Category Archives: Show

Review: The Philly Pops plays The Carole King Songbook…(huh?!)

WP_20160208_001[1] I know what you’re thinking…you’re wondering what the hell I’m thinking reviewing a show about Carole King in my Beatles blog! If you bare with me for a couple minutes, I’ll get there…and baby, you’ll be amazed!

My husband and I are season ticket holder for The Philly Pops.  So far, we’ve seen their tribute to Frank Sinatra and just last night, their tribute to the music of Carole King.  The conductor made it a point to mention, that Carole King was responsible for more than just the songs on her solo albums.  She played a huge part in the British Invasion.

Believe it or not, the hit single “I’m into Something Good” was originally composed by  Carole King and her then husband Gerry Goffin.  The song was first recorded by Earl-Jean of the The Cookies in 1964, but later that year, Herman’s Hermits recorded the same song as their debut single and it peaked in the U.S. Charts at #13, making their British Invasion story not so British after all!

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Chains” was another song composed by husband and wife team of Gerry Goffin and Carole King.  It was originally recorded (but not released) by The Everly Brothers, but in 1962 it was a hit for Little Eva’s backup singers, The Cookies reaching #17 on the U.S. Pop chars and #7 on the R&B charts.  It also
became a very popular song to cover for bands in
Liverpool including The Beatles.  And how could any good Beatle freak not know that the Fab Four recorded their version of Chains for their first album, “Please Please Me“.

 

So folks, here she is…the little Jewish girl from NYC who is the greatest British Invasion artist of the 1960’s, Carole King performing her song “Chains”!

The show was fantastic as always.  And The Beatles connection made it even better!  And for that reason,

I rate this show 4 out of 4 Beetles!

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Johnny come lately, the new kid in town…

PSU Beatles

“Everybody’s talking
There’s a new kid in town
People started walking
There’s a new kid in town” – Eagles

With the approach of the 50th Anniversary of the Beatles coming to the United States, it seems that new events, festivals and conferences are popping up everywhere to celebrate the occasion.  And though the Fest for Beatles Fans is the biggest fest around, some of the others aren’t to shabby!

One of the biggest events will be at Penn State University in Altoona, PA on the weekend of February 7-9, 2014 and is called ‘It was 50 Years Ago Today: An International Beatles Celebration.’  This three day event isn’t a festival.  It’s a conference.  According to their website, “In addition to panels and presentations, the conference will include film screenings, musical performances, art and photography exhibits, and keynote addresses by leading Beatles critics and musicologists.”

The director of this event is Dr. Kenneth Womack, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at PSU Altoona, and the author of: Long and Winding Roads: The Evolving Artistry of the Beatles, The Cambridge Companion to the Beatles, Reading the Beatles: Cultural Studies, Literary Criticism, And the Fab Four and the soon to be released The Beatles Encyclopedia [2 volumes]: Everything Fab Four.

A few of the respected 50+ experts set to appear at this conference are:

Mark Lewisohn – regarded as  one of the world’s leading Beatles authorities, Mark is the author of the NY Times bestseller Tune In: The Beatles: All These Years, Volume 1.

Andy Babiuk – the foremost authority on the equipment used to create the Beatles’ music and the author of Beatles Gear: All the Fab Four’s Instruments from Stage to Studio.  Andy is also a staff consultant to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH.

Walter Everett – the author of the Beatles As Musicians book series, Mr. Everett is also a member of the School of Music faculty at the University of Michigan and the author of The Foundations of Rock.

Jude Southerland Kessler – a Beatles expert, author and host of her own radio show, Ms. Kessler is the author of the John Lennon Series.  She has spent nearly 30 years researching John Lennon and the Beatles for her 9 book series., making her a leading expert on the topic of the Fab Four.

Dr. Kit O’Toole – For over 19 years, Dr. O’Toole has written music, concert, and book reviews, interviews, popular culture essays, and technology “how to” articles.  Her work has appeared at: Blogcritics.org, Something Else Reviews, Blinded by Sound, Cinema Sentries, Seattle PI and Beatlefan magazine.

This is definitely set to be one of the most intellectual of all the Beatles events to be held in 2014!  And what’s cool about their registration is that you not only can you sign up for which days you would like to attend, you can add your meals and accommodations to your package as you like!

For more information on this conference, along with a schedule of events & presenters, and registration, check out their website: http://www.altoona.psu.edu/beatles.

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New festival for Fab Four fans: Beatles At The Ridge

Beatles At The Ridge, Walnut Ridge, AR: Sept 20-21It’s been way too long since I’ve posted a review or opinion on this blog, but when I heard about Beatles At The Ridge, I knew I just had to spread the good word!

Beatles At The Ridge is a two day festival in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas created by Charles Snapp in 2011.  It is now in its third year running.  Last year, the crowd size was estimated at over 10,000, but I have a feeling that this fest is going to put the best of all Beatles festivals on guard!  This fest has the potential to become a new mecca for the most diehard fans.

