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50 years ago today, he ended The Beatles' epic run atop the charts

posted May 9, 2014, 8:02 AM by Unknown user   [ updated May 9, 2014, 8:04 AM ]
By Trey Barrineau May 9, 2014 3:02 am

(Photo11: Blank on Blank)

It’s the 50th anniversary of a landmark day in music history.

On May 9, 1964, The Beatles’ unprecedented 14-week run atop the Billboard Hot 100 came to an end.

“I say in speeches that a plausible mission of artists is to make people appreciate being alive at least a little bit. I am then asked if I know of any artists who pulled that off. I reply, ‘The Beatles did.” – Kurt Vonnegut

And it was another extraordinary artist who knocked the Liverpool lads off their perch — Louis Armstrong, with Hello Dolly.

“Armstrong is to music what Einstein is to physics and the Wright Brothers are to travel.” — Ken Burns, producer of the documentary ‘Jazz’

It was quite a moment for Satchmo, who hadn’t hit the Top 40 since 1956. Since February of 1964, The Beatles had controlled the No. 1 position for 14 weeks with three consecutive records (I Want to Hold Your Hand, She Loves You, Can’t Buy Me Love). On April 4, they pulled off the never-equalled feat of occupying the top five slots on the chart.

Armstrong only held No. 1 for a week, but that was long enough to make history.

Source: USA Today