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The Beatles Appeared on Television for the First Time 55 Years Ago Today

The Beatles released their debut single, ‘Love Me Do’, with ‘P.S. I Love You’ on the B-side on 5th October 1962. Less than two weeks later, the group travelled to Manchester to appear on Granada TV’s magazine-style programme “People and Places”. Ringo Starr had been in the band for a short time: he replaced Pete Best in August.

Since Granada is a regional channel, the show was only broadcast in North West England, and it ran from 6:35pm until 7:00pm. The Beatles played two songs: ‘Love Me Do’ and ‘Some Other Guy’. The latter number was regularly featured in the band’s early concerts and was also popular among other Liverpool artists. It was written by Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller and Richie Barrett, and first released by Barrett earlier in 1962.

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Before arriving to Granada TV Centre on Quay Street, the Beatles had played a lunchtime gig at Liverpool’s famous Cavern Club. They then rehearsed twice in the afternoon before filming began. Later in the evening, they returned to the Cavern Club for another show.

The appearance on “People and Places” was crucial in promoting the group’s recently released single, as it was not getting any radio airplay at the time. There were only three national radio stations in the United Kingdom in the early part of the 60s, run by the BBC. “Light Programme” was the only radio show airing any popular music at all, and the selection of records they chose was very limited. Therefore, bands could not rely on radio play to help promote their music to a wider audience. Instead, most people who bought records did so after seeing artists play live at clubs and reading about them in newspapers.

‘Love Me Do’ entered the UK Singles Chart on the day of the television appearance at number 49, just behind Little Richard’s ‘He Got What He Wanted’. It then went on to peak at number 17.

Prior to inviting them to “People and Places”, Granada TV had filmed the Beatles perform ‘Some Other Guy’ at the Cavern Club on 22nd August the same year. The recording had originally been intended for another programme, “Know the North”. However, it was shelved due to the poor quality resulting from the dark and humid conditions inside the club. Nevertheless, they did broadcast the performance on 6th November 1963, after the Beatles had risen to widespread fame.

Unlike their August appearance at the Cavern Club, the Beatles’ performance on “People and Places” was not recorded, so the only ones to have seen it were those tuning in live. The band’s national television debut took place in January 1963.

 

 

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