Friday, 2 May 2014

The Beatles 5 times in the Classics 100 edition 2014

Every year the Flemish radio station Radio 1 publishes a list (compiled by listeners) of "classic" songs.

This year, The Beatles were featured 5 times. Here the top 10 and the other Beatles positions

1. Stairway to heaven - Led Zeppelin

2. Born to run - Bruce Springsteen

3. Like a hurricane - Neil Young

4. Martha - Tom Waits

5. Child in time - Deep Purple

6. Like a rolling stone - Bob Dylan

7. A day in the life - The Beatles

8. Wish you were here - Pink Floyd

9. Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen

10.Ne me quitte pas - Jacques Brel

15. Imagine - John Lennon

42. Hey Jude - the Beatles

50. Strawberry Fields Forever - The Beatles

78. While My Guitar Gently Weeps - The Beatles

91. Here comes the Sun - the Beatles

Friday, 4 April 2014

The Beatles take the top 5 positions in Billboard

What happened on 4 April 1964 is not very likely to happen ever again.

On that day The Beatles occupied the top 5 positions in the Billboard Hot 100 chart. And not only that, they also had 7 other songs in the top 100!

    1: Can't Buy Me Love (Capitol)
    2: Twist And Shout (Tollie)
    3: She Loves You (Swan)
    4: I Want To Hold Your Hand (Capitol)
    5: Please Please Me (Vee Jay)
    31: Saw Her Standing There (Capitol)
    41: From Me To You (Vee Jay)
    46: Do You Want To Know A Secret (Vee Jay)
    58: All My Loving (Capitol)
    65: You Can't Do That (Capitol)
    68: Roll Over Beethoven (Capitol)
    79: Thank You Girl (Vee Jay)

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Country and Western Songs by The Bealtes

The Beatles are primarily known for being a straight Rock 'n Roll band (in the early '60s) and later on a band that changed the face of popular music, but they have also had some Country & Western-influenced songs.

The most famous one will probably be Rocky Raccoon from the White Album, but there are many more (and Ringo would later go on to record a whole bunch of them on Beaucoup of Blues).

Here are some that you might consider listening to:

- Act Naturally: a Ringo cover of a Buck Owens country song

- What Goes On (the only song credited to Lennon-McCartney-Starkey)

- Don't Pass Me By (again Ringo)

- I'll Cry instead

- Many songs on Beatles for Sale - I've Just Seen a Face: a Paul McCartney song that was influenced by Country & Western. In an interview Paul says: "It was slightly country and western from my point of view... it was faster, though, it was a strange uptempo thing". If it had been slowed down a bit, it would have been pure country. And if you had added fiddle and banjo, you might even have had a bluegrass or cajun song!

p.s. why was Ringo so fascinated with Country & Western?
Well, first of all, he watched a lot of cowboy movies and read cowboy comics when he was young. Allegedly the name Ringo comes from a character (Johnny Ringo) that took part at the Gunfight at O.K. Corral.

Later on Ringo joined a band called The Raving Texans and even Rory Storm and the Hurricanes were performing Country & Western songs in their setlist.

Monday, 17 February 2014

The Beatles try water-skiing

On Monday 17 February 1964, The Beatles took a day off after their succesful appearence on the Ed Sullivan show.

One of the things The Beatles did that day, was waterskiing from the back of a 23-foot Formula race boat in Biscayne Bay.
Dezo Hoffmann took some very nice pictures of The Beatles in the water, including one where Paul is resting with his waterskis still on.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

The Beatles appear on the Ed Sullivan Show for the second time

On Sunday February 16, 1964, The Beatles appeared a second time on the Ed Sullivan show, this time transmitted from the Napoleon Room in the Deauville Hotel, Miami, Florida.

At 2pm The Beatles had a full rehearsal. According to some sources this was taped and intended for broadcast, but this never happened.

The Beatles performed from 8 pm till approximately 9pm and about 2,500 fans attended. More than 3,500 tickets had been given out by CBS, so the Miami police had a lot of work to contain the 1,000 fans who were not allowed to enter.

Other artists on the bill included: - Mitzi Gaynor (an actress, singer and dancer who was born as Francesca Marlene de Czanyi von Gerber): She performed for an unprecedented nine-minute segment and "Too Darn Hot" and a blues medley
- Myron Cohen, the comedian
- Joe Louis, a professional boxer
- Sonny Liston, a professional boxer who would later fight against Cassius Clay (whom the Beatles would soon meet)

The Beatles performed six songs: She Loves You, This Boy, All My Loving, I Saw Her Standing There, From Me To You and I Want To Hold Your Hand.

The first Ed Sullivan had 73 million viewers, and this one about 70 million.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

The Beatles in the Napoleon Room

Today, on 15 February 1964, the Beatles rehearsed for their second Ed Sullivan show. The CBS show would be broadcast from the Napoleon Room in the Deauville Hotel, and that is where the rehearsal took place. On the internet you can find lots of pictures that show The Beatles in swim trunks inside the Napoleon Room!

After the rehearsal there was a second rehearsal (called "dress rehearsal) in front of an audience of 2,500 people.

The next part of the day they went fishing

Friday, 14 February 2014

Relaxing in Miami

Valentine's day 1964 saw the Beatles still in Miami, getting ready for the second Ed Sullivan show which was scheduled for 16 February.

The went to the set (at the Deauville Beach Resort) and did some basic rehearsals (sound & lights check)

Afterwards they relaxed at the pool of an employee at Capitol Records. Reporters from LIFE magazine were allowed to take pictures, and they are among the most famous photographs taken in 1964.

They also met Bernard Castro, inventor of the convertible couch (no relation to Fidél) who lent them his yachts. Ringo managed to damage the boat but according to an interview with him, the owners didn't seem to mind.

At night they went to the hotel's nightclub and saw entertainers Don Rickles, Myron Cohen and Carol Lawrence.

Don Rickles was an agressive loud-mouth comedian, and The Beatles were not accustomed to hearing comedy that was so personal and direct (they grew up with a complete different sense of humour).

He was a very different kind of performer, very close to his public and approachable. Probably his first job as a salesman in the garment industry played a role in that!

Carol Lawrence finally was a singer and actress who rose to fame in her role as Maria on the Broadway production of West Side Story. Younger readers might remember her as the matriarch Angela Eckart on General Hospital