The BBC's “Story of Pop” series remembers Beatlemania in a wonderful program with great vintage audio called “When We Was Fab” which aired Thursday and is archived for several more days on the BBC site.
The late Alan Freeman hosts the hour-long show from the year-long documentary series currently being repeated by BBC Radio 6. The segment includes several archival news reports, BBC interview segments, including a few with the Beatles, and Beatles tribute songs.
In one segment, British Beatles fans tell an interviewer why they like the Beatles. One says “The Beatles are light-hearted. They don't ask people to scream at them. It just happens. They're just nice!”
Another moment features Ed Sullivan's memory of how he discovered the Beatles and how Brian Epstein agreed to a $10,000 fee to let the Beatles appear on his TV show. Also included is a '60s Beatles jingle from the great New York radio station WABC Musicradio 77 and an interview with “A Hard Day's Night" director Richard Lester.
But there are also comments from an MBE honoree complaining about the Beatles being given their medals and by John Lennon saying he was tired of people using the Beatles, and his often-heard apology for “The Beatles are better than Jesus” comment.
Programs recalling Beatlemania are many, but this one, with Alan Freeman, is a treat. This segment of “The Story of Pop” will remain online for six more days. Don't miss it.
Another recent (and still available) Beatles-related BBC radio show looks at the life of Ravi Shankar. “Ravi Shankar: Sitar Master,” which was broadcast Tuesday and made before his death about two years ago before he turned 90, is narrated by Nitin Sawhney. If the name sounds familiar, he collaborated with Paul McCartney in 2008 on a song called “My Soul”.
The program, which will be online for five more days, includes a technical discussion of Indian music and several comments from Shankar himself. About his friendship with George Harrison, he says “I miss him so much.”
The program includes comments from Ravi Shankar's daughter Anoushka, Zakir Hussain, George Harrison's wife Olivia, The Who's Pete Townshend and music historian Ken Hunt.
The music used in the program also includes the Beatles' “Norwegian Wood” and “Within You Without You.”
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