Meet the Beatles: Rock Hall's special day tied to 50th anniversary of 'Ed Sullivan Show' debut
By Chuck Yarborough, The Plain Dealer
January 23, 2014
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The Beatles gave America “All My Lovin’’’ for the first time on “The Ed Sullivan Show’’ on Sunday, Feb. 9, 1964. Today, 50 years later, the love affair remains.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, quite naturally, has an affection for the Fab Four, and is spotlighting the arrival of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr in the United States – the first wave of the British Invasion – with a series of programs on the exact 50th anniversary of that performance: Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014.
These will include curator-led gallery talks in the Beatles’ wing of the lakefront museum, two films in the facility’s Foster Theatre and special programs for families, including a children’s activity guide.
According to the museum, here is the Feb. 9 schedule:
• Continuous screenings of the “The Beatles: The First U.S. Visit.’’ The film documents the band’s two-week trip to the United States in 1964, including “The Ed Sullivan Show’’ performances on Feb. 9, 1964, in New York and on Feb. 16, in Miami, plus a concert in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 11. This will be in the Forest City/RMS Theater on the lower level of the museum’s main hall.
• “The Sixties: The British Invasion.’’ Museumgoers can get a sneak peek at one segment of CNN’s 10-part series, which begins in May. The one-hour segment will screen at 10:30 a.m.
• Album spotlight: “Meet the Beatles.’’ The band’s first album for Capitol on Jan. 20, 1964.
A personal note: My big sister had a copy, which I conveniently left in the back of our Ford Fairlane, on the platform near the rear window where, before child safety seats, kids used to sleep on family trips. It ended up looking like a Salvador Dali painting. She passed away five years ago, still without forgiving me.
Anyway, Rock Hall educators will deliver a short talk about the album, including the fact that the U.S. and U.K. versions of Beatles albums were different, then visitors can listen to the album in its entirety on the Foster Theater sound system.
• “Meet the Instruments! Beatles Edition.’’ This program, geared for kids 4 to 9 years old, uses video of the Beatles and live performances by the Rock Hall education band to help children learn how the instruments work to create a rock band sound. It’s set for 1 p.m. in Foster Theater.
• “Tell Me Something Good! Beatles Edition.’’ The art of storytelling in song – with examples from the Beatles and one of their biggest influences, the legendary Chuck Berry – is the focus of a program aimed at kids aged 5 to 10. Best of all, the youngsters will get to act out “Yellow Submarine.’’ This is a 2 p.m. program in the Foster Theater.
• “The Beatles and American Rock and Roll.’’ Lauren Onkey, the museum’s vice president of education and public programs, and Jason Hanley, director of education, will deliver a special lecture that explores the impact of American rockers like Berry, Carl Perkins, Eddie Cochran and the Everly Brothers on the Beatles as the Fab Four were discovering just what sound they were seeking. It’ll feature archival recordings, film and photographs. It’s set for 3 p.m. in the Foster.
• The Rock Hall’s education team will offer a special live-stream distance learning class at 1 p.m. Monday, Feb. 10, to discuss the impact of the American music on the Beatles. Students will be able to email questions to the Rock Hall staff. The stream is free and available at rockhall.com/education.
The Rock Hall is open from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. seven days a week, and until 9 p.m. Wednesdays. Admission is $22 for adults, $18 for adult residents of Greater Cleveland, $17 for senior citizens, $13 for kids 9 to 12 and free for kids younger than that. An additional 6 percent admission tax is added to the price of each ticket, and is used to help support the Cleveland Municipal School District.
Call 216-781-7625 or go to rockhall.com for more information.
The Beatles perform on the CBS "Ed Sullivan Show" in New York on Feb. 9, 1964. From left, front, are Paul McCartney, George Harrison and John Lennon. Ringo Starr plays drums. (AP file)