I like to joke that I should learn Flemish, the Belgian Dutch language, so I could understand the lyrics to K3′s Europop songs. But for immigrants in the Netherlands, a country that Bill O’Reilly and his ilk criticize for being too liberal, learning Dutch is now a requirement.
Happiness is a warm puppy...
Before Mark Evanier had a web site, when he was still in print at the now-defunct Comics Buyer’s Guide, where I used to be a contributor myself under the name of — you guessed it, Dog Rat — I sent him e-mail saying he should have a web site that, no surprise, was already in the works. Mark’s had an online presence for a long time since then, and he writes a lot about stuff that interests me, like comic books and politics, where I learn something and/or agree with pretty much everything he says, and he also writes about some things that don’t interest me at all, like Las Vegas and Jerry Lewis. Mark is absolutely 100% right about Frank Ferrante, whose Groucho show is superb.
One thing that Mark is not is a Rock and Roll guy. He’s into show tunes, and nothing he has ever said conveys a sense that he followed the top 40 charts while growing up, or was captivated while listening to multiple playings of “Revolver” or “Who’s Next.” So today, when Mark commented on the Beatles’ first appearance on the Ed Sullivan, his background on Ed was interesting but I think Mark’s parting comment shows him out of his entertainment expertise element:
Some people called the disc jockey known as Murray the K “the fifth Beatle.” Nonsense. The fifth Beatle was Edward Vincent Sullivan…and without him, I’m not sure we’d have had the other four.
Not wanting to be a noodge, I don’t often write to Mark, but I did a little while ago because I feel that he’s so far off the mark about the Beat Boys:
“The fifth Beatle was Edward Vincent Sullivan…and without him, I’m not sure we’d have had the other four.”
I would say that you are probably in a minority of one in this opinion. You might want to ask Gary Owens what he thinks.
Ed got a lucky break, lining up the Beatles on the cheap, before “I Want to Hold Your Hand” went to #1 in America. The timing for the Beatles’ first appearance on the Sullivan show was perfect, but it wasn’t essential to their success.
Murray “The K” Kaufman called himself the fifth Beatle, no one else did, and whatever visibility he gleaned from that bit of self-promotion didn’t save WINS from quickly losing the New York airwaves to Dan Ingram and “Cousin Brucie” Morrow at powerhouse WABC.
And while writing this, by chance the music server played Pat Boone’s 1962 song “Speedy Gonzales,” featuring the voice of Mel Blanc. That’s an example of something about which I would never question Mark.
NPR has a brief and accurate summary of what was going on in the United States vis a vis the Beatles in 1963. Bruce Spizer makes an appearance, which I suppose accounts for the accuracy.
In 1964, when modeling, Pattie and Prue spelled their names Patti and Pru. Here is Pattie talking about meeting George.
Pattie mentions the lunch she had with George. This is one of the photos taken at that lunch and, Prue, no more ciggies for you, dear!
I am in the middle — 57% to be exact, according to my Kindle Keyboard — of reading the first volume of Mark Lewisohn’s exhaustive and outstanding biography, “Tune In: The Beatles: All These Years.” Lewisohn is a Beatles insider, but he does not waver from revealing all of the unflattering, sometimes ugly, nitty-gritty details of their upbringings and struggles to succeed. He refutes numerous Beatles legends, including the true origin of the haircut, which it turns out was not an Astrid creation, and it’s obvious that Ringo replacing Pete Best was inevitable, long before it actually happened.
CBS is giving full coverage to the 50th anniversary of the Beatles arriving in America. In a way the anniversary belongs to CBS, because of the Ed Sullivan Show of course, but the fact is that NBC News beat out CBS by a matter of a few days in TV coverage of Beatlemania in England. As always, Bruce Spizer is the authoritative source for American Beatles-related facts.
NBC was the first American television network to run a story on the Beatles. The network’s “Huntley-Brinkley Report” ran a four-minute story on Monday, November 18, 1963, at 6:53 p.m., with Edwin Newman doing the voice-over of film of the group and its fans. This was followed by CBS-TV’s five-minute story, which first ran on the “CBS Morning News with Mike Wallace” on November 22, 1963. The story was rebroadcast on the “CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite” on December 10, 1963. There is no record of ABC ever running a story of the Beatles until 1964. The concert footage used by the networks was taken at the group’s November 16, 1963, performance at the Bournemouth Winter Gardens. The significance of these television broadcasts is detailed on pages 60-61 and 82-83 of “The Beatles Are Coming! The Birth of Beatlemania in America.”
If not for the assassination of JFK, it seems likely that the “CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite” would have carried Alexander Kendrick’s rather condescending report from the London bureau. Only the audio remains of the NBC report from November 18, 1963.
This is the full Kendrick report from CBS. The interview by Josh Darsa caught the Beatles in a subdued and contemplative mood, which makes Kendrick’s attitude seem all the more ridiculous.
So the reason for the title of this post is an interview with Mark Lewisohn on MSNBC’s “The Cycle.” I can’t stand this silly bunch of hyperactive bubble-brained hosts, but Lewisohn is worth hearing.