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The Beatles Influence

Updated on October 9, 2013

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It was December of 1963 that I first heard “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” by a group called The Beatles. I had been listening to the radio during Christmas vacation of my fifteenth year and “Blue Velvet” by Bobby Vinton had just played and before that “Puff The Magic Dragon” by Peter, Paul and Mary. The DJ came on and said there was a new song by a group out of England and they just might be the next hot group.

Just might be? In music terms we were about to take the leap from the sweet girl next door to Marilyn Monroe and there would be no turning back. Music as we had known it had just taken a quantum leap into the future and I, for one, signed on with the Fab Four for life.

The year is now 2012 and to date The Beatles have sold over one billion units. Stop and let that number soak into your brain for a second….one billion! Lennon and McCartney combined wrote over 180 songs as arguably the most successful songwriting duo in history.

I had always loved music. One of my earliest memories was of our family standing around an LP machine and recording our voices as we sang songs of the 50’s. My mother taught me to sing in harmony and rarely did a day go by when someone wasn’t singing in our household. I grew up to the Big Band sound and listened to the crooners as I approached my teen years, but nothing could have prepared me for The Beatles. Their energy, their vitality, their willingness to break the mold and go where no group had ever gone, it all deeply resonated with me.

Now fifty years later I still catch myself humming one of their songs. My son grew up to his father singing those same songs to him, and hopefully that tradition will be passed on when he has a child. The Beatles defined my teen and early-adult years so that even now I can hear a song and remember what was happening in my life when the song was recorded, as if one was so entrenched in the other as to become a single unit….song and event…both one.

What follows, then, is a list of some of my favorite songs by the Boys from Liverpool and a recollection of what was happening in my life when the song was released. There is no ranking nor is there any chronological order to them; rather it is a glimpse at their history and the impact it had on my history. By the way, I was lucky enough to see them in concert. In 1965 they came to Seattle and I was there, twelve dollar ticket in hand, twenty-five rows from the stage, enjoying the event of my lifetime.

HELP!

Released in the United States on July 19, 1965, Help stayed in the Top 40 for twelve weeks and held the Number One spot for three weeks. It became the title track for the movie and album of the same name and Lennon considered it a personal cry for help as he was going through insecurities at the time.

Insecurities were nothing new to me in 1965. I was a scrawny, homely mess in 1965, feeling down on myself because of my insecurities over dating and a rising fear over possibly having to serve in Vietnam. I would sing the song constantly that summer, releasing all of the pent-up emotions that had been hidden so deep within me. The Beatles spoke to me in that song as they did to millions of others during those uncertain times.

NOWHERE MAN

During the winter of 1966 I was finishing up high school and sending out college applications in hopes of continuing my education and yes, avoiding going to Vietnam. The War was weighing heavily on my mind in February when this song hit the charts. It spent nine weeks in the Top 40 and topped out at Number Three.

My dad was a World War II vet and was encouraging me (to put it mildly) to sign up for ROTC when I got to college. We were not getting along very well over the subject of Vietnam and I was torn between my love for my father and my distaste for that war. Needless to say this song was written just for me, or so it seemed, as I struggled with my uncertain future.

WHILE MY GUITAR GENTLY WEEPS

Recorded on July 25, 1968 as part of the “White Album,” this song was written by George Harrison and featured Eric Clapton on lead guitar. What a beautifully haunting song it was, and is still today.

The Vietnam War was escalating, protests were in high gear in the United States, I was in college and questioning everything about our world. “With every mistake we must surely be learning;” well, in my mind we as a species were not learning much of anything and I was depressed over the state of world affairs. My father and I were barely speaking as my awakening clashed with his beliefs and it was just a very hard time for our family and millions of families around the world.

HERE, THERE AND EVERYWHERE

I was in love for the first time in my life. Ah, the first love! Is there anyone out there who does not remember the first time? Eva was her name and it was the Summer of 1966. I was preparing to go off to college and The Beatles found the words and the music that said exactly what I was feeling about Eva that summer. How did they manage to see into my soul? How could they possibly know exactly what I was feeling?

Oh, the angst and hubris of youth!

LET IT BE

My father had been dead for a year when this song was released on March 11, 1970 and quickly rose to the Number One spot on the charts, selling one million copies in one month alone. I was lost without my best friend and mentor; my dad had been my greatest supporter and I was still walking in a daze because of his death and my almost overwhelming sense of loss.

http://billybuc.hubpages.com/hub/Remembering-My-Fathers-Death-January-9-1969

I was also about to graduate from college and that meant the draft. I had already received my draft lottery number, Lucky 87, and orders had arrived in the mail for me to appear for my Army physical in one month. This was, to put it mildly, a tough time in my young life and The Beatles managed to give me strength during those long Spring nights.

