Sunday, April 1, 2012

Beatles For Breakfast

We knew we'd get 'em ... and we sure did ...
About two dozens emails telling us that we'd gotten the date wrong for the week that The Beatles exhibited complete chart domination back in 1964, capturing the Top Five spots on the coveted Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart.
But we DIDN'T get it wrong.
Most folks pointed out that this happened on the chart dated April 4, 1964 ... which is true ...
But if you read the WHOLE date of that chart, you'll see that it represents the popularity of these songs FOR THE WEEK ENDING APRIL 4th ... which means these songs assumed these positions on March 29th, the first day of that week.  (Honestly, we may have been inclined to simply go with the April 4th date, too, since that's when most folks acknowledge this anniversary ... but after seeing that in his new book "Eight Days A Week: Births, Deaths And Events Each Day In Oldies History" Ron Smith ALSO credited March 29th as the date that it first happened, we decided to mix things up a little bit ... honor the date ... and see what kind of responses we got.)  And we got 'em!
We're not going to run them all ... because the point taken in nearly all of them was the same ... but here are just a few ... along with some kudos for helping our readers celebrate ... and remember ... this incredibly exciting time in music history:
Before someone writes you disputing the date, remember the Billboard charts are for the "Week Ending" which is why it's in my book on this date.
-- Ron Smith
Too late ... by then we'd already been bombarded!  And we fully expected it, too.  The article clearly states that the chart was dated "For The Week Ending April 4th" but, just like the actual chart itself, most people blew right by that, thus missing the point that the chart shown actually BEGAN on March 29th, the date you and I saluted.  No worries ... if the heat gets too intense, I'm just going to blame it all on you and your damn book!!!  (lol)  Thanks, Ron.  (kk)
I'm not sure why you choose March 29 as the date for this event. The actual Billboard issue date was April 4, 1964, which was the Saturday at the end of the publication week; the issue was published the previous Saturday, March 28. Although I suppose you could site Sunday, March 29, as the beginning of that week, I suspect most people will be confused about that date being cited in connection with this chart accomplishment. BTW, in that same week's issue of Cash Box, the Beatles also held down the top five positions on the Singles chart, except that "Twist And Shout" made its only No. 1 appearance, while "Can't Buy Me Love" moved up to No. 2 (and took over the top spot the following week).
-– Randy Price
In that the chart clearly states "week ending" ... and the chart was available for the entire week OF the week ending April 4th ... that tells me that The Beatles achieved this feat beginning on March 29th.  As you pointed out, this issue was published March 28th ... to be used as a point of reference for the entire week of March 29, 30, 31, April 1, 2, 3, 4.  (kk)
KENT ...
See all of the above.  I believe that MOST folks WILL acknowledge the date as April 4th ... but the TRUTH is they first hit this spot on March 29th ... and STAYED there UNTIL April 4th.  One more musical technicality brought to light in Forgotten Hits!  (lol)  kk
Your wording is a bit confusing. Since on the March 28th edition of Billboard the only Beatles songs on the chart were She Loves You (#1), I Want To Hold Your Hand (#2), Twist And Shout (#3), Please Please Me (#4), I Saw Her Standing There (#26), Can't Buy Me Love (#27), From Me To You (#50), All My Loving (#71), Roll Over Beethoven (#75, an import from Canada), Do You Want To Know A Secret (#78) and You Can't Do That (#115). There wasn't another edition one day later that I've missed, was there?
When talking about the Top 5 achievement itself I have ALWAYS seen the date listed as April 4th, so I don't know if that means you're counting the April 4th date when they managed their achievement as having started on March 29th and lasting for the whole week or what ... I mean, yeah, current issues are usually "for the week ending", and April 4th happened to be a Saturday ... I don't know on what day of the week Billboard tallied their charts, but if they didn't do it until let's say the Tuesday of the issue week, then the Beatles still hadn't taken over the top 5 when March 29th (the Sunday of that week) rolled around ... if the tally is for the whole week, who knows what the overall breakdown would've been day to day if the charts had been calculated daily.
I had to go into my closet and dust off a book I haven't opened in 10 years ("All Together Now" by Harry Castleman and Walter J. Podrazik -- which was published in 1976!) just to make sure I wasn't remembering things wrong.
Tom Diehl
Your March 28th issue of Billboard reflects the charts as they stood for the week ending March 28th ... which simply means that the NEXT issue of Billboard (dated April 4th ... for the week ending April 4th) took effect on Sunday, March 29th, the "start date" of the new Billboard charts back in 1964.  While I agree that April 4th seems to be the universally accepted date as to when The Beatles accomplished this amazing feat (because that was, in fact, the date of that chart), the FULL date of that chart quite clearly reads "For The Week Ending April 4, 1964 ... so we took advantage of that fact when we ran our anniversary special.  Just something we wanted to point out for all the fans out there.  My guess is it won't change anything ... April 4th will remain the "anniversary date" ... we just wanted to show you guys the riehl diehl in Forgotten Hits.  (Hey, wouldn't that make a GREAT name for your radio show?!?!?  The Real Deal starring Tom Diehl!  (kk)
Hello Kent,
That's a good story of how the Beatles dominated the '64 charts. I cannot lay my hands on it right at the moment but in the liner notes of one of my Compilation CD's it was reported that, in fact, the Beatles dominance was even greater than it appeared because 'A World Without Love', written by Lennon / McCartney, hit #1 for a while. It may have been one particular city but it said that up until June 6, 1964, the British Invasion held the top spot led by the Beatles with five #1's and the aforementioned "A World Without Love" by Peter & Gordon.
Pretty remarkable.
Keep On Truckin'
Charlie Fraser
Yes, it was pretty remarkable.  In fact, two weeks later The Beatles accounted for 14 of the Top 100 positions on the charts as a reissue of their single cut with Tony Sheridan ("My Bonnie") in 1961 made the list, as did the German version of "She Loves You", "Sie Liebt Dich"!  And Lennon-McCartney compositions accounted for ALL of Peter and Gordon's hits that year ("A World Without Love", #1; "Nobody I Know" #12 and "I Don't Want To See You Again", #16), as well as a few for Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, too.  ("Bad To Me", #9; "I'll Keep You Satisfied", #30 and "From A Window", #23.)  Covers of some of their other material also hit the charts that year, including obscure things like Jimmy Griffin's version of "All My Lovin'" (Griffin would go on to form Bread by the end of the decade with David Gates) and "And I Love Him" by Esther Phillips.  (kk)
WELL ...
I have one group of students in the Jazz of the Roaring Twenties and one group of students in the Swing Music of the Thirties ... but they will ALL hear about this historic date in Beatles history today.  (Fortunately, we do a "Today in History" spot anyway where I can give them info on future, current, and past items we will cover.)
Shelley J. Sweet-Tufano
I’ve wanted to ask this question for years and I’m sure a lot of other Forgotten Hits readers would like to know the answer, too.
How can the Beatles single “I Want to Hold Your Hand” hit #1 while the flip side, “I Saw Her Standing There” only reach #31? It’s physically the same record! I know the term dual “A” side but how does the “A” side chart differently than the “B” side?
Hoffman Estates
For most of the '50's and '60's, Billboard (and the other trade publications) used to chart each side of a single separately.  How they were able to keep accurate records of which side people were coming into the store to buy is beyond me.  (If I walked into a record store and bought "I Want To Hold Your Hand" / "I Saw Her Standing There", how on earth could the store clerk or the cash register  know which side I liked better?!?!?)  Because the charts were based on both sales and airplay, this gave them a pretty good idea as to which side was getting the most attention ... and, as we've seen numerous times in Forgotten Hits, many times the side that the record company believed would be the bigger hit would fall short in the record buyers' and programming directors' eyes, thus turning the intended B-Side into the hit side of the record.  Virtually all of The Beatles' records charted as two-sided hits ... but it's hard to fathom how "I Should Have Known Better", for example, only reached #53 on The Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart when, here in Chicago, it was played every bit as much ... or more ... than the A-Side of the record, "A Hard Day's Night".  (In fact, if you measured airplay today, I'll bet you hear "I Saw Her Standing There" fifty times for every ONE time you hear "I Want To Hold Your Hand."  And THIS was the record that started it all here in The States!)
Likewise, a rare non-charting B-Side, "I'll Get You" (flip of "She Loves You") clearly won our survey as All-Time Favorite, Forgotten B-Side ... how did THIS record not chart yet dreck like "What Goes On" and weaker B-Side tracks like "Baby You're A Rich Man", "For You Blue" and "The Inner Light" all made The Top 100???  (Another uncharted Beatles B-Side was "I'm Down", the flip side of "Help!"  Yet we used to hear that one all the time back in the day ... and, as a non-LP cut, it was in effect even RARER!)
For a complete list of The Top 200 Biggest Two-Sided Hits of All-Time (mathematically calculated based on the actual chart performance of BOTH sides of the record), be sure to check out our list here:
And, for a list of your Top 200 All-Time Favorite, Forgotten B-Sides (records that SHOULD have done better on the charts but, in many cases, were never even given a chance to do so), click here:

