Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Please Roll Over Mr Postman

July 30, 1963

It is very fulfilling for the blogger of this page to finally get to this point.  All of the songs that so deeply influenced my appreciation for music are being made so close together in time.  And after all of the trouble and fun that the Beatles as individuals and as a band have lived through to get here.

Of course, the band is still playing to houses all up and down the island of Great Britain.  But they make occasional stops in London at Abbey Road to lay down some tracks in anticipation of their second album, Which is actually the album (minus a couple of songs - thanks Capitol)  that will introduce most of us in the US to the Beatles special genius, called "Meet the Beatles" here.

In the morning, the band stops in at the studio and records a couple of great ones, a cover of the Marvelettes "Please Mr Postman" and starts work on their original "It Won't Be Long".

In the afternoon, the band records some for BBC radio, including an interview with bandleader Phil Tate for Non-Stop Pop.

In the evening, back to Abbey Road to record some more recording.  They finish up "It Won't Be Long", lay down "Roll Over Beethoven" (love that heartbeat-of-rock-and-roll bass drum!) and capture Paul's "All My Loving".  Producer George Martin pitches in and sets down a piano track for "Money (That's What I Want).

All this in one 24 hour day?!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Thank you, Detroit

July 18th, 1963

The Beatles spend the day at Abbey Road Studios, laying down some more material for their anticipated and unnamed second album.  They select some covers, including three Motown favorites.
  You Really Got a Hold on Me (Smokey Robinson and the Miracles)
  Money - That's What I Want (Barret Strong)
  Devil in Her Heart (The Donays)
  Til There Was You (from Broadway's The Music Man)

For a Detroit boy, this is a great day!  Do yourself a favor.  Click on those links and listen to that infectious Motown beat.

How odd that exactly 50 years to the day later, Detroit declares bankruptcy.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Gluttony and Some Set Lists

Early July, 1963

Pop Go the Beatles on BBC radio is a big success and a further run of 11 weeks is agreed to.  On July 2nd, the Beatles tape the first show of the second set, to be broadcast on July 16th.  Here's what they played:
  That's All Right, Mama (Elvis cover)
  There's a Place (L&M original)
  Carol (Chuck Berry cover - influence of the Stones and thinking "We can do that, too"?)
  Soldier of Love (Arthur Alexander cover)
  Lend Me Your Comb (Carl Perkins cover)
  Clarabella (Jodimars cover)
  Three Cool Cats (Coasters cover - not broadcast)
  Sweet Little Sixteen (Chuck Berry cover - not broadcast)
  Ask Me Why (L&M original - not broadcast)

The Beat Show, another BBC offering, record a Beatles performance at the Playhouse Theatre in Manchester on July 3rd.
  From Me to You (L&M original)
  A Taste of Honey (Broadway show cover)

They haven't forgotten their roots as a great cover band.

Meanwhile back in London, Brian Epstein, trying to avoid looming overexposure, is beginning  to cancel some previously agreed to appearances on various BBC programs.  On the 4th, George Martin mixes the mono verion of "She Loves You" and the Beatles show up to check out the new competition, The Rolling Stones, in performance at The Scene, a club in Soho.

Then, on the 10th, in the morning, the Beatles record for another edition of Pop Go the Beatles.
  Sweet Little Sixteen
  A Taste of Honey
  Nothin' Shakin' But the Leaves on the Trees (Eddie Fontaine cover)
  Love Me Do (L&M original)
  Lonesome Tears in My Eyes (from Johnny Brunette and his Rock 'n Roll Trio)
  So How Come No One Loves Me (Everly Brothers cover)

Thank goodness the recordings have survived. You can hear lots of these on the Beatles Live at the BBC Recordings.

In the afternoon, they open a stint of six nights in one place, two shows each night.  The shows take place at the Aeolian  Hall in London.  (After the incessant travel, that must have been a huge relief.)
  Roll Over Beethoven (Chuck Berry cover)
  Thank You Girl (L&M original)
  Chains (Goffin and Carol King cover)
  Please Please Me (L&M original)
  A Taste of Honey (Broadway)
  I Saw Her Standing There (L&M original)
  Baby, It's You (Motown cover)
  From Me to You (L&M original)
  Twist and Shout (the old Isley Brothers standby)

I love how they are keeping things interesting by resurrecting so many of their old mainstays.

On the 16th, they show up at BBC Paris Studio in London and record for three (count 'em) more episodes of Pop Go the Beatles to be broadcast in August.  Do you think these guys liked making music? They are gluttons for punishment!