50th anniversary of Beatles’ arrival triggers local memories
50th anniversary of the Beatles' U.S. tour brings back memories
Suzi Radosevich remembers the first time she heard the Beatles.
She was in the living room of her Wisconsin home and the radio was on. It was 1964. A song came on called “Love Me Do.”
“I remember listening and looking at my brother and saying, ‘Who was that?’” said Radosevich, who now lives in the Grand Valley. “From that point on, I was gone.”
She was not alone, and Beatlemania was born.
This year is the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ arrival in the United States, and new album releases and tributes are planned to mark the historic event.
“Just thinking about them gives me shivers,” said Radosevich, 63, from the KAFM 88.1 studio in Grand Junction, where she hosts Paradise Cafe on alternating Friday afternoons. Radosevich, who goes by Suzi Creme Cheeze on-air, sets aside 30–45 minutes of her show for “Fab Four Friday,” playing only Beatles tunes.
She often receives phone calls from young people curious about the group she’s playing.
“I had a kindergartner call a few years ago,” Radosevich said. “I played ‘Yellow Submarine.’ The little girl wanted to know who it was and what was the name of the song. She had her mom write it down.”
The single “Yellow Submarine” first appeared on the 1966 album “Revolver,” released both in the United Kingdom and the United States.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary, all U.S. versions of the group’s albums, which were different from U.K. versions, will be reissued individually and sold in a 13-CD box set starting Tuesday, Jan. 21 (or Jan. 20 in other parts of the world.)
The timing coincides with the January 1964 release of “Meet The Beatles!” marketed as the band’s U.S. debut album.
A Beatles special, “The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to the Beatles,” will air on CBS on Feb. 9, the same date John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr debuted on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in 1964, one of the most iconic TV moments ever.
Radosevich watched that show, as did Jim Kearns, who was 10 at the time and living in St. Louis.
“It was my dad’s birthday, and he was real mad, but I just insisted. People were talking about it at school,” said Kearns, 59, who works at Rocky Mountain Health Plans and a former KAFM programmer who also used his show to exclusively play Beatles’ music. “The music was great, but when I saw them on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show,’ they had it all going, man. They played their own music. They didn’t lip sync or have a backup band. They just seemed like really natural people. They were obviously very confident, great performers and that came across.”
There’s speculation that McCartney and Starr, the two surviving Beatles, possibly will perform together Feb. 7 on David Letterman’s late-night show — Letterman tapes in the Ed Sullivan Theater — to commemorate the anniversary of the band landing in New York, according to Roger Friedman’s Jan. 7 story at Showbiz411.com.
In terms of Colorado’s connection to this historic year, the Beatles played at Red Rocks Amphitheatre outside Denver on Aug. 26, 1964, during the band’s inaugural U.S. tour that crossing the country in August and September.
Radosevich wasn’t there — she saw the Beatles in Chicago in 1965, where she actually met them in one of the most memorable moments of her life — but she’s not surprised that the feeling she had about the Beatles in 1964 still resonates with new generations.
“To me, their music is as new now as when they released it,” she said. “It’s timeless. They were so far ahead of their time. It was just the creative genius of all four of them together that made their music timeless. It applies now, it applied then, and it will apply 100 years from now.”