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Over Christmas, when the Beatles catalogue finally got released on several music-streaming services, Spotify notably among them, a few of us waited to see not whether anybody wanted the old songs but which ones they would want. Would the audience in 2016 make smart choices, or confused ones, about music already a half century old?

Well, not only was there an audience out there—many millions have already streamed the Beatles songs—but, more important, with an eerie wisdom-of-crowds instinct, the choices it made did perfect justice to the spread of talent in the band and its distinctive interminglings. On Spotify’s list of the top-ten most-streamed songs of the Christmas weekend, there were, the Independent in London reported, three all-Johns (“Help,” “All You Need Is Love,” and “Come Together”), three all-Pauls (“Let It Be,” “Yesterday,” and “Hey, Jude”), two fifty-fifties (“Love Me Do” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand”), one George (“Here Comes the Sun”), and one cover (“Twist and Shout”). It was a perfectly balanced and insightful list.

This much justice was done and wisdom show details

This week back in 1962, The Beatles were waiting to hear back on their first major record audition. Just a few days before, they played an audition to the label on New Year’s Day, an opportunity set up by their newly hired manager, Brian Epstein. Despite tearing through 15 songs in just under an hour, including three originals, their audition for Decca Records would be rejected. Epstein, a man known for his persistence, kept pushing back trying to sway the label’s decision. Instead, the label responded to Epstein’s follow-up request by telling him that “guitar groups are on their way out.”

“Like Dreamers Do”

As far back as early 1960, The Beatles were a popular blue-collar bar band that played fast and loose rock and roll in towns across England, Scotland and Germany. The band featured a mostly familiar lineup, with dueling frontmen John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and George Harrison on lead guitar, but this being the pre-Ringo days meant that Pete Best was behind the drum kit.

After cutting their teeth on rock and roll standards from the likes of Chuck Berry and Phil Spector, they’d been signed to Polydor Records as the backing band for crooner Tony Sherid details

Inside The Great British Recording Studios - Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Meet the Beatles—And Their Studio And then there’s the role of the studios themselves. Massey’s 357-page lavishly-illustrated book progresses in more or less order of their historical importance, beginning with, not surprisingly, the British studio, EMI’s Abbey Road, the home of the Beatles throughout their run, to the point where they named their last album as a group after its address. (As Geoff Emerick, their engineer at EMI once noted regarding the iconic photo of the Beatles atop their last album, “For people who don't know the geography, they're actually walking away from the EMI Studios -- or Abbey Road [studios], as everybody knows it now…When I saw that photo, I did think to myself, ‘They're sending a message.’”)

During the many hours they inhabited the studio during the 1960s though, the Beatles found a facility with beautiful acoustics, and well-stocked with those aforementioned expensive high-quality tube-based German condenser microphones, but with some limitations: Because EMI management dictated that the eight track recorder they had purchased in 1968 be thoroughly vetted by their maintenance department before its use, Abbey Road was slow to update fr details

In the words of the immortal Spinal Tap: Hello, Cleveland!

Also: Goodbye, Cleveland!

I wasn’t there for long, just the night of Dec. 27 and the following day. My Lovely Wife and I stopped on our way back from visiting her sister in Evanston, Ill.

I love Washington, but it’s a good idea to get out of it every now and then. And no offense to my family living in North Carolina, but boy is it nice to drive on an interstate that isn’t called “I-95.” Breezewood, Pa., may be a strange carbuncle, I-80 may cross the featureless landscape of Ohio, and Gary, Ind., may resemble Mordor, but at least traffic was moving. We weren’t inching past Quantico at a snail’s pace, like you do on 95.

All we had to contend with was rain in all its myriad guises, from fine mist to apocalyptic downpour. There were some scary moments in Indiana when it seemed as if we’d been plunged into a carwash. Even the truckers — those jaded cowboys of the asphalt — were slowing down and putting on their hazards.

Those sorts of conditions always remind me of riding in the back seat when we lived in Texas. Thunderstorms would explode across the landscape, my father would details

Sorry to get to this so late.

George Martin, the Fifth Beatle and the group’s producer of all their amazing records, turned 90 today. Since it’s 1am in London he is no doubt asleep. But we owe Sir George a huge debt of gratitude for making those records, producing and arranging them, suggesting things to Lennon and McCartney and helping them realize their ambitions.

I think his last real act was apprenticing his son Giles, who helped him create the soundtrack for the Cirque du Soleil “Love” show. That was an incredible project in which Sir George pulled apart the whole Beatles catalog and re-assembled it like a cubist painting. In Martin’s memoir, “All You Need Is Ears,” available at amazon (and should be an ebook– Giles, please call Jane Friedman at Open Road Books) he tells a funny story about the making of Paul McCartney’s “Live and Let Die.”