Kent -
Maybe this will start a discussion, but I wanted to chime in on your comment about the Beatles when you said  "After the release of "I Want To Hold Your Hand" ... and their appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show ... the floodgates opened ... The Beatles were EVERYWHERE ... and The British Invasion had officially begun."
Actually I was alive and buying records in those days and I feel this event was the start of BEATLEMANIA ... not the British Invasion. The record industry considered The Beatles a flash in the pan and a novelty, that could not be duplicated. It was not until another group, The Dave Clark Five had a US hit that other record companies decided anything British would sell and that is when the "British Invasion" happened.  After the success of the DC5 with Glad All Over ... Herman's Hermits, Gary and The Pacemakers, and the comical Freddie And The Dreamers meant the British Invasion was on in full force.
BEATLEMANIA saw a rash of albums issued by non name groups trying to cash in on the two songs I Want To Hoil;d Your Hand and She Loves You.  The most successful and best loved by fans is The Buggs BEETLE BEAT. here:
The BEETLE BEAT is available as a MP3 download on so you can sample the album here ... know it sounds like splitting hairs but give it some thought and I think you will understand where I am coming from.
Paul Urbahns
Radcliff, Ky
I think it happened faster than you remember it ... take a look at that very same chart for the week ending April 4th ... and you'll already see TWO Dave Clark Five records listed ("Glad All Over" and "Bits And Pieces") as well as chart entries by The Searchers, The Swinging Blue Jeans and Dusty Springfield.  Beatlemania captured most of the rest of the world in 1963 ... America finally caught up in early 1964 ... but the flood of British artists hitting our charts later that same year was unreal.  Check out this list (and we're talking STRICTLY 1964 now!!!):

