Of course, I soon realized that this group was the same one I was hearing on the radio all the time (I think "Hey Jude" was the first Beatles song I remember knowing). So I knew who The Beatles were (and what they sounded like) pretty early. While I was growing up it seemed like they were everywhere: Paul McCartney sang "Live and Let Die" and "Band On The Run," Ringo Starr was on the radio with "Photograph" and other hits, and the band itself was mentioned on Saturday Night Live almost every other week. As I got older, I learned to recognize super-hits like "All You Need Is Love" and ""She Loves You," as well as more obscure songs like "Helter Skelter" (which to this day I simply can't listen to!) and "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." And of course, I was only 16 when John Lennon was murdered, leading to the subsequent huge increase in "Beatlemania." This also led to George Harrison returning to the world stage.
The Beatles, for several reasons, were a phenomenon that no one has ever been able to replicate. There has never been any other group, musical or otherwise, like them. The newest Justin Bieber or Hannah Montana are nothing like the popularity that The Fab Four had to deal with. Think about it: How many other rock-and-roll bands are there where the majority of people can name all the members? John, Paul, George, and Ringo...you don't even need their last names. When they burst onto the scene they were still trying to fit into the "band uniform" characterizations, but by the end of their professional life together they had become four indidvidual musicians. Just look at the two photos above and below this paragraph for proof.
I think it was Paul who said the reason they were so successful was just because they were a hell of a good rock and roll band. That they were. And so, so much more.
I leave you now with one of my all-time favorite Beatles' songs, "HELP!"