You see, George continued into the 70s producing McCartney records. (He also produced a lot of hits for America, including “Sister Golden Hair” and “Tin Man.”) Turns out the Bond producers– Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzmann– wanted George to score the film. They details

The date was Friday June 21 1963 and The Beatles were preparing to play to a horde of screaming girls at the Odeon in Guildford . Rosemary Rolls, 66, was one of the lucky audience members in the crowd and for her and best friend Stella it was their first concert, aged 14. “Stella's mum worked as a cleaner every day at the Odeon picture house, so she bought the tickets for us because she knew how much we loved them, and we had front row seats,” said Rosemary, who moved to Guildford when she was five-years-old.

“We enjoyed every moment and got autographs, but I don't have mine anymore unfortunately. “This was our first concert and of course it was in our home town, we lived in the centre and so we just walked up the High Street.” Rosemary explained she had a different favourite member in the band to her best friend Stella.

“John Lennon was my favourite because I thought he was very handsome, I liked the way he moved while playing the guitar, his mouth when he sang and his smile - my friend's favourite was Paul [McCartney].

“On the night in Guildford the fans were well behaved. I guess we were all frightened if we made too much noise we would have been thrown out. W details

The ability to talk is not something most of us give a second thought — it had certainly never occurred to me how bereft I’d feel without my voice. Then one day I woke up in a hospital bed robbed of the power to utter a single word. I’d had a stroke. It came without warning and wreaked havoc on my well-being and ability to communicate.

It happened as I was preparing for a picnic in June last year. I was with my youngest daughter, Isabella, 12, putting up the garden umbrella when I suddenly felt strange, dizzy and light-headed. At the same time I felt something ‘click’ inside my head. I didn’t lose consciousness, my face didn’t droop — some of the characteristic signs of a stroke — but it felt like the worst migraine ever, with flashing lights and double vision. I tried to speak but all the words were jumbled. My partner, Barbara, realised I was having a stroke and drove me to hospital.

For the first time in my life I felt depressed and retreated into my own world. The one thing that gave me any pleasure was music. Then suddenly I found hope. Four days after my stroke I was lying in bed listening to a Beatles track and found that I could sing along. To the amu details

1AN AUTHOR looking for fans who witnessed a performance by The Beatles at the Sub Rooms has been overwhelmed by the response from SNJ readers.

Richard Houghton appealed for people who had seen the band’s only performance in Stroud to get in touch to help him make a people’s history of the group.

Roger Brown, who contacted Richard, said: “They were billed as Liverpool’s number one group which did not mean as much to us in Gloucestershire.

“John Lennon said he was going to play this new record.

“Knowing the quality of the normal Saturday night groups I waited for them to spoil the song.

“Wow – was I surprised. John Lennon on the harmonica was really great and their version was better than the original.

“I was a fan from that day.”

Jen Fabb also got in touch with Richard as her mum used to work at the Sub Rooms providing refreshments when the band visited.

“I looked forward to Saturdays when I heard new bands and singers,” she said.

“I remember I was given plastic caps to wear on my stiletto heels to protect the floor at The Subs.

“Mum part details

Memorable music for a 20th anniversary - Monday, January 04, 2016

In 1996, Florida Studio Theatre produced its first musical revue in the Goldstein Cabaret, featuring the melodies of Cole Porter. A string of familiar songs, delivered by gifted vocalists and tied together by a loose narrative of dialogue, it was a formula that would prove reliably popular. Over the past two decades – and year-round since the addition of a summer series in 2014 – the cabaret musical revues have become a mainstay for the organization.

They’ve covered a wide gamut of genres, from swing, country and blues, to Motown and Broadway. For the 20th anniversary season, Producing Artistic Director Richard Hopkins, Managing Director Rebecca Hopkins and Resident Pianist Jim Prosser have turned to that seminal period in American musical history catalyzed by the Beatles’ first appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in 1964. “Yesterday,” which opens this week, focuses on the music of “the British Invasion” from 1965 to 1972 – including not just the Beatles (whose music makes up a third of the playlist) but the Kinks, the Hollys and the Rolling Stones.

“So much happened in that period,” says Richard Hopkins, who was in high school at the details

Jessie J performed in New York City's Times Square on New Year's Eve, playing several of her own songs, along with the classic John Lennon cut "Imagine." The event, hosted by Allison Hagendoff, also featured Demi Lovato and Daya as well as the famous ball drop.

"2015 has been such an amazing year and I'm going to be ending it with a bang in @TimesSquareNYC, performing live for the #NewYearsEve #Balldrop," J wrote on Instagram ahead of her performance.

"I can't wait to ring in the New Year with the @TimesSquareBall, an incredible crowd of revelers & everyone watching from around the world."

It is estimated that one million people flocked to NYC's Times Square to celebrate New Year's Eve.

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