Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Beatles For Sale

When I spotted this ad in the August 14 issue of TV Guide, at first I thought it was for the Shea Stadium concert. Then I remembered that historic event took place on the 15th, didn't appear on TV until 1966, and aired on ABC when it did.

Then I looked at the listing itself:

This one was news to me. I presumed from that it was originally filmed in late '63 - early '64, as every song is from Meet the Beatles, the group's first Capitol Records release. I also figured it originated from England.

Ah, the good old internet. A few quick searches, and I discovered that Big Night Out was actually a series. The Beatles apparently did the show quite a few times - this one originally aired on February 29, 1964 in England, and had been taped six days earlier - almost immediately after the band returned from their whirlwind first visit to the U.S. As it happened, they were touring America when this "film feature" aired... playing Atlanta Stadium that evening. Was the point of this special to spur ticket sales... or was it compensation for cities that weren't on the itinerary?

The station shown in the ad is in Wichita Kansas, so this is prime time for CBS, although the listing doesn't say what's being pre-empted. (The Beverly Hillbillies followed at 7:30.) Does anyone remember seeing this broadcast in their home city?

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