50 years later, long and winding memories for Grand Strand Beatles fans
Fri, 07 Feb 2014 23:08:45 GMT —
A Magical Mystery Tour began fifty years ago Friday, when four young men from England landed in New York and changed music forever.
It was the Beatles invasion.
Two nights later, February 9, 1964, 73 million Americans, more than one-third of the population, were watching as Ed Sullivan introduced the four lads from Liverpool who sparked a revolution.
Among those watching was Robert Blair, who's now an engineer at WPDE, but back then was an 11-year-old in Mobile, Alabama.
"I was like, I want to do this. This is something I really want to do," Blair recalled of that moment in front of his parents' black-and-white TV set.
Within two years, Blair had his first electric guitar, and soon after embarked on a 30 year career in music, performing around the world with groups like the Platters.
And it all started with the Fab Four.
"It just seemed like it was something I was meant to do, it just felt natural."
What felt natural for Diane DeVaughn Stokes of Myrtle Beach, 12 years old at the time, was going crazy for Paul McCartney.
"I was screaming and hollering. First thing. I mean I didn't even have to wait for all the other teenagers to be screaming and hollering, it was awesome," Stokes recalls.
Fifty years later, she's still a big Beatles fan. Stokes and her husband went to a Paul McCartney concert in the 90's and she cried through the whole thing.
"Because I was so taken back by all the Beatles songs that he sang and each one reminded me of a traumatic time during that period."
Twin brothers Bruce and Brian McElroy were just seven years old in '64, but an older brother turned them on to the music, and today, they're The Fab 2, performing Beatles songs at venues around the Grand Strand.
They say there's just something about that music.
"It was catchy, it was the beginning of that generation, our generation's intense sound," said Bruce McElroy.
"It had beef to it, it had melodic sense. It sent you into a new ground, being young, youth," Brian added.
It's been a long and winding road since 1964, but Blair says one thing hasn't changed.
"Look at it today. Fifty years later and they're still going strong."