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The Gate Arrival Heard 'Round The World: The Beatles Meet America

Friday, February 07, 2014

The Beatles' mop tops drove the ladies wild. (United Press International/Wikipedia Commons)

It was 50 years ago today, that the Sergeant taught the band to -- sorry, wrong anniversary. 

On February 7, 1964, The Beatles landed at the newly-renamed JFK Airport to cries of "Elvis Is Dead, Stay With Us Forever" and other well-wishes. The band's performance, two days later, on the Ed Sullivan Show is now part of rock 'n' roll legend. 

In a conversation with Soundcheck host John Schaefer, Allan Kozinn -- New York Times cultural critic and author of a biography of The Beatles -- puts the Fab Four's visit in context.

Hindsight being 20/20, watch archival footage of the band's arrival and ask yourself, with NBC's Chet Huntley, "what the fuss was about":


Interview Highlights

New York Times critic Allan Kozinn, on a coincidental also-ran from The Beatles' first Ed Sullivan Show performance:

In the first show, there was a scene from Oliver!, which starred Georgia Brown, but also the Artful Dodger was a young David Jones, who later became Davy Jones of The Monkees. So it's kind of interesting that on that one show you had The Beatles and their eventual TV imitators. 

On why classical music authorities like Glenn Gould, Leonard Bernstein, et al, were excited by The Beatles:

I think they saw that there was something going on there: interesting harmonic progressions... The Beatles tended, except in few cases, to avoid the basic I-IV-V progression that is the blues progression, the heart of a lot of rock. They tended to like unusual chords, unusual harmonies, they were great melodists. Leonard Bernstein called them "the Schuberts of our time."


Allan Kozinn

Comments [3]

paul kollmar from nyc

.. as you needn't even guess,.. there's enormous on line "patois"--//chatter-right this very minute} with slight thanks to CBS tv--> That most -powerful theme, that-is- of reconciliation and.what was lost in the `l960's} --Focus in on Richard Lester's direction and the attempt in 1978 for their unsuccessful movie--"I wanna hold your hand"; by none other than BOB ZEMEKIS and BOB GALE. They scored gold with Back to the future in 1985={sort of a dress rehearsal} to SAVE THE CLOCK Tower/ i.e.-- paging Marcel Proust--In search of lost time-and in the meantime'-waiting for a hangover tomorrow-->**P>S> Alan Kozinn should be aware of archival info thru the magazine HISTORY TODAY -from england--

Feb. 09 2014 09:43 PM
paul kollmar from nyc

...DO YOU WANT TO KNOW A SECRET???---it took Hayley Mills 3 years to get the nerve to do the TWIST in her best film ever''-the MOONSPINNERS-Filmed in Crete>>>**i told you before;YOU CAN"t DO THAT!!--after much publicity//socially, dating Michael Anderson jr,along with actresses Jill Haworth,& Lynn Loring then with peter McKenery/-->as an inner circle...{{.by the time actress Susan Hampshire got the roll of her career in the BBC Pallisers',-Hayley retreated and had her first child----now who was her nanny!!!!))sorrowfully, Susan Hampshire miscarried, but her lifelong bond with Hayley surmounted it all).... look, John Mills had his near death experience with michael caine in the WRONG BOX{{ ironically, who's theme music evolved and replicated henry mancini's theme of the GREAt RACE}}--**more still up ahead===> and who didn't finish today's nytimes crossword without using an egg timer??-pk

Feb. 09 2014 05:27 PM
paukl kollmar from nyc

... once again, in this venue; our MC has NOT put all of the facts together-----yet> the emergence of the Beetles *sound* started with YEAH YEAH YEAH----/she loves you was all about Hayley Mills.!! at that moment the most popular box office success thru DISNEY's IN SEARCH OF THE CASTAWAYS ; PARENT TRAP,>and POLLYANNA kiddoes----!--- Richard sherman admitted the weird coincidence even back in 1983 when interviewed for the DISNEY CHANNEL---The spark for the Beetles was provided by none other than W*iLFRED BRAMBEL( who achieved later world wide acclaim as STEPTO & SON)))----take another look at Hard Days Nite in utter detail}= Richard Lester , director; knew exactly what her was doing when he cast gramps// (Pauls grandpa- forger->>} in that roll!----the glad game from Disney became an emblem-->>so influential; that BLAKE EDWARDS stole the idea for the opening of PINK PANTHER with that jewelry robbery escape plan sans rope ignited as a fuse!!-- etc------>>wait for more-----pk

Feb. 07 2014 09:56 PM

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