The week of November 11, 1963, was another busy one for the Beatles, but the real action took place in New York, where manager Brian Epstein parlayed his hard work and belief in the boys to lay the groundwork for the Beatles February 1964 invasion of America. But first, let’s see what the Beatles were up to.
On Tuesday, the Beatles had to reschedule their concert at the Guildhall in Portsmith because Paul had a bad case of the flu. They did give interviews for the TV shows Day By Day and the local BBC’s South Today. On Wednesday, they traveled to Plymouth, where they were interviewed for the TV show Move Over, Dad. With Paul feeling better, they resumed their stage appearances with a concert at the town’s ABC Cinema on George Street. Due to the large gathering of enthusiastic fans, the group had to be smuggled in and out of the theater through an adjoining building.
After Thursday and Friday night concerts at the ABC Theatre in Exeter and Colston Hall in Bristol, the Beatles played a Saturday evening show at the Winter Gardens Theatre in Bournemouth. This November 16 appearance in front of the usual mass of screaming fans turned out to be quite important, for the London bureaus of all three of the major Untied State television networks sent reporters and cameramen to the concert. Although it appears that ABC did not run a story on the Beatles in 1963, both CBS and NBC broadcast stories on the Beatles the following week. The Beatles closed the week with a Sunday concert at Coventry Theatre in Coventry.
Meanwhile, across the Pond, Brian started the week with a Monday meeting at the Delmonico Hotel with Ed Sullivan, host of a popular variety show bearing his name. Sullivan was aware of the Beatles after hearing about them from one of his European talent scouts, Peter Prichard. Legend has it that Sullivan got to see in person the mass hysteria caused by the Beatles when he was at London Airport at the same time the group returned from a tour of Sweden on October 31, 1963. (Although this story has been told consistently since early 1964, Sullivan’s presence at London Airport on that date has yet to be confirmed.) The two reached an agreement that the Beatles would appear on The Ed Sullivan Show twice, first on February 9, 1964, broadcast live from New York, and then on February 16 live from the Deauville Hotel in Miami Beach. This appealed to Brian as it would give his boys a trip to New York for the first show followed by a bit of vacation in sunny Florida.
The deal was finalized the following evening at a dinner meeting at the Delmonico Hotel’s restaurant. Bob Precht, Sullivan’s son-in-law and producer of the show, also attended. In addition to a performance fee, Sullivan agreed to pay the group’s transportation and lodging. Precht suggested that the group also be paid for the taping of an additional performance, which could be shown later in the season. In typical Brian fashion, the deal was closed with a handshake.
During his stay in New York, Brian also met with representatives of Billboard, Cash Box, the William Morris Agency, Liberty Records, Atlantic Records, Vee-Jay Records and Laurie Records (the American label for Billy J. Kramer). He also met with Gloria Stavers, editor of a magazine that would publish numerous articles on the Beatles.
Brian headed back to London on November 14, knowing that the booking of the three Ed Sullivan Show appearances could very well be the most important appearance he had ever arranged. Operation U.S.A. was definitely off to a good start. And proof of America beginning to take notice of the Beatles was now on the newsstands, with two important news magazines featuring stories on the Beatles in their music sections.
Today’s questions cover the week of November 4, 1963.
- How much were the Beatles paid for their three 1964 appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show?
- What magazine was Gloria Stavers the editor of?
- What two American magazines ran stories in their music sections on the Beatles in mid-November 1963?
[expand REVEAL THE ANSWERS]
- The Beatles were paid a total of $10,000. The payment for each of the two live shows was $3,500 and the payment for taping additional songs for future broadcast was $3,000.
- Gloria Stavers was the editor of 16 magazine. Brian’s meeting with Gloria was very important as the magazine soon gave the Beatles tremendous exposure among female teenagers.
- Time and Newsweek magazines each ran stories in their music sections on the Beatles in mid-November 1963.