50 Years of Beatles: Christmas time is here again

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Between 1962 and 1970, the Beatles recorded one musical masterwork after another, amassing some 27 No. 1 hits in the United States and the United Kingdom, while producing such timeless albums as "Revolver," "Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,"

"The Beatles (The White Album)" and "Abbey Road," among a host of others. Yet for today’s listeners, the Fab Four’s annual Christmas offerings are all but forgotten, hidden within the shadows of their unprecedented pop music achievements. The brainchild of Beatles press officer Tony Barrow, the group’s Christmas records were originally conceived as a means of providing holiday greetings to their legions of loyal fans. Beginning in December 1963, British fan club members received annual Christmas messages as free “flexi-disc” record releases. For the inaugural release, the Beatles sang the Christmas carol “Good King Wenceslas” and the comic “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Ringo.” But 1963 was only the beginning. By December 1964, the Beatles had a full-fledged holiday tradition on their hands. Titled "Another Beatles Christmas Record," the band’s 1964 release featured the Beatles singing the Christmas carol “Jingle Bells” and the traditional English song “Did You Wash Your Father’s Shirt?” 

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Source: Penn State University

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