In the second of two Memory Lane specials we publish more extracts from The Blackpool Hippodrome/ABC Story, a fascinating new book from show business historian Barry Band which can be viewed in the Blackpool Local History Room at Central Library
The ABC was redeveloped in 1962-63 within the massive walls of the old Hippodrome, built in 1895. The new chequerboard frontage and large illuminated marquee shouted show biz and the interior of the 1,934-seat venue made even the resort’s spacious Opera House look ordinary. It certainly lived up to the company’s claim of Europe’s most luxurious theatre. Indeed, every night at the ABC was a night of a thousand stars. Well, hundreds, because the entire ceiling was covered in tiny embedded lights. The ABC was built as a cinema-theatre-TV studio by the company that had the weekend ITV franchise for the North and Midlands. In addition to its summer show, the ABC transmitted live Sunday shows on the ITV network under the title Blackpool Night Out for four summers from 1964. But the Sunday TV shows ended when ABC TV lost its details
Iconic city centre pub The Jacaranda reveals new look in video and pictures, ahead of 2014 reopening. The Jacaranda, the iconic Liverpool bar, best known for being the first venue to host The Beatles, is to reopen this year.
The Jacaranda closed down in mysterious surroundings on 31 October 2011, however, it has been revealed through the pub's official Facebook page the popular Slater Street venue is to return in spring/summer 2014. Rumours concerning its reopening first started circulating in December, before Liverpool city bar Heebie Jeebies, run by Graham Clarke, who also owns the Jacaranda, leaked the news via its social media accounts. The Jacaranda, or the Jac as it is popularly known, has a rich history linked with The Beatles. It was founded in 1957 by Allan Williams, the Fab Four's first manager and "the man who gave them away". Williams leased an old watch repair shop which he converted into a coffee bar. He named the venue the Jacaranda after an exotic species of ornamental flowering tree.
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FEW people can claim to know as much about The Beatles as Ainsdale author Spencer Leigh. His On The Beat music programme has been a fixture on BBC Radio Merseyside since 1985 and over that time, he’s conducted more interviews about the Fab Four – all captured on tape – than anyone in the world.
Spencer has also written more than 25 books, including biographies of Lonnie Donegan, Billy Fury and Buddy Holly, but his latest offering sees him return to his favourite subject as he tackles The Beatles career Stateside, in The Beatles in America. “It's the third one in a series after The Beatles in Liverpool and The Beatles in Hamburg and both have done very well,” said Spencer. “With the 50th anniversary of the Ed Sullivan TV show coming up, my publishers and I agreed it was a good time to do it and, of course, it is a great story.” He’s not wrong. In 1962, The Beatles were still just a band from Liverpool but by January 1964, they were top of the US charts, having sold 1.5m copies of I Want To Hold Your details
Before the Beatles took America by storm, Paul, John, Ringo and George were featured on BBC radio programs 53 times. Those Beatles performances, recorded between 1962 and 1965, have now been released. Jeffrey Brown talks to Kevin Howlett of BBC about his laborious search for many of these live, early, pre-Beatlemania recordings.
Between 1962 and 1965, the Beatles performed 88 songs on the BBC, many of them multiple times in hundreds of radio broadcasts. In the worldwide Beatlemania that followed, those radio performances were largely forgotten in Britain and mostly unheard of in the U.S., until 1994, when the first collection of BBC recordings was released. Now a new album is out, this one capturing some 40 songs from those early radio broadcasts, including several never before available on record or disk. Many are by now long familiar Beatles standards delivered with the energy and verve of the live performances the young band was famous for. Others are covers of then lesser known American titles, R&B songs, country music, details
Pattie Boyd shot to international fame when she married George Harrison in the 1960s. Although Boyd had sparked interest and admiration during her modeling heyday in the early 60s it was her marriage to the “quiet” member of the Beatles that generated the most headlines and controversy.
A REDRUTH man who was one of Britain’s last telegram boys is recording the story of his life, with fond memories of special deliveries to the rich and famous – including Beatle George Harrison. Long before emails, texting and mobile phones, and with many people still without a land-line telephone, the telegram was a much-used means of conveying urgent and important messages.
