Beatles 50th Blog posts of '2013' 'February'

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Wednesday, February 20, 1963

Playhouse Theatre, London and Swimming Baths, St. James St. Doncaster, Yorkshire

The Beatles were not present at Abbey Road for a 10:30 AM to 1:00 pm overdub session in Studio One, which saw George Martin add piano to "Misery" and celeste and piano to "Baby It's You". (The latter piano piece was never used). Instead, after concluding their Tuesday-night engagement in Liverpool they drove down to London through the night in order to appear on the live lunchtime radio show, "Parade of the Pops", broadcast by the BBC Light Program direct from the Playhouse Theatre. The group performed 2 songs, "Love me do" and "Please please me".

After the show, the Beatles quickly returned 160 miles north to fulfil their evening date in Doncaster.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Tuesday, February 19, 1963

Cavern Club - Liverpool

The Beatles first Cavern Club performance in more than a fortnight. The queue for admission formed two days beforehand. Also on the bill were Lee Curtis and the All-Stars. This was the last time that any of the Beatles set eyes on Pete Best in person.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Monday, February 18, 1963

Another NEMS Enterprises showcase, with 2 separate "houses" at the Queen's Hall, Widnes. Both were sell-outs.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Sunday, February 17, 1963

Teddington Studio Center on Broom Rd. In Teddington, Middlesex

The Beatles 2nd appearance on ABC Television's "Thank your lucky stars", one of the most influential TV programs in Britain (before Top of the Pops) taped this time at the company's Teddington Studio Center southwest of London. Rehearsal was at 11:00 am and recorded the program later in the afternoon, miming to one song, "Please please me". It was transmitted across most of the U.K. on Saturday, February 23rd, between 5:50 and 6:30 pm. They now had risen to 3rd placing on the 7-act bill, the star of this particular edition, Billy Fury, for whom the amateur Silver Beetles had auditioned on May 10, 1960.

A brief extract from this performance was repeated in the March 2nd Sunday edition on ABC At Large.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Saturday, February 16, 1963

The Beatles at the Carfax Assembly Rooms, on Cornmarket St. in Oxford, Oxfordshire.

A one nighter at this city center venue and the Beatle's first booking with John Smith, one of the top London promoters.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Friday, February 15, 1963

The Beatles at the Ritz Ballroom, King's Heath, Birmingham. This engagement which was postponed from January 11. The situation was ideal for the Ritz promoters who presented a group now featuring in the top 3 of the singles chart at the same cost as when they were an unknown act.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Thursday, February 14, 1963

The Beatles at the Locarno Ballroom, West Derby Rd. in Liverpool.

A special Valentine's Day dance. It was the Beatles' first appearance at this Liverpool ballroom, although the Quarry Men did perform here a few times in late 1950's skiffle contests.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Wednesday, February 13, 1963

The Beatles at the Majestic Ballroom, Hull

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Tuesday, February 12, 1963

The Beatles were at the Azena Ballroom, on White lLn. Gleadless, Sheffield, Yorkshire and Astoria Ballroom, on King St. Oldham, Lancashire

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Monday, February 11, 1963

So, it really wasn't unusual for pop groups in 1963 to record an entire album in one day - quality and care were forsaken but budgets were adhered to. What was rare was the Beatles' ability to turn out a brilliant debut album under these circumstances. Please Please Me, the 14-track LP for which all ten recordings were made this day, remains a first-class collection of great performances. There can scarcely have been 585 more productive minutes in the history of recorded music.

Only two sessions (10:00 am to 1:00 pm and 2:30 to 5:30 pm were originally booked, the 2nd session ended at 6:00 and a third, 7:30 to 10:45, was added. The Beatles weren't fully fit, John had a bad cold which affected his voice. Tea, milk, cigarettes and "Soothing and Comforting" Zubes lozenges helped.

A basic run-down of the day: They reached 10 takes of "There's a place" and nine of a song at this point titled "Seventeen" (later changed to "I saw her standing there") Then 7 takes of "A taste of honey", 8 of "Do you want to know a secret", 3 more of "There's a place" 3 more of "I saw her standing there" and 11 of "Misery".

13 takes of "Hold me tight" (this song would remain unreleased until a re-make recorded on September 12, 1963 was included on the group's second album with "With the Beatles",  3 takes of "Anna (Go to him), one of "Boys", 4 of "Chains", 3 of "Baby it's you" and finally, the closing number, 2 takes of "Twist and Shout" (the first of which was chosen for the album).

An article in the February 22nd edition of NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS, and later in POP WEEKLY (probably the work of the same author), suggested that the Beatles also recorded a version of "Keep your hands off my baby" at this session. But the complete set of the day's recording sheets do not mention this title, nor does it appear in the tape library log.

Please Please Me was released in Britain on Friday, March 22, 1963 where it was the best-selling LP for 30 straight weeks, until it was dislodged by "With the Beatles".