World honors the Beatles 50th anniversary

On Feb. 9, 1964, over 73 million Americans crowded around their TV and turned on the Ed Sullivan show on CBS. The nonchalant hair-slicked-back Nixon look-alike host came onto stage and presented the Liverpool legends.

Cue the screams of the 278 audience members as the curtains opened to reveal the four lads who would change the course of the music industry.

The Beatles.

“They came out of the blue in a time when there was very little else going on in rock and roll,” said Peter Puterbaugh, professor of History of Rock in a phone interview. “You can say that in the three or four years leading up to the arrival of the Beatles in America, rock and roll was pretty much … on life support.

“They revitalized it. They brought it back to life.”

Despite the lack of Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook, Beatlemania took over the world.

“They even seduced the older generation into liking them: they’re funny, and their music was easy to appreciate regardless of what age you were,” said Puterbaugh. “Beatle mania wasn’t just confined to the youth. Their songs hold up beyond the moment.”

On Feb. 9, 2014, exactly fifty years later to the hour, “The Night That Changed America: A GRAMMY Salute To The Beatles” broadcasted on CBS. The program celebrated the Fab Four as artists like Maroon 5, Katy Perry, and Stevie Wonder covered some of their favorite Beatles’ jams.

Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney, the remaining members of the band, were also present.

The band was also awarded the Grammy Life Achievement Award on that momentous night.

“They started out with things like ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’ and in the end it was ‘Revolution’,” said Haley Griffith, an Early College junior and fan in a phone interview.

The Beatles ignited a flame of unprecedented musical evolution. Their influence is still felt today, and probably will be for generations to come.