50th Blog

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Saturday, February 22, 1964-

Kingsford-Smith Suite, London Airport, Heathrow, Middlesex

The return of the Beatles to England after such an eventful first trip tot he USA was deemed a matter of such national importance tha BBC footage of their touchdown at London Airport, and an accompanying interview, was slotted into the Saturday afternoon TV sports program, Grandstand, broadcast between 1:00 and 5:15 pm. Correspondingly, the interview was conducted by David Coleman, the BBC's premier sports commentator.

The item - not a brief filler but of 13 mins, 12 seconds duration - was shown along with horse-racing. Eddie Waring was commentating on live rugby league from Hunslet, amateur boxing from Cardiff and the classified football results.

The return was covered by most film and TV organizations. Pathe News turned its footage into a special Beatles Welcome Home report for cinema distribution, narrator Bob Danvers-Walker piling on the puns in best Pathe style, "Never mind crush-barriers, the Beatles fans would smash the sound-barrier!". And it was covered by radio, too, the Beatles crowded around a telephone at London Airport shortly after landing and were interviewed by Brian Matthew, 4 mins, 20 seconds of which went into the last 20 minutes of this morning's edition of Saturday Club, broadcast, as usual, by the Light Programme from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon. (The interview was followed, incidentally, by a dedication for George's imminent 21st birthday - "Shop Around" by the Miracles was requested and played - sent in by George's mother).

The return was also covered by radio news and a brief extract from one such interview, Neville Barker Talking to George Harrison, was repeated in The Public Ear on Sunday, March 8th (3:00-4:00 pm) as part of a feature titled, "Beatlemania".

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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Friday, February 21, 1964-

To return to England from America, The Beatles flew first from Miami to New York, where they boarded an airplane to take them to London. They arrived back the following day.

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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Thursday, February 20, 1964-

The Beatles enjoyed this week of relaxing a bit, before returning to England.

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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Wednesday, February 19, 1964-

`Please Please Me' LP, 48th week in the Top 10 (UK New Musical Express chart). `With The Beatles' number 1, 13th week (UK New Musical Express chart).

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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Tuesday, February 18, 1964-

On this day The Beatles were taken to the training camp of boxer Cassius Clay - later known as Muhammad Ali - who was preparing for his 25 February fight against heavyweight champion Sonny Liston.

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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Monday, February 17, 1964-

The day after their second Ed Sullivan Show appearance, The Beatles enjoyed a well-earned day off in Miami, in which they tried water-skiing.

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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Sunday, February 16, 1964-

Deauville Hotel, Miami Beach, USA

The Beatle's second live appearance on The Ed Sulllivan Show took place during this evening (8:00-9:00 pm, EST) before a 3,500 audience at the Deauville Hotel in Miami Beach. Surprisingly, the Beatles did not top the bill on this occasion, that honour going to Mitzi Gaynor. Nonetheless, an estimated 70 million people viewed, in 22,445,000 homes - and it certainly wasn't because of Gaynormania. Another guest on the show was Myra Cohen.

A full dress-rehearsal beginning at 2:00 pm (also taped, but not broadcast) preceded the live TV transmission; in both this and the broadcast the Beatles performed "She Loves You", "This Boy", "All My Loving", "I Saw Her Standing There", "From Me To You" and "I Want To Hold Your Hand". This edition of The Ed Sullivan Show was repeated on Sunday, September 20, 1964 (8:00-9:00 pm, EST).

Following several more days of "rest", the Beatles flew home to England from Miami, via a short stopover in New York, arriving at London Airport at 8:10 am (half an hour later than scheduled) on Saturday, February 22nd.

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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Thursday, February 13, 1964-

The Beatles travelled to Miami from New York on this day, leaving on National Airlines Flight 11 at 1.30pm and arriving at 4pm.

Their arrival was watched by 7,000 fans, which had been alerted to The Beatles' presence by local radio stations WFUN and WQAM.

After disembarking from the aeroplane The Beatles were taken in a three-limousine convoy to the Deauville Hotel in Miami Beach. Motorcycle outriders led and trailed the convoy for the eight-mile journey, as fans lined the streets to watch.

Paul McCartney - Anthology

Miami was like paradise. We had never been anywhere where there were palm trees. We were real tourists; we had our Pentax cameras and took a lot of pictures. I've still got a lot of photos of motorcycle cops with their guns. We'd never seem a policeman with a gun, and those Miami cops did look pretty groovy. We had a great time there.

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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Monday, February 10, 1964-

On February 10th 1964, after breaking American television ratings records with their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show the night before, the Beatles again met with the American press.

In the following interviews, part of a day-long press conference consisting of one-on-one meetings with the press, both CBS News and the Associated Press asked the Beatles about a negative review of their Sullivan performance by a professional music critic. Once again, the Beatles showed they could charm not only the American public, but also the American press with their humor. These brief interviews were filmed by CBS-TV and the Associated Press in the Terrace Room of the Plaza Hotel in New York City.

As a bit of historical trivia, the Beatles are asked in passing about their opinions of the Keeler/Profumo affair. This was a recent sex scandal, involving a British model and a British government minister, which would disgrace the then-current conservative government in Britain.

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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Saturday, February 15, 1964-

Deauville Hotel, Miami Beach, USA

A full afternoon rehearsal for The Ed Sullivan Show.

A telephone interview with the Beatles was broadcast this day on Dick Clark's long-running, influential ABC-TV series, American Bandstand (12:30-1:00 pm EST). The Beatles never got to appear in person on this show although another phone interview was broacast two months later on Saturday, April 18th, (also 12:30-1:00 pm, EST), and they filmed an interview for screening on New American Bandstand on Saturday, October 10th, 1964 (1:30-2:30 pm, EST), in what was billed as an "all-Beatle program". Recording dates/locations for these cannont be researched.

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