Wednesday, January 29, 2014

How America changed The Beatles

The legacy of The Beatles' trip to America was, first and foremost, that they had succeeded where other British pop stars had failed. There were some minor hits from British bands (like "Telestar" by the Tornados), but other major U.K. stars like Cliff Richard and Helen Shapiro failed to gain any real traction in the United States, despite having had "Ed Sullivan" appearances of their own.

"The reputation that was out there in Great Britain was that you can't make it in America. They just want to listen to a different kind of music," says Michael Cheney, a professor of communications and economics at the University of Illinois Springfield, who also teaches a course on the Beatles. "Where the Beatles were different is that music of the Beatles sound came from listening to American records, a lot of the rhythm-and-blues records that came out, Chess Records. They were even into girl groups and Motown."

Cheney was featured in a U.S. News & World Report article on January 24, 2014.

Read the article online