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Beatles 50th Blog

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

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Wednesday, January 15, 1964

Cinema Cyrano, Rue Rameau, Versailles, France

The Beatles' first night in France was a warm-up show for all of the artists participating in the forthcoming three-week season at the Paris Olympia, performed before 2,000 people.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Tuesday, January 14, 1964

This night John, Paul, and George (Ringo followed the next day) flew out of the London Airport for Le Bourget, Paris, and a welcome from 60 French teenagers.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Monday, January 13, 1964

A rare day off for the Beatles