Beatles 50th Blog

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Wednesday, October 16, 1963

Playhouse Theatre, London

The Beatles 4th and last session for the Sunday morning BBC Radio Light Programme pop show, "Easy Beat". Owing to the incredible demands on their time, and fearing for their safety, Brian Epstein told the BBC that he would no longer permit the group to appear in audience radio shows - jus as he had decided that, for British concerts, they would play only theatres or venues with fixed seating, no more ballrooms. An instant casualty of this decision was a 5th booking for "Easy Beat", which would have taken place on Wednesday, December 4th, for transmission on the 8th.

This show was recorded at the Playhouse Theatre from 9:00 to 10:00 pm, with a prior rehearsal from 4:00 pm. The Beatles performed "I Saw Her Standing There", "Love Me Do", "Please Please Me", "From Me To You", "and "She Loves You", the last four songs being the group's singles to date, in the correct order. It was broadcast on Sunday, October 20th, from 10:31 to 11:30 am.

While at the Playhouse, the Beatles were also interviewed by reporter Peter Woods about the announcement, made the previous day, that they had been invited to perform in the Royal Variety Show on November 4th. The interview, in which the group cleverly parried Woods' clearly condescending tones, was broadcast on the Light Programme's main evening news bulletin (7:00 to 7:31 pm) Radio Nesreel.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Tuesday, October 15, 1963

The Beatles - Floral Hall, Southport

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Monday, October 14, 1963

The Beatles did not perform on this date.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Sunday, October 13, 1963

London Palladium, Argyll St. London

The Beatles first booking with one of the leading ITV companies, Associated TeleVision, headed by Lew Grade, for so long a powerful figure in British show business. And without a debut - on the top-rated entertainment program of them all, Val Parnell's Sunday Night at The London Palladium, fully networked live from the prestigious theatre in the heart of London and seen by 15 million viewers at peak time, 8:25 to 9:25 pm. An appearance on SNALP-especially as bill-toppers, as were the the Beatles - this night was a major event, and for so many artists , the pinnacle of a career, even if today, one almost wonders what the fuss was about.

At the same time, it was certainly a remarkable appearance. The London Palladium, so-called "home of the stars", had never before witnessed the screaming fans who made themselves very audible not only inside but outside the theatre too, blocking Argyll Street and delighting photographers with ready-made front-page picture stories for the next morning. The word, Beatlemania was coined by Fleet Street writers to describe the scenes, and it remains in use today, and probably will forever.

The youth element in the theatre was teased right from the start when, against tradition, the Beatles appeared at the beginning of the show - albeit only for a few seconds. Compere Bruce Forsyth then announced, "If you want to see them again, they'll be back in 42 minutes"......

When they came back, to close the hour-long show, Forsyth rose above the screams to count down "5-4-3-2-1" before the Beatles struck up "From Me To You". They then went into their well oiled stage routine (even still, they had a private rehearsal the previous evening). Paul tried to introduce the next number (I'll Get You"). Then John, Paul and George all spoke the next announcement together, stopping together and re-starting together, until George carried it off alone, introducing "She Loves You". Then Paul tried to announce the closing number, John shouted at the screamers to "Shut up!", the adults among the audience applauded, Paul asked people to clap their hands and stamp their feet, John went into his spastic imitations, and the group finally launched into "Twist And Shout".

The show ended, as ever, with the bill-toppers joining the other acts (Brook Benton, Des O'Connor, host Bruce Forsyth) on the revolving stage, waving at the audience and cameras while the resident Jack Parnell Orchestra played the theme tune "Startime".

The Beatles were clearly becoming a phenomenon - this TV appearance was actually covered by the late-evening ITN news, which had camera's in the group's Palladium dressing room.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Saturday, October 12, 1963

The Beatles took today off

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Friday, October 11, 1963

The Beatles at the Ballroom, Trentham Gardens, Stone Rd. Trentham, Staffordshire

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Thursday, October 10, 1963

Today, the Beatles had a day off

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Wednesday, October 9, 1963

BBC Paris Studio, London

The BBC radio session was not for a pop programme but for "The Ken Dodd Show", a 30 minute collection of comedy sketches and sound effects starring Liverpulian comedian Ken Dodd - on whose charity bill at the Albany Cinema in Maghull the scarcely known Beatles had inappropriately belted out rock and roll numbers only two years previously.

The Beatles did not participate in any of Dodd's comedy sketches: their sole contribution was to perform the show's one musical interlude, "She Loves You". It was taped in the middle of the programme, before a studio audience at the Paris, between 10:00 and 11:00 pm. (The Beatles had also participated in the rehearsal, from 6:30 pm)

The show was broadcast in the "Light Programme" on Sunday, November 3rd between 2:30 and 3:00 pm (any listener staying tuned to this waveband would have heard the Beatles in the following progamme too, "The Public Ear" and was repeated on Wednesday, November 6th (8:00-8:30 pm) and again on Saturday, February 1, 1964 (1:10-1:40 pm).

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Tuesday, October 8, 1963

Today, the Beatles rested.......

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Monday, October 7, 1963

The Beatles at Caird Hall, City Square, Dundee, Angus