The Who's "Tommy" Turns 50 Today!

Via The Who released their double album rock opera "Tommy" on May 23, 1969. Half a century later, the story of "that deaf, dumb, and blind kid" still resonates. Roger Daltrey told the New York Post, “In today’s world, Tommy would have been very good at computer games, but life is looking up at people — it’s not looking down at a pinball machine or a computer.”

"Tommy" was a huge success. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as the Godfather of rock operas, it was made into a movie featuring Ann Margaret rolling around in baked beans, and it was made into a Broadway musical.

“It was a very adventurous time in music, where the bands ruled the waves, rather than the record companies ruling the waves,” said Daltrey. “It was Kit Lambert, our manager [and ‘Tommy’ producer], who was encouraging us to do a rock opera. He realized that music could be so much more than the three-minute pop single. And, indeed, he was correct.”

Chuck Nowlin

Chuck Nowlin

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