Biography and History of Famous Rock Band The Beatles Part 2

About the famous singers and songwriters English band The Beatles, history and biography of Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Starr.

The Beatles: John Lennon (1940- ), Paul McCartney (1942- ), George Harrison (1943- ), Ringo Starr (1940- ).

Their humor grew from their working-class backgrounds. John was born during a heavy Nazi air raid on Liverpool, October 9, 1940. His patriotic mother, Julia, named him John Winston Lennon. His father, an itinerant seaman raised in a Liverpool orphanage, had deserted her before the birth. His mother remarried but left John, for the most part, to be raised by Mimi, one of her 4 sisters, and Mimi's dairyman husband. John did little in school but earn a reputation as a practical joker and leading troublemaker.

Paul McCartney, by contrast, was a charming, articulate young lad. He was sexually inquisitive, won literary prizes for his essays, and conformed to his mother's expectations until she died of cancer at age 45, when Paul was 14. He simultaneously took up guitar and lost interest in school. His 1st attempts at guitar were frustrated until he realized he was left-handed, which forced him to play the guitar "upside-down."

George, the youngest of 4 children, born February 25, 1943, attended Dovedale Primary where, unknowingly, Johnny Lennon was 3 grades ahead of him. George hated school, especially what he considered the hypocrisy of the teachers. He grew into adolescence as a Teddy-boy with long hair, flashy clothes, and blue suede shoes.

Ringo had a most anguished early childhood. His father left when he was 3. At age 6, he spent a year in the hospital for appendicitis. He was hospitalized repeatedly for pleurisy between the ages of 13 and 16. But despite his health problems he became a happy, easygoing youth, and began playing drums in his hospital ward band.

"Love Me Do" was released in 1962, reaching No. 17 on British charts; 1963 was a building year, The Beatles reaching No. 1 with 4 tunes and also appearing in concerts. Then the boyish, head-bobbing group sparked "Beatlemania," an exaggerated state of teen-age hysteria. After a $50,000 publicity campaign by U.S.-based Capitol Records, The Beatles appeared on "The Ed Sullivan Show" in February, 1964, where they nervously goofed their lyrics but were seen by 73 million viewers. According to biographer Davies, evangelist Billy Graham broke a strict rule and watched TV on the Sabbath to see The Beatles, whom he labeled a passing fad.

In March, 1964, The Beatles devastated the American market, taking the 1st 5 out of the top 10 in Billboard. Their songs included "Can't Buy Me Love," "Please Please Me," "She Loves You," and "I Want to Hold Your Hand"--which was the top record of the year, and eventually sold over 3 million copies. At one time, The Beatles had 12 songs on the Billboard hot 100, and held an incredible 9 songs in the Canadian top 10.

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