What's wrong with music sales? Capitol Records rejected Beatles four times!

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#1

Here is testament as to how the record industry is a wet blanket over the artistic community and the public at large. Rather than looking internally for reasons as to why the public is staying away from record stores, they are constantly blaming the consumer for one reason or another. When in reality, it could be their own system and organizational structure that shields us from true talent and robs them of revenues.

For those of us living overseas that don’t know, Walter Cronkite is without a doubt, the most respected name in journalism in the US. He has covered the Kennedy asssassination as mentioned in the following article as well as man walking on the moon. In other words he was our window to the world in the 60’s. There may never be anyone like him again. The Ed Sullivan show was a variety show where Ed would find new talent and give them a shot on TV. The Ed Sullivan Show was the longest running variety series in television history (1948-71). He knew what kids wanted to hear and brought out some awesome talent i.e. Elvis Presley. Anyway, history, specifically the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, caused these two icons and a Maryland teenagers paths to cross and here is what happened. I hope you enjoy the following story from the Sunday, Feb 8, Parade Magazine, written by Lyric Wallwork Winik.

How the Beatles Invaded the U.S

The Beatles landed in America 40 years ago for a Feb. 9 appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, but Beatlemania might not have happened in America without Walter Cronkite and a Maryland teenager.

The Fab Four were a hit in Britain, but Americas Capitol Records had rejected them four times. Then the CBS News London bureau filed a report on the band. It aired the morning of Nov. 22, 1963- the day JFK was assassinated. On Dec. 10, Walter Cronkite decided Americans needed some happy news, so he re-aired the report. Marsha Albert, 15, of Silver Springs Maryland, saw it and wrote to a D.C. radio station, asking to hear the Beatles, says Bruce Spizer, author of “The Beatles are Coming”.

A British airline was called, a stewardess bought a copy of “I Want To Hold Your Hand” from England and the station played it hourly. Capitol rushed the records into stores and it hit number 1 in January. Three weeks later,73 million Americans watched Sullivan and Beatlemania exploded. Visit www.thefab40.com for 40th anniversary events. [end of story]

So, without a teens hand written and snail mail request to a radio station, resulting from a whim by a hard news broadcaster, we would have been left clueless due to the decision makers in the “music industry”. It’s a bit frightening to me, to think it took this convoluted process, to bring the Beatles to the attention of the music fans in the US. How many other talents have we never had the pleasure of knowing?