Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas with Dusty





video

My friend Jeff is a connoisseur of Christmas music of all kinds--classic, novelty, sacred and secular. In his quest to obtain every '60s pop Christmas recording, he came across a truly lovely (and rare) ballad by the incomparable Dusty Springfield entitled "O Holy Child," which was written by her brother Tom and recorded to aid an orphanage in London. Jeff sent me the 45 single of "O Holy Child," as well as the rare "Woman's Own" Christmas EP by the Springfields. I have used my needledrop of the Dusty single to accompany the slideshow presentation. I hope you enjoy this special Christmas gift from me and Jeff.

Of all the great British Invasion songstresses (Petula, Cilla, Lulu, Sandie, Marianne), Dusty is my favorite. Her voice was rich and soulful, and as all great singers do, she made every song her own. I recommend her masterpiece, Dusty in Memphis for any introduction to her catalog, as well as the equally essential Complete A and B Sides 1963 - 1970. No female singer quite interpreted Goffin and King as wonderfully as she, save for Aretha.

Dusty was born Mary O'Brien in West Hampstead, London. She began her singing career performing folk songs alongside her older brother. They achieved success as the Springfields, even scoring a major U.S. hit with their cover of Wanda Jackson's "Silver Threads and Golden Needles." Dusty soon broke out on her own, shunning the folk of the past, and thus reaching worldwide fame and iconic status as the platinum blonde r&b diva.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

(Biographical information taken from the liner notes to The Springfields: On an Island of Dreams, written by Michael Robson.)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Everywhere It's Christmas!



video

One of the many perks of being a member of the Official Beatles Fan Club was that as Christmas neared, one would receive a special flexi-disc record containing Christmas messages from the Fab Four themselves. Starting in 1963 and continuing through 1969, the Beatles recorded hilarious, Goon-type greetings that may have baffled a few of their American fans! I make it a tradition to listen to these recordings, as well as outtakes from the sessions, each Christmas season. They are a constant source of holiday cheer for me and countless Beatles fans.

The Christmas record featured in this post is the 1966 release entitled Pantomime: Everywhere It's Christmas, recorded November 25th at music publisher Dick James' house. The night before, the Beatles had convened at EMI's Studio Two to tackle a first take of John's stupendous "Strawberry Fields Forever." Housed in a psychedelic cover designed by Paul McCartney, Pantomime is perhaps the most creative and interesting of all the Christmas flexi-discs. Playing off the British Christmas tradtion of musical-comedy theatre productions, the Beatles add their own unique twist to the format. The video is a Lego animation film created by Leftfield Studios in 2003 as a visual accompaniment to the Beatles' record--I think it is perfectly executed and quite fun to watch!

So, to one and all, a Happy Crimble and a Merry Goo Year!

Check back soon for another special Christmas posting...

(References: The Beatles on Apple Records by Bruce Spizer and That Magic Feeling by John C. Winn)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Purple Hearts and Power Chords


video

Pete...Roger...Keith...John

If you are not familiar with the Who, beg, borrow and/or steal the Amazing Journey and The Kids are Alright documentaries. Once you view them, you will quickly become a Wholigan, and will thus be compelled to get your hands on all their classic albums. My personal favorite is the mono version of their psychedelic concept album, The Who Sell Out, but you cannot go wrong with A Quick One, The Who Sings My Generation, Who's Next, Live at Leeds, Quadrophenia, Tommy, Meaty, Beaty, Big and Bouncy...They are one of rocks' most vital, visceral, incendiary groups. Here we have a band where everyone plays lead--lead guitar, lead bass, lead drums and lead vocals--yet they accentuate each other perfectly. They might have wanted to take each other's heads off at one time or another; perhaps that's what made them so dynamic--all that tension!

The footage presented here captures the Who's explosive live act. Filmed on August 6, 1965, the first night of the Richmond Jazz and Blues Festival, this clip of "Anyway Anyhow Anywhere" was eventually aired in the US on December 9--43 years ago this week.

It's such a shame that the Ox and Moonie are not here with us--they are sorely missed. There will never be another bassist and drummer quite like them. Thankfully, the Who continue to release concert DVDs so those of us who missed out on seeing them live can at least witness these phenomenal documents and imagine what it must have been like to be there.

