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C O U R S E 
The Music of the Beatles
John Covach, University of Rochester
C O U R S E   L E C T U R E 
1957-1963: Before Beatlemania
Notes taken on February 26, 2014 by Edward Tanguay
the pre-1964 British pop scene:
highly indebted to American pop music
some British music historians will argue that pre-1963 UK pop music was more sophisticated that US pop music of that time
but when you talk to the people in the business, you learn that the product that the UK industry could sell the most of what American popular music
UK songs that sold were mostly either covers of songs from the US or imitations of that kind of music
one of the important contributions of the Beatles in 1963 was to help to change this picture
Beatles were at the forefront of the beat movement which gave UK pop music its own identity
Elvis never came to the UK but his movies were played in the UK
Skiffle Movement
very big in 1955-1959
a guy at the center of the Skiffle movement was Lonnie Donegan
started out doing a Skiffle bit, folk songs but upbeat, very easy to play
people became Lonnie Donegan fans, became one of "UKs answer to Elvis Presley"
even went to #8 in the U.S.
when Elvis hit, there were many Elvis impersonators in the UK
Cliff Richard
1959 Living Doll
had a fantastic series of hits
was as big as big could be
Beatles didn't try to sell to the US because they thought if Cliff Richard couldn't make it there, they wouldn't be able to either
Tommy Steele
1956 Rock with the Caveman
the hard, driving Chuck Berry style was out, and a softer guitar style was in
Billy Fury
1961 Halfway to Paradise
Larry Parnes
had a number of lead singers that were Elvis-like, gave them stage names
Tommy Steele
Marty Wilde
Billy Fury
Vince Eager
Johnny Gentle
Duffy Power
Lance Fortune
Joe Brown (Larry Parnes wanted to call him Elmer Twitch)
Beatles did a tour of Scotland as a backing band for Johnny Gentle
early Beatles
1957: John (17), Paul (15) and George (14)
did Skiffle, Elvis, pop
played at the Jacaranda Club
Casbah Coffee Club
venue in West Derby, Liverpool, started by Mona Best in 1959 in the cellar of the family home
her son Pete Best was the drummer for awhile
The Quarrymen: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ken Brown, went to the club to arrange their first booking
earliest recording
1958: "That'll Be the Day"
Harold Phillips
went to Hamburg to explore possibilities for the Royal Caribbean Steel Band
one of the reasons the Beatles ended up in Hamburg
1957: Paul meets John at a local church festival and joins The Quarry Men
1958: George joins
1960: Stu Sutcliffe joins
1960: Pete Best joins