As a lifelong Beatles fan, I used to kind of get my nose bent out of shape when people would say the Fab Four were overrated. Now, I just laugh and shake my head and wonder why someone who seems otherwise intelligent would out themselves like that.

Does that mean everyone has to like them? No. It'd be a crying shame if every one of us had the same tastes, but to try to argue that they are not worthy of all of the hype and praise, or that their station as the most important and influential group in music history is unwarranted, is just silly.

I haven't yet seen the new movie "Yesterday," which has as its premise the idea that the lead character has an accident and wakes up as the only person who remembers that The Beatles existed, but I will. I know this much: There are a whole bunch of past and present local musicians whose lives would be markedly different today if The Beatles hadn't appeared on "The Ed Sullivan Show" on Feb. 9, 1964. I wouldn't be sitting here writing this column, for one thing. No how, no way.

And I'd be willing to bet that if the non-Beatles fans out there listed their Top 1 or 5 or 10 acts, The Beatles would be at the top, or near it, of the most important influences in their careers. Which I would think makes The Beatles kind of important and influential.

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Barry Courter

» Things continue to be, well, crazy for the guys in Crazy Flute, the local duo featuring Jack "Flute" Holland and Keith "Professor" Talley.

The two hail from Trenton, Georgia, and play what they call "tribal fusion music," a blend of contemporary folk or jazz and Native American flute-based music. On their way back from the Solstice Flute Festival in Midway, Utah, they got word they have been nominated for Josie Music Awards in three categories.

These are the largest independent music awards in the country. The duo is up for Musician of the Year, Album of the Year for "We Belong to the Music" and Instrumental Song of the Year for "Mists of Memory" from that same CD.

The awards presentation will take place Sept. 21 in the Celebrity Theater in Dollywood.

Crazy Flute was also nominated for Native American Music Awards in 2017 and 2018. This continues to be one of my favorite stories and acts to follow because Flute, as he is called, spent much of his life avoiding his Native American heritage and didn't pick up the flute until just a few years ago (read his story at

Contact Barry Courter at or 423-757-6354.


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