(References: Anyway Anyhow Anywhere: The Complete Chronicle of the Who 1958 - 1978 by Andy Neill & Matt Kent; The Who: Ten Great Years - Rolling Stone.)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Early Invasion Timeline









To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the First Wave of the British Invasion, Goldmine magazine featured an article by Charles Webb, chronicling the significant milestones of late 1963 through 1964. The bands featured on this blog are mentioned numerous times, as well as many others that will be in the spotlight soon.

I will also develop entries on many British bands that did not achieve great commercial success on this side of the Atlantic, but nonetheless were critically praised and highly influential. They may not technically fit within the terms "British Invasion" but deserve exposure and recognition for their excellent contributions. Some of these artists include the Creation, the Move, the Pretty Things, the Action, Small Faces, the Birds, Soft Machine, and other bands specializing in psychedelic, R&B, freakbeat or pop genres. As holidays and deadlines quickly approach, my new posts may not appear as often as in the past, but please continue to check in weekly just in case! I hope all of you are enjoying your trip through Wonderland...


One may click on the scans to enlarge them for reading purposes. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

"Britain's Brainiest Band"



video


Since All Hallow's Eve is quickly approaching, I thought an entry on the Zombies would be most appropriate! A truly magical group, the Zombies produced some of the most gorgeous, melancholic compositions of the British Beat era. Their popsike masterpiece, Odessey and Oracle, (sic) is one of the greatest albums of all time (in my opinion, and many others, too). If you have never heard it, get your hands on a copy as quickly as possible!

Formed in St. Albans in 1963, the Zombies consisted of Rod Argent on keyboards (his Hammond B3 work is the signature element of their sound), Colin Blunstone taking lead vocals, Chris White - bass, and Hugh Grundy - drums. On the strength of a demo tape, the band was quickly signed to Decca Records. The press quickly seized upon the fact that these lads were extremely intelligent, boasting more examination qualifications than any other British group, and saddled them with the label of "Britain's Brainiest Band."

The Zombies achieved success in the US, particularly with the hits "She's Not There," "Tell Her No," and the flower child anthem "Time of the Season," which was released to much acclaim after the group's untimely demise. Colin's angelic, evocative vocals, combined with the song writing talents of Rod and Chris, set the group apart from their contemporaries. John Lennon was so impressed that he expressed the desire to produce them himself!

If one is interested in a single disc collection of the Zombies' "greatest hits," I recommend the Audio Fidelity hybrid SACD. If one wishes to delve further, dive head first into the Zombie Heaven box set, lovingly compiled by expert Alec Palao. This 4 CD set contains every single, LP track, BBC performance and studio outtake available. It's love at first listen!

Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent have reunited in recent years, touring and performing together again. This past year, they performed Odessey and Oracle in it's entirety to enthusiastic crowds and have released a live CD from the tour.

(References: Zombie Heaven by Alec Palao; The Fab British Rock'N'Roll Invasion of 1964 by Dave McAleer)

Monday, October 13, 2008

KRLA BEAT!













For something a bit different this week, I bring you scans from a lovely volume compiling all the 1965 issues of BEAT, the newspaper of L.A.'s (then) fab radio station, KRLA. These articles and photos immediately transport the reader back to the first wave of the British Invasion, and allows us all to envision what it must have been like for teenagers living in a major U.S. city during that time. All the British acts' tours certainly had L.A. on their itineraries!

Click on the scans to enlarge them if you wish to read the articles. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Jangle Sound, "Preflyte"




video



The Searchers, one of Liverpool's finest groups, are noted for their impeccable harmonies, jangling guitar sounds (a major influence on the Byrds), and grasp of various musical styles. They were the fourth Merseyside band to find national success, but the first outside of Brian Epstein's stable of bands. In fact, Epstein's most famous act, the Beatles, often cited the Searchers as one of their favorite bands.

John McNally (rhythm guitarist) formed the Searchers in 1960, taking the name from the John Wayne Western playing in theatres at that time. McNally's school friends joined in: Chris Curtis on drums and Mike Pender on lead guitar. Bass and lead vocalist duties were taken on by a slightly older, well-known Liverpool personality, Tony Jackson. They quickly found residency at the Iron Door Club, eventually serving as a backing group for Johnny Sandon before the usual grueling stint at Hamburg's Star Club. Upon return from Hamburg, the Searchers were discovered by Pye's recording manager, Tony Hatch. Their first single, a distinctive treatment of the Drifter's "Sweets for My Sweet," shot to number one in the UK charts. Hatch composed a similar follow up single entitled "Sugar and Spice," which reached number two.

