April 4th, 1964

The day the Beatles officially took over the world. #beatles #britishinvasion

Imagine some 20 year old bragging that they beat up a 55 year-old man. Sounds pathetic, doesn’t it? Lately, if you see news reports about new chart records being set by younger artists attempting to upset decades old successes by The Beatles, you might swear this is the case.

The British Invasion begins: The Beatles land in the U.S., February, 1964. (l-r) Paul MCCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and John Lennon. Courtesy of the Hulton Archive.

With the exception of Whitney Houston, who scored seven consecutive #1 singles between 1985 and 1988, most of these achievements still stand. And mind you, given that as point of reference, The Beatles, in a similar time frame, went from holding your hand to Sgt. Pepper.

A band from a town literally no one had heard of, playing in basement clubs in England, strip bars in Germany and signed to a comedy label with a producer who pretty much knew nothing about the Black musicians that created Rock and Roll, the Fab Four’s success is really an ages old fable retold for the baby boomer generation.

Barbra Joan Streisand, 1964, who had her first charted hit this week. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

What set John, Paul, George and Ringo apart from the pack is what makes all great artists in any genre legendary: They played it like they invented it. Of course, even with loads of talent and energy, sometimes you just plain get lucky and catch lightning in a bottle.

On the 4th day of April, 1964, The Beatles held down the top five spots on the Billboard Hot 100, a record that stands to this day. They also occupied seven other Hot 100 entries, and a slew of other artists, from other British Invasion acts to novelty records, spoke volumes about one thing: Beatlemania was here, and there wasn’t anything you could do about it.

Bobby “Blue” Bland, 1964, Nashville, TN. He would have his biggest hit this month in history. Photo courtesy of the Michael Ochs Archives.

By the end of the year, they would score a total of six #1 singles in the U.S., and six out of every ten vinyl 45 RPM records sold were by them. Not streamed, but where you physically had to get up, go out, and purchase them from a retailer. And if think this week was the apex, you would be mistaken. A week later, they would occupy 14 different spots on the Hot 100.

Our tracks this week: Song, Artist, Billboard Hot 100 chart position

First Part: Beatlemania on the Billboard Hot 100, April 4th, 1964

  • Can’t Buy Me Love, The Beatles, #1 (mono single mix)
  • Twist and Shout, The Beatles, #2 (mono single mix)
  • She Loves You, The Beatles, #3 (mono single mix)
  • I Want To Hold Your Hand, The Beatles, #4
  • Please, Please Me, The Beatles, #5 (mono single mix)
  • I Saw Her Standing There, The Beatles, #31 (mono single mix)
  • From Me To You, The Beatles, #41 (mono single mix)
  • Do You Want To Know A Secret?, The Beatles, #46
  • All My Loving, The Beatles, #58
  • You Can’t Do That, The Beatles, #65
  • Roll Over Beethoven, The Beatles, #68 (mono single mix)
  • Thank You Girl, The Beatles, #79

Second Part: It wasn’t all about The Beatles, right?

  • Suspicion, Terry Stafford, #6
  • Hello, Dolly, Louis Armstrong, #7
  • People, Barbra Streisand, #100
  • Understand Your Man, Johnny Cash, #43
  • Dawn (Go Away), The Four Seasons, #11 (mono single mix)
  • Dead Man’s Curve, Jan and Dean, #25
  • The Way You Do The Things You Do, The Temptations, #12 (mono single mix)
  • Ain’t Nothin’ You Can Do, Bobby “Blue” Bland, #21

Finale: Or maybe it was.

  • Hippy, Hippy Shake, The Swinging Blue Jeans, #24
  • Needles and Pins, The Searchers, #15
  • We Love You Beatles, The Carefrees, #42 (mono single mix)
  • A Letter to The Beatles, The Four Preps, #85
To download this program, please click on the three dots at the right of the player.

Love to you all.

Ben “Bear” Brown Jr., owner

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