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February 14 marks the 48th anniversary of the Beatles first full day in Miami Beach. After being greeted by an estimated 7,000 fans at Miami International Airport the day before, the Beatles spent Valentines Day 1964 enjoying the warm Florida climate. Plans called for a morning photo session at the swimming pool of the Deauville Hotel, where the Beatles were staying. However, the Life magazine photographer was concerned about the mobs of fans hanging out at the hotel, so the session was moved to the pool at the house of Jerri Kruger Pollak, a retired jazz singer, who graciously prepared a luncheon buffet for the boys. In the afternoon, the group boarded the motor yacht Southern Trail, which was turned over to them, crew and all.
The boys soaked up the sun, with John, Paul and George also going for a swim. Paul later sat behind the yacht’s piano and played a bit of “Can’t Buy Me Love” for New York DJ Murray the K, who accompanied the group to Miami and shared a room at the Deauville (Room # 1218) with George for the first part of the visit. The group returned to the Deauville for a 6:00 pm rehearsal in one of the hotel’s lower level rooms. George checked out his new Rickenbacker electric 12-string guitar, while John played on George’s Gretsch Country Gentleman for a spell.
That evening, the group was treated to an American home-style meal (salad, roast beef, baked potatoes, green beans, peas and a strawberry iced cake for dessert) at the house of Sgt. Buddy Dresner of the Miami Beach Police Department. Sgt. Dresner provided security and companionship during the group’s stay in Miami. Sgt. Dresner’s three young children would have quite a story to tell their friends the following Monday about how they spent their Valentines Day! After returning to the Deauville, the Beatles and Sgt. Dresner headed to one of the hotel’s night clubs to see comedian Don Rickles, who made it a point to pick on the Beatles (“Look at this. A police sergeant guarding four Zulus when all over the city there’s fighting and burglary going on”).
After the show, John and wife Cynthia went off to bed (Room # 1211), while the others went to the Deauville’s other night club to see singer/dancer Carol Lawrence and comedian Myron Cohen. After the show, the remaining Beatles headed back to their rooms (Paul and Ringo shared Room # 1219). And that’s the way it was, Friday, February 14, 1964.
You can find out what the Beatles did on their other days in Miami Beach in the book “The Beatles Are Coming!”
And now, 498 Production’s sale honoring the Beatles first U.S. visit continues. Click here to read more about the sale
BRUCE SPIZER TO BE ON PBS’ HISTORY DETECTIVES
Speaking of the Deauville, Beatles author/historian Bruce Spizer was at the Deauville a few weeks ago taping an episode for the PBS program “History Detectives.” Bruce provided a tour of the places the Beatles went while at the Miami Beach hotel and discussed the importance of the Beatles on American culture and the music industry. This summer you can be like the girl in an Elvis Costello song and find yourself watching the detectives! The Beatles-themed show is tentatively set to air this June. Additional details regarding the show will be posted to the site as they become known.
TODAY’S TRIVIA QUESTIONS
In keeping with the Deauville theme, today’s trivia questions are about the Ed Sullivan Show broadcast from the Deauville Hotel in Miami Beach.
Who was the headliner for the show? (Hint: It wasn’t the Beatles, although the group did open and close the show.)
How much did the headliner and her production company get paid for the performance and how much did the Beatles get paid?
Approximately how many Americans tuned in to see the show?
From what room at the Deauville was the show broadcast?
Bonus Question: What were the six songs performed by the Beatles?
Mitzi Gaynor was the headliner for the show. She and her production company were paid a total of $20,000, while the Beatles got $3,500. Approximately 72,000,000 Americans watched the show, down from 73,000,000 the previous week when the Beatles made their live American television debut on the Ed Sullivan Show in New York. The show was broadcast from the Napoleon Room at the Deauville Hotel. (The stage and TV camera booth are still there.) The Beatles opened the show with “She Loves You,” “This Boy” and “All My Loving,” and closed the show with “I Saw Her Standing There,” “From Me To You” and “I Want To Hold Your Hand.”