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Thread: Some thoughts on the Beatles

  1. #1
    Ultimate Carrie Fan Farawayhills's Avatar
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    Some thoughts on the Beatles

    As Carrie has been chosen by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences to represent American music in their tribute to the Beatles, I thought it might be interesting to highlight some of the Beatles' early links to Country Music and Roots Rock. This side of their development may be relatively little known to Pop fans, but is actually very significant in their origins and evolution.

    On the day that Lennon & McCartney first worked together, they performed a cover of a 1920s song by Vernon Dalhart, "Putting On The Style". Dalhart was one of the first commercially successful Country stars (probably best known today for the classic "Wreck of the Old 97")

    This is the Dalhart recording that interested the young men who were later to become the Beatles:

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    Insane Carrie Fan gaycarebear's Avatar
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    I love me some Vernon. Thanks for this! (smiley)

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    Ultimate Carrie Fan Farawayhills's Avatar
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    The fact that that song interested them, in their early performance at Woolton Parish Church inn the mid '50s, was due to the influence of Lonnie Donegan - an artist who had an enormous impact on the emerging teenage culture in England, and not least on the guys who shaped the Mersey Sound (a movement in which the Beatles shared, but were by no means unique). Donegan, in turn, was influenced by US Country stars, natably early Opry legend Uncle Dave Macon.

    Here is Lonnie Donegan with his version of a well-known Woody Guthrie song:

    Last edited by Farawayhills; 09-18-2013 at 08:51 PM.
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    Ultimate Carrie Fan Carrieflattsfan's Avatar
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    Concert Stars
    Not a Beatles fan at all, but it's truly amazing that Carrie is one of the artists chosen to honor them.

    An artist who's chosen to pay tribute to legendary artists like the Beatles, Micheal Jackson, The Eagles and Elvis Presley has to be pretty damn amazing. Add to that the fact that's she has fans in Steven Tyler, Randy Travis, Loretta Lynn, Wille Nelson, The Rolling Stones, Dolly, and Don Henley.

    You cannot get much more respected amongst a wider group of legendary artists, and I'm really proud and excited for Carrie for that. She is one of the best, and it only says that much more when the best of the best say so.
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    Ultimate Carrie Fan Farawayhills's Avatar
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    The group in which John Lennon, Paul McArtney and the 14 year old George Harrison all played was first called the Quarrymen (named after the school some of them attended). The Quarrymen played in a Rockabilly/Skiffle influenced style, and were regarded as Lonnie Donegan "followers". It's interesting to note that John Lennon was first taught to play banjo by a female relative, who later showed the boys how to tune guitars like a banjo. This is an example of the Quarrymen's style (a Buddy Holley cover)




    It's interesting that the surviving members of the Quarrymen (without McArtney) still tour and perform, and have retained a more Roots style than the later Beatles. If anyone is interested, they give an interview here, with several details about the history of the early days, with the boys who became the super group. They make the point their role was taking American Roots Music back to its homeland and repaying a stylistic debt
    The Quarrymen Interview (Part 1) - YouTube
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    Carrie Guru epicamends's Avatar
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    I cannot wait to see what Carrie performs.

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    Ultimate Carrie Fan Farawayhills's Avatar
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    Two further links of interest are
    - that when they moved on from the Quarrymen to form the better known super-group, the name they chose was inspired by Buddy Holley's Lubbock TX group, the Crickets ("Beatles" was also thought up as an "insect" name, with the spelling changed to reflect the idea of "beat" music). Their early commercial breakthrough was a cover of the Cricket's "That'll Be the Day"
    - and writer Paul McArtney conceived a 60s release "All My Loving" as a "Country and Western" song, incorporating contemporary Nashville guitar styles. That was one of the songs performed on their American debut, which is being commemorated at the Emmys.

    The Beatles later links with Country Music were mainly due to their friendship with Bakersfield Sound artist, Buck Owens. They corresponded regularly, and adopted the habit of sending each other advance copies of their respective recordings.

    This lyrically light hearted, but musically significant hit by Buck Owens, was one that particularly appealed to the Beatles:


  • #8
    Ultimate Carrie Fan Farawayhills's Avatar
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    When the Beatles covered that song, their version was unusual in that drummer Ringo Starr took vocal lead:




    Whether Carrie (whose mother briefly lived in Bakersfield) might be interested in that song, I've no idea - but I wil say this:

    Given the links and the shared heritage, Carrie is the ideal choice to perform a tribute. And I can think of no one better to represent contemporary American music in a celebration of a group much loved on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond.


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