As a teenager in the 1970s, James Maloney delivered telegrams and now those memories are being revived in his autobiography, which is being ghost-written for him by Falmouth-based Mike Truscott, of Golden Replay Biographies, a former West Briton reporter. The book, now nearing completion, includes this recollection of the near-nude meeting with Lyn Paul, who first came to fame with The New Seekers: ““Lyn lived in the village of Stratfield Saye in Hampshire. The sun was still rising and, after I had rung her doorbell, the lady herself put her head out from the bedroom window above. I was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that she was naked at that moment. &ldqu details
The mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, has branded Boris Johnson a "fool" over comments the Mayor of London made about The Beatles. Mayor of London Boris Johnson claimed that it was the capital, not Liverpool, that propelled The Beatles to international fame and success during a controversial speech given in December at the London School of Economics.
Responding to the claim in the new issue of NME, which is on newsstands now or available digitally, Anderson says that Johnson's comments were "beyond ludicrous" and adds that he was "amazed" when he heard what had been said about The Beatles. Anderson demands an apology from Johnson, stating: "Boris has already made a fool of himself with comments about Liverpool – both on Hillsborough and in accusing the city of "wallowing in pity" for holding a memorial service for British hostage Ken Bigley, who was beheaded in Iraq. These were obviously more serious issues than popular music, but nevertheless it's another embarrassing gaffe by him, which he'll details
Ringo Starr said he hoped to power down the All-Starr Band caravan for a bit in 2013, taking a rare summer off. But he ended up touring from February through March and then from October through November anyway.
That’s a testament both to the chemistry that existed with this particular lineup of the group, which saw Gregg Rolie, Todd Rundgren, Steve Lukather and others make their debut in the summer of 2012 — but also to a work ethic that’s served Starr well since he began this guest-packed concert series back in 1989. “It is work; we’re working — this is our job,” Starr says. “The thing is, I do it in luxury. I do it when I want to.” Starr celebrated his 72nd birthday on the road with the latest edition of the All-Starr Band, at the legendary Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Rick Derringer, Edgar Winter and Gary Wright headlined the 2010-11 lineup. Richard Page and Gregg Bissonette have been part of both recent groups.
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Fifty years ago, the Beatles landed in the U.S., generating the biggest explosion rock & roll has ever seen. In the new issue of Rolling Stone (on stands Friday, January 3rd), contributing editor Mikal Gilmore examines just how the Fab Four arrived in the States facing media disdain and a clueless record label in the wake of the devastating assassination of John F. Kennedy — and still managed to conquer America.
On February 9th, 1964, Ed Sullivan famously intoned, "Tonight, the whole country is waiting to hear England's Beatles." Eight months later, the band had landed 28 records in Billboard's Hot 100 Singles chart (11 in the Top 10), seen 10 albums released worldwide and been introduced to marijuana by Bob Dylan. But the band's voyage from Liverpool to New York City in '64 was filled with far more apprehension and stress than relaxation and glee. Gilmore's story traces the band's early fears, label woes and other hardships that threatened to derail its journey. "They've got their own groups," Paul McCartn details
Before the throngs of screaming fans, before selling billions of records, before creating chart-topping hit after hit, before becoming musical icons and before they were known as the Beatles, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr “were just boys” who faced many blunders and pitfalls on their journey to superstardom.
This simple truth was what inspired renowned Philadelphia journalist Larry Kane to write his newest book “When They Were Boys: The True Story of the Beatles’ Rise to the Top,” which focuses on the Beatles’ climb to fame from when they first met as teenagers in the 1950s to their historic first appearance on the “Ed Sullivan Show” in 1964. “[This book] is a page-turning, riveting account of these young boys who grow into young men and who [went] through all this craziness — betrayal, commitment, love, a lot of hate and [who had] a tremendous amount of help along the way,” Kane said. “Some of the things that have happened in this book … are to details