Saturday, February 1, 1964The U.S. was settling into the new year and its new reality.
(Although, I must say; Jean - our calendar girl - appears to be quite unconcerned as she peers between the bamboo into an uncertain future)
President Johnson holds a press conference on February 1st, during which he reads a message that he'd sent to General Khanh in Vietnam:
Look Magazine's latest issue mentions Johnson,
and the issue of Vietnam on its cover, which features a photo of former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy.
'Valiant is the word for Jacqueline'
The Billboard Top 10 chart
for the week of February 1, 1964
was populated with some familiar faces, and some new.
Sitting at the #2 position was a very familiar recording star. Lesley Gore's, "You Don't Own Me," became the 17 year old singer's fourth top ten hit since she exploded on the music scene in May of '63 with the #1, million seller, "It's My Party."
TO LISTEN TO "YOU DON'T OWN ME" click this link:
Another familiar artist was on his way down the charts from the #1 position (which he'd hit on January 4, 1964) with, "There! I've Said It Again."
Originally recorded in 1945 by Vaughn Monroe, Bobby Vinton's rendition had dropped to #7 during the first week of February.
Many consider, "There! I've Said It Again"
to be the last record of the 'innocent years' of Rock & Roll,
as it was the last song to hit #1 before everything changed.
TO LISTEN TO "THERE! I'VE SAID IT AGAIN" click this link:
Sitting at #10 on the Billboard Top Ten chart on February 1, 1964 was another very familiar face.
Ricky Nelson's, "For You," was a cover of a 1930 song that had previously been recorded by Perry Como (1947), Dean Martin (1957), and Timi Yuro (1961).
TO LISTEN TO "FOR YOU" click this link:
Burt Bacharach and Hal David's protege, Dionne Warwick, was enjoying her first top ten hit with, "Anyone Who Had A Heart," which was resting at #9.
Her previous release, "Don't Make Me Over," had peaked at #21 in December of '62.
TO LISTEN TO "ANYONE WHO HAD A HEART" click this link:
Major Lance had caught fire in 1963 with two big hits: "The Monkey Time" (#8), and "Hey Little Girl" (#13).
His recording of "Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um" (written by Curtis Mayfield) occupied the #8 spot on February 1st 1964, and would peak at #5 the following week.
TO LISTEN TO "UM, UM, UM, UM, UM, UM" click this link:
After forming in Hollywood, California - The Marketts scored a top 40 record in 1962 with "Surfer's Stomp" (#31).
On February 1, 1964 they were sitting at #3 with their instrumental hit, "Out Of Limits."
TO LISTEN TO "OUT OF LIMITS" click this link:
|THE RIP CHORDS|
Doris Day's son, Terry Melcher, was one of the founders of The Rip Chords who'd managed to place two singles in the Top 100 during 1963: "Here I Stand" (#51), and "Gone" (#88).
Their third release, "Hey Little Cobra" was planted at #5 as of February 1st, 1964.
TO LISTEN TO "HEY LITTLE COBRA" click this link:
Newcomers hailing from Minnesota, The Trashmen held the #4 spot with "Surfin' Bird" which was a combination of two of The Rivingtons' songs: "Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow" and "The Bird's The Word."
TO LISTEN TO "SURFIN' BIRD" click this link:
"Louie Louie" by The Kingsmen was sitting at #6
after six weeks at the #2 spot.
It had the great misfortune of being held down by two smash, #1 records: first, "Dominique," by The Singing Nun, and then by Bobby Vinton's, "There! I've Said It Again," and consequently, "Louie Louie" never got to #1.
Also on February 1, 1964, Indiana Governor Mathew Walsh tries to ban "Louie Louie" for alleged obscenity.
TO LISTEN TO "LOUIE LOUIE" click this link:
the number one spot for February 1, 1964 was held by a group of guys that were not only new, but they had a sound that was new, a look that was new; and they weren't from around here.
"I Want To Hold Your Hand" had risen to #3 the week before, and was now sitting proudly at #1.
TO LISTEN TO "I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND" click this link:
TO LISTEN TO "I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND" click this link:
Over the preceeding couple of months an incredible amount of buzz had been generated about The Beatles - these four lads from Liverpool (where ever that was):
December 1, 1963 The New York Times Sunday Magazine ran a story on 'Beatlemania' in England.
December 4, 1963 Capitol Records announced that it would begin selling The Beatles' single, "I Want To Hold Your Hand," on Monday, January 13th, 1964.
December 10, 1963 Walter Cronkite aired a four minute segment about The Beatles on the CBS Evening News. The clip had been scheduled to air on November 22nd, and did run in the morning, but was pre-empted on the evening news by JFK assassination coverage.
TO WATCH THIS CBS NEWS CLIP CLICK THIS LINK:
(The Youtube heading for this video incorrectly lists the air date as Nov. 21, 1963)
Washington D.C. disc jockey, Carroll James had managed to get a BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation) stewardess to bring him a copy of The Beatles' latest record, and in response to a written request for Beatles' songs by a 15 year old girl from Maryland who'd seen the Cronkite segment; he begins playing his U.K. copy of "I Want To Hold Your Hand" on December 17, 1963, and listeners start to call in requesting the song.
December 18-19, 1963 Capitol Records demands that James stop playing the record, and threatens to sue his radio station; but then decides to forgo litigation and bump up the release date of the record instead. Christmas leave is canceled at Capitol as pressing plants and all related staff are called upon to rush the record and related merchandise to market ahead of the previously scheduled January 13, 1964 release date.
December 23, 1964 Capitol issues a memo nationwide to all regional managers and sales people regarding a massive "Beatles Campaign," which is to include trade magazine ads, buttons, stickers, Beatle wigs, toys, and music store window displays.
December 26, 1964 Capitol begins to distribute "I Want To Hold Your Hand" to radio stations across the country. With the constant airplay fueling demand it's estimated that 10,000 copies per hour were selling in New York.
Within three days of its release sales hit 250,000, causing Capitol to contract with Colombia Records and RCA to assist with the pressing of additional records to keep up with demand.
December 28, 1963 The Beatles' manager, Brian Epstein, is interviewed by The New Yorker magazine.
January 3, 1964 Jack Paar airs a filmed performance from the U.K. of The Beatles singing, "She Loves You" on his late night talk show, The Jack Paar Show. It's the first time a complete Beatles' song is shown on American television, and - for many - the first time they've seen The Beatles.
TO WATCH THIS PERFORMANCE CLICK THIS LINK:
January 10, 1964 Sales of "I Want To Hold Your Hand" hit the one million mark just two weeks after its release.
The next stop for The Beatles would be New York City.
They would be arriving at the newly re-named, John F. Kennedy Airport (formerly Idlewild Airport) the following Friday, February 7th in preparation for their appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show; Sunday, February 9, 1964.
Brace yourself America - the British are coming . . again!