CULLOWHEE – “1964: The Tribute,” a band that re-creates the early music of the Beatles, will perform at 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9, in the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center at Western Carolina University.
The performance at WCU will take place on the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ first appearance in the United States. Nearly 74 million people tuned in to watch “The Ed Sullivan Show” on CBS-TV on Sunday night, Feb. 9, 1964, to see the mop-haired Brits, all in their early 20s, play and sing five songs. It was the largest television audience in history at the time.
Now in its 30th year, “1964: The Tribute” has performed to sold-out audiences at Carnegie Hall in New York and many other arenas around the world. The group has been featured on PBS, “Entertainment Tonight,” “PM Magazine,” CNN, the USA Network and The Nashville Network.
The band’s concert focuses on the Beatles’ early touring years, a period of time well documented in photos, films and by eyewitness accounts.
Rolling Stone magazine has described the show as the “best Beatles tribute on earth.” The group’s performance is based on research of the Beatles’ singing voices, instruments, clothing, haircuts and conversations on stage.
“‘1964: The Tribute’ shows the audience what it was like to attend a Beatles concert in the early 1960s and generates the feeling of happiness of the music,” said Mark Benson, who plays John Lennon. The other band members are Mac Ruffing as Paul McCartney, Tom Work as George Harrison and Bobby Potter as Ringo Starr.
“1964: The Tribute” is part of the annual Galaxy of Stars Series, which debuted at WCU in 2005. All shows take place in the 900-seat Bardo Arts Center. Performances for the remainder of the season include Squirm Burpee Circus, featuring comedy and circus-style acts, at 5 p.m. Sunday, March 2; and the long-running Broadway musical “The Fantasticks” at 5 p.m. Sunday, April 27.
The Feb. 9 show is sponsored by Sylva dentists Patrick McGuire and David McGuire and the Smoky Mountain News.
The concert also is connected to WCU’s campuswide interdisciplinary learning theme for the 2013-14 academic year, “1960s: Take It All In.” As part of the theme, students, faculty and staff are studying and discussing the lessons and legacies of the decade, which was marked by political upheaval, scientific accomplishments, extensions of pop culture, artistic expression, feminism and civil rights.
Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for WCU faculty and staff, and $5 for students and children. For tickets and additional information, contact the Bardo Arts Center box office at 828-227-2479 or visit the website bardoartscenter.wcu.edu.