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Abbey Road on the River reveals details of its Beatles' 'Sullivan' show tribute

BritBeat, who will play the Beatles during "February '64," Abbey Road on the River's re-creation of "The Ed Sullivan Show."
BritBeat, who will play the Beatles during "February '64," Abbey Road on the River's re-creation of "The Ed Sullivan Show."
BritBeat/Abbey Road on the River

On Jan. 21, the Abbey Road on the River Beatles festival announced the complete lineup for its "February '64" event celebrating the Beatles' appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” which takes place Feb. 7-9 in Louisville at the Muhammad Ali Center. The main attraction will be an act-by-act restaging of the original telecast with tribute band BritBeat playing the Beatles.

The rundown will be as follows:

  • Entertainer and television host Ed Sullivan will be portrayed by impersonator Fred Whitfield.
  • Vintage commercial break: Aero Shave and Griffin Liquid Wax Shoe Polish.
  • The Beatles, performed by Chicago's BritBeat, perform "All My Loving," "Til There Was You" and "She Loves You".
  • Vintage commercial break: Anacin pain reliever.
  • The famous magician Fred Kapps will be played by Richard Darshwood, who is also known as Darshwood: The Charming Trickster himself.
  • Clip from the Ed Sullivan show will be shown featuring a young Davy Jones (prior to The Monkees). singing "I'd Do Anything" to Georgia Brown (a scene from the Broadway musical “Oliver”).
  • British singer and actress Georgia Brown who sang "As Long As He Needs Me" from "Oliver" will be played by 21-year-old singer Emmy Bodner.
  • Vintage commercial break: Cold-water All laundry detergent.
  • Character actor and comedian Frank Gorshin will be played by Sean Keller who will perform impressions of Broderick Crawford, Dean Martin, Anthony Quinn, Marlon Brando, Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Alfred Hitchcock and Alec Guinness.
  • Vintage commercial break: Pillsbury.
  • Tony Award-winning actress Tessie O'Shea will be played by Divinity Rose, who will sing a medley of show tunes including "I Got Rhythm," "The Tender Trap," and "Two Ton Tessie."
  • Special musical performance by The Southern Sirens.
  • Comedy duo Mitzi McCall and Charlie Brill will be played by Kenn Parks and Christie Troxell who will perform an office comedy sketch.
  • Vintage commercial break: Pillsbury cake.
  • The Beatles, played by BritBeat, will perform "I Saw Her Standing There" and "I Want To Hold Your Hand."
  • Various circus performances by Blue Moon Circus.
  • Vintage commercial break: Pillsbury brownie mix.
  • Ed Sullivan (Fred Whitfield) will close the show.

“February '64” will feature 12 bands showcasing the early music (pre-1966) of The Beatles, including Britbeat from Chicago and The Jukebox from Puerto Rico, as well as the Steve Sizemore Group, Mario DaSilva, The Cryers, Blue Jay Way, the Traveling Beatleburys, and Louisville's own Johnny Doughnut Experience, Nervous Melvin and the Mistakes, The Rigbys, Whiplash, and Nick Peay.

Tickets are available at

Abbey Road on the River will feature The Beach Boys and John Sebastian as headliners May 22-26 along with dozens of musical acts from around the world to honor 50 years of Beatlemania. The event will also be the 10th anniversary of the festival's arrival in Louisville. For more information, visit for tickets.

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