Nineteen Sixty-Four began as a banner year for the Searchers. Their recording of the Jack Nitzsche/Sonny Bono penned "Needles and Pins," which had been a stateside hit for songstress Jackie DeShannon, became the biggest hit of their career, selling over a million copies. The interesting and influential jangling guitar effects in this song were not achieved on a 12 string; in fact, the song features two overdubbed six string guitars. The Searchers did not use a 12 string until they recorded the single "When You Walk in the Room," which was released in Sept. 1964. Shortly after the success of "Needles and Pins," Tony Jackson acrimoniously parted ways with the group. Sadly, this amazing vocalist did not achieve the recognition he deserved. For more in depth information about the Searchers, please check out Merseybeat expert Spencer Leigh's homepage.

If one is looking for an excellent Searchers CD compilation, I recommend Audio Fidelity's hybrid SACD entitled The Searchers: A Collection (mastered by Steve Hoffman). For a more comprehensive collection, the 3 CD set The Searchers 30th Anniversary Collection on Sequel Records covers the singles, select LP and EP cuts, and rarities. I find both collections to be essential. (The above video clip of "Don't Throw Your Love Away" is from Big Beat '64: the NME Pollwinnners Concert.)

(References: Record Collector article by Peter Doggett, British Beat by May and Phillips, liner notes to the Searchers Collection, various other RC and Goldmine articles I've read.)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Happenings 40 Years Time Ago



video


I find it disheartening that most regard the Yardbirds as merely a catalyst for three of the world's most revered guitar heroes--they could claim Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page among their ranks--when in fact, they were one of the most innovative bands of their era. Even a cursory listen to their catalog reveals how they evolved, incorporating various musical styles (not just the blues) into their original songs. My favorite of their albums is Roger the Engineer, featuring Jeff Beck on lead guitar, followed closely by the oft-maligned psychedelic Little Games, where Page first uses the violin bow technique he cribbed from Creation guitarist Eddie Phillips.

The core members of what eventually became the Yardbirds aligned their talents together in May of 1963 as the MBQ: Keith Relf - vocals, harmonica; Chris Dreja - rhythm guitar; Tony Topham - lead guitar; Paul Samwell-Smith - bass; Jim McCartey - drums. Relf suggested the name change, stating that the term "Yardbird" referred to "hobos who hang around railroad yards." When Topham left the group, future "slowhand" legend Eric Clapton auditioned for the band and played his first gig with them in October of '63. By this time the Yardbirds had already taken over the Rolling Stones' residency at the Crawdaddy Club. The first video clip showcases "Louise," a John Lee Hooker classic, during a Summer of '64 appearance on a German television. Notice fresh-faced 19 year-old Clapton on lead guitar!

Clapton became increasingly discouraged with the band as they moved into more commercial territory and further away from traditional blues. He performed on their debut, the incendiary Five Live Yardbirds (one of the greatest live albums ever) but left soon after recording the Graham Gouldman ("Bus Stop," "No Milk Today") penned "For Your Love." (Gouldman also wrote "Heart Full of Soul; he was later a member of 10cc with former Mindbender Eric Stewart, Kevin Godley, and Lol Creme.) Session musician Jimmy Page was approached to join the Yardbirds; he declined, and the spot was filled by Jeff Beck. Later, when Samwell-Smith left the band, Jimmy Page joined as rhythm guitarist and eventually took over lead duties after Beck's departure.

As Relf and McCarty embraced psychedelia, a schism developed within the band. Eventually Jimmy Page was the only member left in the Yardbirds, so he recruited new members Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham. They played some gigs under the Yardbirds' moniker, but threat of legal action by Chris Dreja forced a name change. In reference to Keith Moon's quip that their music would "go over like a lead balloon," the group was newly christened "Led Zeppelin."

