Are the Beatles the reason why modern music exists

I believe that the Beatles are the reason why modern music exists. The album that ushered in modern music was "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band". Although I consider it maybe their 4th best album, this is the one(One person said it was the Rolling Stones, but do you remember what their equivalent album was? It was called "Satanic Majik Mysteries", or some such{you had to be there}.) It definitely wasn't Elvis. Although good, Elvis was not the innovation that allowed modern music. One interesting thing is to ask youngsters what the Beatles' "White Album" is.
Music has been a cultural force long before the Beatles. I'm more in the Ben C. school of it being a long chain going back years, but if I had to name one person who influenced 20th century popular music (English language only) the most it would be Louis Armstrong. He perfected the modern pop vocal style as well as jazz instrumental improvisation.

His direct musical descendants are Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, Frank Sinatra, but it really gets interesting when you cross Armstrong with other innovators. Armstrong + Woody Guthrie gives you Hank Williams, Buddy Holly and Bob Dylan. Armstrong + Charlie Patton leads to Robert Johnson, T-Bone Walker & Muddy Waters. Armstrong + Duke Ellington leads to both the big jazz dance bands and Nat King Cole. It's more of a matrix going back years.

BTW, using this type of thinking, Buddy Holly + Bob Dylan leads to the Beatles.
the beatles were the first musicians to openly and regularly 'question authority' and given a worldwide media to do it. they also had a great sense of humor which took the edge off. up until that time guthrie,dylan, ochs and others did it through their music, but unless you were listening, it wasn't necc reaching everywhere. they were a cultural force, and bigger than jesus. in fact they still sell more music than jesus.....and they had the good sense(as a band) to quit on top, which only made them bigger. their songwriting was influenced as much by meredith wilson as chuck berry, buddy holly and dylan....and that a special sound indeed.
There's no doubting that in terms of cultural impact (which is a completely different issue) The Beatles were unique.

I love that Brian Eno story about how in the early 70's he had a conversation with a classical composer who told him "everything in rock music had already happened in classical music by 1832"
Eno said "That doesn't account for Elvis,though"
The composer replied "Well that wasn't a musical revolution but a social one"
The Sgt. Pepper album came out after George Harrison paid a visit to San Francisco. Think of them more like Pat Boone making hits out of Little Richard tunes. There was music coming out of LA and San Francisco that was much more interesting than the Beatles, at least until Mr. Martin started working with them. Just like today, however, Pop music sells more and has more influence than the music it copies.