Tuesday, 5 October 2010

The Beatles' Story BBC Radio

The original uncut 1972 UK version of 'The Beatles Story' hosted by Brian Matthew is being repeated on BBC6 starting Sunday October 10th.
The Beatles' Story was the first extensive BBC Radio documentary on The Beatles and was assembled in the winter of 1971-1972. Produced by Johnny Beerling and hosted by Brian Matthew it was aired on BBC Radio One on Sunday nights at 5pm from May through August 1972.
Later in 1972, the series was sold to the U.S. for syndication. The U.S. version trimmed each episode to make room for commercials. The original BBC broadcasts were 55 minutes but the U.S. episodes were just 46 minutes long.

Official site

2 comments:

rringoo said...

This BBC documentary was well-done, with Brian Matthews' great voice and well-written by Johnny Beerling. It influenced me personally on some of the self-made audio documentaries I would make in the years to come.

I think it's amazing and foresighted of the BBC staffers involved in this; for someone(s) to think so soon after the Beatles broke up of making a documentary about their career. They had to get the shows written, locate Bruno Kraushmeiter, Alan Williams, Murray the K, Sid Bernstein, Neil Diamond, etc., interview them all, select parts of the interviews to include, etc.

rringoo said...

As good as the documentary is, it has some glaring mistakes or puzzling choices.
In part one, when the "earliest recordings we could find" are played, 2 of the singers are misidentified. "Lucille" is sung by Paul, but Matthews says it's John. Then we hear George singing "I Forgot to Remember", credited to Paul.

Back In the USSR is used in a 1964 episode, as is an instrumental excerpt of "Paint It Black" which is a 1966 song.

I have to say that the use of the Stu Phillilps and the Hollyridge Strings' instrumentals of Beatles songs to outro each episode works. I like all of Phillips' work. I wonder how the English producers of the series were familiar with Phillips, since his albums were on Capitol and were only released in the US, I assume. (He also did the music for The Monkees' TV series.

I heard The Beatles Story on Christmas Day, 1972 on WLS in Chicago. I lived downstate out of Chicago so my recording sometimes fades out, plus there's Christmas tree lights interference on the reception.
Does anyone out there have a better recording of this?