(References: Blues-Rock Explosion, edited by McStravic and Roos, with contributions by Jeff Watt; Ugly Things issue #20 2002; British Beat by May and Phillips)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Kinky Boot Beasts





video


Honestly, I can't say enough about the Kinks. They're my second favorite band, eclipsing both the Rolling Stones and the Who in my personal pantheon of British greats. Ray Davies pure English sensibilities, his poetry, and his unique social perspective are what elevate them to these realms--qualities evident from the start of their recording career, but more prominent in this legendary string of albums: Face to Face, Something Else by the Kinks, The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society (my personal favorite), Arthur, or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire, and Lola vs. Powerman and the Moneygoround. Seek these out immediately if you haven't experienced them yet!

The Kinks began life when sixteen year-old Ray Davies and his thirteen year-old brother Dave began playing gigs around their Muswell Hill neighborhood as The Kelly Brothers. As Ray was discovering American blues at art college and playing rhythm guitar and harmonica for the Dave Hunt Band, the younger Davies brother met up with bassist Pete Quaife, forming the Ravens. Eventually Ray joined his brother in the group, as well as pre-Rolling Stones reject Mick Avory on drums. Once signed to Pye records, a name change was in order. Several stories concerning the origin of the monkier circulate; here's Ray's version of events:
"We were sitting in a pub getting a bit drunk one day, feeling disillusioned because we hadn't had much work. This guy came up to us and said we were crazy and ought to be called 'The Kinks.' "

Ray never liked the name but soon noticed it had it's advantages:

"Somebody rang us up one night wanting us to open a show with five other acts. We wanted something short so that it could be as big as possible on the marquee. Kinks was good, as it was only five letters...Maybe it was an unfortunate name but good in a way because it's something that people don't really want."

So the scandalous name took hold, and an equally raw proto-punk Kinks "sound" took shape with their first two hits, "You Really Got Me" (showcased here) and "All Day and All of the Night" (whose anarchic solos were not, I repeat NOT, played by session man and future Zeppelin Jimmy Page).

Sadly, the Kinks role in the British Invasion diminished after their first US tour because they didn't show up for one date and were subsequently banned from returning to the states by the American Federation of Musicians. By the late-Seventies, however, the group were firmly established within the ranks of Stadium Bands and roundly acknowledged as fathers of both the heavy metal and punk genres, strangely enough.

Rumors of a retrospective box set and band reunion have yet to reach fruition. Regardless, the mantra of Kinks Konverts everywhere remains: God Save the Kinks!

(The first scan is of an Italian Pye LP; the second is of a UK EP.)

Reference: The Kinks Kronikles by John Mendelssohn

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Tottenham Beat!



video



OK, so they never recorded a consistently solid LP; no matter--their 45s certainly packed a wallop! They were never on the same level as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, the Animals, the Yardbirds, etc., yet the Dave Clark Five produced some of the finest pop singles of the first wave of the British Invasion. Certainly there was a bit of "love 'em or loathe 'em" then as now; however, their rock creditability was bolstered when punk rockers the Ramones cited them as an influence, even performing "Any Way You Want It" in concert.

A major factor contributing to the DC5's decline in popularity remains that Dave Clark, who owns the masters to all the DC5's recordings, has only allowed a couple of legitimate CD compilations to be released over the years, and these quickly went out of print. So for many years, a person who heard "Because" on the radio and liked it could not walk into his or her local music store and purchase a DC5 CD. Clark has recently allowed an iTunes compilation to be released, coinciding with their Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction, but as of this writing, the promised CD counterpart has yet to see the light of day. It's actually quite sad that the DC5's music--some of the best of British beat--has yet to be discovered by younger generations because of its lack of availability on the most popular format of the past 20 years.

The DC5's recent induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame was a bittersweet occasion; vocalist/organist Mike Smith had passed away only days before, and saxophonist Dennis Payton also did not live to witness this auspicious event. Oscar winning actor Tom Hanks' enthusiastic, heart-felt introduction speech drove home the importance of the DC5's music and it's impact on the American youth in 1964. Drummer, leader, and producer Dave Clark and guitarist Lenny Davidson spoke, and Joan Jett performed a raucous cover of "Bits and Pieces."

This clip of "Glad All Over" (a staple of the Invaders' show, and the first song to unseat the Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand" from the top of the charts) was taken from a 1964 episode of the famed UK music show, Ready Steady Go! The scan is of an advert taken from the back of an original 1966 DC5 tour book (thanks, Jeff!). Click to enlarge, and check out the egregious mistake by the good folks at Vox...

