Sunday, June 30, 2013

Lucky Stars on Merseyside

On December 15 1963, The Beatles performed on television for ABC-TV in England. This was for a special episode of the "Thank Your Lucky Stars" program with the sub-title for this particular show as "Lucky Stars On Merseyside". The show featured Liverpudlian groups such as Gerry and The Pacemakers, Cilla Black, The Searchers, etc. but obviously the headlining group was the Beatles who closed the show.
The show was taped at the Alpha Television Studios in Birmingham England and was show to the general public a week later on December 21. The host of the show was Brian Matthew.
The Beatles mimed to four songs on a specially built set. The first song was the current A-side of the new single "I Want To Hold Your Hand", this is followed by the popular track off the newly released second LP  and sung by Paul (with John joining in although he didn't sing on the record) "All My Loving". The Beatles finish the set miming to the Isley Brother's cover version of "Twist And Shour" from the first LP.
The host Brian Matthews introduces George Martin who makes a rare television appearance and presents The Beatles with two gold discs: one for "She Loves You" and the other for "I Want to Hold Your Hand".
The Beatles resume the show with a mimed edited version of "She Loves You" and then the end credits appear.
I've included a link below.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

"It's The Beatles !" Concert

We remain on December 07 1963 and The Beatles have completed their appearance for the BBC-TV television show "Juke Box Juty" (see previous post). The set is changed within half an hour and The Beatles put on a special concert for their Northern Fan club members (lucky them) at the same venue; namely the Empire Theatre in Liverpool. It's a hometown audience and there is both video and audio footage of the show.
The songs played for this special gig include the single "From Me To You" followed by the first song from the first LP: "I Saw Here Standing There". This is followed by the new song from the just-released second LP and should have been a single. Sung by Paul and entitled "All My Loving". A George Harrison vocal is next with another song from the new LP "Roll Over Beethoven" (A Chuck Berry cover). Once again the vocal goes to another member of the group, this time Ringo Starr with his cover of the song "Boys" from the first LP.
"Till There Was You" is up next, a cover sung by Paul and appearing on the new LP (at the time). The summer's hit single "She Loves You" is played next with vocal shared between John and Paul. The latest single is performed with the B-side played first "This Boy" and an amazing John vocal. This is followed by the A-side of the new single "I Want To Hold Your Hand" which is once again a shared vocal between John and Paul. The set winds down with the last song from the second LP "Money (That's What I Want)", a Barrett Strong cover that is followed by the last song from the first LP "Twist And Shout" which is the Isley Brothers cover (both latter songs sung mainly by John with backing from Paul and George). The Beatles end the show with an instrumental version of "From Me To You" consisting of the first line repeated over and over as the credits for the show are shown on the screen in front of a blown-up photo of the "With The Beatles" album cover (the half shadow faces taken by Robert Freeman).
The audio for the entire performance can be heard on the vinyl bootleg "Youngblood". I've also included footage of the lasts four tunes (including the instrumental) that I've attached a link to. Just for good measure, The Beatles ended up playing at the Liverpool Odeon later that night (two shows!!).

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Juke Box Jury

Two things happened on December 07 1963 for the Beatles: actually , three things but we will concentrate on two of them as they were both televised. The first thing was the appearance of the Beatles on the UK television show "Juke Box Jury" recorded and broadcast live from the Empire Theatre in Liverpool (The Beatles' hometown).
This BBC-TV production was hosted by David Jacobs and it had the four Beatles commenting and reviewing the current hits of the day; the concept being that they would give their opinions on the tunes making them either a "hit" or a "miss".  A concert for the fan club was given afterwards but for this post we will chat about the "Juke Box Jury" section.
Most of the reviews and comments about the songs being played were of a fairly light and pleasant nature and most of them were considered "hits" by the band. The songs reviewed included: "I Could Write A Book" by The Chants, "Kiss Me Quick" by Elvis Presley, "The Hippy Hippy Shake" by The Swinging Bluejeans, "Did You have a Happy Birthday" by Paul Anka, "The Nitty Gritty" by Shirley Ellis, "I Can't Stop Talking About You" by Steve Lawrence and Edie Gorme, "Do You Really Love Me Too" by Billy Fury, "There! I"ve Said It Again" by Billy Fury, "Love Hit Me" by the Orchids, "I Think Of You" by The Merseybeats.
Unfortunately, there is no video of this appearance as it was wiped by BBC-TV (naughty boys !!) therefore I only found a bit of audio from the show that is in the link below. You can also hear a bit of audio from the bootleg CD "Mythology Vol. 1" which also has about 10 minutes from the show.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Morecambe and Wise Show

