Former Radio DJ Reflects on 50th Anniversary of the Beatles Arrival in the U.S.

Gerry DeWitt says the Beatles influenced more than music

Former Radio DJ Reflects on 50th Anniversary of the Beatles

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - When the Beatles arrived in the U.S. 50 years ago this week, they started a journey that influenced more than just music, with their lyrics and opinions that were soon talked about by politicians and religious leaders.

Former Santa Barbara radio announcer, Gerry DeWitt, who hosted the show "60's Revisited," recalls the Beatles arriving in New York to a crowd of screaming young people. 

They were on their way to the Sunday night  Ed Sullivan Show for what would be the first of three consecutive appearances in February of 1964.

But shortly after that, there came a change, and the Beatles grew up fast.

"They arrived in '64 and by Rubber Soul (album)  in  1965,  they were already changing directions and  putting out music that made you think  about things  beyond boyfriends and girlfriends and holding hands. And John in '65 was saying  'that was great at the time,  you can always go back,but that is not where we are anymore,'" said DeWitt.

By the start of the 1970's the Beatles had broken up.

Their influence lived on, in music and society.

"It's hard to take one away from the other, but The Beatles - you  have to point to  as the ones who brought it all together," said DeWitt.

He said the Beatles waited until they had a number one hit before they touched down in the U.S.

"I think it was largely the Beatles personalities that made them so acceptable. And you couldn't do better," said DeWitt.

These days, Apple records has been able to put all of their work, on a flashdrive, that is included in a collectable set.

Note: Locally there will be a special Beatles event at the Carpinteria Plaza Playhouse takes place this weekend, which includes Beatles cover bands, and video highlights of the Fab Four on their U.S. visits.   

Among those schedules to appear, Dennis Mitchell, host of Breakfast with the Beatles, a nationally syndicated show.  Also talking about his days with the Beatles, acclaimed music producer and musician Alan Parsons.


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