I was around 7, and my brother, older by 10 years, wanted to make sure I was properly enlightened regarding the Beatles. He tried to explain their deep songs to me – “The Fool on the Hill,” “Eleanor Rigby.” But I only wanted to hear “Yellow Submarine” over and over. And over. I think he wore out his copy of it on my behalf.
As I got older, I came to appreciate more Beatles’ songs. In my teen years, I liked the danceable numbers. “Twist and Shout” was a favorite. I was thrilled to discover the group recorded a number about my hometown: “Kansas City/ Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey.” These days I gravitate more to their mellower tunes, such as “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” Yes, I do still listen to the Beatles, all this time later.
And I’m not the only one. The group made their American Debut on the Ed Sullivan Show 50 years ago, on February 9, 1964. Since then, eight-track tapes have come and gone, as have cassettes. Through the rise and decline of MTV, and the advent of the Internet, downloadable music and YouTube, the Beatles have remained a popular listening choice. In DBRL’s music collection, their CDs are among the most widely circulated. One copy of “Abbey Road“ has been checked out 222 times.
In addition to dozens of their music CDs, the library has a number of Fab Four-related books and DVDs. You can see how things began on this side of pond with a DVD of “The Ed Sullivan Shows Starring the Beatles.” For those who want more details, Bob Spitz chronicles the group’s first American tour in his new book “The Beatles Invasion.” For a broader overview of the band’s music, there’s “All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Beatles Release.” And for pure frivolous entertainment, George, Paul, John and Ringo star in the zombie fiction book “Paul is Undead.”