GERRY AND THE PACEMAKERS: DON'T LET THE SUN CATCH YOU CRYING (#4), HOW DO YOU DO IT  (#9), I'M THE ONE (#82), I LIKE IT (#17), I'LL BE THERE  (#14) ... with a couple more Top 20 Hits in 1965

THE ROLLING STONES: NOT FADE AWAY (#44), TELL ME (#24), IT'S ALL OVER NOW (#25), TIME IS ON MY SIDE (#6)  (The Stones exploded big-time in 1965 ... and are STILL going strong nearly 50 years later)

JUST ONE LOOK (#84)  (Their career really took off in 1966, running up a string of eight Billboard Top 40 Hits between 1965-1969).
THE KINKS:  YOU REALLY GOT ME (#5), ALL DAY AND ALL OF THE NIGHT (#6) ... and a string of hits that continued well into the '80s!


GLAD ALL OVER  (#5), BITS AND PIECES  (#4), I KNEW IT ALL THE TIME  (#53), DO YOU LOVE ME (#8), CAN'T YOU SEE THAT SHE'S MINE  (#4), BECAUSE (#3), EVERYBODY KNOWS (#15), and ANY WAY YOU WANT IT  (#9)  (Over a dozen more hits followed in 1965-1967)

THE HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN  (#1 for three weeks), GONNA SEND YOU BACK TO WALKER (#57), I'M CRYING  (#17), BOOM BOOM (#35) ... and a dozen more Top 40 Hits between 1966 and 1968.
HERMAN'S HERMITS:  I'M INTO SOMETHING GOOD (#7)  (They would also have seven more Top Ten hits in 1965, including two #1's:  I'M HENRY THE VIII, I AM and MRS. BROWN, YOU'VE GOT A LOVELY DAUGHTER ... and placed TEN more hits in Billboard's Top 40 between 1966-1968.)
THE ZOMBIES hit #1 with SHE'S NOT THERE ... and then, right after the first of the year, scored again with TELL HER NO (#6)
MANFRED MANN:  DO WAH DIDDY DIDDY (#1), SHA LA LA (#12).  They reinvented themselves a couple of times over the years, later scoring hits with Bob Dylan's THE MIGHTY QUINN (#4) in 1968 and Bruce Springsteen's BLINDED BY THE LIGHT (#1, 1977)
Several other British artists also first made their mark on the U.S. Charts in 1964.  CILLA BLACK hit #26 with YOU'RE MY WORLD. (She also reached #79 with her version of a Lennon-McCartney tune called IT'S FOR YOU.)   MARIANNE FAITHFULL scored a #22 hit with AS TEARS GO BY, charting a full year earlier than THE ROLLING STONES' own version hit the charts.  THE HONEYCOMBS hit #4 with their One Hit Wonder, HAVE I THE RIGHT and THE NASHVILLE TEENS scored a #14 Hit with TOBACCO ROAD.
And remember ... this was ALL in 1964!  (The list is even bigger for 1965!)
Hey Kent,
How the hell are you? I had to drop you a line to tell you how much I enjoyed reading your Beatles article. Amazing facts! It was very well written with just the right tone, and as a result, you really brought me back. You put me right back in that place where everything in the world seemed to be about The Beatles ... and it was a great place to be. 
Paul and I were just talking last night at dinner about how all of us (you and me and all the artists that still keep this music alive), we're all in the Time Machine Business. The idea is to help transport the listener or reader back in time in their mind in a very real way. It's a great buzz when it happens, isn't it? The Paul Revere and The Raiders time machine will be in full force tonight in PA and we'll be doing our best to make that miracle happen again for everyone in the audience. It really is a gift to be able to do that for someone, and your Beatles article just did that for me. Thanks buddy!!
Paul Revere and The Raiders
Thanks, Tommy!  And great to hear from you, too!  You're right ... it's magical when it works ... and I really like the idea of being in the "Time Machine" business!!!  (kk)
WRAPPING THINGS UP:  I checked dozens of websites last night ... and, without question, the general consensus seems to be that the correct anniversary date for this incredible Beatles achievement IS, in fact, April 4th ... so while TECHNICALLY we may be correct in saluting it March 29th, we're clearly NOT going to be rewriting history on this one.  (Billboard Magazine themselves acknowledge the anniversary as April 4th ... and even did their own tribute to this accomplishment a couple of years back, based on the April 4th date.)  So who am I to argue?!?!?  Guess I'll just go with the flow on this one and leave it at that.  Just write me off as today's April Fool.  (I suppose I really should rerun the piece on Wednesday then, right???)