High School Yearbook Photo

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Cold Facts About the Beatles

You say you want a revolution?
How about a revelation instead?
It surprised me when I came to the realization that most of my favorite Beatles songs were popular during cold weather months and the Christmas season.

I have always associated the Beatles with winter. Maybe it was because most Americans got their first exposure to the Mop Tops during the bitterly cold months that followed the assassination of President Kennedy.

Perhaps it had something to do with the way Beatles records were produced. Their Capitol recordings had a clean, pure, uncluttered sound that reminded me of cold, crisp air and freshly fallen powdered snow. I have fond memories of sitting in the dark by a toasty fire listening to the Beatles for hours!

Throw in a large can of cheese popcorn from L-G; three different brands of potato chips: Senft's, Martin's Bar-B-Q Waffle, and Utz Jalapeno; one cubic yard of homemade trail mix; a summer sausage, a cheese ball and a box of sesame sticks (all from Hickory Farms); a great big ole huge sour dill pickle right outta the barrel at 7-Eleven; a fruitcake; a pack of Parodi cigars; a steaming plateful of brussels sprouts smothered in peppermint gravy and a dozen Carlings and you had the makin's of a fine evening, partner! Okay, I admit that one of those essentials doesn't fit. Make that a dozen Rolling Rocks.

The bottom line is that somehow the Beatles just seemed to go with the colder months of the year. To help me make my cold case about the Beatles, allow me to introduce exhibits
A through F.

a. Beatlemania started in America after the release of
"I Want to Hold Your Hand" at Christmas time, 1963.
 The song dominated the winter of 63-64 and held onto
 the #1 chart position for 7 weeks.

b. Christmas 1964 saw "I Feel Fine" hit #1 for 3 weeks and the flip side, "She’s a Woman" reach #4, making that single the best performing Beatles two-sider to date.

c. By the time the Christmas season of 1965 rolled around, the Beatles had another monster double-hit 45 on the chart, this one surpassing "I Feel Fine" in terms of longevity.
"We Can Work It Out" claimed the #1 spot for 3 weeks
and the killer bee, "Day Tripper" made it to the #5 position.

That Beatles doublesider was the ticket to ride at the Dell in December, '65. Of the two songs, "...Tripper" was hipper, and my best buddy and I were captivated by the lyrics. As newly inducted Dell Rats, we could relate to the song's bold male perspective. Always eager to present ourselves as a couple of continental types, we wasted no time learning the lyrics and assimilating the terms day tripper, one way ticket and Sunday driver into our vocabularies. As it turned out very few Dellettes were impressed by us bogus Brit blokes... blimey!

d. "She Loves You" was a #1 smash during the winter of ’64.

e. "Eight Days A Week" was #1 in the winter of ‘65.

f. In addition, two of my favorite albums were released
 during the Christmas holiday season, Rubber Soul...

and Magical Mystery Tour.

Those are just a few examples that help me to make
my cold case about the Beatles. There is one cold fact, however, that still puts a chill in me three decades later. More on that next time.

Have a Shady day!


  1. Wow Rolling Stone Magazine ought to hire you for their research department. It was a very good and chilling account.

  2. You're either up really late or really early, Israel. Either way, I thank you for the cool comments! Have a good one, my friend!

  3. I miss them and the way it made me feel back in the 60 just finishing high school. Thanks for the memories and renewed feelings this morning.

  4. Yessir, Odie. It was great to be coming of age when the Beatles invaded. They changed the world. Thanks for your comment and have a wonderful day in Carolina!

  5. W Polsce teraz leży śnieg - dużo śniegu. Kocham słuchać The Beatles podczas jazdy samochodem przemierzając bezkresny biały krajobraz. Dokładnie jest tak, jak piszesz w swoim poście. Mam dokładnie takie same odczucia:-) Pozdrawiam ciepło!

  6. English translation of wanilianna's comment: << In Poland now is snow - lots of snow. I love listening to The Beatles while driving the car traversing the endless white landscape. Exactly so, as you write in your post. I feel exactly the same :-) best wishes! >>

    Wanilianna, it is wonderful to hear from you! I'm happy to know that my post resonated with you. Music is indeed the universal language. I hope you have a splendid day in Poland, my friend!

  7. there is no better longplay than "Abbey Road". Every single song just makes my heart sing (especially "I want you, she's so heavy"). I also adore Golden Slumbers/Carry that weight version sung by Paul, Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler and Phil Collins on the drums. The record is available on youtube. It's truly amazing show. Absolutly worth seeing.

