Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Where you there when Beatlemania started? The BBC wants to talk to you!

The BBC is doing a feature about Beatlemania, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Beatles appearing on the Ed Sullivan show in 1964.

They are seeking members of the British Beatles Fan Club who were also fans in 1964 and remember the early days of Beatlemania – and who might be interested in talking to the BBC about their memories. 

Ideally, they'd love to talk with anyone who was a teenage girl at the time and remembers being part of the crowds screaming for the Beatles in the UK or the US.  They want to ask about the excitement, about the music, and what it was about the Beatles that made such an impact on them.

If you are interested, please contact the journalist, Lucy, at
Below is some additional information about the show being planned. It is a  daily ten-minute feature on the BBC World Service, broadcast to more than 40m English-language listeners around the world. It was named the UK’s Best Speech Radio programme at the Sony awards last year, the radio equivalent of the Oscars. Each programmes tells the story of an event in history through material from the BBC archives and interviews with eye-witnesses – recent stories range from the execution of Ted Bundy to the battle for Fallujah to Jimi Hendrix’s arrival in London. You can listen to all our programmes online here.

Following in the Footsteps of The Beatles

Check how Liverpool and The Cavern Beatles are joining in with the 50th Anniversary celebrations in the USA next month.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

The Cavern and the Grammys

Great news from the Cavern Club:

And the Lifetime Achievement award goes to... 

The Beatles of course!

So this year the Grammys are commemorating 50 years since what is affectionally known as 'The British Invasion' which started with the fab four lads from Liverpool...The Beatles.

The prestigious Grammys will not just award the band that became a global phenomenon back in 1964 for their lifetime achievement, but the night after the awards CBS will record  'The Night That Changed America', a TV special to be aired on 9th February that will commemorate The Beatles first appearance on U.S TV.  

We'd like to share with you the official Grammy programme that is jam-packed full of 'Beatle-bits' for you to enjoy...oh and just a small mention (cough cough...a whole page) of The World Famous Cavern Club! (page 119).

Click here to download your full high resolution version of this incredible programme. The main Beatle pages start on page 76 and then from page 108 onwards.

You'll see that we have our own plans to commemorate this very special 50th anniversary with our U.S friends this space for more news. Until then...enjoy!

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Beatles Fans to Come Together in King's Heath

51st. Anniversary Celebration of first ever Birmingham concert at Ritz Ballroom to be held on Sunday 16 February

Beatles fans from all around the country will come together in King's Heath on Sunday 15 February to celebrate the 51st Anniversary of their first ever Birmingham concert at King's Heath's Ritz Ballroom. Last year's inaugural celebration attracted fans from as far a field as Liverpool, Yorkshire and Cheltenham but sadly only one month later the former ballroom burnt down. 


Fletchers Bar on York Road directly opposite the fire damaged ruins of the former ballroom will again host the “Beatles Fest” on Sunday 16 February 2013 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m as organisers vow to keep the spirit and music of the ballroom alive. 


Tickets cost just £3 in advance from the Kitchen Garden Cafe on York Road or Last year's event sold out very quickly so it is advisable to book in advance. Any remaining tickets will cost £4 on the day. 

Bob Prew and Ken Whittaker, co-organisers of the King's Heath Walk of Fame, said “We already have a great line-up of top local musicians who will be performing but we would still like to include some more young musicians wanting to play their favourite Beatles songs. When The Beatles appeared at The Ritz they were just starting out and mainly performed covers of other musicians' songs. So in this way we are trying to keep the spirit of The Ritz alive for a new generation”. Musicians interested in playing should contact:
Fans are also being invited to dust off their old vinyl Beatles records, choose their 3 favourite tracks and come and act as a DJ from 6.30 p.m. onwards at one of Fletchers regular “Come Vinyl with Me” Sessions.

The Beatles appeared at the Ritz Ballroom - one of 4 venues run in the 1950's and 60's by legendary Irish Couple Ma and Pa Regan - on 15 February 1963 shortly after releasing their second single "Please Please Me". Originally scheduled to appear on 11 January, they had been prevented by blizzard like conditions from making the 11 mile journey to King's Heath from one of the Regans other venues - the Plaza in Old Hill.

When they did finally make it on 15 February Beatlemania was really taking off and the Beatles were only able to enter the ballroom by climbing up a ladder from Milford Place.