On December 02 1963, the Beatles taped an appearance on the British Television show "The Morecambe and Wise Show" with hosts Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise. This was taped at Studio C, Elstree Studio Center in Borehamwood. The purpose of this appearance was ostensibly to promote the new single and the new LP which had been released only a week and half previous in late November. There were three songs performed (not counting the last corny number with the hosts of the show).
The first song performed was the B-side to the latest British single entitled "This Boy". This features John on vocal although the verses feature all three Beatles singing in harmony. The next song featured on the show is from the LP "All my Loving" which has Paul singing and a George/Paul duet for the last verse. The Beatles finish the set with the A-side to the latest British single entitled "I Want To Hold Your Hand" which (last the last few singles) is a duet/double vocal between John and Paul.
The hosts enter the picture after this musical set with a bit of (supposed) humour and then they all get together to sing "Moonlight Bay" with the Beatles wearing barbershop style jackets and straw hats. Family entertainment at it's finest. :)
This particular show would not be broadcast for another three and a half months (it was finally shown on April 18 1964).
As far as audio goes, most of the show can be heard on the Apple 3-LP/2-CD "Anthology 1" which has the two side of the single as well as the "Moonlight Bay" section. The entire show can be found on audio on the CD "Mythology, Vol. 1".
 As far as video goes, the DVD of the "Anthology" series has the "Moonlight Bay" section as well but none of the original live tunes.
I've added a link to the show added to "Youtube" posted by "TheBeatlesApple".

Saturday, June 8, 2013

"I Want To Hold Your Hand/ This Boy" promo for Granada

On November 25 1963, The Beatles arrived at Studio Four, Granada TV Centre, Manchester in order to promote the new single which would be released to the public (in the UK) within four days.
This taping featured the Beatles playing along to the commercial recording of the A-side "I Want to Hold Your Hand" as well as the B-side (in the UK) "This Boy". Both of the songs used the same setting: The Beatles were surrounded by newspaper headlines on the floor and the "Daily Mail" slogan along with other headlines behind Ringo. Also featured was a huge camera (to signal the media coverage the band was getting at this point) with the brand being "BEATAX". Cute but corny.
Both John and George play their acoustic Gibsons for the promo although obviously the electrics were used to record the song. This promo was first broadcast a month later on December 26 1963.
Both tunes can be viewed commercially on the Apple "Anthology" VHS/DVD box sets. Both songs being performed as well as in interview with Ken Dodd can be seen from a video re-broadcasts on Granada TV in 1984.
I've added a link to the performance for the A-side:

Saturday, June 1, 2013

"The Beatles Come To Town" Pathe News Reel

On November 20 1963 (two days before the release of the second LP) The Beatles were filmed in colour for a Pathe News reel entitled "The Beatles Come To Town". This feature last almost seven minutes and shows a complete performance of "She Loves You" (the lastest single) as well as the cover version of The Isley Brothers' classic "Twist And Shout"/ a bit of the instrumental ending of "From Me To You" is also heard.
The venue for this film is at the ABC Cinema in Manchester. The soundtrack for this feature is available on the vinyl bootleg "ABC Manchester" and "Recovered Tracks". Most of the footage has been released commercially on such projects as "The Complete Beatles" and Apple's "Anthology".
You can see the entire newsreel here: