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Introducing… The Beatles Controversy 

Introducing… The Beatles Controversy 

U.S. #3188o – From the Celebrate the Century series.

On July 22, 1963, the first U.S. Beatles album was planned for release, but was delayed for several months due to a shakeup at the record company.

The Beatles began with John Lennon, who was raised on Penny Lane in Liverpool, England. He was a teenager when rock greats Elvis Presley, Little Richard, and Chuck Berry became stars in America. Influenced by their music, Lennon formed his first band, the Quarrymen. He invited Paul McCartney to join the group, forming one of the most creative musical duos in pop history.

Soon George Harrison became a member of the Quarrymen, along with drummer Pete Best and bassist Stu Sutcliffe. In 1961, Liverpool record store owner Brian Epstein caught on to the Beatles’ popularity and became their manager. By 1962, the band – now called the Beatles – had dropped Best and Sutcliffe and added drummer Richard Starkey, better known as Ringo Starr. They landed a contract with Electrical and Mechanical Industries (EMI), and had several hits in Europe.

Item #M9309 – Beatles album cover stamps.

The Beatles released their first album on March 22, 1963 – Please Please Me. It entered the U.K. charts on April 6 and spent 30 weeks at number one. Part of the deal with EMI included an American release. At one point, Vee-Jay Records planned to simply release the 14-song Please Please Me as it had been issued in the United Kingdom. However, at the time most American albums had just 12 songs, so they decided to drop “Please Please Me” and “Ask Me Why,” which had previously been released as a single.

Preparations for creating the album, now titled Introducing… The Beatles, began in late June and the first albums were pressed shortly after. The album was supposed to be released on July 22, 1963. However, Ewart Abner, president of Vee-Jay Records was forced to resign after it had been discovered that he used company funds to cover his gambling debts. In the wake of the scandal, the label opted to cancel the release of their album as well as those of Frank Ifield and Alma Cogan.

Item #M9312 – Beatles Abbey Road gold trading card.

The record company put the Beatles on the back burner for several months, dealing with other, more profitable albums first. Then in December they rushed to release the single, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” when they discovered that Capitol Records was planning an all-out promotional campaign for the Beatles. With the record company desperate for money, they finally decided to release Introducing… The Beatles, even if it would cause them legal troubles later.

The album was finally released on January 10, 1964. However, the album had included two songs that another record company had rights to, so they had to release another version of the album without them about a month later. The new release of the album reached number two on the Billboard charts and stayed there for nine weeks.

Item #M9313 – Beatles For Sale gold trading card.

The Beatles arrived in the U.S. in February of 1964, when thousands of screaming fans greeted them at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City. Their energy, musical abilities, wit, and “mop-tops” made them heroes to American youth. That year, the group’s first of 20 number-one U.S. hits, “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” landed on the charts. And their appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show later that year helped launch “Beatlemania.”

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15 responses to "Introducing… The Beatles Controversy "

15 thoughts on “Introducing… The Beatles Controversy ”

  1. As has been told. a DJ in New York, Murray the K (Murray Kaufman), got a
    record from a British Seaman, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and played it
    on his show. The response was immediate and positive from his listeners
    as the Radio switchboard went crazy with calls all wanting to know who
    the group was on the record. Murray the K played the song several times in
    his rotation and an unknown British Rock group was an instant hit. This was
    first played in December 1963 and Capital Records ( a subsidiary of EMI), who
    originally said a British Group would NEVER succeed in American and
    turned down previous efforts to get the Beatles records in the U.S., rushed to
    get “I Want to Hold Your Hand” (with “I Saw Her Standing There” on the B side)
    out and on Feb 1, 1964 It went to #1 and Beatlemania, and the subsequent British
    Invasion had begun.

    Reply
  2. “I want to hold your hand” debuted on the Hot 100 charts on Jan 18, 1964 at #45
    was at #3 on the next chart and #1 the next week and stayed #1 for 7 weeks. It was
    followed by “She Loves You” and then “Can’t Buy me Love”. The Beatles dominated
    the #1 spot from Feb 1 to May 9, 1964, 14 weeks, before, of all people, Louis Armstrong \
    finally knocked them off their perch.

    Reply
  3. First heard the Beatles in the summer of 1963 when an English cousin of a neighbor of ours in Milwaukee brought over their British release album during a visit to the US. As I recall, it had all their first hits on it except “I Want to Hold Your Hand”.

    Reply
  4. As a senior in high school at the time, our class was on the cusp of a new generation of music. The fall of 1963 was the twilight of be-bop rock. The spring of 1964 was a new form. A new culture was born.

    Reply
    • The Beatles were a pop stand kiddie rock band that looked so stupid in their hair [ we all knew they were “greasers” in Berlin ; produced for the youth. their early song were so adolescent- they hardly seemed relevant to the issues going on in America. Never underestimate the capriciousness and hormonal reaction of teenage girls. THe Stones basically ripped off our blues format. [you have to give them a little credit for waking up the middleclass to old blues masters] None of them are very good musicians, but , they had a great show. I wouldn’t walk across the street to see them.

      Reply
    • Stones. A comment made below stated that they were not very good musicians. Was he referring to both the Beatles and the Stones? I thought the Stones were better musicians.

      Reply
  5. I remember that I watched Ed Sullivan Show on 2/9/1964 (The Beatles) cute Sir Paul McCartney with my family when I was 7 years old.

    Reply
  6. As a rock and roller from the age of seven in 1957, I had my list of the best singers of the day headed by Elvis and then in no particular order Fabian, Pat Boone, Bobby Rydell, Freddie Cannon, the Beach Boys, Dion, Chuck Berry, 4 Seasons, etc. and on and on. From the moment I heard ” I want to hold your hand”, “She loves you”, and “I saw her standing there”, all of the aforementioned ceased to exist. There were discussions of who was better , the Beatles or the Dave Clark five(who?). I had no idea what the word genre meant but if music wasn’t “pop” and played by someone from or near Liverpool it wasn’t worth listening to. The British Invasion was on and it spawned new styles, expressions, as well as allies and rivalries. I seem to recall the first Beatles album was “Meet the Beatles”

    Reply
    • I could have written what you wrote; because I felt the same way. My list is similar except I would have had some girl groups, too. You are right: Meet the Beatles was their first US album. Followed by Introducing the Beatles.

      Reply
  7. I first heard The Beatles in 1964. I loved their music then, and still do.
    My parents did not like their music or hair styles, so that was another reason for me!
    The UK stamp issue is my favorite.

    Reply

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