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December 10th, 1963: The Birth Of Beatlemania

first_imgWashington disc jockey Carroll James didn’t realize it at the time, but on this day, in 1963, he helped The Beatles launch the third British invasion of America. This time, the attack didn’t come by land or by sea, however, this one was by air—more precisely, it came by airwaves. The first shot fired in the assault on every facet of American culture came in the form of a song, “I Wanna Hold Your Hand,” by the Beatles. By the time this invasion was done, our musical and cultural landscape would never be the same.The Beatles, who served as the vanguard for this sonic assault on our shores, were already conquerors at home. After a few years honing their skills, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr had seen their fame grow exponentially in late 1962 with their first hit, “Love Me Do.” They were dubbed “The Fab Four” and the first stirrings of the soon-to-be global phenomenon known as “Beatlemania” began to hum.On a snowy, early-December day, America’s most trusted voice, Walter Cronkite, was looking for an upbeat story to fill out his show and decided to rerun a recent piece on the Beatles’ surging popularity in England. The segment aired during the morning news but was not re-run as part of the evening show, as was often the case, due to its unfortunate original air date: November 22, 1963. That date will always be remembered for the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.A dark mood hung over the country, and Cronkite felt the need to try and lift the nation’s spirits when possible. A young viewer in Maryland, Marsha Albert, watched the piece and immediately wrote a letter to WWDC disc jockey James Carroll. She asked him, “Why can’t we have music like that here?” Lucky for her, it turned out we could. Carroll was dating a stewardess at the time, and managed to get a copy of the UK release of the single “I Wanna Hold Your Hand.” Radio was a powerful force then, and Carroll was also aware of his public sway.He invited the fifteen-year-old Marsha and her mother to the studio to introduce his first spin of true music history. Neither imagined the effect dropping that needle had on history. The nation was still reeling from the senseless death of its most beloved leader. The war in Vietnam was filing the papers and televisions with daily tolls of American lives lost. A whole country was in need of something bright, pure and unassailable, and the Beatles could not have been better fitted to the role if they had been fiction sprung to life.The record was an instant hit. The station was flooded with requests, and the song began to dominate every one of its DJs’ rotations. The song proved so popular that an op-ed writer for The Baltimore Sun used it in a xenophobic piece on preparing to repel future invasions. While teenager’s stayed up late with static-y transistor radios waiting to hear the song “just one more time,” one group of listeners was getting more and more vexed with each spin. Those angry men were the board of directors for Capitol Records.Capitol Records held the American rights to distribution of the music of the Beatles and were preparing their own release of the song… over a month later. Needless to say, they weren’t enthused to find out that the song not only had an unofficial, unlicensed debut but that it was so popular that it was being played hourly to meet phoned-in requests. For a short while they considered having their attorneys send a cease and desist letter, but after realizing potential profits decided to bump up the release of the American single.The single came out the day after Christmas and hit the airways instantly nationwide. Arriving to a world already a bit merrier after the holidays, the song—with its simplistic but heartfelt romance, steadily quickening beat, and note-perfect harmonies—struck a deep chord with the nation’s teens. It is said that the truth speaks for itself, and the pure pop of the tune clearly spoke volumes in its three short minutes.The song was a product of the highest-charting songwriting duo in music history, John Lennon and Paul McCartney. These two lads from Liverpool had a complimentary writing relationship so powerful that mining into it would produce one of the veins of hits in history. Their manager, Brian Epstein, was serving as a guru to the band, shaping their public persona while Lennon and McCartney churned out hit after hit.Ten minutes of BBC television footage found its way onto the Jack Paar Program a few days later and aroused the nation’s curiosity. The song was already climbing local and national charts and the sparks were flying. Lucky viewers heard the frenzied screams of the British girls watching the Beatles and got their first look at the squeaky-clean, uniformly dressed, mop-topped boys. Afire started to catch. You can watch what Paar’s viewers saw below.The Beatles on the Jack Paar Program (1963)[Video: UnreleasedBeatlesHD]By February 1st, Billboard had declared “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” the number one song in America and the flames were beginning to lick higher and higher. Now, our tale’s final media maven enters, the celebrated host of the nation’s most popular evening variety hour, Mr. Ed Sullivan. Sullivan’s show was one of the nation’s most watched, dominating the prime time slot and public consciousness as a whole. He was a tastemaker and, like the previous two media men mentioned, he was keenly aware of how hungry the country was for something fresh and clean.50 Years Later: Remembering The Beatles On Ed SullivanSullivan wanted to lead the pack and signed The Beatles to appear on his show on February 9th, less than two months after the single had its first fateful spin in the nation’s capital. It’s said that just under half the nations television sets were tuned into The Ed Sullivan show the night The Beatles first appeared on American airwaves. With the way our modern media culture is so diverse and ubiquitous, it’s difficult to imagine what an effect such a saturation of the public could have. Watch a little of that performance below.The Beatles – “I Want To Hold Your Hand” – The Ed Sullivan Show – 2/9/64[Video: The Beatles]The flames of “Beatlemania” quickly became a full-fledged inferno. A frenzy for any Beatles-related product—from music to dolls, wigs, and every sort of merchandise—brought cynical opportunists with lucrative endorsement deals out of the woodwork. Within months, shelves were filled with items bearing the likeness of the four faces. You couldn’t go anywhere or do anything without seeing or hearing about the Beatles. Unlike other fads, however, this one refused to fade, and in a way continues to this very day.Whether they realize it or not, there are few musicians working today that aren’t, in some way or another, influenced by the Beatles. They shaped the future of rock through one of the most well-documented musical evolutions ever seen. They transformed from a foursome of wholesome boys into a rebellious, long haired, psychedelic drug-championing group of idols, and their music followed them every step of the way.It had all started simply enough, like millions of times before, with a needle hitting a groove cast in vinyl while it spun on a turntable. This time, when the needle traveled that groove, the resonance it relayed was actually a signal flare from an encroaching force. This invader would indeed be the first to conquer the United States Of America. They didn’t use weapons of war, they used a catchy pop song about chaste teen romance and fresh-scrubbed faces. Billions of dollars, dozens of number one songs and countless followers, all spawned from a moment of tragedy and hope… and a needle on a record.last_img read more