Friday, August 29, 2008

De Rigueur, Baby

video






















This footage of The Animals miming their number one hit "The House of the Rising Sun" was taken from the 1965 music review film entitled Pop Gear (aka Go-Go Mania), hosted by beloved DJ and British television personality Jimmy Savile.

Pop Gear showcased the following British acts:

  • Pre-credits: She Loves You – The Beatles (from Pathe newsreel footage of their Nov. 20, 1963, Manchester concert)
  • Little Children - Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas
  • Make Him Mine - Susan Maughan
  • Juliet - The Four Pennies
  • The House of the Rising Sun - The Animals
  • A Little Loving - The Fourmost
  • He's in Town - The Rockin’ Berries
  • Have I the Right - The Honeycombs
  • Rinky Dink - Sounds Incorporated
  • World Without Love - Peter and Gordon
  • Walk Away - Matt Monroe
  • I'm Into Something Good - Herman's Hermits
  • Tommy Quickly and the Reno Four - Humpty Dumpty
  • Watcha Gonna Do - Billie Davis
  • My Babe - The Spencer Davis Group
  • Tobacco Road - The Nashville Teens
  • What In The World's Come Over You - The Rockin' Berries
  • For Mama - Matt Monroe
  • Black Girl - The Four Pennies
  • William Tell - Sounds Incorporated
  • Google Eyes - The Nashville Teens
  • Eyes - The Honeycombs
  • Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood - The Animals
  • Pop Gear - Matt Monroe
  • Closing credits: Twist And Shout – The Beatles
(Artists and songs gathered from Wikipedia)
The Animals, the Nashville Teens, and the Spencer Davis Group distinctively stand out from the other acts featured on Pop Gear because of their blues/folk influences, standing in sharp contrast to the pop sounds of the other acts. (Stay tuned for a feature on many of these bands in a forthcoming entries.)

The Animals began life as the Alan Price Combo in their rough hometown of Newcastle, a background that certainly helped infuse their r&b sound with a tough, authentic quality. The band consisted of Hilton Valentine on lead guitar, Alan Price on organ, Chas Chandler on bass and John Steel on drums. When the soulful, outrageous Eric Burdon joined as lead vocalist in 1962, the band became known as "The Animals" because of their wild stage act. When famed London record producer Mickie Most discovered them in 1963, the Animals were quickly signed to Columbia records and began recording their first single, "Baby Let Me Take You Home," a toned-down version of a song that had appeared on Bob Dylan's first Columbia album. However, it was their second single, an old folk ballad which was also recorded by Dylan, that propelled the Animals to the top of the UK and US singles charts: "The House of the Rising Sun." This raw, mournful track about a New Orleans brothel perfectly suited the Animals' style and showcased Burdon's wailing vocals. It is undoubtedly one of the major songs of the British Invasion period. The hits continued for the Animals until 1966, when the soul of Burdon was psychedelicized and the rifts between band members could not be mended. Burdon emerged with a New Animals in 1967, and later joined WAR, where he continued to find chart success. Chas Chandler became a respected producer and manager, who most notably discovered Jimi Hendrix.

One of my favorite Animals' recordings is a live show with blues legend Sonny Boy Williamson, recorded December 30, 1963. The Fuel label released this on CD in 2000 under the title The Animals: Taken Alive! Check it out for a glimpse into their crazed, energetic live shows!

(References: British Beat by Chris May and Tim Phillips, Tapestry of Delights by Vernon Joynson, and Way Beyond Compare by John C. Winn. My scan of The Animals Is Here EP from the liner notes to The Animals: A's, B's and EP's.)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Hollywood Squares

video


The Rolling Stones' first television appearance in America was an unpleasant event for them, unfortunately. They were booked to record 3 songs at ABC studios for Dean Martin's old-fashioned variety show, The Hollywood Palace. The Stones immediately noticed a "strange atmosphere" on the set. According to Bill Wyman, "We were treated more like a comedy act than a band....Dean Martin, who appeared to be drunk throughout the show, persistently tried to get cheap laughs at our expense. 'Their hair isn't long, it's just smaller foreheads and higher eyebrows'" (Wyman 124).

