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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Saturday, December 7, 1963-

Empire Theatre, Liverpool and Odeon Cinema, London Rd. Liverpool

The Beatles' first home-town concerts in four months were part of an exceedingly hectic day. The afternoon was a special affair, a concert at the Empire Theatre before 2500 members of the group's Northern Area Fan Club, though the rest of Britain had a chance to view the action when BBC Television, in an unprecendented move, screened 30 minutes of the show later the same evening in a special peak-time programme entitled "It's the Beatles!"

Earlier the same afternoon at the Empire, utilizing the same fan club audience, the BBC also taped a special edition of it's weekly "Juke Box Jury", with the panel comprising all four Beatles. This too was transmitted that same day, not for nothing were sceptics moaning that the BBC really stood for Beatles Broadcasting Corporation.

"Juke Box Jury" came first, being taped from 2:30 to 3:15 pm for broadcast between 6:05 and 6:35 in the evening when it was viewed by 23 million Britons. Chaired as usual by David Jacobs, 13 new singles were reviewed in this particular edition, "I could write a book" by the Chants, "Kiss Me Quick", by Elvis Presley, "The Hippy Hippy Shake" by the Swinging Blue Jeans, "Did you have a happy birthday" by Paul Anka, "The Nitty Gritty" by Shirley Ellis, "Do you really love me too" by Billy Fury, "There! I've said it again", by Bobby Vinton, "Love Hit Me" by the Orchids, "I think of You", by the Merseybeats, "Broken Home", by Shirley Jackson, "Where have you been all my live", by Gene Vincent, and "Long Time Ago", by the Bachelors. The last three were omitted from the broadcast, however, in order that it did not overun. The Beatles voted all to be hits except for Paul Anka, Shirley Ellis, Bobby Vinton and the Orchids.

The concert, taped for "It's the Beatles" took place between 3:45 and 4:30 pm, the group singing a shortened "From Me to You", then full versions of "I saw her standing there", "All My Loving, "Roll Over Beethoven", "Boys", "Till There was You", "She Loves you", "This Boy", I want to hold your hand", "Money", "Twist and Shout", and a reprise of "From Me to You". It was broadcast from 8:10 to 8:40 pm. Unfortunately for the BBC, technical difficulties created by the dearth of rehearsal time (a mere 15 minutes for "Juke Box Jury" only 20 for "It's the Beatles" and worse still, the incessant ear-perforating screams from the audience, drowning out the director's instructions to the cameramen and sound recordists, all but ruined both programmes. There was considerable consternation about this within the higher echelons of the Corporation, executives feeling that the coup it had achieved in presenting the Beatles so exclusively to the nation had somewhat rebounded against them in that the technical shortcomings were obvious and embarrasing.

And still the Beatles had one more duty for the BBC: they recorded a two minute interview for broadcast on radio on Christmas Day in the Light Programme show "Top Pops Of 1963", a 90 minute special (6:00-7:30 pm) in which disc jockey Alan Freeman played the year's number one chart singles, interspersed with interviews with some of the artists.

After their activities at the Empire, the Beatles dashed the 50 yards down a specially closed and police reinforced Pudsey Street to the Odeon Cinema where they gave two more performances as part of the continuing package tour (this date added to the tour itinerary after the inital press announcement).

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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Friday, December 6, 1963-

Last day for a Beatles break......

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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Thursday, December 5, 1963-

Today, the Beatles still enjoying a much needed break!

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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Wednesday, December 4, 1963-

The Beatles are off today, enjoying a break.

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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Tuesday, December 3, 1963-

Guildhall, Portsmouth

The concert re-arranged from Tuesday, November 12th. From December 4th to 6th, the Beatles enjoyed a break.

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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Monday, December 2, 1963-

Studio C, Elstree Studio Centre, Eldon Ave, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire and Ballroom, Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London

The Beatles spent the period from mid-morning to late-afternoon at Associated TeleVision's Elstree Studio Centre (not to be confused with the nearby Elstree Film Studio), where feature films were made. The object, very successfully achieved - being to rehearse and shoot an appearance on "The Morecambe and Wise Show", hosted by the much loved British comedy double act Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise. It was networked by ATV on Saturday, April 18, 1964 (8:25-9:00 pm) and repeated on Saturday, July 24, 1965 (as "The Best of Morecambe and Wise, 9:20-10:00 pm).

Performing live before a minimal studio audience, the Beatles initially sang two numbers, "This Boy", and "All My Loving", and then returned after more Eric and Ernie comedy sketches to sing a third, "I Want to Hold your Hand".

After this last song, John, Paul and George put down their instruments and stepped forward to where Morecambe and Wise had walked on. (Ringo stayed at the back, on his drum podium.) What followed next was fine comedy, Morecambe calling the Beatles "The Kaye Sisters" (A British female trio of the late 1950's), shouting up to Ringo, "Heeelllo Bungo!", and then engaging in witty and apparently ad-lib (though scripted) repartee, including an espeically funny moment with John Lennon. Wise and the three Beatles next suggested they join forces for a number. While they kitted themselves out with boaters and striped jackets and launched into 44 seconds of "Moonlight Bay" (written in 1912 by Madden/Wenrich and poularized by Doris Day in the 1951 film "On Moonlight Bay"), Morecambe rushed on in a Beatles wig and collarless jacket, screaming "Yeah, Yeah Yeah" and , unforgettably, "I Like It". (Gerry and the Pacemakers's hit). This item closed the show, the end credits appearing over a vision of Ringo finally stepping down from his kit. Though the Beatles appeared on television with a number of comedians, the end result was never better than this.

The night's Grosvenor House concert appearance was a most unusual live booking, and not a part of the current package tour - a cabaret floor-show (in aid of a spastics charity) before an evening-dressed audience at the prestigious London hotel. THe Beatles were not altogether happy about it and never again booked this type of engagement.

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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Sunday, December 1, 1963-

The Beatles - De Montfort Hall, Leicester

After this date, the tour resumed on the 3rd.

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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Saturday, November 30, 1963-

The Beatles at Empire Theatre, in Sunderland

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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Friday, November 29, 1963-

ABC Cinema, Market St. Huddersfield, Yorkshire

Between "Houses" at the ABC, the Beatles were visited in the dressing room by a representative from Huddersfield Tape Recording Society, there to obtain an interview with each of the group, and have them read record requests, for "Music Box", a monthly program the Society produced for closed-circuit broadcast within several local hospitals in the area.

The representative, meek and humble, was Gordon Kaye, 20 years later to achieve great popularity in Britain as Rene, the star of sitcom, "Allo, Allo!"

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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Thursday, November 28, 1963-

The Beatles at ABC Cinema, Saltergate, Lincoln, Lincolnshire

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