Supplementary Materials
to 9th Grade Program
The Beatles
Supplementary Materials
to 10th Grade Program
Additional Reading

The Beatles


Nicknamed "The Fab Four", The Beatles were John Lennon (19401980), Paul McCartney (1942), George Harrison (19432001), and Ringo Starr (1940).

The Beatles were a British rock music group from Liverpool , England . They were highly regarded for both their artistic achievements and their considerable commercial success, and have amassed an enormous worldwide fan base that continues to exist to this day. The group shattered many sales records and charted more than fifty top 40 hit singles. They were the first British pop act to achieve major and ongoing success in the United States (US), scoring twenty #1 hits in the USA alone. They became the biggest musical act of the twentieth century.

Their own compositions in their early days emulated the musical styles of their heroes. After a while their own musical ideas started to emerge and their music developed its own distinctive hallmarks. Within the space of five years, their music evolved from the simple exuberance of their early hits (such as " She Loves You " and " I Want to Hold Your Hand ") to artistically ambitious suites of songs (such as the albums Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and Abbey Road ). By writing their own songs, expanding the possibilities of the recording studio, and striving for quality, variety and originality in every recording they released, The Beatles had far-reaching effects on popular music.

The song writing duo of Lennon-McCartney remains to this day the most successful in the world. Their ballad " Yesterday " written and sung by Paul McCartney (though officially credited as written by Lennon-McCartney) is the most-recorded song in the history of recorded music.

In 1970 Paul McCartney announced that he was leaving the Beatles, citing personal, business and musical differences and the group went their separate ways.

Today, The Beatles are a world-wide legend. Their music will be remembered and loved for many generations to come.

Rhythm guitarist John Lennon was known for his political activism, as well as his love for guitar-based rock and roll. He penned such songs as "Help!, "In My Life, Strawberry Fields Forever, I Am the Walrus" and "Across the Universe, to name a few.

John Lennon was shot and killed on December 8, 1980 in New York City by a mentally ill fan.

Bassist Paul McCartney , frequently praised for his exceptional melodic gifts, penned the most frequently recorded song in history, the ballad "Yesterday. Some of his other notable compositions for the group include "Eleanor Rigby, "Hey Jude", and "Let It Be" among others.

Paul McCartney continues his musical career as a solo artist and with his band, Paul McCartney and Wings.

Drummer Ringo Starr did not compose many songs for The Beatles but customarily sang one song on each album.

Ringo continues his musical career as a solo artist. He has also been involved in children's TV programs in the United States .

Lead guitarist George Harrison emerged during the band's later period as a distinctive and talented songwriter apart from Lennon and McCartney, penning such well-regarded songs as "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", "Something", and "Here Comes the Sun". He is also known for introducing some exotic elements into the group's sound, including Indian instruments such as the sitar.

George Harrison died in Los Angeles , California on November 29, 2001, at the age of 58. His death was ascribed to lung cancer.


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