  8. The Beatles were as prolific as they were terrific, wanilianna. Nearly every track on every album could be considered an all time classic recognized by people all around the world. Thanks again for visiting me and please come back often. I greatly appreciate your comments!

  9. Thank you for this tribute to the Beatles. It surprised me, but when "In My Life," came on I started crying. I haven't listened to the Beatles for a long time and I had a physical reaction all through me while listening to these songs.

    When I was a teenager and felt sad I listened to the Beatles for hours in my bedroom. They always made me feel happy.
    When "I Feel Fine," was going to be released, there was a radio station in Los Angeles that was going to play it first. I could barely hear it, but I was amazed by the harmony in that song and loved it right away.
    Day Tripper has such a great beat. What a song! They were such an phenomenal band. Thanks again, Shady.

  10. Thanks so much for your comment, Belle! I remember you telling me how much you like the Beatles. I always got the same wistful, melancholy feeling when I listened to "In My Life" and that's one of the reasons why I chose it for this post. I forgot to mention another cold weather favorite from Rubber Soul: "Michelle," my Belle!

  11. I was not a big Beattles fan, but I did like some of their songs and realize their impact. However, I was a big Senft's potato chips fan and will have snacks with you any time. We will need the little green bottles to wash down the chips.


  12. My experience with the Beatles has been been after they released their entire catalog of hits. So unfortunately I missed the fervor and excitement with each single release. However, I did catch the broadway show rain. Definitely gives me more perspective to Beatlemania.

  13. Interesting research you've collected here. I didn't grow up with the Beatles, but maybe I should download some tracks ..when Winter comes, would be most appropriate!

    Thanks for sharing,

  14. I just love the way you write Shady! I think my favorite thought of yours in this piece is how you compared their pure, uncluttered sound to crisp air and freshly fallen snow! Brilliant! I have never thought of the early Beatles recordings this way, but now I see it's absolutely TRUE!! Thanks again for a terrific post!

  15. Jerre- Quote from the original pledge of quality: "From the glass lined tanks of Old Latrobe we tender this premium beer for your enjoyment as a tribute to your good taste. It comes from the mountain springs to you." OOPS! I hope you weren't talking about Sprite! Thanks for your comment, good buddy!

    Copyboy - I wish you could have been around to experience the tidal wave of excitement that circumnavigated the globe at the start of '64. It was electric! Music and pop culture were redefined practically overnight. I'm glad you're digging the sounds and thank you so much for dropping by and sharing your thoughts!

    Hello Val! I am thrilled to hear from my gifted freelance writer friend in Sydney, Australia. No other music act past or present can match the Beatles extensive catalog of fresh, durable original classics. Thank you very much for your comment, Val, and please come back soon!

    Joanie, I am delighted to hear from a former Yorker and one who is herself so talented! Thank you very much for complimenting me on my writing style. I'm glad you're enjoying it. Your remarks mean a great deal to me! Please visit soon and often!

  16. i know beatles' songs thorough my parents,they were popular in italy too at that time

  17. Hi, Katia! Beatles songs are timeless evergreens that people of all generations the world over can enjoy. Thank you very much for your comment and have a lovely day in Rome!

  18. "limitless undying love which shines around me like a million suns" - did anybody ever write a better line?

  19. Lennon & McCartney laid it out for us, wanilianna - a blueprint for peace on earth. When will the human race choose to follow? Thank you very much for your comment, dear friend, and have a wonderful day in Poland!

  20. Oh the Beatles are just so great. But I never associated them with winter...until now! Thanks for showing me my favorite group in a new light.

  21. Alabee, imagine sitting by the fire on a bitterly cold night sipping a steaming mug of hot chocolate, reading a very old book and mellowing out to songs like "Norwegian Wood," "The Fool on the Hill" and "Blue Jay Way." It doesn't get any better than that! As always I am honored to have you visit, dear friend, and I hope you will be back soon!

  22. I associate their music to back when I was a young child travelling in the backseat of my parents' car and taking in the music of one of the best bands the world will ever know of.

    I was born and raised in Liverpool and still live here now, I am so thankful to have been born here as I feel that The Beatles are part of my blood and my life, always will be. Although I can only wish that I was born when Beatlemania swept the world.

    I currently have two songs under my belt too in which I can play on the bass guitar, 'Hey Bulldog' and 'Taxman'. I am trying to learn as many as I can, their music was so intricate and lovingly composed.

    I have also posted about The Beatles many a time if you would like to check that out, here...

    Thanks for this lovely read,



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