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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Thursday, April 4, 1963

BBC Paris Studio in London and Roxburgh Hall, Stowe School, Stowe, Bucks

Having taped sessions for two programs in the Light Program radio series, "Side by Side" only the previous Monday, the Beatles returned to the BBC this day, 11:00 am to 2:00 pm to record a third. (An option for a fourth appearance in the series, to have been taped between 2:00 and 6:00 pm this day, was not taken up, however)

The Beatles and the Karl Denver Trio did not bother to re-record their duet of "Side by Side", the BBC using the April 1st tape for this transmission, which took place between 5:00 and 5:29 pm on Monday, June 24th. (It was unusual for the Corporation to keep recordings so long before broadcast, and this was certainly the longest any Beatles tape remained "in the can"). Listeners to the show heard the group perform "Too Much Monkey Business", Love Me Do", "Boys", "I'll be on my way" and "From me to you".

"I'll be on my way" is of particular interest for it was the Beatles only studio environment recording and known public performance of a Lennon-McCartney song given exclusively to Billy J. Kramer with the Dakotas for record release; they taped their version at EMI Studios on March 14the and released the track on April 26 as the B-side of "Do you want to know a secret", another - though not so exclusive Lennon-McCartney original.

The late afternoon live engagement at Stowe, the boy's public school, was probably the Beatles most unusual concert appearance of all, and was booked as a direct result of one Liverpudlian boy's interest in his home-town group.

A private school of just a few hundred boys: one of its students, David Moores. Moores, who had grown up around Liverpool, wanted to see his hometown band. So, in January 1963, he wrote to Brian Epstein. This set in motion a series of fairly formal letters of negotiation between Epstein and Moores, ending in their mutual agreement, in a signed contract, that the Beatles would play the school for their more or less standard fee of 100 quid.

 

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