatles were already a British sensation so it is no wonder their first arrival in the United States resulted in a mania of American proportion. On February 7, 1964, their plane landed at New York's Kennedy Airport. "Beatlemania" had officially arrived in the United States. Mania it was indeed as the Beatles were met by 3,000 screaming fans as they stepped off the plane onto American soil. 

Two days later the Beatles entertained the nation with their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. An estimated 73 million U.S. television viewers, or about 40% of the U.S. population, tuned in to watch. The word 'watch' needs to be emphasized for it is uncertain how many viewers were actually able to hear the group sing above the uncontrollable screaming of the teenage girls!

Welcome to America, Beatlemania! 


 Three performances on the Ed Sullivan Show, a concert appearance at the Coliseum in Washington, D.C., and two back-to-back performances at New York's Carnegie Hall completed the tour. The Beatles returned to England on February 22, 1964 leaving behind a major imprint in the nation's cultural memory. Beatlemania eventually became an epidemic the world over.

The Beatles in 1964
Top: Lennon, McCartney
Bottom: Harrison, Starr
Image Source: en.wikipedia.org
 
  
And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times...