The Beatles made their most important television appearance to date, with a place on the bill for the popular show Thank Your Lucky Stars.
The group’s performance was recorded on this day at the Alpha Television Studios – later known as the ATV Studios – in Aston, Birmingham.
The programme was made by ABC Television for the ITV network. ABC supplied programmes for the Midlands and the north of England; the Alpha Studios were jointly owned by ABC and ATV, which could be seen in the Midlands during the week and in London at weekends.
Thank Your Lucky Stars was ITV’s answer to the BBC’s Juke Box Jury. It started in April 1961 and featured many top music performers of the day. Musicians typically mimed in front of a live studio audience seated in the former circle of the converted cinema.
The Beatles were at the bottom of a seven-act bill. They performed just one song, ‘Please Please Me’. The group’s performance was broadcast on Saturday 19 January, at the close of the programme’s first half prior to the commercial break.
Thank Your Lucky Stars was a hugely popular programme at the time, and it was a major coup for The Beatles to be appearing. Their presence was secured by Dick James, the former singer turned impresario who later garnered a huge fortune after becoming The Beatles’ publisher.
Also on this day...
- 2017: Beatles electronics guru Magic Alex dies
- 1969: Get Back/Let It Be sessions: day eight
- 1969: US album release: Yellow Submarine
- 1968: Recording: Wonderwall Music by George Harrison
- 1966: George Harrison and Mick Jagger visit Dolly’s nightclub, London
- 1965: Live: Another Beatles Christmas Show
- 1962: Live: Hambleton Hall, Liverpool
- 1961: Live: Aintree Institute, Liverpool
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.
For many years now I have been a great fan of sixties music on BBC & ITV pop shows including Thank Your Lucky Stars, Oh Boy,Ready Steady Go,Juke Box Jury, 6-5 Special,Drumbeat,Wham,The Beat Room and Top Of The Pops.
Great Rock n Roll music such as The Who, Johnny Kidd and The Pirates,Mike Sarne, The Swinging Blue Jeans,The Beatles, Shane Fenton,The Shadows,John Leyton and Cliff Richard.
This was the first time that my girlfriends and I had seen them on the television. It was great, but after just one song their performance was over…after waiting so long to see them, it was a huge disappointment for us!
This was the first time I ever saw the Beatles and was smitten immediately . I was 12 at the time and fell in love with Paul especially, I have remained a fan ever since and feel privileged to have lived through the 60’s and witnessed their rise to international fame . Their music lives on and on . Will never forget the impact of them on my 13 year old self……..