For those of us old enough to remember the Beatles’ first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show and the decades of Beatlemania that followed, yesterday (pun intended 🙂 ) was indeed a special day — in many ways a nostalgia trip similar to reflecting back 50 years after President Kennedy’s assassination (November 22, 1963).

Never made it to Shea to see the Beatles on their U.S. trip, but did see McCartney live at both Citi Field and the new Yankee Stadium. What was amazing at the McCartney concerts was the multi-generational nature of the audience. Saw lots of parents and their adult children there too.

In marketing, we talk a lot about the product life cycle (which applies to performers as well as physical products) and how most products having a beginning, middle, and end — and some are fads (think one-hit wonders) and others endure for decades or longer (think Rolling Stones).

So what has made the Beatles so enduring — even though the band broke up in 1970 and John Lennon was murdered in December 1980?

As John Pareles reports for the New York Times:

“If there’s one thing pop learned in the last 50 years, it’s that Beatles songs never wear out their welcome. The Beatles’ original recordings have retained not only their musical brilliance but also the nearly universal good will that the band generated in its time, as well as the accumulated nostalgia that makes baby boomers conflate its music with all the pleasures of their youth. On purely musical grounds — the foundation of melodies, harmonies, and lyrics — Beatles songs have thrived through half a century of remakes.”

“The Recording Academy was counting on both nostalgia and tunefulness with Sunday night’s special on CBS, ‘The Beatles: The Night That Changed America — A Grammy Salute.’ It was a Beatles tribute concert recorded Jan. 27, 2014, the day after this year’s Grammy Awards, in Los Angeles with an extensive lineup including Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Katy Perry, Imagine Dragons, and a reunited Eurythmics. Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon, and George Harrison’s widow, Olivia Harrison, and son, Dhani Harrison, were in the front row; Dhani Harrison helped perform his father’s song ‘Something’ onstage.”

Click the image of Paul and Ringo performing last night to see an interesting video clip on the Beatles, including some cool data.

Photo by Zach Cordner/Invision, via Associated Press


5 Replies to “It Was 50 Years Ago Today (February 9, 1964)”

  1. I find it really interesting that like the article stated performers go through life cycles just like physical products do. On one hand there is the rolling stones and the Beatles who have been around for 50 years, and are still popular. Then on the flip side you have the revolving door of boy pop bands, going from Back Street boys, Justin Beiber, and One direction that are more of a fad than anything else. However I believe this slightly has to do with who the bands are marketed too. Beatles fans grow old loving the beatles, however teenage girls out grow the back street boys.

  2. I’ve taken music classes where we studied the Beatles, and they’re just brilliant. hey were the first western musicians that used a sitar in one of their songs. Their music was brilliant, and still speaks to people. Most musicians go in and out due to the fact they haven’t done anything concrete in the music industry, and get beaten by others.

  3. It is interesting to see how marketing can play a role in musicians just like it can in a product. How a musician is marketed (the population, the genre, etc.) can make an impact on how everlasting the music can be. My dad grew up loving the Beatles and even through my generation the Beatles music is loved. New artists these days are marketed mostly towards a younger population that will eventually outgrow them. Pop stars are marketed based on their looks and their catchy lyrics so that young people are drawn to them. However, as kids get older the pop star quickly becomes a thing of the past, especially if they can’t keep coming up with new hits.

  4. I think it is very interesting to compare music bands to physical products and how they also go through product life cycles. It is also interesting see how long-lasting the Beatles have been throughout time and how their cycle seems to never end. It is interesting to compare bands from a while back to bands today because it seems as if bands today have such short life cycles. There is certainly something that the bands from the past have done that differ from the ones presently. The music from the past had a certain effect on the public that music today does not.

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