Skip to main content
  1. AXS Entertainment
  2. Arts & Entertainment
  3. TV

CNN presents 'The Sixties – The British Invasion': The Beatles lead the way

See also

The Beatles opened up this installment from CNN’s 10-part series on the fascinating ‘60s, on Thursday night titled “The Sixties -- British Invasion.” “The Sixties” docu-series is later scheduled to air in its entirety in May. Actor Tom Hanks is one of its co-producers.

This is one of many Beatles 50th anniversary specials, documentaries, and tributes bound to air in the coming weeks. What makes this television special different is its extensive and profound focus on the wave of other British bands and artists, those who followed shortly thereafter the Beatles.

It begins on how the Beatles were introduced to American audiences prior to “The Ed Sullivan Show.” Media sources included an in-depth CBS news report, a Beatles fan introducing them on a metro Washington, DC Top 40 radio station, and Ed Sullivan’s 1963 introduction to Beatlemania while in London.

After their three Ed Sullivan TV appearances a bevy of British acts, including the Dave Clark Five, followed in their footsteps to America. The one common thread all of the British invasion bands brought, including the Beatles, was their early rock n’ roll sounds. They were heavily influenced by Chuck Berry, the Everly Brothers, and Buddy Holly.

Earlier on the Beatles and Motown was a match when they covered Smokey Robinson’s “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me.” Smokey Robinson later reflected on being extremely flattered at the time. You see a clip of Smokey singing the Beatles song “Yesterday.”

During the show “Shindig” the Rolling Stones invited blues great Howlin’ Wolf on this dance music program. It is the Stones and other British bands that re-invigorate blues back into mainstream music. Blues is a traditional form of R&B, while remaining obscure up until that time. Jagger evens takes on James Brown’s moves. This is after the Stones followed his high energy act on the “T.A.M.I. Show” concert film.

Bob Dylan later sets the stage with his protest messages, while playing in his traditional folk style. In 1965 after Dylan goes electric, he meets with the Beatles. It is John Lennon who becomes inspired by Dylan. The Beatles folk-infused “Rubber Soul” album gets the attention of the Beach Boys, who want off the beach music path. Brian Wilson develops new sounds and instruments resulting in their seminal “Pet Sounds” album.

“The Sixties -- British Invasion” closed with the Beatles “Sgt. Pepper” album. Just like with the Beach Boys, the Beatles stopped touring in 1966 to devote all their time to creating the album of all albums. It ends with a portion of their global telecast from the song “All You Need is Love.”

Advertisement

Today's top buzz...

  • Coachella
    The set times you need to know have been announced for Coachella
    Festival Buzz
  • Lamar Odom
    The New York Knicks are giving Lamar Odom another shot in the NBA
    Video
    NBA Buzz
  • Porsha Williams
    See why 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' star Porsha Williams posed for this mug shot
    Video
    TV News
  • NHL tickets
    If you're looking to catch an NHL playoff game in NYC, don't expect to do so on a budget
    NHL Buzz
  • Transcendence
    Review: ‘Transcendence’ fascinates, but does it rise above the field?
    Movies Buzz
  • Kobe Bryant
    Kobe Bryant has agreed to cooperate with an all-access documentary about his life
    Video
    Sports Buzz

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about Examiner.com and apply today!