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Following their triumphant appearance on Val Parnell’s Sunday Night At The London Palladium, the Beatles began the week of October 14, 1963, with a well-deserved day off. On Tuesday, it was back to work with a concert at Floral Hall in Southport.

On Wednesday, the group went to the Playhouse Theatre in London to perform songs for broadcast on the October 20 edition of the BBC radio program East Beat. The group ran through I Saw Her Standing There and all four of the A-sides to their previously released singles, Love Me Do, Please Please Me, From Me To You and She Loves You. They were also interviewed by Peter Woods about their invitation to perform at the Royal Variety Show on November 4. The interview was broadcast on the BBC program Radio Newsreel.

On October 17, the Beatles went to Abbey Road Studios to record the songs for their next single, I Want To Hold Your Hand and This Boy. John and Paul wrote I Want To Hold Your Hand on piano in the cellar of the Asher residence on Wimpole Street in London. This would be one of the last times that the pair wrote an entire song together. Future songs would be written primarily by one individual with the other making suggestions and contributions of varying degrees. The song was recorded in 17 takes, with John on his Rickenbacker Capri, George on his Gretsch Country Gentleman, Paul on his Hofner bass and Ringo on drums. It would become the A-side of Capitol’s first Beatles single, leading to the explosion of  Beatlemania in America. The exquisite ballad This Boy was recorded in 15 takes. The group also attempted a re-make of a cover song and recorded the dialog for their first Christmas record, which was distributed to the members of the Official Beatles Fan Club each holiday season.

The Beatles started the weekend with an appearance on the television program Scene At 6:30, originating from the Granada TV Center in Manchester. The group played a Saturday night concert at the Pavilion Gardens Ballroom in Buxton.

On the afternoon of Sunday, October 20, the Beatles taped an appearance for broadcast on the October 26 edition of ABC Television’s Thank Your Lucky Stars. The group lip-synced three songs, All My Loving, Money and She Loves You. The show was a coup for all involved, including the fans. Most acts were only allowed to perform only one song on the show, although some were given the privilege of miming two songs. Three was unheard of. The first two songs, scheduled to appear on the Beatles next LP, made their public debut nearly a full month ahead of the album’s November 23 release.

Today’s questions cover the Beatles October 17, 1963 recording session.

  1. What was the significant change that took place on October 17, 1963, regarding how the Beatles songs were recorded?
  2. What cover song did the Beatles attempt a re-make of during their October 17, 1963, session at Abbey Road?
  3. Who came up with the concept and wrote the initial scripts for the Beatles Christmas discs?

[expand REVEAL THE ANSWERS]

  1. The Beatles October 17, 1963, recording session marked the first time the group recorded on a four-track recorder. This significantly expanded what the group could do in the studio, giving them more flexibility and allowing for multiple overdubs. It also made it possible for the engineers to provide a balanced stereo mix that avoided the “vocals on one track and music on the other track” mixes that were made when the group recorded on two-track machines.
  2. The Beatles attempted a re-make of You Really Got A Hold On Me on Abbey Road’s four-track recorder during their October 17, 1963 session. Apparently they were unable to capture the magic of their earlier July 18, 1963, recording of the song. That version was the first song recorded for With The Beatles.
  3. Tony Barrow came up with the concept for the Beatles Christmas records that were distributed to members of the Official Beatles Fan Club during each holiday season. He also wrote the script for the first few Christmas records

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