Friday on Lubbock's First News, Christopher Smith, Director of the Vernacular Music Center at Texas Tech, spoke about the 50th anniversary of the Beatle's appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, which takes place on Sunday, and their influence on pop music.

Smith talked about the influence of the Beatles as they rose to fame 50 years ago. He said, "The Beatles would certainly be the first breaking wave of a new concept of what it was to be a pop musician, especially coming from Britain to America." Smith suggests the Beatles took advantage of the optimism of people toward the new decade. The 50s in Britain were described as a "grey" period of time, leading to the success of the Beatles first in Europe, then in the U.S. Smith said that as a music professor, he sees, "Even 50 years later, maybe 55 years later, young people who may have never heard that music before, they hear it and immediately respond to what is really high quality art."

Other Vernacular Music Center events, including one for Valentine's Day, can be found on their website. More information can also be obtained by emailing

Listen to the full interview:

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