Beatles 50th Blog posts of '2014' 'January'

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Tuesday, February 11, 1964

Washington Coliseum, Third and M St. North East, Washington DC, USA

Early on this day the Beatles travelled by train from New York to Washington DC, and at 8:31 stepped on stage at the 8092 seat Coliseum to give their first concert in North America. For the next half hour, a manic audience was treated to "Roll Over Beethoven", "From Me To You", "I Saw Her Standing There", "This Boy", "All My Loving", "I Wanna Be Your Man", "Please Please Me", "Till There Was You", "She Loves You", "I Want To Hold Your Hand", "Twist And Shout", and "Long Tall Sally".

With Brian Epstein's consent, the performance was shot by CBS and shown by National General Corporation, together with unrelated footage of the Beach Boys and Lesley Gore - in cinemas across the USA as a closed-circuit telecast on Saturday and Sunday, March 14th and 15th, two matinee screenings each day.

The film starts with the Beatles having made their entrance but Ringo attempting to re-position his drum kit. George switched his microphone at the end of the first verse of the opening number because it wasn't working, only to find a faulty replacement. After the third song, all the Beatles turned 180 degress, Mal Evans revolving Ringo's kit - in order to face the audience which had been behind them; this exercise was repeated at the end of the sixth number while, at the end of the ninth, they all turned again, 45 degrees this time, to face the side audience.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Sunday, February 9, 1964

Studio 50, New York City, USA

In the morning there was another Studio 50 rehearsal for The Ed Sullivan Show. George was unwell and did not participate, in his stead, the cameras rehearsed their positioning with a stand-in, the Beatle's assistant Neil Aspinall.

During the afternoon, before their celebrated live Sullivan debut that evening, the Beatles - with George - taped the appearance, ostensibly their third, that would be screened after their departure from America, on Sunday, February 23rd (8:00-9:00 pm EST). For this, before a different audience from that which would attend the evening performance, they played three numbers: first "Twist And Shout" and "Please Please Me" and then, in a different setting for inclusion later in the program, "I Want To Hold Your Hand". Before any of this happened, though, Sullivan claimed the spotlight and delivered one of his haughty pronouncements that summed up a US reaction to this first Beatle visit: "All of us on the show are so darned sorry, and sincerely sorry, that this is the third and thus our last current show with the Beatles, because these youngsters from Liverpool, England, and their conduct over here, not only as fine professional singers but as a group of fine youngsters, will leave an imprint of everyone over here who's met them".....

Along with the Beatles, this edition featured Cab Calloway and Gordon and Sheila MacRae, and the program was repeated on Sunday, August 23, 1964.

The first and most famous of the Beatle's two live Sullivan transmissions was performed in front of a Studio 50 audience of 728, and an estimated 73 million people in 23,240,000 homes across the United States, tuning in from 8:00 to 9:00 pm, EST. It was easily the highest US TV audience figure amassed to that time.

The Beatles performed five songs, three at the beginning of the show, "All My Loving", "Till There Was You" and "She Loves You", and two in the second half in a different setting. "I Saw Her Standing There" and "I Want To Hold Your Hand". It was a daunting yet remarkably confident performance, marred only slightly by an awkward sound balance. During "Till There Was You", each of the Beatles came in for individual camera attention, at which point his christian name appeared on screen. When it came to John, an additional caption read, "Sorry Girls, He's Married".

As it transpired, this edition of the "Ed Sullivan Show" had a pronounced British slant, for apart from the Beatles it also featured singer/banjoist Tessie O'Shea and the New York cast of Lionel Bart's London musical, Oliver, starring Georgia Brown and -as the artful Dodger - Davy Jones, the future member of the Monkees. (Another guest act was the American impressionist Frank Gorshin, later to appear as The Riddler in the Batman TV Series.)

