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Resurgence Of The Beatles In Popular Culture Since The Death Of Michael Jackson

Master metaphysician Rev. Phil Valentine predicted that after the death of Michael Jackson, there would be a resurgence in the Beatles music in popular culture venues such as advertising, commercials and movies.

Recent trends indicate that Rev. Phil Valentine was correct in his analysis.

Michael Jackson passed away on June 25, 2009 and since then the musical legacy of the Beatles  has quietly found new popularity. This is particularly interesting since Jackson owned the publishing rights to the Beatles music and the heightened popularity of the Beatles music was not achieved during his  life time.

The connection between the music of the Beatles and Michael Jackson is through Jackson’s association with former Beatles band member Paul McCartney. Jackson and McCartney collaborated on the songs The Girl Is Mine  (1982) and Say, Say Say in 1983.  It was during the recording of Say, Say, Say in London that McCartney and Jackson had conversations which would lead to Jackson buying the music catalogue in 1985.

” While at the dining table one evening, Paul McCartney brought out a booklet that displayed all of the songs to which he owned the publishing rights. “This is the way to make big money”, the musician informed Jackson. “Every time someone records one of these songs, I get paid. Every time someone plays these songs on the radio, or in live performances, I get paid.”

The relationship between Jackson and McCartney became strained after the former’s purchase of the Beatles publishing rights. McCartney reportedly wanted Jackson to renegotiate the terms of royalties paid to the Beatles but Jackson balked at the suggestion leading to rupture in the relationship.

McCartney wanted Jackson to do something he never practiced in his own business dealings. Currently McCartney owns  MPL Communications owns the copyrights to more than 3,000 songs, including all of the songs written by Buddy Holly, along with the publishing rights to such musicals as Guys and Dolls, A Chorus Line, and Grease. McCartney is one of the UK’s wealthiest people, with an estimated fortune of £475 million in 2010.

McCartney and the other Beatles are indebted to Black music which they copied and in the case of McCartney profited from in more ways than one.

The Beatles McCartney was heavily influenced by American Rhythm and Blues music. He has stated that Little Richard was his idol and when he was in school and always wanted to sing like him.  McCartney’s first song he ever sang in public was Little Richard’s  “Long Tall Sally”, at a Butlins holiday camp talent competition.  During their co-residency with Little Richard at the Star Club in Hamburg from April to May 1962, he advised them on the proper technique for performing his songs.  British promoter Don Arden booked him for an October tour of the country, with a then little-known The Beatles as an opening act. Little Richard thought he was going to perform gospel music, but Arden had promoted the concert as a rock and roll show. On the first night of the tour he began performing gospel music, but gave in to the pressure and began performing his secular hits. He walked off to a standing ovation. The frenzied crowd reaction was to be repeated wherever he appeared. Little Richard describes meeting the Beatles, including teaching Paul McCartney his “woo holler.”

McCartney  at one time owned Little Richard’s music , which Little Richard did not receive his music catalogue until Michael Jackson returned it to him after purchasing the Beatles music publishing rights.

Paul McCartney reportedly wrote the Beatles song “Lady Madonna” in an emulation of Domino‘s style. Both John Lennon and Paul McCartney later recorded Fats Domino songs.

The Beatles covered Chuck Berry more often than any other artist’s in performances throughout their career.

The Black owned Vee-Jay Records owned the distribution of early Beatles material such as “Please Please Me” and “From Me to You”  and “Love Me Do”, “Twist and Shout”, and “Do You Want to Know a Secret?” via its subsidiary Tollie Records. Capitol Records initially refused to release Beatles records which Vee-Jay owned the distribution rights.

Vee-Jay’s releases were at first unsuccessful, but quickly became huge hits once the British Invasion took off in early 1964, selling 2.6 million Beatles singles in a single month.

The resurgence of the Beatles follows the path of the inspiration and African-American musical models which they drew from in their early years.

Paul McCartney on December 13, 2010 performed at the historic Apollo Theatre.

The invitation only show was organized by Sirius XM Radio and broadcast live for its subscribers in recognition of the 20-millionth subscription. It was McCartney’s first time playing at the legendary Apollo.

Currently there is a Broadway production titled “Rain” which pays homage to the Beatles music legacy. The production “Rain” made its Broadway debut at the Niel Simon Theatre on October 19, 2010 and ran for 11 weeks. Due to popular demand “Rain” will resume performances at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on February 8, 2011.

Zack O’Malley Greenburg of Forbes Magazine in his article “Michael Jackson:Secret Business Genius? wrote:

“Perhaps the best move of Jackson’s financial career was one that had nothing to do with his own music. In 1985, he shelled out $47.5 million to buy a publishing catalog that included 250 Beatles songs. Ten years later Sony paid Jackson $90 million for half the rights, forming a joint venture called Sony/ATV.

Today, the Jackson estate and Sony share ownership of the catalog, which now boasts half a million songs including titles by Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, Eminem and other artists. Insiders place the catalog’s value somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.5 billion, based on estimated proceeds of $50 million to $100 million per year. The estimate marks a 3,000% increase in value from the catalog’s initial purchase price — better than the 1,650% return on Class A shares of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway since 1990.

“You’re talking about the greatest catalog in existence,” Ryan Schinman, chief of Platinum Rye, the world’s largest buyer of music and talent for corporations, told me shortly after Jackson’s death. “When you have that many No. 1 hits in a catalog, you almost can’t put a price on it.”

