Opening Statement



Friday, 3 January 2014

Beatlemania: 50 Years! Loving Them Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!



John, Paul, George + Ringo: Beatlemania arrives!
 
As a baby boomer I would be remiss if I didn't celebrate the 50th anniversary of Beatlemania here on my site this year. Yes, the Beatles arrived to our shores in February 1964, not 3 months after the Kennedy assassination, breathing new life into the 1960's. They've been spinning on my stereo ever since!


Ed Sullivan Show

Audio: Ed Sullivan Introduces the Beatles @ Ed Sullivan
Video: Ed Sullivan Show: I Want To Hold Your Hand @ Beatles

I was 8 years old when the Beatles made their North American television debut on the February 9 1964 Ed Sullivan Show. Those were different times. We only had 2 television stations back then, one English, and one French. On Sunday night there were only two shows everybody watched: Bonanza and Ed Sullivan. The Ed Sullivan Show was "family entertainment". Over the course of an hour Ed would present something for everybody, from singing Broadway stars, to circus entertainers [balancing plates on sticks -seriously!] to Topo Gigio, the talking mouse.


Ed Sullivan + Topo Gigio

Video: Topo Gigio on Ed Sullivan @ Topo

Truth be told I was actually glued to the t.v. set in my pyjamas anxiously waiting to see Topo Gigio. Instead we got to see saw the "fab four lads from Liverpool" put on a really big show [or "sheeeew" as Ed pronounced it]. My mom and dad were shocked by their long hair. It really wasn't very long and they hadn't seen anything yet. Also with all the screaming, fainting girls. It seemed crazy at the time I suppose. Back then nobody had ever seen anything like it before. The Beatles would joke about, cheeky and irreverent, but never too rude and certainly not mean. They'd shake their heads and sing, bash away at their instruments, then smile for the camera. The girls would all scream like there was no tomorrow. The Beatles talked with strange British accents and wore cool clothes, matching collarless suits with Cuban heeled boots at first. They were a cultural phenomenon as much as a musical one. All the old ways and sense of decorum in "entertainment" and perhaps life in general were about to suddenly changed. Our life and times would never be quite the same again.



Links:
The Ed Sullivan Website @ Beatles
The Story Behind the Beatles Ed Sullivan Show @ Bruce Spizer

Next day all the big kids were very excited at school. After class they raced to the local drug store to get some Beatle bubblegum cards. I'd have died for a pack too but knew I didn't have a fighting chance, nor for that matter the big nickel that it cost. Dad to the rescue! Even though he didn't quite know what to make of all the nonsense he bought some! For me! It must've raised a few eyebrows. He had to drop by the store to pick something up on the way home from school. Of course being the local teacher he went to the head of the long bubblegum line up. He wasn't an arrogant or pushy man, far from it. Back then it was just expected that the younger folk would show respect for their elders. When he paid he probably shocked the cashier and raised a few eye brows around town. He also just happened to ask for a pack of Beatle bubblegum cards too! He knew I'd like that. What fun!


Videos:
Beatle Collectibles Collection @ Slides
Beatle Memorabilia + Collectibles @ Documentary
Beatle Collecting @ Today

If you will recall, the Beatle bubblegum was always hard and stale. The first picture cards were black and white with fake machine autographs on them. In 1964 though, that didn't matter. The Beatles were where it was at -Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Over the next few months they would totally control the radio airwaves with hit after hit after hit. The big breakthrough on our "side of the pond" was I Want to Hold Your Hand which opened the Beatle floodgate. Next came She Loves You, Twist and Shout, Please Please Me, All My loving, Can't Buy Me Love, Hard Days Night ..... The list went on and on. The Beatles would keep the hits coming for the next 6 years until their breakup in 1970. I must admit, I've never had a good nights sleep since then!

Audio:
US Meet the Beatles [Mono] album Side 1 @ Here Side 2 @ There
US The Beatles Story [Stereo] Complete album @ 1964


The Familiar Orange + Yellow Capitol 45 label swirl

This year we will be happily celebrating Beatlemania here on my blogsite alongside my other regular features. There will be articles on what happened and what it was like. Photos, videos, discographies and record reviews too. It will be a lot of fun. If you are a baby boomer you will probably remember it all quite well. If not, well you don't know what you missed.


Beatlemania hit England first!

Video:
Love Me Do @ Beatles 1st Hit!
She Loves You @ Beatles

Oh and by the way! We Canucks had one up on our fellow Yankee Beatlemaniacs to the south when it came to the group. Still close to Britain in many ways, their Capitol EMI records were released here soon after they came out there, starting with Love Me Do in winter 1963. [OK OK it only sold 68 copies but that doesn't matter!] That fall they had a huge #1 hit on CHUM AM Radio Toronto with She Loves You [Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!], a good 3 months or so before most folks south of the border had heard it. In November, the first Beatle's album in North America was released in Canada too. So there! I'll make sure to throw in lots of trivia and other fun stuff we all need to know [Ummmm...] with my Beatle coverage. So welcome to 2014, the 50th anniversary of Beatlemania!
 
Video:
Beatles in Canada @ 1964 Tour
Beatles in Toronto @ Sept 9 1964


The Canadian Beatlemania album was their first North American record release.

Stay tuned: Some cool links will be added!!!

Lecture: Beatles on Ed Sullivan 1964: A historical perspective @ Feb 9 1964
Music: Beatles Top 30 Countdown @ Collage
Video: Hard Days Night Movie @ HD Version
Video: Around the World: Live Concert A+++++
Video: Beatles Christmas Fan Club Record @ 1964
Video: Beatles: All This + World War 2 @ Curio

Related: Also see "I Remember John Lennon" @ John!

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