The Stones' US Tour manager, Bob Bonis recalls, "Dean Martin was a little out of it and made an awful lot of fun of the band. The producer gave them money to go out and buy themselves uniforms. We said, 'They don't wear uniforms.' Dean Martin and I got into an argument, and Keith was about to pop him one with his guitars" (124). This sort of treatment was not atypical while they were visiting in June of '64--the band received quite a bit of contempt from many adults, including police officers, interspersed with the adoration of screaming girls.

At least on this first visit to the US, the Stones were afforded the opportunity to record at the legendary Chess Studios in Chicago--certainly hallowed ground for these English lads--and meet heroes such as Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, Buddy Guy and Willie Dixon!
(Reference: Rolling With The Stones by Bill Wyman)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

And Here I'll Stay...

video



video


Here are two clips of Mersey Beat legends Gerry and the Pacemakers--the first band to achieve the feat of having their first 3 singles skyrocket to the number one position in the UK charts: "How Do You Do It," "I Like It," and the Rogers and Hammerstein standard, "You'll Never Walk Alone," featured in the second clip. Their fourth single stalled at number 2, kept out of the top position by the Searchers' version of "Needles and Pins." In the US it seems Gerry and the Pacemakers are most remembered for "Ferry Cross The Mersey" and "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying."

Gerry and the Pacemakers began as a 3 piece skiffle band with the copyright-infringing moniker "The Mars Bars." (They were sued by the candy company!) By 1960, Gerry Marsden (guitar, vocals), Les Chadwick (bass) and Freddie Marsden (drums) were performing as Gerry and the Pacemakers, opening for Gene Vincent in Liverpool and heading for a residency at Hamburg's infamous Top Ten Club. Soon the band had pilfered pianist/saxophonist Les Maguire from another Merseyside act, the Undertakers. By January of 1962, the Beatles' impresario, Brian Epstein, had taken notice of their immense popularity and became their manager. (Notice Gerry's response to a question about Mr. Epstein in the first clip!)

"You Never Walk Alone," although voted a "miss" on Juke Box Jury, soon became the anthem of the Liverpool Football Club at Anfield. Marsden recalls, "They played it at the game about six times and then they all started singing it and it's carried on, which is great. The first time I was there when they sang it, I went all goose-pimply. I still do" (Leigh 151). In 1989 when 96 Liverpool FC supporters died in a tragic human crush at Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield, Marsden, Paul McCartney, and other Liverpool musicians recorded a new version of the song, donating all proceeds to the families of the victims.

Gerry and the Pacemakers were unable to transition to the new sounds emerging in the mid to late Sixties, and thus they disbanded in October of 1966. I am particularly fond of their second to last single, "Girl on a Swing" which didn't chart on either side of the Atlantic; a shame, actually. You can find it on volume 7 of Rhino's essential nine volume British Invasion: History of British Rock set.

(The first clip was encoded by me from my copy of Sounds of the Sixties, and the second was found on YouTube by Invader bassist Alan Manning.)


(References: Let's Go Down The Cavern by Spencer Leigh and Pete Frame; Tapestry of Delights by Vernon Joynson; Wikipedia)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The First Glimpse: January 3, 1964

The Jack Paar Program


Contrary to popular belief, the Beatles' February 9, 1964, live appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show was not America's first glimpse of John, Paul, George, and Ringo in action on an entertainment show. On January 3rd, a taped performance of the Beatles was aired on The Jack Paar Program. Paar used this footage as an opportunity to mock the Beatles' success in England, especially the frenzied audiences' reactions. (Prior to this, the Beatles had been featured on CBS Evening News with Walker Cronkite.)

Apparently, Beatles manager Brian Epstein was furious that the BBC had sold this footage to a rival of Sullivan's, since Epstein had assured Sullivan exclusive rights to the Beatles' first televised US appearance. Epstein even threatened to cancel the Beatles' future BBC radio shows, and Sullivan hastily phoned London in an attempt to cancel the Beatles' performances on his show! Thankfully, Sullivan calmed down; imagine what it would have been like if the Beatles were never on The Ed Sullivan Show...I shudder to think!
(Reference: The Beatles Are Coming! by Bruce Spizer, p. 88)