One of Jackson’s best business habits was to keep shrewd advisers around him. Perhaps the best example is superstar entertainment attorney John Branca, who negotiated many lucrative deals for Jackson and has done a remarkable job with the singer’s estate thus far. Many praise Jackson for bringing in Quincy Jones to work on Thriller, but it was Branca who scored the industry-leading royalty rate that The Gloved One enjoyed at the time (nearly $2 per album sold), allowing him to reap untold profits from what turned out to be the best-selling album of all time.

Throughout his career, Jackson also sought the advice of other shrewd businessmen, including billionaires David Geffen and Ron Burkle. The latter urged Jackson to keep his stake in the Sony/ATV catalog at all costs, even when the singer was in dire financial trouble during the 2000s. The catalog’s value today is a testament to the wisdom of both Jackson and Burkle.”

The resurgence of the Beatles in popular culture is following the same path that led to their initial fame, which is through their association with Black music and culture. We see evidence of  this association in the following way:

  1. Beatles were inspired , imitated and stole from the giants of Black music such as Little Richard, Fats Domino and Chuck Berry. The Beatles were also inspired by Elvis Presley. Elvis Presley was a model of how to steal from Black music to gain fame and wealth. What many people don’t know that Elvis Presley most popular songs such as “All Shook Up” and “Don’t Be Cruel” were written by a BLACK MAN named Otis Blackwell. “Hound Dog” another popular song of Elvis was first performed by Blues  singer Big Mama Thorton, who recorded the song in 1952.
  2.  Beatles made their debut on the Ed Sullivan show on February 9, 1964.  February is Black History Month.
  3. The current  Broadway production Rain is not the first time that “Rain” appeared with a Beatles related artistic work. The B side of Paul McCartney’s and Michael Jackson’s “The Girl Is Mine” was the song “Can’t Get Outta The Rain”.
  4. McCartney for the first time played at the Apollo Theatre  on December 13, 2010. The Apollo Theatre in New York City is renowned for launching the career of many greats in Black music.
  5. The sponsor for McCartney’s “invitation only” event at the Apollo Theatre was Sirius XM. Sirius is the name of the star system whose existence was known to people of Kemet and today’s Dogon people of Mali.

Michael Jackson’s ownership of the Beatles music catalogue reversed the pattern where only whites profited from Black music. Some have speculated that Michael Jackson’s power move was not welcomed by the white corporate structure and Paul McCartney in particular. 

Could it be the case that McCartney who is “Sir James Paul McCartney” used his connections with the Royal family as well as with other elites to restore the “Black Labor, White Wealth” paradigm  and regain control of the Beatles music by undermining Michael Jackson?

To truly appreciate how the popular culture phenomenon of the Beatles followed the same pattern of the general society where whites exploited the creative energy of people of African ancestry, we can just examine where the Beatles originally lived.

The Beatles were from Liverpool, England. Liverpool according to the  International Slavery Museum in Liverpool, England:

“Liverpool ships carried about 1.5 million enslaved Africans across on approximately 5000 voyages, the vast majority going to the Caribbean. Around 300 voyages were made to North America – to the Carolinas, Virginia and Maryland.

The ships returned to Europe with goods such as sugar, cotton, coffee and tobacco. Liverpool grew rich on the back of trading in enslaved people.”

Enslaved Africans were vital to the financial and economic life of the area of Liverpool, England an unknown observer stated the following:

I have not come here to be insulted by a set of wretches, every brick in whose infernal town is cemented with an African’s blood. “


 ©VisionThought 2011. All Rights Reserved

15 Responses to “Resurgence Of The Beatles In Popular Culture Since The Death Of Michael Jackson”

  1. I really like your transitions and clarity. I have been producing for Ghost Writers for a while now, and they pay me good to write blog posts like this, or articles. I clear $100-$200 on a poor evening.
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    • Hi,
      I do not know about Mechanical Royalties in England, but you mean to tell me that .09 cents per song sold wasn’t eventually turned over to Little Richard and Chuck Berry as practiced in American Copyright Laws? For the songs that the Beatles re-recorded but were written by someone else!
      You should check the statistics. Let’s set the record straight !

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  6. This is awful. To suggest that Paul McCartney is a racist is simply bewildering, to imply that he gained his racist ideology from the Slave Trade (which ended many, many, years before his birth) is simply illogical. As a joint owner of Apple Records (the Beatles’ record company) McCartney helped to produce many black artists, as well as writing songs for them. In fact, it was McCartney who insisted on having a black pianist join The Beatles temporarily for their ‘Let It Be’ sessions and McCartney who still to this day tours with a mixed race drummer. I think you are using wild facts and statistics and interpreting them to argue a point, without properly assessing the situation.
    I also think that you should clarify the differences between theft and inspiration. To be inspired by someone or something is not the same as stealing their ideas. I’ve always been taught that mimicry is the sincerest form of flattery, which makes sense when you think about it. McCartney didn’t ‘steal’ black music, he adopted it and incorporated that into the Mersey Beat sound because of his passion for it.
    A final word, if you are to planning to continue this journalistic effort, please do check your spelling and punctuation. It’s really not that hard and it would make your articles significantly more enjoyable.

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