This celebrated edition of The Ed Sullivan Show was repeated on Sunday, July 12, 1964 (8:00 to 9:00 pm, EST) while highlights from the Beatles' sequences went into The Ed Sullivan Show: The Swinging Soulful Sixties, a retrospective of musical moments from Sullivan's shows throughout the decade, broadcast by CBS on Sunday, December 21, 1969.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Saturday, February 8, 1964

Studio 50, Broadway and West 53rd St. New York City, New York, USA

The first of what would be several studio rehearsals by the Beatles for The Ed Sullivan Show, and another opportunity for the hordes of US radio and press reporters to gain access to the group. This one began at 1:30 pm. These rehearsals, plus the two next-day actual performances, took place inside CBS Television's Studio 50 in midtown Manhattan.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Friday, February 7 through Saturday, February 22, 1964

Right from the moment that their Pan Am flight touched down at John F Kennedy International Airport, the Beatles were subjected to every form of media exposure known to 1964: journalists, photographers, radio stations and TV news crews covered their every single move, many with live reports. Hundreds of people were clamouring, constantly, for their attention if only for a few seconds, in person, by phone, by any means imaginable.

In addition to all this, and with the express permission of Brian Epstein and the Beatles, film cameras were documenting the group's first US visit from an exclusive vantage point, inside their entourage. This was a complicated production, with Granada Television, the north of England ITV franchise - chipping in financially, Epstein's NEMS company retaining some form of editiorial control and Albert and David Maysles producing the documentary for their own company "Maysles Films". The Maysles took their camera everywhere that the Beatles went during these remarkable two weeks in America. Not only Kennedy Airport, but inside the group's Plaza suite, inside their limousine, at a photo shoot in Central Park, at New York rehearsals for The Ed Sullivan Show, at the Peppermint Lounge night club, on the train down to Washington DC and in Miami Beach. The Maysles also filmed Brian Epstein conducting business, Beatles-mad radio disc-jockey Murray The K broadcasting on New York station 1010 WINS, and a New York family watching the Beatle's debut on The Ed Sullivan Show.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Wednesday, January 29, 1964

Pathe Marconi Studio's, Rue de Sevres,

Boulogne-sur-Seine, Paris, France

A marathon concert season at the Olympia - 18 days of two, sometimes three shows each, on a nine-act bill. At no time was it made clear who was headlining: the Beatles, French chanteuse Slvie Vartan, or Trini Lopez, the US singer famous for "If I Had A Hammer", although it was the Beatles who closed each performance, with a repertoire comprising "From Me To You", "Roll Over Beethoven", "She Loves You", "This Boy", "Boys", "I Want To Hold Your Hand", "Twist And Shout", and "Long Tall Sally". There were only two days of rest in the three-week season, the first two Tuesdays, the 21st and 29th - and on the second of these John and George flew back to London for a few hours.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Friday, January 24, 1964

The Beatles went to a Paris studio and recorded a radio interview for AFN (the American Forces Network), broadcast the next day, on a programme entitled Weekend World - to US tropps stationed in West Germany. (AFN broadcasts could also be received in Britain on 344m, but only from 6:00 pm. This was transmitted earlier int the day.

From 10:00 to 10:45 back at Abbey Road in London, balance engineer Norman Smith made a tape-to-tape copy of the "I Want To Hold Your Hand" rhythm track, take 17 from October 17, 1963.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Wednesday, January 22, 1964

The Beatles nearly made an appearance on the French television programme Age Tendre et Tete de Bois, broadcast from 8:30 to 9:15 pm. At this time there was only one TV channel in France. The national listings journal Telerama described their booking for this show as provisional, subject to confirmation. In fact, they never appeared.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Monday, January 20, 1964

A short interview with the Beatles was broadcast by Europe I probably in Robert Marcy's programme (12:00 noon-12:30 pm) Further details have proven impossible to reasearch.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Sunday, January 19, 1964

A marathon concert season at the Olympia - 18 days of two, sometimes three shows each, on a nine-act bill. At no time was it clear who was headlining...The Beatles, French chanteuse Sylvie Vartan, or Trini Lopez, the US singer famous for "If I Had A Hammer", although it was the Beatles who closed each performance. A part of today's matinee was broadcast live by the French radio station Europe I in its programme Musicorama, from 1:00 to 2:00 pm. Listeners heard Trini Lopez, Sylvie Vartan and then five songs by the Beatles.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Thursday, January 16 to February 4, 1964

The Beatles at the Olympia Theatre, Boulevard des Capucines, Paris, France