Tool Thieves Hit Rocky Knob Bike Park

first_imgThere’s a special kind of asshole roaming around the mountains of North Carolina’s High Country right now. The Boone Area Cyclists reported earlier this week that a bunch of tools were stolen from their tool trailer at Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park. The thieves stole thousands of dollars worth of equipment—all stuff that was purchased through grants or donations. Essentially, they took everything but a handful of shovels. This is a volunteer organization that builds bike parks and trails. Bike parks and trails that a lot of kids like to ride. Because, as most of you know, riding bikes on trails makes kids happy. So essentially, this thief (or thieves) just stole happiness from children.volunteersI’m trying not to be too judgmental here. We’ve all done things that we’re not proud of. I can think of several years during my late teens/early 20s that would probably make my mother weep with shame. But stealing trail building tools? That’s a new kind of low. A rock bottom kind of low. I put this guy in the same category as a bike thief. There’s a special ring of hell reserved for people who steal bikes. And now that ring of hell needs to make room for this tool-stealing douchebag. I mean really, stealing tools? How much meth can you buy with a mattock anyway? The Boone Area Cyclists are carrying on with business as usual, and have work days planned for the near future. They’ve set up a donation page so the public can help them replace the tools that were lost. Check it out and consider helping these volunteers out. The singletrack that they’re building and maintaining in and around Boone literally makes the world a better place. Don’t let some asshole with sticky fingers ruin that.last_img read more

Get facts straight on access to guns

first_imgFirst of all, you can’t own a bazooka or a RPG or a .50 caliber machine gun. And yes, those are laws on the books, and yes, there are reasonable limits. If law enforcement would follow the laws on the books, there would be a lot fewer problems. The FBI and the sheriff’s department didn’t follow the laws in Florida. We have strict background checks here in New York — I have no problem with that. If  anyone thinks it’s easy to get a gun permit, try getting one.You can get one, but it’s not easy.  We have to remember criminals will always find a way to get a gun. It’s the law-abiding people who care what the law says.Also, I would like to commend Don Kingsley on his very good letter of March 19 letter.Tony MontePrincetownMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusCar hits garage in Rotterdam Sunday morning; Garage, car burnFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen? Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion In regards to Glenn Gray’s March 19 comments on guns: If you are an anti-gun person, please know the gun laws before you write an opinion.last_img read more

UPDATE: Sentenced to 12 years – Hanover man convicted on multiple counts including Dealing Methamphetamine

first_imgMadison, IN –UPDATE:According to the Jefferson County Prosecutor Office, Monday, Michael D. Crawley was sentenced to twelve years fully executed at the Indiana Department of Correction at a sentencing hearing held in the Jefferson Circuit Court. Crawley was convicted of multiple felonies, including Dealing Methamphetamine, a Level 4 Felony, following a jury trial. Twelve (12) years is the maximum sentence for a Level 4 Felony. Original Story: Thursday, Michael D. Crawley, 56, of Hanover was convicted of multiple felonies, including two counts of Dealing in Methamphetamine, two counts of Possession of Methamphetamine, and Maintaining a Common Nuisance.Prosecutor David Sutter thanked the jury following the hearing, “A jury of Mr. Crawley’s peers found him guilty on all counts. I thank them for their service and their diligence in listening to hours of testimony and thoughtfully considering the evidence in this case.”The police investigation leading to the conviction began in February and was the result of a tip brought to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department by a confidential informant. The informant notified Deputy Linton Spry they had arranged to purchase a half “game” of methamphetamine, approximately 1.5-2 grams, for $85.00. Upon receiving the tip, Detectives made arrangements to meet the informant and prepare the controlled buy.The controlled buys were made on February 21 and 23, 2019 and resulted in two $85.00 purchases at the 281 E Main Street residence of Michael D. Crawley. On February 21, 2019, Crawley sold approximately 1.68 grams of a crystal-like substance that field-tested positive for methamphetamine to the informant. Two days later, on February 23, 2019, Crawley again sold the informant a crystal-like substance, in an amount weighing approximately 1.69 grams. The second controlled purchase also field-tested positive for methamphetamine. Both substances were sent to the Indiana State Police Lab for testing and confirmed to be methamphetamine.“I want to give special thanks to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, particularly the excellent work of Detective Yancy Denning, Special Deputy Tim Armstrong, Deputy Ben Flint, and Deputy Linton Spry. It is because of their ongoing excellent work, we were able to secure this conviction and we continue to track down and prosecute drug dealers in Jefferson County,” said Sutter.The case was prosecuted by Prosecutor Sutter and Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Blaine Goode. Mr. Crawley will be sentenced in the Jefferson County Circuit Court on November 19.last_img read more