Beatles professor celebrates 50 years of musical magic

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INDIANAPOLIS – As Americans get ready to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Beatles coming to the U.S., one local teacher has been sharing his love for the rock band every single day.

It is often called the soundtrack of a generation and it’s a magical musical world in which Doug Babb is still living.

It was 1964 and Babb was just 10 years old when a rock band from England made its debut on the Ed Sullivan Show.

Like so many, he instantly fell in love with the Beatles. Today, Babb teaches that love at IUPUI in a class called ‘The Music of the Beatles.’

“The cliché, the soundtrack of a generation, is not overused when you talk about the Beatles,” he said.

Babb explained while the band’s success seems like it happened overnight, it was actually part of a “carefully orchestrated plan.”

“Already well known in England and throughout Europe, the Beatles decided not to come to America until they had a No. 1,” he said. After releasing early singles, Capitol Records took notice and released “I Want to Hold Your Hand” on December 26, 1963. By February 1, 1964, it was number one.

Most of Babb’s students weren’t even born when the Beatles first invaded America, but they are learning why it was so important.

“We wouldn’t have any kind of music we have today without them, because they went out and did something different,” said IUPUI senior Greg Wire.

“They really brought American history back to America, re-vitalized Rock and Roll and it really hasn’t stopped since,” explained Babb.

If you want to relive ‘Beatlemania’ Babb will D.J. two events celebrating the 50th anniversary this month. On Friday, join Babb as he plays the English rock group’s records in the order of their release from 7 p.m. to midnight at Smee’s Place on 1454 W. 86th St in Indianapolis. Then on Feb. 16th, Babb will play The Beatles music at 2 p.m. at Indy CD and Vinyl at 806 Broad Ripple Ave during the store’s five-hour salute to the band.