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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Tuesday, December 24, 1963 to Tuesday, December 31, 1963-

Astoria Cinema, Seven Sisters Rd.

Finsbury Park, London

This stage production, "The Beatles Christmas Show", conceived and presented by Brian Epstein, and typical of the man, encompassed comedy, pantomime and music. It settled in at the Astoria for a 16 night run, two "houses" each except for December 24th and 31st, when there was only one. (There were no shows at all on December 25th and December 29th as well as January 5th, and the season ended on Saturday, January 11, 1964.) One hundred thousand tickets for the 30 shows went on sale on October 21st. By November 16th, they were all sold.

The Beatles music repertoire for the season comprised "Roll Over Beethoven", "All My Loving", "This Boy", "I Wanna Be Your Man", "She Loves You", "Till There Was You", "I Want To Hold Your Hand", "Money (That's What I Want)" and "Twist And Shout". They also participated in a number of sketches and routines which proved extremely popular with the audiences.

The Beatles and other northern-based members of the large cast, most of whom were managed by Brian Epstein's NEMS Enterprises, flew home to Liverpool late on December 24th to spend Christmas with their families, returning to London during Boxing Day morning.

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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Monday, December 23, 1963-

The Beatles had today off....

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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Sunday, December 22, 1963-

Empire Theatre, Liverpool

The 2nd concert form only presentation of "The Beatles Christmas Show".

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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Saturday, December 21, 1963-

Gaumont Cinema, Bradford

The first of two special northern previews of "The Beatles Christmas Show", although in concert form only, without the elaborate costumes and inelaborate comedy sketches, and the almost extravagant stage sets, still being assembled in London.

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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Friday, December 20, 1963-

The Beatles had another day off today.

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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Thursday, December 19, 1963-

The Beatles enjoyed today off.

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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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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Tuesday, December 17, 1963-

Playhouse Theatre, London

Another top billed appearance on the BBC radio show Saturday Club, rehearsed and recorded from 3:00 to 6:30 pm and broadcast in the Christmas edition, transmitted in the Light Programme between 10:00 am and 12:00 noon on December 21st.

The Beatles performed six songs, "All my loving", This Boy", "I Want to hold your hand", "Till there was you", "Roll Over Beethoven" and "She Loves you", and also sang "All I want for Christmas is a bottle" (a pastiche of Dora Bryan's contemporary chart hit "All I Want For Christmas Is a Beatle", performed in session in this very programme by Susan Maughan) and a wacky medley, the "Christmas Mudley", comprising "Love Me Do", "Please Please Me", "From Me To You", "I Want to hold your Hand", "Rudolph, the Red-nosed Reindeer", all crammed into 29 seconds.

The second half-hour section of this programme, 10:31 to 10:59, was broadcast simultaneously by the BBC's General Oversees Service, including the Beatles, "All My loving", and "This Boy".



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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Monday, December 16, 1963-

Today, the Beatles took a break.

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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Sunday, December 15, 1963-

Alpha Television Studios, Aston, Birmingham

Following its success with the June 29th all-Liverpool edition of Lucky Stars (Summer Spin), ABC' Television this day shot a second such programme for the main series Thank Your Lucky Stars. All of the acts were Merseysiders, and Cavern Club compere Bob Wooler appeared as part of the reular "Spin-A-Disc" record review section. Taped in Aston during the afternoon, it was transmitted on Saturday, December 21st, from 5:50 to 6:35 pm.

Making their English TYLS appearance of the year (counting the two Summer Spot editions), the Beatles mimed to four songs, the most they had performed on this show to date, "I want to hold your hand", "All my loving", "Twist and Shout", and "She loves you". They were also presented, on camera, with two more gold discs to add to their quickly growing collection.

This edition was selected as ITV's official entry in the next annual International Contest For Television Light Entertainment Programmes, held in Montreux, Switzerland, in April 1964, but it did not win.

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