BEATLES AND KEY WEST

The Beatles spent two days in Key West back in 1964. Not for an engagement unfortunately. The reason given is that they were on their way by plane from Montreal to Jacksonville. They were to appear during the half time show at the Gator Bowl. Hurricane Dora was about. It ultimately swept across the middle keys and northward.

Due to the purported Hurricane Dora change of stop, the Beatles never got to appear at the Gator Bowl.

Such was reported in the History of the Keys section of the Key West Citizen this morning.

There is more to the story.

Florida was still segregated in 1964. The Gator Bowl provided only segregated seating. The Beatles informed the Gator Bowl people they would not appear if the crowd was segregated. The Bowl personnel agreed to the Beatle demand.

Bowl seating was not the only segregation problem. Jacksonville’s hotels were segregated, also. A demand was made that the hotel cease its segregation practice at least for the game. The hotel refused.

It is claimed the Beatles resolved the problem. They used Hurricane Dora as an excuse and had their plane diverted to Key West. From which they could not timely leave to make the Gator Bowl game.

The Beatles made their first American appearance on The Ed Sullivan show. The Ed Sullivan Show was the biggest thing on television at the time. It was February 1964. If an act appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, they were not just good, they were exceptional.

Ed Sullivan introduced the Beatles to America in February 1964.

He also introduced another who became a big time celebrity. Elvis Presley. On today’s date in 1956, Elvis appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show.

I was fortunate to have seen both the Beatles and Elvis Presley on The Ed Sullivan Show. America was glued to their sets for each performance.

Elvis’ appearance was a bit strange. Elvis sang standing with a guitar. He rotated his hips in the Elvis Presley fashion. Some at the time thought his hip action was inflammatory and immoral. The Catholic church being one.

When Elvis performed on The Ed Sullivan Show, the camera only caught him from his midsection up. Midsection being above his hips.

We have come a long way!

Yesterday was National Grandparents Day. How many knew? I did not till the family wished me a Happy Grandparents Day last night.

Grandparents Day has been a national holiday since 1979 when Carter signed it into law. The movement to establish a National Grandparents Day began in 1961. It was led by a Hermine Beckett Hanna.

The reason I mention Hanna is that she lived in upstate New York. A familiar locale to me and many of my friends. When I was attending law school at Syracuse University, I delivered milk in the morning starting at 4:30 for Marble Farms Dairy to its customers in North Syracuse.

Sunday dinner was with Lisa and the family. Jake continues to love me. I sat on the couch to read the newspapers. He jumped up and laid beside me with his head on my leg.

I stopped at Don’s Place afterwards. It was close to empty. The pro football crowd had left.

Tomorrow night I do my blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Join me at 9 in the evening. One half hour of interesting material. The subject matter will obviously include Syria. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

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