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.


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.

beatles 7-10-2013 9-01-09 PM

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~


20 responses to “50 Years Ago

  1. Oh goodness YES I remember the Beatles….my then best friend and I had planned to go right from high school graduation to London where we’d meet the Beatles and I’d marry George and she’d marry Paul. Period. It was a wonderful time in my life…..and my boyfriend at the time (later to be husband) looked a lot like an adorable Ringo – all my friends were SO jealous! Days of innocence and happiness and fun…….so very long ago!


  2. I remember being swept up in the Beatle mania as well. I do remember Mamma & Daddy surprising Emma & me with a Beatles album…or so they thought! It was an imposter group posing as The Beatles. The pic on the cover looked somewhat like the Beatles and the in big letters it said THE BEATLES – but below it in very very small letters the word Sound! So there were rip-off groups trying to get in on the action as well!!

  3. I was an infant, but much of my childhood I recall their music playing in the background 🙂 Yeah Yeah Yeah! I grew to appreciate the Beatles more in my adult years and now they’re one of my favorites to listen to — all genres 🙂

  4. I remember going to Sunday school and everyone was talking about going to watch them on the Ed Sullivan show that night! Don’t even remember if we even had a lesson that morning. Then that night we watched them. The whole family in the living room watched. Soon my mother surprised all four of us with an album and we could play them on the hi-fi whenever.

  5. I recall watching them on Ed Sullivan also, and I too had just turned 10 years old. Oh what fun that was to see something new and fresh rather than always listening to Mom and Dad’s Johnny Horton album on the stereo. xox

  6. I remember watching the Beatles on Ed Sullivan that night – and feeling like something “big” was happening – but not sure what – I had just turned 11 that November – My father only listened to country music – so to hear the Beatles, I had to be visiting with friends, or I had a cousin in Waverly who had a record player and she would play them sometimes!!

  7. Love that picture of you by the way!!

  8. Do you remember that you went to those Beatles movies with Rose and I? Music changed when the Beatles came on the scene and because of them, we imported a lot more of the English groups and singles. The Rolling Stones can thank them for breaking ground or they may have never been as successful as they still are.

  9. Thanks for a wonderful post about the 4 boys from Liverpool. Sadly I’m to young for the “Beatlemania” but my mom told me that my uncle was grounded for 8 weeks, because of his “Beatles-hairstyle” :o)

  10. I was 8 years old, but I remember watching them that night too. We ALWASY watched Ed Sullivan. Classmates used to stand on the playground benches and have a Beatles Sing Fest. I can’t say that I was a Beatle fan though.

  11. Oh, yes Beatle-mania! I remember it well and like you, I was stationed in front of our black and white TV watching them on the Ed Sullivan Show (which was a staple in our house). I also preferred their earlier music. That album you snagged for your son is a worthy find!

  12. Oh my….I LOVED every word of this! And yes, I’m vintage enough – though we didn’t watch Ed Sullivan at our house. I hope you saw the tribute show that was on last night – I give it an A++++ One of the best shows of its kind I’ve ever seen.

  13. I watched the Ed Sullivan show that night but being older it didn’t have the same meaning. I loved Johnny Mathis!

  14. Like MJ, too young. But I have specific memories of my older cousin’s room and her collection of records – Elvis, Beatles, the Birds. I love your pictures here. How cool that you still have some memorabilia.

  15. I’ll tell people now that when I first got in to the Beatles, anything from ’66 onward was what I was looking for. Now it’s ANYthing; it doesn’t matter what year. After listening to a lot of the popular music from that time, I can say the Beatles really were pioneers. Great ones! ..
    I’ll also tell you that Johnny Mathis is one of the greatest, too 😉

  16. I remember watching the Beatles!
    We were at my grandparent’s house for Sunday dinner and after we would always watch Ed Sullivan and go home. My Grand Father was so disgusted he turned the TV off! And I did not get to hear more than a few verses of their first song. I can’t remember if it was the next week, but they DID play on Ed again and my Mom said, We are staying home tonight I want to see the Beatles!!!! (she and my Dad are only 19 years older than me and really into Rock and Roll) My Dad grew up in Liverpool and John Lennon’s Mom was a friend of his Mum’s and I have heard a few tales of the young John Lennon.

  17. I wasn’t old enough to be aware of the Beatles when they first landed on the scene. I was a teenager before I had any real idea of their significance.
    I think it’s sweet that you kept the pendant. It’s treasured trinket to have. I thinks it’s awesome you & Marshall share the same enjoyment for the Beatles. Cool!

  18. Shirley Matthews Dunn

    I think I watched the night they were on Ed Sullivan show but I was so much in to Elvis at the time the Beatles did not interest me much. Thanks for sharing your memorie, Dianna, I enjoyed it.

  19. This Boy is my parents’ song. The band at their wedding didn’t know it, so they didn’t dance to their song at their wedding. I made sure that it was played at my wedding so that they could dance to it. They didn’t know that I had requested that the DJ find it, so it was great to surprise them with it. The same DJ did my sister’s reception, so we had it played then, too.

  20. Yes, I remember that night, Mom, me and the B&W TV. I’d forgotten about the bubble gum cards, but now that you mention it, I sat with my Grandma on her porch swing and she had me read the cards to her. She told me my grandfathers people were from the same country as the Beatles.

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