This Sunday it’s history and inspiration. If music is a part of your life in any way, shape or form, then the significance of this date in history is impossible to ignore. Today we commemorate a watershed moment in music, in popular culture, which changed a generation and will likely have an impact for generations to come.
The Sunday Series (16): I Want To Hold Your Hand
Last week I profiled a young man, Brennan Stark, and his band. 3PM. The boys are simply trying to “make it” in the music scene. Their dream is to play music, and keep doing it until that big break happens. They and all of us should be inspired by one big break, which 50 years ago tonight, created an overnight success so huge that America and the world of music has never been the same: The Invasion, more specifically the British Invasion… The Beatles in America.
At 9pm tonight, exactly 50 years ago, The Beatles appeared live on the Ed Sullivan Show. For those reading who have no idea what I am talking about, The Ed Sullivan show was the big time, a variety show which aired every Sunday evening and millions tuned in to watch. On this night, 73 million Americans were watching, more than 40% of all televisions in America tuned in to see these mop-haired men from across the pond, who soon became known as The Fab Four.
Understand I am not the world’s biggest Beatles fan. Not even close. But I love music, I appreciate magic moments in history and I can see the inspiration in that very moment and in today, and tonight, exactly 50 years later because of what it meant to the world and our universal language… music. Tonight CBS Television, the same network which broadcast that infamous Ed Sullivan Show, will honor The Beatles with a special: “The Night that Changed America: A Grammy Salute to the Beatles”. The broadcast airs at the same exact time as that momentous occasion exactly 50 years before which catapulted the Fab Four into the consciousness of America. Music has never been the same.
Most know only two of the Beatles are still alive, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. George Harrison died after a long, tough battle with lung cancer in 2001. In June of 1980, John Lennon, returning from the recording studio with his wife Yoko Ono, was shot and killed just outside his home, The Dakota, in New York City.
Imagine what tonight would have been like if all four of The Beatles were still alive, then again maybe it’s all the more dramatic they aren’t. Because a reunion would have focused on what money they might be making from that performance, if even for one night, and what new song they might create. Instead the focus will be on the music they created, the enduring legacy of great songwriting, the incredible moment in time which changed a generation and their indelible mark on our world and culture.
The Beatles didn’t cure polio, they didn’t walk on the moon, they simply played music, caught lightning in a bottle, at the right place, at the right time for America. It is living, breathing proof that miracles do happen. And it should be inspiration for any artist trying to make their mark anywhere in the world; keep doing what you love, keep sharing your message, keep using your gift to change the world and never, ever, ever give up.
Don’t be a “Fool on the Hill”. Learn from the lesson of “Yesterday”, understand it will be a “Hard Day’s Night” to make it, but if you work hard you might just get a “Ticket to Ride”.
Take it from this “Paperback Writer”, I’m here to “Help”, “I Want To Hold Your Hand” and see you find not just “Penny Lane”, but “Strawberry Fields Forever”.
Until next time, thanks for taking the time. And thank you to The Beatles.
Mark Brodinsky, Author
It Takes 2. Surviving Breast Cancer: A Spouse’s Story
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