Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
“Even half a century later, the sound is unmistakable . . . the sound of frenzied joy. When John, Paul, George and Ringo stepped off the plane at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport on Feb. 7, 1964, they had no idea they were making history. Despite their reception, they were still a mystery to MOST of America, until two days later…”
Mark Strassmann, CBS News
It's Friday night. Time to unwind with our regular Friday night feature on This Just In.
The weekend has finally arrived.
The sun has set.
The evening sky has erupted.
Let's smooth our way into Saturday and Sunday.
Tonight, we travel back 50 years.
73 million Americans watched that Ed Sullivan show telecast during the Beatles' first trip to America. According to Examiner.com:
“The Herald-Tribune called the Beatles ‘75% publicity, 20% haircut, and 5% lilting lament.’ Rev. Billy Graham watched the Beatles on Ed Sullivan (breaking a personal ban on Sunday TV viewing) and said that the performance revealed ‘All the symptoms of the uncertainty of the times and the confusion about us.’ Ray Block, Ed Sullivan's orchestra leader, predicted that they ‘wouldn't last longer than a year.’ Actor Noel Coward said, ‘I've met them. Delightful lads. Absolutely no talent’."
50 years later, such observations are laughable, though I give Graham some credit for turning on the tube.
One of the musical beauties of the Beatles and there ae many is that their recordings translate so comfortably to other genres and styles. Tonight we have wonderful examples with photos from the CBS archives of that historic night 50 years ago. So sit back, relax, and savor not just the music, but the terrific memories they bring back.
Beatle music too much rock for you? It was for many in 1964. They turned, not on the Beatles, but to Easy Listening.
It’s a well-known fact that many parents despised the Beatles, just as they had Elvis. I swear I swore back then that I would never condemn the music of youngsters when I eventually turned…old.
My Mom and Dad were the exceptions. They loved Elvis and rock ‘n’ roll and eventually the Beatles, too.
I recall Dad in a discussion, not an argument, but a nice chat with Mr. Miller who lived in the house behind us. Mr. Miller was a very nice man who was always subdued, mild-mannered, and quiet. When everyone, I mean everyone was talking about the Beatles, Mr. Miller told my father he didn’t care for the Fab Four, primarily because of their long hair. I was so young at the time that instead of boldly, immediately interjecting as I would now, I stood and waited.
Your turn, Dad. What are you going to say? Please say, do something totally cool.
“Yeh, but they’ve sure given a lot of kids a lot of chances with their guitars”
BAM! Instant hero!
Still, Dad was Dad. Given a choice he would have taken Mantovani or Mancini over Lennon and McCartney.
I recall how much he loved, loved, loved, this next composition, a track off the “A Hard Day’s Night” soundtrack, a lush, beautiful recording that got played over and over again in the Fischer household once the album was purchased.
This one’s for you, Dad.
Next, from about.com:
“Bossa nova means ‘new trend’ in Portuguese, and refers to a style of music popularized in Brazil in the late 1950s. Using elements of samba and jazz, bossa nova has had an indelible influence on jazz since the 1960s.
“A key feature of bossa nova is its cool, relaxed style, perhaps owing to the fact that it was developed in the beachside areas of Rio de Janeiro. Although its rhythmic base is taken from the intense and highly percussive samba, bossa nova tends to be light and frothy, often featuring guitar and vocals, and brushes instead of sticks on the drum set.”
The Beatles set to bossa nova? No way….
Before our next selection, a brief excerpt from the website of vocalist Karen Souza:
“As a member of the Cooltrane Quartet, she and her band members breathe life into mythical hits that take on new meaning when accompanied by live jazz musicians. The Cooltrane Quartet is made up of three musicians whose instrumental accompaniment provide the perfect background to Karen´s luscious singing.”
Perfect intro to this rendition of a cut from the Beatles’ “Abbey Road” album.
This next recording was a major hit and a total departure from the Beatles style. I’m sure you remember. The band leader was a protégé of the late, great Antonio Carlos Jobim.
That's it for this week's segment.
Our selections, I believe, clearly demonstrate the greatness of the Beatles music, in all its various forms, will never die. Think about it. They went from "I Want To Hold Your Hand" to "Sgt Pepper" in just a few short years.
Have a great weekend.
We close with Louis Clark who, in the 1980’s, produced a series of albums with recognizable melodies from famous classical pieces woven into medleys. “Hooked on Classics” was roundly ridiculed by purists. However, Clark’s efforts revived interest in classical music. Here, Clark conducts the English Pops Orchestra.
C'mon. You know you want to sing along.