THE NIGHT THE MUSIC DIED

Of course, shortly after that recording The Beatles broke up to the shock and dismay of millions of fans. Life moved on, however, as it has a way of doing despite our permission.

I was refused admission into the Armed Forces because I was the only surviving son. I learned to stand on my own without my dad’s support and Eva found someone else, someone not nearly as moody and immature.

Eventually I married and eventually I divorced. Eventually I embraced alcoholism and eventually I was beaten down and had to climb back up again. Eventually I adopted a son and eventually I learned to handle life on life’s terms. Today I just keep moving forward, one step at a time, and with each step the words of The Beatles accompany me.

“I was alone I took a ride I didn’t know what I would find there.” What I found was life….happiness…and love. Thank you John, Paul, George and Ringo! It has been a great ride!

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Midget, they are timeless! Their songs have bridged fifty years of humans and they show no sign of losing popularity. Thank you my friend! You have good musical taste. :)

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 5 years ago from Singapore

      Not of their generation, but my dad is a guitarist who performs their music practically every day...so I grew up with them and love them lots. Love Till There Was You in particular, and Yesterday as well. Now that song will never be a yesterday, Bill! Awesome!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Julie, I agree completely! I can never really nail down my favorite. Thank you for reading a second time; that is above and beyond the call of duty.

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 5 years ago from North-East UK

      Second tie around Bill and still a great hub. My favourite of theirs is 'Blackbird'....or maybe 'Here, There and Everywhere', I change my mind regularly, the Beatles will do that, too many great songs.

      Voted up etc.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ishwaryaa! The Beatles will always be near and dear to my heart.

    • ishwaryaa22 profile image

      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 5 years ago from Chennai, India

      Another nostalgic hub in this Beatles trilogy! Good to know you went to this legendary band concert. Your life story interwined with the success story of the Beatles is woven nicely. Well-done!

      Thanks for SHARING. Beautiful & Interesting. Voted up.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are welcome Candie!

    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 5 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

      Thank you Bill!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hi Candie and thank you! I'll have to check out your site and see what I find.

    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 5 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

      Bill! This was just plain great! It's amazing to me that the really important times of my life/milestones are marked by specific songs/music, and I can be transported back to that time whenever those songs come on! I really enjoyed your Beatles hub! Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Randy, you are so right! I remember telling my mom and dad I needed to have a musical instrument so I could play in a rock band....next year they bought an organ. Go figure! Thanks for dropping by with your memories.

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      It is difficult to explain to someone who didn't live through the experience the effect the Beatles had on the young and the music of the time.

      I remember the next morning after the Ed Sullivan show how many of my friends had their normally short hair combed down as far as it would go over their foreheads. From greasers to eventually hippies, the trek began!

      SSSSS

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sally, one year later I was watching them live in Seattle and I was probably shaking every bit as much as you were while watching Ed Sullivan. Thank you for stopping by and sharing some memories.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, they are that and a whole bunch more. So much talent, so many memories...thank you for dropping by once again and your endless support.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hi Veronica and welcome to the silliness that is my site. I appreciate you dropping by and pimping for me. You have great taste in music my dear!

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      The Beatles will always be a reminder of my first love. 1964, Ed Sullivan, the Beatles' American debut. I watched the show in my boyfriend's house, with his mother. She asked me why my knees were so knocked together and why I was crying (couldn't help it, all that screaming on the show - a girl thing). OMG. What great memories. The Beatles are as fresh to me today as when I saw them as a young girl. They'll always be a part of what I store in my head as romance.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      The Beatles have so many amazing hits. They are truly a gift that keeps on giving.

    • VeronicaFarkas profile image

      Veronica Roberts 5 years ago from Ohio, USA

      My recessional song at my wedding is "All You Need is Love"! lol

      I deal quite a bit of Beatles as well (buying & selling records & such). Great hub, sir!!!!

      I love the Beatles, & this deep & meaningful hub!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Randy, I do believe they had that effect on many of us. Their music was so fresh, so alive, so born from a love of music...how could we not be affected? Thanks for that great comment.

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      How did the Beatles affect me? I became a musician and spent the next 20+ years of my life making music and money. They changed the way the world looked at music for young people, and the way young people looked at the world!

