Daily Archives: February 10, 2014

50 Years Ago

To mark the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ first American performance, I thought I’d share a few of my Beatles related memories:

Fifty years ago last night, I sat in the living room with my Mom in front of our little black and white tv and, as we did every Sunday night at 8:00, watched the Ed Sullivan Show.

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internet photo

Although I wasn’t yet ten years old, I knew that I was seeing something special.  I must admit that I really didn’t understand all that screaming, but I immediately became a teeny-bopper Beatles fan.

dianne fifth grade

My ten-year-old teeny bopper self

The next day at school, The Beatles and their performance on Ed Sullivan were the main topics of conversation among my teeny-bopper friends and me. The main question being: which Beatle do you think is the cutest? Most of my friends chose Paul, but George was my choice. Of course, John was married, and I really never knew anyone who picked Ringo.

In the days to come, I would begin collecting Beatles songs on 45 (rpm) records.  Our local furniture store (the only place in town that sold records) had a corner devoted to record players/stereos and vinyl.  The 45’s sold for $1.00, but that was big money to a ten-year old, so my collection grew slowly. One day when I was at school, my mom stopped in to buy “She Loves You” for me, but she wasn’t sure of the name of the song. She told the clerk that all she knew was they kept saying: “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah”. (Thankfully, the clerk was a fan and sold her the right 45.)

Soon Beatles bubble gum cards were available, and my friends and I collected them as quickly as we could. It was so exciting to open the package and discover one that I didn’t already have. (The bubble gum was so awful, we just threw that away.) Although those cards were among my most prized possessions at one time, I didn’t think to save a single one of them. I found this site, showing the cards in the first collection. It’s amazing the memories that come flooding back just by looking at these images.

The Beatles fans in our family ranged from my five-year-old niece to me, to my two twenty-something year old sisters to my fifty-something year old mother. Mom’s favorite Beatles song was “Yesterday”.

We went to see the first Beatles movie “A Hard Day’s Night” and, later, the second one “Help”.  Looking back, neither one of them was all that great, but it was the Beatles, so I was a happy girl.

My only Beatles item that survived the test of time is this pendant from a necklace I once treasured.

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My son, Marshall, went through a “heavy metal” phase during his early teens. I didn’t understand it, but managed to tolerate it. And then….then….one day, he asked: “Mom, did you ever listen to the Beatles?”.  Ah….we were finally on common ground. He now has some of my old 45’s, including many of the Beatles’ songs, and I always check antique shops and thrift shops for records to add to his collection. I snagged this rare album, their first one released in the US (1964), a couple of years ago at a Goodwill store. The clerk allowed me access to the back room to look through some records that had just been brought in.

beatles lp

Although some will disagree, I much preferred the music the Beatles recorded during their early years. I guess because it was more innocent, and, after all, I was only ten when I became a fan.

Are you “vintage” enough to remember the Beatles arriving in the US? Care to share your memories?

~These Days Of Mine~