The Beatles were an English band formed in Liverpool, England in 1960. The members were John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. Their first years consisted of playing in clubs in Liverpool and Hamburg. Their hit "Love Me Do" gained them popularity in the UK, and were nicknamed the "Fab Four". By 1964, "Beatlemania" grew and lead the British Invasion of the United States pop music market. They broke up in 1970.
The four-member band from Liverpool, England, known as The Beatles became one of the most popular rock and roll bands in history. The band was originally formed as the Quarrymen by John Lennon (1940–1980) in 1956 but soon became The Beatles. The band consisted of three other members: George Harrison (1943– ), Paul McCartney (1942– ), and Ringo Starr (1940– ). Their first single record, "Love Me Do," was released on October 5, 1962. On January 12, 1963, the song "Please Please Me" was released and became an instant hit. Other hits from their first album included "She Loves You" and "I Want to Hold Your Hand." Their follow-up album With The Beatles was released in 1964 and established them as Britain's favorite group.
"Beatlemania" spread from England to the United States on February 7, 1964, when the "Fab Four" arrived at Kennedy International Airport in New York City and were met by a mob of over 10,000 screaming fans and 110 police officers. Two days later they made their legendary television debut on the Ed Sullivan Show which skyrocketed them to fame. By April of that year they held the top five positions on best-selling records charts.
The Beatles evolved through many different musical phases, winning fans from all age groups and social categories. They decided to dissolve the band on April 10, 1970, feeling they had exhausted their possibilities as a group. Each member went on to solo careers with varying success. In 1980 John Lennon was shot to death by a fan, and his death was mourned around the world. The Beatles were perhaps the most influential band of the twentieth century and have left their permanent mark on the history of rock and roll.
Further Information: Di Lello, Richard. The Longest Cocktail Party. Ann Arbor: Mich.: Popular Culture, Ink., 1983; Goodgold, Edwin. The Complete Beatles Quiz Book. New York: Bell Publishing, 1975; Harald Gernhardt's Beatles Page. [Online] Available http://rgo.simplenet.com/beatles/, October 23, 2000; Riley, Tim. Tell Me Why. New York: Knopf, 1988; Spence, Helen. The Beatles. New York: Vintage Books, 1989.