The Beatles Come to America

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On February, 7 1964 -- "B-Day" as one disk jockey called it -- the Beatles landed in New York. As John, Paul, George, and Ringo walked down the gangway of their plane, thousands of fans, their shrieks competing with the wails of jet engines for sonic supremacy, welcomed them to America. It was pandemonium -- an airport official declared, "We've never seen anything like this here before. Never. Not even for kings and queens" -- and just the start of the adulation the Beatles were about to experience. Over the next...
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The Beatles Come to America

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On February, 7 1964 -- "B-Day" as one disk jockey called it -- the Beatles landed in New York. As John, Paul, George, and Ringo walked down the gangway of their plane, thousands of fans, their shrieks competing with the wails of jet engines for sonic supremacy, welcomed them to America. It was pandemonium -- an airport official declared, "We've never seen anything like this here before. Never. Not even for kings and queens" -- and just the start of the adulation the Beatles were about to experience. Over the next two weeks, the Beatles would appear twice on The Ed Sullivan Show, play two concerts at Carnegie Hall and one in Washington, and charm reporters with witty interviews wherever they went. By the time they departed, the Fab Four were the idols of a new American generation -- and would go on to have a defining impact on the music, fashions, passions, and generational conflicts of the 1960s.

In this captivating cultural history, Martin Goldsmith recreates the excitement of that first Beatles visit, which came less than three months after the tragedy of President Kennedy's assassination, and explains how four lads from Liverpool came together to create a sound and a style that would win America's heart. From the roots of John and Paul's songwriting partnership and the band's first Liverpool appearances to their grueling Hamburg apprenticeship and their climb to the top of the British charts, Goldsmith brings to life the hardships, hard work, and joy that made the Beatles' music without parallel in the twentieth century. He describes the initial difficulty they had getting their records released in America -- until "I Want to Hold Your Hand" took off when a British copy was smuggled to a DJ in Washington, D.C. And he tells the story of the Beatles' most resounding American triumph -- their unforgettable first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, an event that drew 73.9 million viewers, at the time the largest audience in television history. Engagingly written, thoroughly researched, and embellished with personal recollections and trenchant reflections, The Beatles Come to America recounts a magical and important time in our nation's history. Whether you've loved the Beatles for forty years or are meeting them anew, a splendid time is guaranteed for all.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
For this latest installment in Wiley's Turning Points series of personal perspectives on defining American issues, music writer Goldsmith (The Inextinguishable Symphony) looks at the 1964 arrival of the Beatles in America to show how the "unleashed, unbridled joy and unparalleled excitement" of Beatlemania "was an earthquake, and we continue to feel its aftershocks forty years later." Goldsmith clearly expresses his love of the Fab Four and is especially good at detailing their famous appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show. However, while Goldsmith unassailably argues that the group that appeared on TV in 1964 was an act that had been honed during four previous years of hard work, he devotes the first half of the book to proving that point by giving a short history of their entire early career, including childhoods as well as the tough tours of Hamburg and England, where they forged their style. For someone who has never heard of the Beatles (if such a person exists), this may be necessary, but this material has been covered more thoroughly and with more detail in many other works. The book does offer many fascinating details related to their arrival (such as negative reviews of the band from mainstream newspapers including the New York Times and the Washington Post). Goldsmith never explores in-depth some of the "lasting changes" that he says the Beatles' arrival made in "music, broadcasting, journalism and fashion." A little less Beatles history and more material on their actual arrival would have made this a more effective narrative. (Feb.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
..".written in an easy and pleasant style...a useful addition to the collection of the avid Beatles fan." ("Beatles- Unlimited magazine," May/June 2004)

..". fascinating ... quotations from those fusty Americans..." ("New Statesman," 12th April 2004)

..".a breezily intelligent biography...perhaps the first serious Beatles history to have a truly happy ending." ("Entertainment Weekly," February 6, 2004)

Whether you're old enough to have lived through Beatlemania or young enough to know only that one of these guys went on to play in Wings, Martin Goldsmith offers new twists on a fascinating subject in "The Beatles Come to America." In this reflective account of the Beatles' explosive arrival on the U.S. music scene in 1964, Goldsmith digs into the tale with such attention to detail that its freshness seems never to have faded. Discovering what went into designing the stage set for the Beatles' first appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show," for instance, makes clear how portentous that broadcast turned out to be.
The story is put into a personal context as the author inserts himself into the narrative, both as a teenager bearing witness and an adult now looking back with some perspective. The opening pages, for example, take us along on his pilgrimage to Liverpool on a recent summer day. Where the Britney generation might see an unremarkable urban panorama, Goldsmith finds evidence of miracles-a street called Penny Lane, a dank reliquary in the shadows of the Cavern Club-and, briefly but gloriously, bonds with a couple of Russians drawn on their own "hadj" to the center of Strawberry Fields.
This magic blows through the book, past delightfully obscure anecdotes and insightful reflections that present the Beatles as both a tonic for the malaise that followed the Kennedy assassination and a harbinger of the feminist revolution. When the Fab Four, a little bewildered at what they had just unleashed, wave goodbye to America and fly back home, Ringo wonders, "How i

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781620457214
  • Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 1/26/2004
  • Series: Turning Points Series, #11
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 210
  • Sales rank: 1,192,565
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

MARTIN GOLDSMITH is director of classical music programming for XM Satellite Radio. From 1989 to 1999, he hosted Performance Today, National Public Radio's daily classical music program. Since 1984 he has been co-host of Songs for Aging Children, a radio program devoted to the singer-songwriter generation. He is also the author of The Inextinguishable Symphony. Martin Goldsmith lives in Maryland with his wife, Amy Roach.

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Table of Contents

1. Forever 1
2. "Genius Is Pain" 7
3. A Flaming Pie 27
4. Laboratory and Conservatory 43
5. The Toppermost of the Poppermost 61
6. "O Come All Ye Faithful, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!" 85
7. "Such a Feeling" 101
8. "The Beatles Are Coming!" 115
9. "A Vision of the Ecstasy of Life" 129
10. The Children of Bishop Martin 167
Acknowledgments 185
Select Bibliography and Videography 187
Index 189
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2005

    A Good Read For Any Beatle Fan

    The Beatles Come to America is a great book. The author includes many intresting details that any fan would find amusing. The book tells about each beatle's life before stardom which I found very intresting.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2004

    Beatlemania remembered forty years later

    I found this book to be a terrific read. Goldsmith gives plenty of interesting details to keep even the most well read Beatle fan interested. I have read many Beatle books but I was impressed with the number of details and by the enthusiam and love with which Mr. Goldsmith writes about the Fab Four. Thanks for such a great book on the anniversary of a truly remarkable cultural milestone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2010

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