Posts Tagged ‘Beatlemania’


The Beatles Get Animated

October 20, 2008

In the mid-1960’s Beatlemania was huge. Not even Batmania could come close in terms of longevity and worldwide impact. As businesspeople far and wide came up with every possible concept to merchandise and make money off the Fab Four, it seemed only natural to have the four moptops star in their own TV show. And while a ‘live action’ show never materialized in 1965 a new Saturday morning cartoon appeared with amazing ratings starring The Beatles.


The ABC network came up with the idea, King Features produced the show and toy manufacturer A.C. Gilmer put the money up in hopes of reaping a vast reward through merchandising.


The Beatles virtually had nothing to do with the show in any capacity except for the songs that were used. Even the voices were those of hired actors affecting a Liverpool accent (Lance Percival, who voiced the parts of Paul and Ringo and the legendary Paul Frees who voiced John and George).


Be that as it may, I tuned in for the first and all subsequent episodes.


The Beatles premiered on Saturday morning September 25, 1965 and aired at 10:30 AM each week. From the first episode the show was a monster hit in terms of ratings with the first show snagging an impressive 52 share that was record setting. Each cartoon ran about 10 minutes and featured two cartoons per episode in addition to two ‘sing-a-longs’ that consisted of Beatles songs with a cartoon to go along with it.


The show aired on ABC for four years with the last two being restricted to reruns. Strangely enough, people in The Beatles’ England never had a chance to see the show until 1980 when it finally aired on British TV.
I haven’t seen the show since the 1960’s but would love to see it again, at least for nostalgia’s sake.


Confession: I Read 16 Magazine (44 Years Ago)

March 1, 2008

I have a confession to make. I once read 16 Magazine. Now before you call my manhood into question let me elaborate. Back in ’64 when the Beatles hit my older sister Cheryl and cousin Sue were your typical early 60’s teenyboppers and they had Beatlemania like you wouldn’t believe! Cousin Sue had all the LPs and 45’s and got all, and I mean all of the magazines like 16, Tiger Beat and the rest. You couldn’t go into a drug store or grocery store without seeing them in the magazine racks. 


I can remember when the British Invasion was in full force Sue and her family moved to Ghent, OH. When visiting them and, loving the Beatles and all things rock ‘n roll, I would go through her stack of teen magazines and read them (I was all of eight or nine years old). More often than not when we would visit Sue would invariably give Cheryl back issues of the ones she missed. (If there was a poster of the Beatles, Tommy James or Sonny & Cher, for example, Cheryl would have them on her bedroom walls or school locker.)



 Fast forward a couple years and it soon became apparent (due to peer pressure…and taste) that 16 Magazine (and the rest of that ilk) were for girls only and no way would a guy buy or read them! So by 1968 they were off limits. Once the 70’s hit I remember my kid sister, five years my junior, buying those magazines plastered with David Cassidy, the Defranco family, Donny Osmond and whoever else was the flavor of the month. I vividly remember giving her hell and constantly teasing her for reading such ‘baby crap’ magazines when she could be reading my Creem, Rolling Stone, Circus, Crawdaddy or any of the other ‘true’, ‘adult’ magazines.  


Of course, (*harrumph*) when I read 16 Magazine for a couple years it featured the Beatles, Stones, Kinks, Who and all the rest of the ‘mature’ rock bands, no bubble gum in sight (have I justified myself yet?). But in all honesty, it would be a kick to be able to leaf through and read a couple of them from 1964-1966 today, just for the sake of nostalgia and to remember the innocence of a different time and era. 


Do they still publish the thing?


For my recollections (and obession) on 70’s rock ‘n roll magazines visit this entry: Biology & Rock ‘N Roll ‘Literature’


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