So what connection does Walnut Ridge have to the Beatles?  I’m glad you asked…because Walnut Ridge can boast about their Beatles encounter.  From their website: “A quiet night in 1964 was interrupted by the unusual sound of an airliner approaching Walnut Ridge Airport. Its arrival sparked enough interest that three local teens went to investigate, only to discover John, Paul, Ringo, and George walking from the plane. The Beatles, the biggest rock band in the world, had arrived at Walnut Ridge, Arkansas.”  You can read the rest of the story and see pictures here.

This year’s fest will have over 100 vendors (the number is still growing as word gets out about BATR).  Admission is free, parking is free and all entertainment is free.  I don’t think I’ve heard of another Beatles festival that can say that (but I could be wrong).

The entertainment for this two day, three stage event is also growing by the day.  Scheduled to appear this year are: Stan Perkins (son of Carl Perkins), Beatles tribute band – BritBeat, Ringo Starr tribute artist – Ringer Star,  Beatles expert & author – Jude Southerland Kessler, Danny Donuts Yellow Submarine Parade and many more!  There will also be a Beatles costume contest with prizes!  A full list of events can be found here.

In 2012, Beatles at the Ridge won the “Top new Festival” award from the Arkansas Festival and Events Association.

 Beatles At The Ridge will run from Friday, September 20th thru Saturday, September 21st.  For more information, go to: www.BeatlesAtTheRidge.com
I have a feeling this party is truly going to rock and it’s going to put a scare into the owner of many a Beatles fest.  If you go, please check in here and let us know your opinion!

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Concert Review: Liverpool Beat plays Downingtown, PA

Last night, our small town’s Concert in the Park series came to an end with a concert by Beatles tribute band – Liverpool Beat.

These monthly concerts in our little town are a free event throughout the summer, which is a good thing because so far, I’ve never had to pay to see a Beatles tribute band.  It’s just not in my blood to cough up cold hard cash to see someone impersonating the best band the world has ever known.  To put this into perspective, the reader may want to know that the three other tribute bands I’ve seen were: Yesterday, Beatlemania Now and She Loves You (I believe this one is a show title though it was performed like a concert).

I can honestly say that I did like this band.  You can tell that these guys really enjoy doing what they’re doing.  Their playlist included: Twist and Shout, A Hard Day’s Night, Help, She Loves You, Daytripper, She Loves You and many more to fill the hour and a half show they put on. I was surprised I had never heard of this band before since they’ve been playing in the Philadelphia area since 2001.

What can you say about a band that even took the time out to stroll across one of the zebra stripes in town just so people could catch a picture of it?  I’d say it’s a band that loves what they do and put their hearts into keeping alive the memory of the greatest band the world has ever known.  And if you by chance find them performing in your area, don’t hesitate to go out, see them and have a great time!

On that note, I will add that the organizers of Downingtown’s Concert in the Park are discussing the possibility of having a Beatles Festival in our town in the future.  For more info on Concert in the Park, go to: www.DowningtownConcerts.com.

You can see  a video of Liverpool Beat performing “She’s a Woman” on YouTube.

For more information or to book Liverpool Beat, please go to their website.

I rate this band: 3 out of 4 beetles

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Review: Larry Kane’s ‘Ticket to Ride’ Lecture

Larry Kane's Ticket to Ride

Last night, I attended the first of night of Larry Kane‘s “Ticket to Ride” lecture at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. Larry will be giving these presentations every Friday and Saturday throughout March 2010. Note: I’d say the theater was about 3/4 full for this opening night performance.

A little background: I had seen Larry talk during his 2005 book tour for “Lennon Revealed” his second book about The Beatles. Though I never read his first book, “Ticket to Ride”, I anxiously dove into the new one. Back to the present: So when I ordered my $35 ticket to this new 2010 show of his, I had to wonder what he had left to say about his time with the Fab Four.

I must admit I was pleasantly surprised! This show was very well done. It opens with a 20 minute video introduction that did make me wonder how much actual talking Larry would do, but once Larry came out after Denny Somach’s introduction, he broke into stories about The Beatles that had still remained untold. The show was produced beautifully and the mix of concert footage and interviews with Larry’s story telling was very well balanced. Larry’s amazing and sometimes shocking stories of his time traveling and interviewing John, Paul, George and Ringo will either make your jaw drop or make you howl with laughter.

After 1 hour 45 mins., Larry was happy to take questions from the audience. And despite Denny Somach’s insistence that Larry wrap it up for the night, Larry was gracious enough to keep saying, “I’ll take one more question”. He honestly loves The Beatles and loves talking about him.

The show was not without its problems. There was a moment when Larry’s outlined lecture was not inline with the cued video, but honestly, this just brought a giggle from the audience and was completely forgivable for an opening night. Larry also bumped his mic several times which can also be dismissed as an opening night faux pas.

Larry Kane is currently working on his 3rd book to be called, “When They Were Boys”. He told me it won’t be published for a couple years, but I know I’m already looking forward to it.

If you are in the Philadelphia/NJ/NY area and can get to Larry Kane’s ‘Ticket to Ride’ show this month, it will be well worth the price of the ticket! For more information, go to www.LarryKane.com or www.FI.edu.

Rating: 4 out of 4 Beetles

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