John Lennon's Birth Anniversary
John Winston Ono Lennon was born on the 9th of October in 1940. He was an English musician, singer and songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as a founder member of the Beatles, the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed band in the history of popular music. With Paul McCartney, he formed a songwriting partnership that is one of the most celebrated of the 20th century.
Elvis Presley's explosion onto the rock music scene inspired a 16-year-old Lennon to create the skiffle band called the Quarry Men, named after his school. Lennon met Paul McCartney at a church fete on the 6th of July, 1957. He soon invited McCartney to join the group, and the two eventually formed one of the most successful songwriting partnerships in musical history.
It was McCartney who introduced George Harrison to Lennon the following year, and Harrison and art college buddy Stuart Sutcliffe also joined Lennon's band. Always in need of a drummer, the group finally settled on Pete Best in 1960.
The first recording they made was Buddy Holly's "That'll be the Day" in 1958. In fact, it was Holly's group, the Crickets that inspired the band to change its name. Lennon would later joke that he had a vision when he was 12 years old a man appeared on a flaming pie and said unto them, "From this day on, you are Beatles with an 'A.'"
The Beatles were discovered by Brian Epstein in 1961 at Liverpool's Cavern Club, where they were performing on a regular basis. As their new manager, Epstein secured a record contract with EMI. With a new drummer, Ringo Starkey, and George Martin as producer, the group released their first single, "Love Me Do," in October 1962. It peaked on the British charts at No. 1
Lennon was known for his a rebellious nature and use of acerbic wit in his music, writing, drawings, on film and in interviews. Controversial through his political and peace activism, he moved to New York City in 1971, where his criticism of the Vietnam War resulted in a lengthy attempt by Richard Nixon's administration to deport him, while some of his songs were adopted as anthems by the anti-war movement.
As of 2012, Lennon's solo album sales in the United States exceed 14 million units, and as writer, co-writer or performer, he is responsible for 25 number-one singles on the US Hot 100 chart. In 2002, a BBC poll on the 100 Greatest Britons voted him eighth, and in 2008, Rolling Stone ranked him the fifth-greatest singer of all time. He was posthumously inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1987 and into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.
Also check out our top 5 favorite tracks by John Lennon!
• Give Peace a Chance
• Mind Games
• Lucy In The Sky with Diamonds
• Stand by me