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It Was 50 years Ago Today: The North Of England Taught the Band to Play…

Picture: US LOC (PD)

The 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ UK release of “Love Me Do” is being celebrated by a number of media outlets here including The BBC and The Guardian. The latter carries a great article which reprints a 1963 review of the UK’s first home grown contemporary global pop phenomenon:

Written across the front of St George’s Hall, Liverpool (a building dear to the heart of John Betjeman), are huge chalked letters declaring: “I Love the Beatles.” There is hardly anything cryptic about this declaration to anyone who has ever viewed Juke Box Jury, listened to Pick of the Pops, or fathered a teenage daughter, for in the last six months the Beatles have become the most popular vocal-instrumental group in Britain, and as everyone with any pretension towards mass culture should know, the Beatles are from Liverpool.

In fact, there is a connection between Liverpool and the four young musicians that seems to go deeper than pride for hometown boys; something, perhaps deep in the mysterious well of English and especially northern working-class sentimentality.

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