Busy Beatle December

Busy Beatle December 1963

Busy Beatle December 1963

It was a busy Beatle December in 1963. I always thought that I’d decided to like the Beatles on my own. In retrospect, Uncle Capitol Records may have had a hand in it..

December 4, 1963: Capitol Records issued a press release announcing that it would start selling “I Want To Hold Your Hand” in the US on January 13, 1964.

The Beatles Christmas Record

Recorded in October, it was on December 6, 1963 that the UK Beatle Fan Club released the first Christmas recording: The Beatles Christmas Record.

Busy Beatle December 1963

CBS TV

On December 10, 1963, CBS TV broadcast the four-minute Beatle piece that the JFK assassination had pre-empted.

Busy Beatle December 1963

WWDC DJ Carroll James

On December 17, 1963, WWDC DJ Carroll James played a UK copy of  “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” A 15-year-old girl from Silver Spring, MD had written to him  requesting Beatles music after seeing the CBS story.  James arranged to have a stewardess buy a U.K. copy of the Beatles’ single.

Busy Beatle December 1963
WWDC DJ Carroll James with the Beatles

Capitol Records threatened to sue WWDC , but  changed its mind and decided to rush-release “I Want To Hold Your Hand.” It cancelled Christmas leaves and pressing plants and staff geared up.

Busy Beatle December 1963
How many of you still have your copy from 1964?

On December 23, 1963, Capitol Records issued a memo outlining an extensive “Beatles Campaign” using various promotional items: trade ads, a fake tabloid Beatles newspaper, buttons, stickers, wigs, and a battery-powered, “Beatles-in-motion,” bobble-head-like, window display for music stores.

Busy Beatle December 1963
flip side “I Saw Her Standing There”
Busy Beatle December 1963

December 23, 1963

December 26, 1963, Capitol Records started to distribute “I Want To Hold Your Hand.”  It was a perfect storm with teenagers home for the holidays to listen to their radios and buy records.  In New York City, 10,000 copies were sold every hour.  In the first three days, 250,000 copies were  sold.  Capitol was so overloaded it contracted Columbia Records and RCA to help with the pressings.

Busy Beatle December 1963

Released

December 26, 1963: Capital released “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”  In the first three days after its release, 250,000 copies had been sold; 10,000 were reportedly sold every hour in New York City.

That same day, back in the UK, the Beatles began their 16-night run of their Christmas Show.

On December 27, 1963, William Mann of the London Times “legitimizes” the Beatles music by writing a very complimentary article about it. In part, he said, “…the songs of Lennon and McCartney are distinctly indigenous in character, the most imaginative and inventive examples of a style that has been developing on Merseyside during the past few years. And there is a nice, rather flattering irony in the news that the Beatles have now become prime favourites in America, too.”

Busy Beatle December 1963

December 30, 1963

December 30, 1963, a two-page ad from Capitol Records pitching the Beatles’ recordings ran in Billboard and Cash Box.  These ads had already been distributed to Capitol’s sales agents for use with radio stations and in enlarged,  easel-scale size for use in music store displays.

Busy Beatle December 1963
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