Many newsworthy events happened fifty years ago. But one of them has
been talked about more then the others. This will be the topic of Shirl and You. Before we get to this most-talked about subject, let’s take a quick look at some of the others.
Fifty years ago Buffalo Wings were invented at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York and the
Hess Toy truck was first released then and cost $1.29. The surgeon General’s report issued a “Smoking May Be Harmful” warning.
There’s more! Ford Mustang was introduced and was Ford’s most successful launch since the Model A. Flat screen television was invented then and
the eight track cartridge was popular until the 1980’s when compact cassettes took over. The first photos of the moon’s surface were taken, 50 years ago, by a spacecraft.
The Addams Family, The Munsters and G. I. Joe are fifty years old as are the new Hampshire state lottery, the first synthesizer, The Moog, and the wrinkle-free clothes treatment we all appreciate, Permanent Press.
All of these are well and good, but the most talked about happening was
the arrival of The Beatles, not the tiny beetle that is devouring our evergreen trees here in America. No, it, is the one-of-a-kind band that actually transformed American music. The Beatles arrived here in the U.S., February 7, 1964.
It wasn’t the news coverage being given on what’s left of the band today that got me thinking about using them as a Shirl and You subject. It was at a theater organ concert we recently attended where the organist played four of their songs, “Michelle,” “Yesterday,” “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer,” and “When I’m 64.” Listening to these beautiful renditions on the organ brought back memories of refusing to let our children listen to the four “moptop” teen idols that were sweeping our country with “way out music”, and also their talk of peace, love and their fight against the Vietnam war. What really got many people upset was the statement made by John Lennon that they were more popular than Jesus.
To digress a bit here, my husband and I recently met a couple of musicians, at the RV Park, where we reside for the winter months. He is a very accomplished fiddle player and his wife, a pianist. He gave Burl some tips on fiddling, something my husband wants to learn since receiving a violin for Christmas. It was interesting to hear how their daughters became very accomplished at fiddling, so much so that well-known groups wanted them to become part of their traveling bands. Although some may think this was a great opportunity for the girls, the mother wisely recommended that they not become a part of the entertainment business, and they soon saw it her way.
The entertainment business calls for hard living. And so it was with The Beatles. The two that are left, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are now near 70 years of age. John Lennon was shot and killed and George Harrison died of cancer, November 2001 at the age of 58. By 1970, the group was ready to disband, with some stepping out to do solo recordings. The Beatles had started their careers in Britain singing folk music, soon changing to rock and roll. Their long hair caught people off guard, many think their most popular song, “Yellow Submarine” promotes drugs. Long hair, rock and roll, drugs, some believe these traits may well have been instrumental in changing the world.
I would love to hear your comments on this Shirl And You.