The Beatle Myth

The British Invasion of American Popular Music, 1956–1969


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About the Book

Did the Beatles originate the Beatle haircut? boots? collarless jackets? No. Did they start the trend of self-contained rock groups (three guitarists and a drummer) composing their own hits? No. Did the British musical invasion end American performers’ careers? Dominate American music charts? No and no. Surprised? Relying on music industry data (Top 40 and 100 lists, U.S. and U.K. hits by British groups, British groups’ hits on the 1964 U.S. charts, 1980s television commercials employing “oldies” music, and other comparisons), The Beatle Myth rebuts the revisionist rock historians who greatly exaggerated the impact of the Beatles and other British groups upon the U.S. pop music scene beginning in 1964. Widely held (and cherished!) myths that have grown over the years are debunked in the process.

About the Author(s)

Michael Bryan “Doc Rock” Kelly lives in Columbia, South Carolina.

Bibliographic Details

Michael Bryan “Doc Rock” Kelly

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 231
Bibliographic Info: 3 photos, tables, appendices, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014 [1991]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9358-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Introduction 1

1. The Beatles British Invasion Story 12
2. The American Roots of the Beatles British Invasion 56
3. 144 “Yeah Yeah Yeah’s” Can’t Be Wrong! 96
4. The Beatles vs. The Teen Idols 115
5. Who Won the Battle of the Beatles British Invasion? 127
6. Summary 173

Afterword with Bobby Vee 182
Appendix A: Chronologies 189
Appendix B: Roots of the Beatles British Invasion 192
Appendix C: A Chronological “Yeah Yeah Yeah” Discograghy 195
Bibliography 201
Index 203

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Kelly’s research is fascinating”—Classic Images
  • “refreshing”—Library Journal
  • “Kelly presents a variety of comparative lists, focusing on hit records and artists…valuable research information”—Choice
  • “a whole mass of material for your trivia quizzes”—BASCA news
  • “Michael did his homework quite well…recommended”—Beatles Unlimited Magazine