Beatles Our World

Beatles Our World

June 25, 1967
            In 1967 our what we watched on TV was mainly local other than the evening shows on the major networks. Cable TV was still in its infancy.

            The idea that everyone in the world could watch the same live TV program at the same was not new. The main problem was the technology and organization to do so. By 1966, technology was no longer a hurdle. Aubrey Singer, a British Broadcasting Corporation producer, took on the organizational issues.

            19 countries were lined up to participate but five Soviet bloc countries [Czechoslovakia, Poland, East Germany, the Soviet Union, and Hungary] withdrew just before the broadcast in protest for the Six-Day War.

            Those who did participate were:
  • Austrialia
  • Austria
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • France 
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Mexico
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Tunisia
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • West Germany
            Each country would contribute its own piece. No politicians. No heads of state. A live broadcast. Interpreters for each country's contribution.

            In the end, the broadcast went to 24 countries and an estimated 400 to 700 million people watch.

            Some of the segments included:
  • from Canada, a Marshall McLuhan interview, views of Ghost Lake, a rancher and his cutting horse, and views from Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach.
  • from the USA, views of the house in Glassboro, NJ whre Lyndon Johnson and Soviet premier Alixi Kosygin met; a discussion about the impact of technology.
  • from Japan, views of the construction of the Tokyo subway system

Beatles Our World

           As selfish as I am, I am mainly concerned with the UK's contribution: the Beatles. They had been asked to write a song. 

           Although the song lists as usual that it was a Lennon-McCartney composition,  John Lennon wrote "All You Need Is Love." He had only worked on it for about a week before and only completed it the day of the broadcast.

           John played harpsichord, Paul double bass, George violin (for the first time), and Ringo on drums. Added later was George Martin on piano and John on banjo. 

           While the ground rules stipulated a completely live performance, the Beatles and invited friends sang to a pre-recorded track for simplification. Those friends? Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton, Marianne Faithfull, Keith Richards, Keith Moon, Graham Nash, Mike McGear, Patti Boyd, and Jan Asher.

           The single "All You Need Is Love" was released in the UK on July 7 and in the US on July 17. The song hit #1 in both countries.

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