Monday, August 27, 2018

Something Special from the Very Start of American Beatlemania

I know I haven't posted in nearly a month, and so I'm going to try to get three in before the end of the month, with the best going first - right now!:

So I recently acquired a small collection of reels containing someone's obsessive capturing or Top 40 radio through the early to mid '60's. The real gold to be found in these sorts of reels today is in finding those where the listener left the recorder on and captured all the DJ banter, commercials, phone calls, bits, etc. So I was disappointed to find out that this person made a point (as so many did) of editing out EVERYTHING that wasn't the records being played. There are barely any split seconds of DJ chatter, let along anything more. That's particularly sad because several of these tapes contain broadcasts from the mighty WINS, 1010 on your dial, in New York City.

One tape in particular, at least, captured that moment in 1964 when The Beatles were becoming the hottest thing ever in pop music in the States. The broadcasts are full of Beatles music, including tracks from both of their British albums and multiple singles. Near the beginning of the tape is an airing of "Love Me Do" (available - briefly, on the first version of Vee-Jay's "Introducing the Beatles", but not a hit single until months later), with a surviving DJ comment (one of the few) that makes it clear that that song hadn't been aired much, if at all - the DJ makes mention of John Lennon's harmonica style, indicating that it's a brand new record to him. Other elements of the tape place it just before or just after the Beatles arrived in the US that February, although I could be off by a week or two.

My frustration with the tape turned to joy - and then back to frustration - halfway through the second side. Because I was suddenly in the midst of what had to have been a hastily constructed special on the Beatles, complete with reports from England, analysis of their music and their appeal, and lots of little factual errors of the type you'll get when you're trying to glom onto something that's been wildly popular for three weeks.

But then, after about 21 minutes (of what promised to be a 55 minute show) the tape runs out. The other tapes I've checked from this collection do not appear to have the rest of the show. But what's there is GOLD. I'm not sure this has survived anywhere else, at least not in this form, so this may be a rare treat. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Download: WINS 1010 - Beatles Special, Winter, 1964
Play:

1 comment:

  1. This was hosted by D.J., Murray The K, who was crowned "The 5th. Beatle, as were about a dozen or so other people who were elected to be in the inner circle of Beatlers. The only REAL 5th. Beatle, of course, was Billy Preston. No, not Yoko Ono. Although her musical abilities were rival to the musicianship of The Fab Four, themselves.

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