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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Wednesday, December 18, 1963

BBC Paris Studio, London

In the summer the Beatles had enjoyed their own 15-part BBC radio series. This day's recording was for perhaps an even greater honor: their own two hour special, to be broadcast in the Light Programme on Boxing Day "bank holiday", Thursday, December 26th, between 10:00 and 12:00 noon.

The program was conceived under the working title Beatletime, but this was altered From Us To You before the recording. Since every 1960's pop programme had to have a signature tune, the Beatle's first task at this 7:00-10:30 pm session (inclusive of rehearsal time) was to tape a new slightly amended version of their former number one hit "From Me To You", turning it into "From Us To You", with other lyrics altered where appropriate. a 55 second version opened the show, another closed it two hours later.

In between, listeners heard the Beatles perform, "She Loves You", "All My Loving", "Roll Over Beethoven", "Till There Was You", "Boys", "Mondy (That's What I Want)", "I Saw Her Standing There", and "I Want To Hold Your Hand". The show was hosted by Australian singer/entertainer Rolf Harris, also set to appear with the Beatles in their forthcoming Christmas stage production, and the Beatles forthcoming Christmas stage production, and the Beatles joined Rolf for a humorous, Beatleised version of his 1960 chart hit "Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport", Rolf's new lyrics referring to the Beatles long hair and their Christian names.

From Us To You was the first of five BBC radio "bank holiday" specials over the next 18 months to feature the Beatles, four going under this title. Typically, though, they were never the only act on the show. On this occasion, the program also featured sessions by Susan Maughan, Jeanie Lambe, Kenny Lynch, Joe Brown and the Bruvvers, the Kenny Salmon Seven, Alan Elsdon's Jazzband with Mick Emery, and Rolf Harris.

Note: not wishing to be outdone, the British service of Radio Luxenbourg launched "It's the Beatles" on December 23rd, a 15 part series of 15 minute programs broadcast each Monday evening from 9:00 to 9:15 until March 30th, presented by Peter Carver. But the group did not specifically contribute any interviews or music material, the series merely airing their disc releases.

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