The Beatles: “more country and western”

BBC Producer Peter Pilbeam  who recorded The Beatles
BBC Producer Peter Pilbeam who recorded The Beatles

The Beatles at the BBC Manchester – 8th February 1962

The Beatles first appearance on BBC Radio was in March 1962. Brian Epstein arranged an audition for them with Peter Pilbeam at the Playhouse Theatre and, though Brian had requested the opportunity for all three vocalists to be heard, Pilbeam only wanted to listen to John and Paul. He decided to assess them both to see if they would be suitable, and gave them the opportunity to perform four songs.

The Beatles performed two of their own songs, “Like Dreamers Do” and “Hello Little Girl”, plus “Memphis Tennessee” and “Till There Was You”. They had played all of these songs at Decca just a few weeks earlier, and it was surprising that they included “Till There Was You”, which was a disaster for McCartney at the audition.

The Beatles at the BBC
The Beatles at the BBC

Paul showed his nerves again. However, this time the boys passed the audition, making Pilbeam the first BBC producer to book The Beatles. He remembered that they stood out among the many other groups that had auditioned, recalling that there was a “load of rubbish – masses of rubbish – and then out of the blue this group turned up at the Playhouse at one of our audition sessions – called The Beatles.” As with most places The Beatles went, their name was perceived as slightly odd. It was a “weird name and everybody said ‘Yuk!’”, Pilbeam said, “but I was impressed with them at the time.”

However, what was interesting was the comments Pilbeam made on their audition report form:

“More Country and Western”

“I wrote that they were ‘an unusual group not as rocky as most, more country and western with a tendency to play music’. This probably sounds awfully crude, but it was praise indeed,” he said. “Many groups just relied on noise to get them through the audition.”

Excerpt from The Country of Liverpool. Get your copy now

special john lennon session with jude kessler

John Lennon

Announcing John Lennon Series author Jude Southerland Kessler’s next online “Focal Points” session, “The Gem that is ‘Some Time in New York City'”!


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Here, there and everywhere – by qr code!

Here, There and Everywhere
Here, There and Everywhere

Angie McCartney was part of the inner circle of Fab Fourdom in Liverpool in the 60’s, and as the step-mother to Sir Paul she has had many interactions with rockstars and royalty, pop stars and presidents, and they all have one thing in common… they’re Beatle fans.

Angie with Paul at Aintree Racecourse
Angie with Paul at Aintree Racecourse

Now that Beatle Tourism is a burgeoning industry, Angie’s travel-size book takes you down memory lane to Penny Lane and 85+ other points of interest on the long and winding road. You’ll be directed to spots in the Mop Top maps of Liverpool, London, Hamburg, New York and Los Angeles, you’ll discover nuggets and stories to satisfy the day tripper in you!


The book also features SmartBook® technology from McCartney Multimedia, and by scanning the QR codes with your smart-phone, you’ll be transported to a destination of fascination online, with links to tours, maps, trivia, videos, much more information than we can fit in a postcard sized book, and a deeper dive into these tourist locations and their magical history.


If you want to find out more about the Beatles Platz in Hamburg, you would scan the QR code in the book and it takes you to a webpage like this

Beatles Platz page in "Here, There and Everywhere"
Beatles Platz page in “Here, There and Everywhere”

You can then find out Map locations on Google like this

Beatles Platz on Google Maps, linked from the book and webpage
Beatles Platz on Google Maps, linked from the book and webpage

We hope you travel safely and create memories for a lifetime as in these legendary locations, a splendid time is guaranteed for all!

Get a copy of Angie’s Book now