Penn Libraries Symposium, Exhibition Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Beatles’ U.S. TV Performance

The University of Pennsylvania Libraries marks the 50th anniversary of the Beatles television performance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in 1964 with an exhibit of a variety of printed materials of the group and a two-day symposium about the band’s influence on pop culture and rock music.

Penn Libraries’ Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books & Manuscripts is launching a special exhibit, “Tomorrow Never Knows: The Beatles in Text and Image” on Feb. 24. The exhibit, which runs through Aug. 11, will explore the phenomenon of the “Fab Four’s” popularity that spawned a musical and cultural revolution during the rapidly changing political and social climate of the 1960s. The items on display in the Kamin Gallery on the first floor of the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center will include items such as paperback books, periodicals, ephemera and signed editions dating from 1964 to the present.

Materials in the exhibit come from the personal collection of David McKnight, director of the Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

McKnight began planning the symposium two years ago. An avid book collector and Beatles’ fan, McKnight said his interest in the group resurfaced with the 1995 publication of “The Beatles Anthology.”

“I was impressed with the range and volume of high-end publications documenting The Beatles’ career,” said McKnight, “I’m excited to convene a panel of experts who will be able to illuminate the broader cultural meaning that can be derived from the study of these text-based materials.”
The symposium on the Beatles will be held Feb. 28–March 1 and will include authors, music industry experts and professors whom have studied and taught about the Beatles.
Participants in the symposium:
·      Larry Kane (keynote address): Philadelphia author, journalist and broadcaster, author of two books on the Beatles and one on John Lennon and one of the journalists who accompanied the Beatles on their first tour of America.
·      Walter Everett: University of Michigan, professor of music theory and a leading expert on the music of the Beatles.
·      Gordon Thompson: Skidmore College, professor of music who will explores the Beatles in the context of the British Invasion.
·      Al Sussman: executive editor of Beatle fan Mmagazine and former radio analyst for ASCAP. He has just published an new book, “'Changin' Times: 101 Days That Shaped A Generation” with Parading Press.
·      Donna Parsons: University of Iowa, professor of English who teaches courses on the cultural impact of the Beatles.
·      Jude Southerland Kessler: author of “She Loves You,” the third volume of her nine-volume biography of John Lennon.
·      Eugene Halus: Immaculata University, professor of history who teaches a course on the politics and reception of John Lennon.
·      Anthony DeCurtis: University of Pennsylvania, faculty lecturer in the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing and a contributing editor at Rolling Stone Magazine. DeCurtis has published numerous articles and reviews on the Beatles during the past 30 years.
Registration and additional information are available

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