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Showing posts with the label Early Beatle History

Which Beatle had two birthdays?

George Harrison spent most of his life believing his birthday was February 25, 1943.

When did The Beatles last play at the Cavern?

The Beatles played 292 times at the Cavern Club in Liverpool in just two years. Their last performance was on Saturday, August 3rd, 1963. 

When did Beatlemania begin? What was it like?

B eatlemania in the UK spread with astonishing rapidity.

What was The Beatles first single?

George Martin wanted The Beatles first single to be  How Do You Do It, a Tin Pan Alley song which he felt had commercial potential.

What was the first Beatles album released in the US?

In 1962 Capitol Records, the sister company of EMI, were offered the opportunity to release the first Beatles singles in the USA. But because British acts typically had little success in the American market Capitol turned the opportunity down.  It was two small  companies Vee-Jay Records and Swan who saw some potential for American sales.  Vee-Jay Records? Vee-Jay Records were a small Chicago label, specialising in soul records. They signed The Beatles in order to secure a bigger star: Frank Ifield. As part of the deal Vee-Jay released Please Please Me in February 1963.  With promotion on local radio stations Please, Please Me crept up to number 35 in the Chicago chart. But the song did not register nationally Cold Feet Despite this Vee-Jay scheduled the release of the first album ('Please Please Me' in the UK) for July 1963. With Beatlemania building in Britain, This seemed a very shrewd move until the release was suddenly cancelled without warning. It transpire

How George Martin transform a 'dirge' into the first Beatles Number 1?

George Martin was initially unconvinced that Lennon & McCartney could consistently write hit songs. For their second single John Lennon put forward Please Please Me - his attempt to channel Roy Orbison. Again the verdict was a resounding thumbs down: I listened to it and I said: 'Do you know that's too boring for words? It's a dirge. At twice the speed it might sound reasonable.' They took me at my word. I was joking and they came back and played it to me sped up and put a harmonica on it. Impressed by the dramatic improvement, George Martin agreed to give the song a second chance. He was not to regret his decision:  We worked for ages on their new version of 'Please Please Me', and I said: 'Gentlemen, you're going to have your first #1. Source: Interview with George Martin, The Observer Music Monthly, 2006

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