      SSSSS

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Uninvited, in that case you are a person of refined and exquisite taste. :) Thank you for dropping by and I will see you down the Long and Winding Road.

    • Uninvited Writer profile image

      Susan Keeping 5 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

      I'm a big Beatle's fan, I've written several hubs highlighting their music.

      Great hub.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eddy, they are timeless and that must be the mark of great musicians! Thank you my dear and may you have a weekend filled with happiness!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      Although they were a decade before I became a great follower of bands etc I did enjoy the music of the Beatles;and this hub is indeed a credit to them.

      Take care billy and have a wonderful weeked.

      Eddy.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Chris, I couldn't agree with you more...my son is 27 and he loves their music and sees the value in it. I appreciate you following along and I look forward to reading some of your hubs this evening.

    • CMerritt profile image

      Chris Merritt 5 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

      First of all, this is really good hub that I enjoyed reading.

      Second, I think the Beatles music was/is timeless....it is always enjoyable to hear....my 22 year old son adores thier music.

      Thanks for sharing.

      Chris

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michele, I love that story! I suspect there were quite a few children given names that were inspired by Beatles' songs. Thank you for sharing that and for taking the time to comment.

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 5 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      I love this hub!! My mother loved the Beatles, and so do I. Remember the song " Michelle ma Belle"? Well in french it can be spelled with one L or two. Anyway that was her favorite song because it came out right after I was born. She told me, when I was very little they wrote it for me. I used to believe her. But, I still love it. Thumbs up!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Flora, for someone only 36 you have a great deal of class and good taste. :) Thanks for dropping by and I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image

      FloraBreenRobison 5 years ago

      I am a huge fan of The Beatles. There are certain albums of theirs that I know more than others. But I grew up listening to them (yes, you heard right, though I'm 36)and have sung their music as a soloist and as a member of a choir- my favourite song to sing live is "In My Life." My favourite albums are Sgt. Pepper, The Magical mystery Tour, Number 1 hits, and Rubber soul. Mom loves The white album. I don't know most of the songs on it - Just the ones that hit number 1 or 2.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Teaches, there are more to come another day, but I wanted to get this first one done and then go from there. I'm glad you enjoyed my trip down Memory Lane and thank you for loyally following me.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Great coverage on the top Beatle hits. I remember when Let It Be came out and how it quickly rose through the ranks to number one. It still is a beautiful song today. It was good timing for you in dealing with the death of your father. Sorry your loss but glad the song helped you through the passing. Enjoyed your hub.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww, thank you Alecia. Even my mother and father liked them and that absolutely shocked me. They had the ability to reach beyond age, beyond race, beyond social status...it was, and is, great music.

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      I love the Beatles' music. My story's different since I was born long after they broke up and came of age in the Internet age. However, I was about 12 when their compilation album 1 came out and on a whim I decided to buy it. The commercial was pretty convincing and I also heard my mom talk about how she loved them as a kid. I remember once I bought that album, it was almost nonstop how much I listened to it. I still listened to my typical music for my generation but something about them gets stuck in my head and in my consciousness. Like sometimes I wake up and I start hearing "Here Comes the Sun" in my head or "Good Day Sunshine."

      I know for sure there will never be another Lennon/McCartney but I hope certainly we won't have to explain to future generations who they are. Wonderful hub! You brought back great memories and music!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alocsin, I truly hope what you say is true because I would hate to see their legacy die. Thank you as always for dropping by and being so kind.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      We are all dating ourselves in this homage to the Beatles. I'm told that in a recent music awards show, none of the young 'uns even knew who presenter Paul McCartney was. Your video will introduce the group to a whole new set of listeners. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome young lady! :)

    • savanahl profile image

      savanahl 5 years ago

      Yes I do live in WA. I think I did hear something about us Washingtonians being nicer or kinder...or something. Thanks for the compliment. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Megan, those happen to be two of my favorites...loved to sing "Why Don't We Do It In The Road" at the top of my lungs driving in the country. Thanks for dropping by.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Barbara; I learned a long time ago not to question what happens; my job is to only accept and move on. Thank you so much for the visit and comment.

    • meganandruth02 profile image

      meganandruth02 5 years ago

      Happiness isn't always a warm gun but it beat's doing it in the road.

      Good stuff!

    • PurvisBobbi44 profile image

      PurvisBobbi44 5 years ago from Florida

      billybuc,

      I am sorry about your first love, and yes, I am sure most of us remember them. But I have learned that it is also great that God does not answer all our prayers concerning the loves of our lives. I out grew most of mind--nothing in common.

