The Beatles' seminal song turns 50 this week

Monday, October 21, 2013

Some revolutions have been hatched in neighborhood pubs; others in the streets. Fifty years ago this week, in a downstairs basement in London, Beatles John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote "I Want to Hold Your Hand." They recorded it the next day. While they hoped it would reach No. 1 on the charts, neither artist dreamed it would become the seminal song of a generation.

Most historians believe the Beatles' first appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" on Feb. 9, 1964, marked the turning point in popular culture. To the uninitiated, that's mostly true. John, Paul, George and Ringo's performance that winter night was watched by a record-breaking 40 million people coast to coast. I was one of them. Another person who watched that fateful night was Jack Paar, the legendary host of "The Tonight Show." Paar had introduced the lads from Liverpool to America three months earlier when he aired a tape of them entertaining British audiences. Despite being only a sophomore at Cubberley High School at the time, I still remember watching Paar's clip like it was yesterday. Six days later, President John F. Kennedy was gunned down in Dallas.

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Source: San Jose Mercury News

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