Brian Matthew (cont.)

The Beatles‘Saturday Club’ was a unique BBC Radio show because it was one of the few radio shows of its time which presented current pop acts live and on record. The programme was launched in 1958 by producer Jimmy Grant and its range of music included skiffle, trad jazz, pop and country music.

The show was so popular that at its height, during the period the Beatles were recording for the programme, it had a Saturday morning audience of between two and three million listeners and was broadcast each Saturday from 10.00am – 12 noon. Its co-producer was Bernie Andrews.

The Beatles made their ‘Saturday Club’ debut on 26 January 1962, two weeks after the release of ‘Please Please Me’, when they appeared live performing ‘Some Other Guy’, ‘Love Me Do’, ‘Please Please Me’, ‘Keep Your Hands Off My Baby’ and ‘Beautiful Dreamer.’

For their second appearance on 16 March 1963 they also appeared live. Usually, the programme was pre-recorded on Tuesday afternoons and evenings at a three-and-a-half-hour recording session at the BBC’s Playhouse Theatre in London, during which three or four tracks were recorded for the following Saturday’s show. However, on this occasion John Lennon had been suffering from a heavy cold earlier in the week, which had also caused him to miss the appearances at the Granada, Bedford, the Rialto, York and the Gaumont, Wolverhampton.

They recorded at the BBC’s Studio 3A which was actually used for talk shows and not really geared for recording music. The group performed ‘I Saw Her Standing There’, ‘Misery’, ‘Too Much Monkey Business’, ‘I’m Talking About You’, ‘Please Please Me’ and ‘Hippy Hippy Shake.’

Their third performance was transmitted on 25 May 1963 and they performed ‘I Saw Her Standing There’, ‘Do You Want To Know A Secret’, ’Boys’ and ‘Long Tall Sally.’ On 29 June they performed ‘I Got To Find My Baby’, ‘Memphis Tennessee’, ‘Money ‘’Till There Was You’, ‘From Me To You’ and ‘Roll Over Beethoven’.

On 24 August 1963 they performed ‘Long Tall Sally’, ‘She Loves You’, ‘Glad all Over’, ‘Twist And Shout’, ‘You Really Got A Hold On Me’ and ‘I’ll Get You.’

The programme on 5 October 1963 was a special fifth-birthday edition and the Beatles sang a rendition of ‘Happy Birthday Dear Saturday Club’ for the occasion, in addition to performing ‘I Saw Her Standing There’, ‘Memphis, Tennessee’, ‘I’ll Get You’, ‘She Loves You’ and ’Lucille.’

Their final Saturday Club appearance of 1963 was on 21 December when they performed ‘All My Loving’, ‘This Boy’, ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’, ‘’Till There Was You’ ‘Roll Over Beethoven’ and ‘She Loves You.’

Their first ‘Saturday Club’ in 1964 was transmitted on 15 February and they performed ‘All My Loving’, ‘Money’, ‘Hippy Hippy Shake’, ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’, ‘Roll Over Beethoven’, ‘Johnny Be Goode’ and ‘I Wanna Be Your Man.’

The next transmission was on 4 April during the week they had the top five positions in the American charts and ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ at No. 1 in the U.K. They performed ‘Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby’, ‘I Call Your Name’, ‘I Got A Woman’, ‘You Can’t Do That’, ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’, ‘Sure To Fall (In Love with You)’ and ‘Long Tall Sally.

The Beatles tenth and final appearance on the show was broadcast on 26 December 1964 when they performed ‘Rock And Roll Music’, ‘I’m A Loser’ ‘Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby’, ‘I Feel Fine’, ‘Kansas City/Hey Hey Hey’ and ‘She’s a Woman.

The Beatles (courtesy Parlophone)Matthew also presented ‘Easy Beat’, a Sunday morning BBC radio programme broadcast between 10.30 – 11.30am. It was produced by Ron Belchier at the Playhouse Theatre, London.

The Beatles appeared on four ‘Easy Beat’ shows, all of which took place in 1963. The first was broadcast on 7 April and the group performed ‘Please Please Me’, ‘Misery’ and ‘From Me to You.’ On their second appearance on 23 June they performed ‘Some Other Guy’, ‘A Taste Of Honey’, ‘Thank You Girl’ and ‘From Me to You.’

Their third performance on 21 July featured ‘I Saw Her Standing There’, ‘A Shot Of Rhythm & Blues’, ‘There’s A Place’ and ‘Twist And Shout.’

Their final appearance on 20 October saw them performing ‘I Saw Her Standing There’, ‘Love Me Do’, ‘Please Please Me’, ‘From Me To You’ and ‘She Loves You.’

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