      Yes, I love the song you selected for play for us.

      Thanks,

      Bobbi

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Savanah, I forgot you lived in Washington. You are a very sensitive and caring person and I am honored that you are following me.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Savannahl...you know, the interesting thing is that I don't consider it an unusual life or amazing..it just feels like I have lived a life. The nice thing is, though, that I can see the beauty and wonder in the things that have happened during my life. I think everyone has an interesting life if they are able to see it for what it is...a true wonder. Thank you once again for visiting. I really appreciate you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Wesman, I agree totally...unless it's something like " A Day In The Life" or "She's Leaving Home." Thanks for dropping by again; I do believe it is time for me to follow you.

    • savanahl profile image

      savanahl 5 years ago

      What an incredible story and what an amazing life you've led. I love the timeline of songs and how you correlated it with your life story. Very nicely done and so much emotions go into your writing, it brought tears to my eyes. Voted up and awesome.

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 5 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      They're very upbeat. I've always been able to get out of some depressive episodes by listening to the Beatles.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, I would have never guessed...love that song by Sledge, and anyone who has worked with Johnny Cash is alright by me. When I heard the Beatles in concert in 1965 the only song you could hear was "Yesterday"..the screaming drowned out every other song. Thank you as always for dropping by.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I was talking to someone last night about this, Deborah, and she asked which song was my favorite and I said "In My Life." It is a beautiful song indeed. Thank you so much for reading and enjoying.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ann; I can't imagine living in Britain and being of a certain age and not appreciating The Beatles. Hell, quite a few of us here in the states barely paid attention to England until the Beatles arrived...sad but true. I actually do like the early music better than the later stuff. Thank you for your continued support!

    • anndavis25 profile image

      anndavis25 5 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

      So that's the reason why I liked you from the beginning. I have a lot in common with a music lover. I am one.

      I have heard every song you mentioned. My teenagers listened to them at unreasonable decibels. They are burned in my brain. I love 'Yesterday'. It's a little quiter.

      I was a back-up singer for many years...Did you ever hear "When A Man Loves A Woman," by Percy Sledge? That's me and my group. Also worked with Johnny Cash and Charlie Rich....Yes, that's right, I'm an old dude! lol.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 5 years ago from Iowa

      I was a baby when "Help" was released but when I was in college in the 80s I worked at a restaurant where my boss played either the Beatles or the Grateful Dead all day long. I grew to love both, particularly the Beatles. I have all their number 1 hits on my IPod and like to listen to them all when I run. I get in a good run that way, because they have so many number 1 hits! My very favorite Beatles song is "In My Life." What a beautiful love song!

      Jacy, Revolver is my favorite of their albums.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 5 years ago from SW England

      Well now you've really done it Billy! As far as I'm concerned there is nothing to top the Beatles. I grew up with them too & I think they changed everyone's life (certainly here in Britain); even my Mum & Dad loved them! 'Here, there and everywhere' is one of my favourites, as are 'Eight days a Week' & 'Words of Love' (yes I know that's a Buddy Holly but the fab four's version's better!). There are so many fav songs for so many reasons; shame there are now only two Beatles left. I prefer the oldest songs but each one stirs a memory of something & somewhere & someone. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. Voted up, awesome, beautiful & interesting. Ann

    • albertsj profile image

      jacy albertson 5 years ago from Lake Mary, Fl

      Both

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Wayne, thank you for dropping by and commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed the trip down Memory Lane!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Judy my dear, you are a miracle in my life. So many years, and the friendship remains strong...love you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Funny weird or funny interesting? :)

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas

      Nicely done...lots of memories there for me as well. I totally agree that the Beatles opened up the face of music like nothing before or after them. WB

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      Judy 5 years ago

      So heart touching. One of my very favorite groups and I, too still listen to them.

      Thank you for sharing, except, I know you what a wonderful guy you were way back when :)

      Keep listening. They had such a great leading in your life.

    • albertsj profile image

      jacy albertson 5 years ago from Lake Mary, Fl

      It's funny, because now I never listen to them, yet this morning, I just listened to Revolver for some reason. ...Interesting.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Jacy; I think they had quite an impact on very many people. Your support is always greatly appreciated buddy.

    • albertsj profile image

      jacy albertson 5 years ago from Lake Mary, Fl

      The Beatles were also a huge part of my childhood! My parents listened to them, and I recall "Revolver" in particular. Wow, such memories. Fun, reminiscent hub, buddy. : )