Beatles 50th Blog

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Friday, April 19, 1963

The Beatles at King's Hall, Stoke-On-Trent

The second "Mersey Beat Showcase" date

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Thursday, April 18, 1963

During the first half of 1963, the BBC presented and broadcast live, three concerts direct from this famous venue, each performed in front of an audience. The Beatles appeared on only this occasion, in a show titled "Swinging Sound '63", alongside a host of other artists, including Del Shannon, the Springfields, Lance Percival, Rolf Harris, the Vernons Girls, Kenny Lynch, Shane Fenton and the Fentones, and George Melly.

The concert was a fairly complicated affair, taking place in two distinct halves, 8:00 to 8:50 and 9:10 to 10:15 pm, with an interval in between. Only the second half was broadcast; the first was not even recorded, so in essence, this could be classified as a Beatles concert appearance and the sencond half a live radio appearance. Furthermore, the BBC's General Overseas Service beamed a simultaneous broadcast across much of the globe between 9:15 and 10:00 pm, which meant that overseas listeners missed out on the Beatles by seconds, since they did not play in the second half until 10:02 pm.

This was the Beatles first appearance at the Royal Albert Hall, a venue they would remember in their 1967 song "A Day In The Life", and they spent virtually the entire day there, mostly in the dressing room. They were called at 10:15 am for a 10:45 to 11:30 rehearsal, and again at 12:45 pm for a 1:00 to 1:30 rehearsal of the concert's finale.

Fellow Liverpulian, jazz singer and arts critic George Melly introduced the Beatles on stage during both halves of the concert. In the first, at around 8:40 pm, they played two songs, "Please Please Me" and "Misery", with only the briefest of pauses in between.

In the second half, broadcast live, the group sang "Twist and Shout", and "From Me To You", again segued. They had planned on opening with "Thank you Girl" released earlier, but switched it to the more upbeat "Twist and Shout" at the last moment, unbeknown to the BBC producers Terry Henebery and Ron Belchier. In the grand finale, all the acts on the bill, including the Beatles, crowded onto the stage for an instrumental blast of "Mack The Knife", which they played for over three minutes, until the "Light Programme" broadcast was faded down at 10:15. (Written in 1928 by Kurt Weill for "The Three Penny Opera", "Mack The Knife" has since been recorded by hundreds of artists.

After the broadcast Paul first met his fiancee-to-be, aspriring young actress and "teen" TV personality Jane Asher, who (earlier in the evening) had posed, screaming for the Beatles, for a photographer from "Radio Times", the BBC's weekly listings journal.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Wednesday, April 17, 1963

The Beatles at the Majestic Ballroom, Mill Street, Luton, Bedfordshire

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Tuesday, April 16, 1963

The Beatles at Studio Four, Granada TV Centre, Manchester

The Beatle's first appearance on Granada Television in three months was this live (mimed) performance of "From Me To You", on
'Scene At 6:30', a new half hour news magazine program from North England, succeeding from People and Places. Following 3:00 - 4:00 and 4:15 - 6:00 pm rehearsals, it was broadcast between 6:30 and 7:00 pm, clashing with the Beatle's taped BBC TV appearance on "The 625 Show" which was on from 6:25 to 6:50.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Monday, April 15, 1963

The Beatles at the Riverside Dancing Club, Bridge Hotel, Teme St. Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Sunday, April 14, 1963

Teddington Studio Centre, Teddington

Taping of the Beatles third appearance on the ABC Television program, "Thank Your Lucky Stars", broadcast across most of the ITV network on Saturday, April 20th from 5:50 to 6:30 pm.

In this edition, the group were called for an 11:00 am rehearsal and took part in the continuous taping during the afternoon, miming to one song, "From Me To You". The Beatles were third on the bill, other guests including the not yet successful Dave Clark Five, The Vernons Girls, Bert Weedon and, topping the line-up, visiting American Del Shannon, with whom the Beatles would work again the next Thursday.

After the TYLS taping, the Beatles drove to the nearby town of Richmond-upon-Thames to see, for the first time, another up and coming new group, the Rolling Stones, in live action at the Crawdaddy Club in the town's Station Hotel pub.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Saturday, April 13, 1963

Studio E, Lime Grove Studios, Lime Grove, Shepherd's Bush, London

After 11 appearances on British independent television, the - at last - was the Beatles debut on the national BBC network, a video recording for "The 625 Show", transmitted from 6:25 to 6:50 pm on Tuesday, April 16th and billed as featuring "up and coming young talent".

The recording took place at the Corporation's Lime Grove Studios in West London, a 10:30 to 11:30 am band call, 11:30 am to 1:00 pm and 2:15 to 3:45 camera rehearsal and 4:30 to 6:00 final rehearsal preceding the 7:30 to 8:15 pm taping.

The Beatles performed three songs on the program, "From Me To You', "Thank You Girl", and "Please Please Me". The latter song closed the show and so the Beatles were enjoined by the entire cast: singer Jimmy Young, singers/guitarists Rolf and Tino, singer Bobbi Carrol, singer/guitarist Hank Locklin, guitarist Wout Steenhuis, a four-piece orchestra led by Micky Greeve, pianist Johnny Pearson and musical conductor Edwin Braben.

This taping of "The 625 Show" precluded the Beatles from making an adverstised personal appearance (though they weren't scheduled to perform) at a football club dance held this night at the Civic Hall in Uppermill, near Oldham, Lancashire. Instead, the Beatles stayed local to London, going to a party thrown at his North Harrow home by the Shadow's guitarist Bruce Welch. Here they met Cliff Richard for the first time.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Friday, April 12, 1963

Night Cavern Club, Liverpool

A special Good Friday return to the Cavern Club, spearheading another eight-hour "Rhythm & Blues Marathon"

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Thursday, April 11, 1963

The Beatles appearing at the Co-operative Hall, Long St. Middleton, Lancashire

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : Wednesday, April 10, 1963

Majestic Ballroom, Birkenhead

The Beatles last appearance at this venue.