Thursday, December 26, 2013

December 26 - "I Want to Hold Your Hand"

50 years ago: On December 26, 1963, Capitol Records rush-released a song titled “I Want to Hold Your Hand” by a British group called the Beatles. The foursome had become wildly popular in the UK (with a hit single, “She Loves You”). “Hold Your Hand” had been written in October by Paul McCartney and John Lennon, working together on a piano in a London basement – “eyeball to eyeball,” in McCartney’s words. On the flip side of the 45 rpm record was "I Saw Her Standing There." Capitol had planned to release “Hold Your Hand” in mid-January 1964, to precede the Beatles’ appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” but had to move quickly when a teen fan, Marsha Albert, urged a Washington, D.C., radio station to smuggle the song from England (aided by a BOAC stewardess). When WWDC aired the song on December 17, its popularity took off. The song hit Billboard’s No. 1 spot on February 1, 1964 (for seven weeks). Demand was so strong that Capitol hired Columbia Records and RCA to press additional copies. The song launched 1964’s "British Invasion" that included the Dave Clark Five, the Rolling Stones and others.

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