"Tell them to turn that racket down" is what Pa Regan is rumoured to have shouted while they were practising! But he was a very happy man really. He had persuaded Brian Epstein to agree to them performing for their previously agreed fee even though they were now No. 1 in the charts!
Pa Regan was also notorious for getting the names of musicians wrong and introduced John and Paul as Sean and Peter.

After the show, a fan called Debbie was picking up her coat from the coat room when she met Paul McCartney. After giving her his autograph she followed him into the bar where he called her over to meet the rest of the band who gave her their autographs too. She then took up Paul's kind offer of a lift back into town in their van where she sat on his lap and shared a kiss!!! On 24 June 2010 these autographs were auctioned at Christies in London.

Sunday, 12 January 2014


Calling all writers with an interest in The Beatles and the Mersey Music Scene of the 60s. The Ticket to Write playwriting contest is now open for entries for the third year when the selected plays will be performed at Liverpool’s Unity Theatre on July 15 and 16. The 2014 Festival has two new exciting changes:
  • Plays need not just have themes on The Beatles – they can include the wider Mersey Music scene of the 60s
  • Plays entered should now be one-act 40 – 45 minute dramas rather than 15 minute offerings.
“We are still expecting a lot of entries to feature The Beatles but we feel the whole Mersey music scene of that period was very important,” said Jamie Gaskin, Festival Director.

“We believe that longer plays will give writers a chance to develop wider topics and develop characters more,” he added.

 As usual the plays can be about the people, stories inspired by songs and song-titles or any genuine connection with The Beatles or the Mersey Scene of that period.

The winner gets a tasty £150 and it costs £20 to enter. Entries must be in by Friday April 18.

All plays will be assessed anonymously by a theatre professional and three will go forward to be performed on both nights of the final when the audience vote will count towards the final result.

“All entries will receive a considered written critique from the assessor who will receive £10 of the entry fee,” explained Jamie.

Also The Festival has a new Artistic Director, Liverpool-based Martin Henshell.

Martin trained as an actor at the Oxford School of Drama and has performed in theatre, film, commercials and television for companies including the BBC and ITV. His work has been produced professionally in the UK and North America.

He has directed plays in London, Liverpool and Edinburgh where his production of his own play “Bitches & Money” was nominated for “Best Ensemble” by The Stage newspaper at their annual awards. His short film “Scratch” was shortlisted by Liverpool Film Night following a screening at FACT.

For full details about the contest go to

Friday, 10 January 2014

Beatles 2nd Engineer Richard Langham to Visit U.S. in Support of Author’s New Book

Author Jude Southerland Kessler knew she had to get the facts about the Beatles 1963 twelve hour recording session of ‘Please Please me’ LP, so she turned to the man who was there for the duration – 2nd Engineer at EMI Richard Langham.
Beatles expert and author Jude Southerland Kessler is excited to announce that Richard Langham of London, England will be joining her on her promotional tour in February 2014 for the 3rd book in her John Lennon Series – She Loves You Langham worked closely with Kessler, consulting with her on the Beatles recording sessions at EMI where he worked as 2nd Engineer from 1963 to 1970.
Richard spent months helping me edit the recording session chapters for both Shivering Inside and She Loves You. Since he was actually present for the making of With the Beatles, his input on those chapters was invaluable. It was such a boon to have an informed, educated primary source directing my account of those studio experiences," says Jude Kessler of her time working with Langham.
Richard Langham worked as the Second Engineer at EMI (Parlophone Studios) at Abbey Road during the Beatles recording of: Please Please Me LP in February 1963; From Me to You on 5 March 1963; and With the Beatles LP in mid-1963. Mr. Langham also had the privilege of working with Cliff Richard, The Shadows, Rosemary Squires, Paul McCartney, Judy Garland, Marlene Dietrich, Noel Coward, Shirley Bassey, Ella Fitzgerald, Sir Malcolm Sargent, Riccardo Muti, and many others during his time at EMI. Mr. Langham will be joining Jude Kessler at the following Beatles events in Pennsylvania:
February 6 – 9: “It Was 50 Years Ago Today: An International Beatles Celebration” – Penn State University in Altoona, PA.

February 28 – March 1: “Tomorrow Never Knows: The Beatles in Text and Image” – University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA.

Today, Richard travels the world as the Managing Director of Jupiter Soaps LTD, London.

