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Institute for Popular Music Celebrates 50th Anniversary of the Beatles in America
EVENT: Institute for Popular Music Celebrates 50th Anniversary of the Beatles in America
January 17, 2014

The University of Rochester Institute for Popular Music will continue its "In Performance" Series with a concert and lecture series celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' first U.S. performance on the Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964.

On Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014—exactly 50 years, to the hour, after that famous nationwide broadcast aired to 73 million viewers—a concert honoring the Beatles and their music will begin at 8 p.m. in Strong Auditorium on the University River Campus, featuring performances by faculty, students, and Rochester-area 60s band The Smooth Talkers.
"At the end of 1963, the Beatles took over British popular music in a way that no one had ever done before," said John Covach, director of the Institute for Popular Music and chair of the music department in the University's College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering. "In 1964, the Beatles conquered America and the world."
But according to Covach, the Beatles' lasting contribution was their ability to cash in "that initial fan popularity for enough artistic freedom to really make a difference in the evolution and development of popular music."
The Beatles celebration will kick off on Wednesday, Feb. 5 at 7 p.m. in Dewey Hall 1-101 with a lecture by Andy Babiuk, noted instrument expert and author, who will discuss the musical gear the Beatles' used on stage and in the studio.
Walter Everett, professor at the University of Michigan and author of two books on the Beatles, will also give a Beatles celebration lecture on Sunday, Feb. 9 at 2 p.m. in Lower Strong Auditorium.
On Sunday, Feb. 9, Covach will also launch his free, six-week online course, The Music of the Beatles, through massive online course platform Coursera. The class, which currently has over 23,000 enrolled participants, will analyze the musical development of the band.

All Beatles celebration events are free and open to University faculty, staff, students, and the general public, space permitting. For more information contact Elaine Stroh at or call 585. 275.9397.

About the University of Rochester
The University of Rochester ( is one of the nation's leading private universities. Located in Rochester, N.Y., the University gives students exceptional opportunities for interdisciplinary study and close collaboration with faculty through its unique cluster-based curriculum. Its College, School of Arts and Sciences, and Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences are complemented by its Eastman School of Music, Simon School of Business, Warner School of Education, Laboratory for Laser Energetics, School of Medicine and Dentistry, School of Nursing, Eastman Institute for Oral Health, and the Memorial Art Gallery.

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