The Beatles have been recognized as #1 on Rolling Stone Magazine's list of the top 100 musical acts of all time. And why not? The Fab Four are beyond iconic, and just about everyone in the western world from age 10 to age 100 can hum or recognize their most famous tunes. Here's a brief early history of this amazing group.
John Lennon was the foundation on which the group which ultimately became known as The Beatles was laid: he was the innovator, the founder, the genius behind the operation. In 1957, at the age of 16, he started up a band with a group of his Liverpool buddies called The Quarry Men.
That same year, 15 year old Paul McCartney joined the group, and 7 months later George Harrison came on board. The group played local clubs and gained a following: armed with original drummer Pete Best, their popularity soared and the fledgling group was quite well known in Britain by as early as 1960 and permanently called itself "The Beatles."
It is hard to believe now, but the Beatles were not signed when they auditioned for Decca Records in London in 1962. But by then, they were under the management of Brian Epstein, who would ultimately make good things happen for his proteges.
George Martin of EMI records saw the group's potential, signed them, and remained the Beatles' producer for the group's entire career. A falling out with drummer Pete Best led to his being dismissed from the group right before the Beatles became national sensations in Britain: newcomer Ringo Starr would get all the glory when he came onboard in August of 1962.
The rise of the Beatles to musical gods status was meteoric: within a short 8 months, the group went from releasing their first studio album to causing absolute fan pandemonium throughout Europe. Their album "Please, Please Me" remained number one on British charts for a full 29 weeks, and their music began to develop a following in the United States as well.
By the time the Beatles arrived in the United States in February of 1964, just one year after the European release of their debut album, what became known as "Beatlemania" had already taken hold of American young people across the nation. Their triumphant arrival was witnessed by thousands of screaming, fainting fans. Their subsequent appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show was watched by a record 73 million viewers.
Their "long hair" shocked many adults who worried that the sex appeal of these four young men and the music they produced would corrupt America's young generation. But the Beatles were here to stay and their fan base remained solid over the next six years though the Fab Four's hair got even longer and the emphasis of their lyrics and music style changed dramatically during that time period.
Though their breakup in 1970 shocked the world and crushed the spirit of their devoted fans, the lingering popularity of their music speaks volumes about their amazing talent and the timelessness of their music.
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