It was 50 years ago today... (actually, it was more like February 9, 1964) The Beatles made their first US television appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, which helped to kickstart the British Invasion and a musical revolution that forever changed the face of popular music.
Though the Beatles had many diverse musical influences that they incorporated into their unique sound, some of their roots were in the blues. Liverpool, the Beatles' hometown, was a major port city, so this facilitated their access to imported music from the United States, including blues, R&B, and rock 'n' roll. The Beatles were also influenced by early rock 'n' roll performers, particularly Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, Little Richard, and Elvis Presley, all of whom had their roots in the blues. As they developed, the Beatles incorporated blues into their music by way of rock 'n' roll on their early records and later as they returned to a more roots-oriented sound in the late 1960s. After their breakup, the Beatles individually maintained ties to the blues to varying degrees; for instance, John Lennon's "It's So Hard" and "Well, Well, Well" are very blues-oriented performances and Ringo Starr played drums with Howlin' Wolf, B.B. King, and most recently, on Kenny Wayne Shepherd's latest album, Goin' Home.
In honour of the Beatles' first US television appearance and their subsequent impact on popular music, the May 24 edition of Señor Blues will be mostly focused on the Beatles and their unique connection to the blues. Tune in from 7-9am on May 24 to hear blues/R&B/rock 'n' roll artists performing Beatles classics, the blues/rock 'n' roll roots of the Beatles, and, of course, the Beatles themselves playing some blues, both as a group and as solo artists. "A splendid time is guaranteed for all!"