For more information on Jude Southerland Kessler, her books and her tour, go to:

For interview requests, email: PR Contact: Jennifer Vanderslice * MoonGlow PR * 610-400-7113 *

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

THE BEATLES’ U.S. Albums Collection Available NOW for Digital Pre-Order Exclusively on iTunes


Celebrate 50 Years of Globe-Sweeping “Beatlemania”

Hollywood, California – December 12, 2013 On February 7, 1964, The Beatles arrived at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport, greeted by scores of screaming, swooning fans who rushed the gate to catch a glimpse of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr as they took their first steps on American soil.  Two nights later, on Sunday, February 9, 74 million viewers in the U.S. and millions more in Canada tuned in to CBS to watch The Beatles make their American television debut on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”  In this cultural watershed moment in American history and one of the world’s top-viewed television events of all time, The Beatles performed five songs on the live broadcast.  “Beatlemania,” already in full, feverish bloom in The Beatles’ native U.K., was unleashed with blissful fervor across America and around the world.  The British Invasion had begun. 

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of these history-making events, The U.S. Albums, a new 13CD Beatles collection spanning 1964’s Meet The Beatles! to 1970’s Hey Jude, will be released January 20 (January 21 in North America) by Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol.  The Beatles’ U.S. albums differed from the band’s U.K. albums in a variety of ways, including different track lists, song mixes, album titles, and art.

The albums are presented in mono and stereo, with the exception of The Beatles’ Story and Hey Jude, which are in stereo only.  Collected in a boxed set with faithfully replicated original LP artwork, including the albums’ inner sleeves, the 13 CDs are accompanied by a 64-page booklet with Beatles photos and promotional art from the time, as well as a new essay by American author and television executive Bill Flanagan.  For a limited time, all of the albums (with the exception of The Beatles’ Story, an audio documentary album) will also be available for individual CD purchase.  A Hard Day’s Night (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), The Beatles’ Story, Yesterday And Today, Hey Jude, and the U.S. version of Revolver make their CD debuts with these releases.

By the end of 1963, before The Beatles’ American arrival, “Beatlemania” had already sprung forth across the Atlantic to take root in the U.S.  In early December, The New York Times published a Sunday magazine feature and “CBS Evening News” aired an in-depth report about the unprecedented frenzy over the young band from Liverpool.  Radio stations in the U.S. began playing The Beatles’ latest U.K. single, ““I Want To Hold Your Hand,” in heavy rotation, trying to meet an insatiable listener demand.  Capitol Records rushed out the American single for “I Want To Hold Your Hand” (with B-side “I Saw Her Standing There”) on December 26, three weeks ahead of schedule and one month after the single’s U.K. release.  More than one million copies of the U.S. single were sold within 10 days. 

In early January 1964, Vee-Jay reissued "Please Please Me" (with B-side "From Me To You"), and Swan reissued “She Loves You.”  The Beatles’ first Capitol album, Meet The Beatles!, followed on January 20.  After achieving the No. 1 chart position for five consecutive weeks in the U.K., “I Want To Hold Your Hand” reached the top of the U.S. singles chart on February 1, holding the No. 1 position for seven consecutive weeks, and within two months, more than 3.5 million copies of Meet The Beatles! were sold in the U.S.

The excitement of The Beatles’ February 7 arrival in New York, where they were met by an estimated 3,000 ecstatic fans at the airport, was documented by the world’s leading media outlets, beamed around the world in a blitz of news bulletins and photos.  Every move The Beatles made, and seemingly every word they uttered, was captured – melting hearts of young fans everywhere who simply could not get enough of these charming, witty and stylish British boys and their electrifying new songs.  America’s biggest star of the day, Elvis Presley, sent The Beatles a telegram wishing them well for their national television debut.

Ed Sullivan spoke of the unprecedented frenzy in his memorable first introduction of The Beatles, saying, "Now, yesterday and today our theater's been jammed with newspapermen and hundreds of photographers from all over the nation, and these veterans agreed with me that this city never has witnessed the excitement stirred by these youngsters from Liverpool who call themselves The Beatles."

After captivating North America with their Ed Sullivan debut, The Beatles traveled to Washington, DC, performing their first Stateside concert on February 11 at the Washington Coliseum to 8,000 fans in the round.  The Beatles then returned to New York for two sold-out Carnegie Hall concerts on February 12.  On February 16, they made their second appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in a live broadcast from The Deauville Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida.  Viewership for the episode was nearly as strong as for their debut one week prior, with an estimated 70 million people -- 40% of the American population -- tuned in to watch their performances of six songs.  On February 22, The Beatles returned to England in triumph, welcomed home upon their 7am landing at London’s Heathrow Airport by an estimated 10,000 fans.

