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Austin Peay Experience podcast examines course on The Beatles and 1960s culture

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – In February 1964, a group of moppy-haired musicians performed on CBS’s The Ed Sullivan Show, and when they finished, the world was never the same. Nearly 60 years later, we’re still talking about those four young men, with younger generations discovering their music on YouTube and TikTok. The Beatles, it appears, are here to stay.

“This is 60 years ago, so it’s really classic music, if not classical,” Dr. Stanley Yates, Austin Peay State University professor of music, said. “It’s classic. It's outlived its time, hasn’t it? It still speaks, three or four generations on.”

A few years ago, Yates decided to look deeper into the mystery of the group’s longevity by developing a new class at Austin Peay – The Beatles: Music, Society and Culture. Yates recently discussed this class, with its examination of the 1960s, in the newest episode of The Austin Peay Experience Podcast.

Dr. Stanley Yates

“That’s really what this course is about – trying to figure out what makes these songs so good and so long-lasting,” Yates said. “But it’s also, The Beatles were the product of a very special time. The 1960s were kind of the culmination of this post-war period. And it was a decade….where so much happened in the culture and society.”

The APSU Office of Public Relations and Marketing launched the new podcast last fall to highlight what Austin Peay is doing to become the region’s university of choice by APSU’s centennial in 2027. The first season focused on “Forgotten Tennessee,” with episodes such as “Mixing Science with the Legend of the Bell Witch” and “The War at Home: German POWs in Tennessee.”

In season two, “In Session,” host Grayson Nicholson is looking at the fascinating classes offered at the University. In the episode on The Beatles, released in late January, Yates and Nicholson discuss everything from the 1960s to the group’s legacy to how the Fab Four compare to modern artists like Taylor Swift.

“Will we be listening to (Swift’s) songs and talking about them in a college course in 60 years?” Yates asked.

The episode is now live and available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Podbean and other popular podcast sites.

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