Beatles 50th Blog

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Saturday, June 22, 1963

Television Theatre, London and Ballroom, Town Hall, Cross St. Abergavenny, Monmouthshire

While George, Paul and Ringo travelled to Wales in the van with road manager Neil Aspinall, John stayed on in London to tape an appearance on the BBC Television show Juke Box Jury, and extraordinarily popular program at this time, in which new singles came up for "Hit" or "Miss" judgement, signified, respectively, by either the pinging of a bell or the sounding of a klaxon.

This particular edition was transmitted the following Saturday, June 29th, from 6:35 to 7:00 pm, hosted by DJ David Jacobs. The four-person "jury" was usually chosen to represent different walks of show business so along with John Lennon on this occasion there was TV personality Catherine (Katie) Boyle, actor Bruce Prochnik and actress Caroline Maudling.

John's appearance caused something of a stir, in that he openly stated negative views of every single one of the discs up for review, whereas panel members customarily kept any comments in non-offensive terms. The records reviewed in this edition were "Southend" by Cleo Laine, "So much in love", by the Tymes, "Devil in disguise" by Elvis Presley (John said of his former idol that he now sounded like Bing Crosby), "The click song" by Miriam Makeba, "On top of spaghetti", by Tom Glaser, "Flamenco" by Russ Conway, "First Quarrel" by Paul and Paula and "Don't ever let me down" by Julie Grant. Thanks to John's influence, the panel voted every one of them a "Miss" except for the Presley single. (Three other songs were taped but omitted from the broadcast, "Lies", by Johnny Sandon and the Remo Four, "Too late to worry" by Richard Anthony, and "Just one look" by Doris Troy. Sandon and the Remo Four were Liverpool contemporaries of the Beatles, and Doris Troy would one day be signed to their Apple record label.)

The Juke Box Jury session kept John in London until well in the evening, there was a camera rehearsal from 7:45 to 8:00, a sound and vision test between 8:00 and 8:30 and the recording itself ran from 8:30 to 9:15. Immediately after this John was driven to Battersea Heliport from where he flew to Wales in a helicopter especially chartered by Brian Epstein at a cost of £100. He touched down at the Penypound football ground in Abergavenny at 9:50 pm, just in time for the £250 engagement.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Friday, June 21, 1963

The Beatles at Odeon Cinema, Epsom Rd. Guildford, Surrey

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Thursday, June 20, 1963

The Beatles were traveling today....

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Wednesday, June 19, 1963

Playhouse Theatre, London

The Beatles were busy! After their June 17th BBC session in London the group drove to Liverpool in time for Paul's 21st birthday party the evening of the 18th, held in a marquee in the back garden of an aunt's house in Huyton. A few hours later they were heading south again, to be back in London in time for their second appearance on the BBC Light Programme radio show Easy Beat, taped in front of a screaming audience at the Playhouse Theatre between 8:45 and 9:45 pm.

The recording, broadcast on Sunday, June 23rd, between 10:31 and 11:30 am, featured the Beatles performing "Some other guy", "A taste of honey", "Thank you, Girl", and "From me to you".

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Tuesday, June 18, 1963

Since it was Paul McCartney's 21st birthday today, the Beatles took the day off.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Monday, June 17, 1963

The fourth and final recording in the BBC Light Programme radio series "Pop Go The Beatles". It was taped at the BBC's Maida Vale studios, not far from EMI's studio in Abbey Road. The Beatles rehearsed and recorded their contribution between 10:30 am and 1:00 pm, after which they took lunch in the BBC staff restaurant and then went out into Delaware Road with photographer, Dezo Hoffmann to give the birthday bumps to Paul McCartney, 21 years old the next day.

For this program, the Beatles recorded "I saw her standing there", Anna (Go to him)", "Boys", "Chains", "PS, I love you" and "Twist and Shout". It was broadcast on Tuesday, June 25th, between 5:00 and 5:29 pm, the guest group in this edition being the Bachelors.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Sunday, June 16, 1963

Odeon Cinema, South St. Romford, Essex

The final date in the "Mersey Beat Showcase" series, promoted this time by John Smith. Five more dates in the series, planned for June 17th, 20th, and 23rd were scrapped by Brian Epstein.

This was a truly remarkable booking for, in what may be the only time in popular music history, the show's three main acts, The Beatles, Billy J. Kramer with the Dakotas, and Gerry and the Pacemakers occupied number one, two and three in that week's British singles charts.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Saturday, June 15, 1963

City Hall, Fisherton, St. Salisbury, Wiltshire

A surprise date with Jaybee Clubs, the promotion which had booked the Beatles into the historically important March 31, 1962 Stroud engagement. This show was arranged in April 1963 for the huge fee of £300, but as the date approached, Brian Epstein began to have serious misgivings about the Beatle's safety in such a venue. He offered Jaybee £200 to cancel the booking, but was turned down. Over 1,500 people crowded into the City Hall.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Friday, June 14, 1963

Tower Ballroom, New Brighton, Wallasey

A sensational final return to an old stamping ground-always one of the Beatles favorite venues-to play another in the "Mersey Beat Showcase" series presented by NEMS Enterprises.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Thursday, June 13, 1963

Palace Theatre Club, Turncroft Lane, Offerton, Stockport, Cheshire and Southern Sporting Club, The Corona, Birch St., Hyde Rd., Manchester, Lancashire

A most unusual double booking - two northern variety/cabaret night-clubs, ten miles apart.