The Beatles were now firmly in place as the world’s favorite and most famous band.  Their third “Ed Sullivan Show” appearance, a three-song performance taped prior to the band’s live debut on the program, was broadcast on February 23.  Billboard’s Hot 100 Singles chart for April 5, 1964 was graced by 12 Beatles songs, including the chart’s Top 5 positions, a sweep of the chart’s summit that has not been achieved by any other artist since.  The band’s meteoric rise to unparalleled fame continued as “Beatlemania” swept the globe, a singular and boundless cultural marvel.  The Beatles now belonged to the People, as they have ever since, with their universally-loved music and unflagging respect for humankind, advocating peace and love for all people around the world.

The Recording Academy®, AEG Ehrlich Ventures and CBS have announced “The Night That Changed America: A GRAMMY® Salute To The Beatles,” a two-hour primetime entertainment special to air Sunday, February 9 at 8pm ET/PT, precisely 50 years to the day, date and time of The Beatles’ groundbreaking debut on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”  The special broadcast will feature performances of Beatles songs by many of music’s biggest stars in HDTV and 5.1 surround sound. 


The Beatles: The U.S. Albums
Presented in mono and stereo, except where noted as stereo only
** CD debut

[Capitol Records:  released January 10, 1964; 11 weeks at No. 1]

[Capitol Records:  released April 10, 1964; five weeks at No. 1]

[United Artists:  released June 26, 1964; 14 weeks at No. 1]

[Capitol Records:  released July 20, 1964; nine weeks at No. 2]

The Beatles’ Story [stereo only] **
[Capitol Records:  released November 23, 1964; peaked at No. 7]

[Capitol Records:  released December 15, 1964; nine weeks at No. 1]

[Capitol Records:  released March 22, 1965; peaked at No. 43]

[Capitol Records:  released June 14, 1965; six weeks at No. 1]

[Capitol Records:  released August 13, 1965; nine weeks at No. 1]

[released December 6, 1965; six weeks at No. 1]

 [Capitol Records:  released June 20, 1966; five weeks at No. 1]

[Capitol Records:  released August 8, 1966; six weeks at No. 1]

Hey Jude [stereo only] **
[Apple Records:  released February 26, 1970; four weeks at No. 2]

* * *

U.S. Media Contacts
Jennifer Ballantyne – Universal Music Enterprises (UMe)

Sujata Murthy – Universal Music Enterprises (UMe)
(310) 865-7812 /

U.K. Media Contact                                          
Moira Bellas - MBC PR                                     
0 20 7483 9205 /

International Beatles Celebration in USA at Penn State University

On February 6-9, 2014, Penn State University in Altoona, PA along with Dr. Kenneth Womack, will host, "It was 50 Years Ago Today - An International Beatles Celebration." The conference will offer four days of presentations, opportunities to listen to and interact with leading Beatles experts and an option to attend Beatles-themed meals featuring keynote speakers.  The event will also include: book signings, exhibitors, art exhibits, and conclude with a rebroadcast showing of the first appearance of the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show in a movie theater style auditorium.
Among the 50+ speakers scheduled to appear are:
Mark Lewisohn – regarded as one of the world’s leading Beatles authorities, Mark is the author of the NY Times bestseller Tune In: The Beatles: All These Years, Volume 1.
Andy Babiuk – the foremost authority on the equipment used to create the Beatles’ music and the author of Beatles Gear: All the Fab Four’s Instruments from Stage to Studio.  Andy is also a staff consultant to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH.
Richard Langham - the Second Engineer at EMI (Parlophone Studios) in Abbey Road when The Beatles recorded the Please Please Me LP in February 1963, "From Me to You" on 5 March 1963, and the With the Beatles LP in the summer and fall of 1963.
Walter Everett - the author of the Beatles As Musicians book series, Mr. Everett is also a member of the School of Music faculty at the University of Michigan and the author of The Foundations of Rock.
Jude Southerland Kessler – a Beatles expert, author and host of her own radio show, Ms. Kessler is the author of the John Lennon Series.  She has spent nearly 30 years researching John Lennon and the Beatles for her 9 book series, making her a leading expert on the topic of the Fab Four.
Dr. Kit O’Toole – For over 19 years, Dr. O’Toole has written music, concert, and book reviews, interviews, popular culture essays, and technology “how to” articles.  Her work has appeared at:, Something Else Reviews, Blinded by Sound, Cinema Sentries, Seattle PI and Beatlefan magazine.
This conference is designed to accommodate individual travel schedules and interests, allowing registrants to sign up for as many or as few days as they wish to attend.  Attendees will also be invited to register and prepay for meals during the four day event.
Registration is available online, by mail, fax or at the door.  
For more information It Was 50 Years Ago Today: An International Beatles Celebration, along with a schedule of events, keynote speakers, presenters, and registration forms, check out their website:  For any questions concerning this event, email or call: or 814-949-5722.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Hello, Goodbye

