Friday, February 7, 2014



This week marks the 50th anniversary of the arrival of the Beatles to America. And WARM was one of the first radio stations to get in on the excitement. WARM first educated listeners about the Beatles through its First News First Live at 55 broadcasts. If it was a cultural phenomenon, WARM was going to cover it. Then when the record started to get released, WARM played them. It was not uncommon in the spring of 1964 to hear more than four Beatles records an hour on WARM. Plus the Beatles were releasing records one after another from various labels and it was pretty hard to keep up with it. 
WARM had a few contests where you could win a Beatles 45 but there wasn’t anything big because of the intense popularity of the group. But WARM had no trouble at all charting those two sided hits from Capitol and they always made the number 1 slot in less than five weeks. When the Beatles played Shea WARM scored a few tickets and did a co promotion with Martz Trailways for the 1965 World’s Fair and the chance to see the Beatles at Shea.  But through the years, WARM had little chance to do anything other than giving away those items. But as the dominant top 40 music station in the market (there was WSCR, WICK and WPTS playing elements of rock) WARM was the “go to” place on the dial for anything Beatles related. Plus WARM was not adverse to programming Beatles music in various time slots. During mid days you heard “Yesterday” and softer versions of the Fab Four. Later on in the night, you heard the rollicking remakes of “Roll Over Beethoven” and “Please Mr. Postman”. 
Like WARM, the Beatles transcended age groups that made them popular even to this day. As George Gilbert told filmmakers for the documentary “WARMland Remembered”, “You could never go wrong with the Beatles”. Indeed. During this first week of February fifty years ago, the number one song in WARMland was the iconic “I Want to Hold Your Hand”. 
 WARM survey sheet from February 1, 1964. (Click to enlarge, LuLac archives).

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