The band may have ended in 1970 as a recording group, but its life story and their music has continued to remain popular through several generations. This course will present a chronological history of the band with emphasis on their music, as well as discussions on their influence on popular culture. The Beatles Anthology will serve as the reading text. Participants are encouraged to bring memorabilia to share with the class and relate their own personal stories of The Beatles.
Carl Rath ’75 teaches bassoon and courses in popular music at the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music in Appleton, WI. He is Emeritus Professor of Music at the University of Oklahoma following a 31-year tenure on the faculty of the School of Music. At OU, he created two senior-level courses for the Honors College in the 1990s: The Development of Popular Music from 1954 to 1979 and The Beatles: Four Lads Who Shook the World. His presentations on The Beatles were very popular as a member of the OU Speakers Service, presenting to a wide variety of audiences ranging from young teens to retirees. In 2010, he was guest performer, music arranger, and speaker with the Chinook Wind Quintet, in residence with the Great Falls (MT) Symphony Orchestra, presenting an hour-long program, The All-Ages Guide to The Beatles. Since coming to Lawrence University in 2012, he has continued teaching the courses and has made presentations on The Beatles for the Wausau Library, Reunion College, and the Bjӧrklunden Seminar.
Rath was 10 years old when he first heard and saw The Beatles on that most memorable of nights, Feb. 9th, 1964. His interest in popular music grew alongside his formal music training on bassoon, as he started playing the drums. He kept his passion for The Beatles and Rock ’n’ Roll in check during his post-secondary education in music at Lawrence University and the University of Denver. His enthusiasm for popular music also inspired him to form a classic rock band, MidLife Crysis, with faculty colleagues in the OU School of Music that continued to perform for 24 years, even receiving a civic award from the local Chamber of Commerce. For 20 years, he produced sold-out shows at OU featuring the ‘best Beatles tribute in the world’ (Rolling Stone Magazine), 1964... as the Beatles (later, ‘1964...the Tribute’). He was hired as orchestra conductor for the band for their symphony shows appearing in Ft. Worth, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia.