Monday, 17 September 2012
Beeb Beatles Celebration
The Beatles’ first top-20 hit, Love Me Do, was released 50 years ago on 5 October 1962, and the BBC is celebrating with a nationwide trawl for listeners’ memories from the time.
All 39 BBC Local Radio stations are holding their own My Beatles Story day (#mybeatlesstory) on 5 October, when every station will broadcast listeners’ memories of the Fab Four.
The BBC has also commissioned a Local Radio survey in which 12,000 people across the UK are being asked to pick their favourite Beatles track. Each station will announce the local results on 5 October.
In their early days, The Beatles toured extensively, visiting towns as far apart as Morecambe and Southend, Croydon and Whitchurch, in addition to the major cities. They were seen by vast crowds as their popularity rocketed, and it is hoped that the My Beatles Story day will jog some great memories from across the nation.
On-air trails are asking audiences not only if they saw any of the early gigs, but also whether they ever saw a fresh-faced young Paul McCartney out and about, or if they might have served John, George or Ringo in a pub or shop, or given them a lift in a taxi. It is hoped everyone’s memories will come flooding back for a golden day of Beatles nostalgia right across the BBC’s Local Radio network.
Stuart Maconie is also presenting an hour-long documentary on BBC Four, which is being made by the BBC in the North West. Love Me Do – 1962 will go out on BBC Four on 4 October, with a shorter version going out on BBC One (North West only) on 1 October.
The programme asks why Liverpool was the birthplace of a musical phenomenon. The city was suffering from severe unemployment, yet it was also the world’s biggest port. Maconie explores how its vibrant pop culture was influenced by the records that arrived from the United States, and chronicles the social history of a proud seaport which helped change pop culture forever.
BBC Radio 2 will also mark the anniversary with a Beatles Season starting on 3 October, which includes a Blaggers Guide To The Beatles with David Quantick and The Casbah Club: Birthplace Of Merseybeat - an exploration of the story of the famous Liverpool club, presented by Pete Best, the original Beatles drummer who was replaced by Ringo Starr.
Other programmes in the season include Year In The Life: Beatles '62 in which Roger McGough tells the story of the pivotal breakthrough year for the newly mop-topped Liverpool beat combo, and Beatleland, in which Craig Charles heads home to find out what they took with them and what legacy they left behind.