With Dave Peters at St Peter's Church Hall
For the past two and a half years, it has been my absolute pleasure and privilege to look after the website, facebook and twitter pages for the British Beatles Fan Club.  Ihave seen the numbers for each grow from a few hundred into the thousands, and I have enjoyed every moment!  However, my work commitments have grown to the point where I feel I can no longer give this site the time and attention that it, and all of you, deserve.

I have therefore decided that the best thing to do is to step down and pass the website on to someone else.  I am delighted to announce that Michele Copp will be taking over as Webmaster, with full responsibility for the BBFC's online presence.  Michele is a great Beatles fan, and I know I am leaving this site in very safe and very good hands.  Indeed, my decision to leave was made much easier once Michele agreed to take over.  Hopefully the transition will be seamless, but please bear with us if there are a few glitches.

I'm  not turning my back on the Beatles completely.  I could never do that!  In my role as Senior Lecturer at the University of Chester, I'm involved in teaching a new heritage course that includes a six-week section on the Beatles (click HERE for more details), with one of the classes taught in the most famous club in the world - The Cavern!  I will also be expanding my role as a volunteer at St Peter's Church, helping to welcome visitors from all over the world to the place where John and Paul first met.  If you're in Liverpool, and the Hall is open for visitors, please come and say hello!

And, of course, I'll be checking the BBFC website regularly for all the great news that I'm certain will continue to be posted here.

Thank you all for your support for this site, for the many fans who have 'liked' us on facebook, and for all our twitter followers.

Peace, love and all good wishes


From Byron to The Beatles: new course at the University of Chester takes students on a Magical Mystery Tour of UK heritage

Their cultural impact upon the world was monumental, and now History and Archaeology students are learning about The Beatles’ musical heritage as part of their studies at the University of Chester.

They will also be learning first-hand from someone who was there to see Beatlemania taking hold of the UK, capturing some of their most infamous moments on film.

Dr Donna Jackson, Senior Lecturer in Modern History and at the University said:  “We are very excited to announce that Leslie Woodhead, the journalist who took the only surviving film of filmed the Beatles in the Cavern, will be talking to the students.  We are also delighted that Cavern City Tours are allowing us to teach one of the classes in the Cavern itself, and that the students will be joining the Magical Mystery Tour around Liverpool.  The students will be able to experience the musical heritage of the Beatles first-hand, and relate it to theories surrounding the study of heritage."

The newly launched ‘The Past in the Present’ module on the BA History programme  takes the students from Byron to the Beatles, studying  the major sources, theories and practices within heritage management with special reference to buildings museums, art, literature and music.

As well as classroom based sessions led by module tutors, the course will undertake field trips as much as possible and students will visit a range of heritage sites including the Lady Lever Gallery at Port Sunlight. 

Dr James Pardoe Senior Lecturer in Heritage at the University said: “The aim of the course is to engage with current debates in the field of heritage management and facilitate an in-depth understanding of the artistic, cultural and historical heritage, both tangible and intangible.”

This is not the first time that the University’s History students have been involved in projects connected to The Beatles and the late John Lennon.

Earlier this year, eight students researched and produced a guide for St Peter’s Church in Woolton, Liverpool – one of the essential stop offs for fans on The Beatles’ tourist trail - to tell the story of how John Lennon was first introduced to Paul McCartney at St Peter’s Church garden fete in 1957.

In 2010 and 2011, two separate groups took part in a research project to gather information to be used in the future to recreate that authenticity of the garden of Lennon’s childhood home, Mendips in Liverpool, with the assistance of the National Trust which looks after the property.

For more information about the History programmes contact Dr Donna Jackson, Programme Leader for Single and Combined Honours History, at

Sunday, 5 January 2014

The Starrlite Beatles Have a "Mad Day Out"

Way way way back in October The Starrlite Beatles set out to recreate one of The Beatles most famous and iconic photoshoots they ever carried out. Visiting some of the same locations as the fab four did in 1968 (some of which are relativity unchanged) the boys came out with these. To see more visit the boys website or Facebook