On this date in 1964, the Beatles arrived in the U,S.
A Time magazine reporter described them as “English sheepdog versions of Elvis Presley”.
An AP TV/Radio reporter/writer said the Beatles sing in harmony, but she said they are a mystery to the “elderly” — that reporter was in her 50s.
My Dad was close to that age, and he had already declared they were astupid fad for stupid teenagers.
One of my classmates had cut his hair in the Beatle mop and when he came over, it was all Dad could do to hold his tongue. As soon as my classmate left, Dad told me, I better not catch you wearing your hair line that.
It was never smart to wise off to my Dad so I said, Yes sir. But at the time I had a crew-cut and didn’t see how I could duplicate that style anytime soon.
One day at the noon hour, I joined another junior and we got on the roof of the high school. We quickly hung a sheet over the edge and scampered away. From his car, we could see fellow students stopping and pointing to a white bed sheet with big red letters reading: BEATLES FOREVER!!! ( Yes, proof that I indeed was a Wild Teenage Rebel. )
Later that year, I was a disc jockey; we were an MOR station (Middle of the Road … playing mostly Sinatra, Martin, Page ) we did play some light rock and even some of the softer Elvis.
I started playing some of the Beatles ( I Want to Hold Your Hand / Love Me Do ) — not the hardest Beatles rock, but it was too much for my audience.
I got complaints and kinda ignored them. The Program Director got calls and said, They’re listening. The owner got calls and had both of us in his office.
He started, Okay, many viewers and some of our sponsors consider the Beatles junk, but my kids say they are bigger than Elvis. So, we are going to play them, but only one song an hour during the day, and I tell you which songs … and not in the eleven o’clock hour leading up to Paul Harvey.
After the 7 o’clock hour, you can play 2 an hour and after 10, you can play one every quarter hour.
And so it was.
The Beatles stormed America,
took New York and even invaded Big Spring, Texas … ever so slowly.