The Beatles (from left to right: Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, George Harrison) wave to crowds in Sydney as they prepare to board a plane to New Zealand in June 1964.
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/collection/hero_image05-2017/the-beatles-hero-image1.jpg

The Beatles

The Beatles

The Fab Four's Australian Connections

John, Paul, George and Ringo – The Beatles – have held a place in the hearts of Australian music fans for decades.

The level of excitement and hysteria that came with Beatlemania, particularly when The Beatles visited Australia in 1964, was unprecedented and the images and newsreels of screaming fans devoted to The Fab Four are well documented.

Lesser known are the stories of some Australians who had the opportunity to work with The Beatles during their rise to fame and in their heyday.

We have included some of those stories in this collection alongside sights and sounds detailing the chaos and commotion of the band's 1964 tour. 

That Mersey Sound: Beatles at the Stadium
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
9243
Courtesy:
Cinesound Movietone Productions
Year:
Year

This newsreel special of the 1964 Beatles tour captures footage of the band in Sydney, Melbourne and New Zealand, concert excerpts and the attendant 'Beatlemania’.

This clip begins with news footage of the Beatles standing on a balcony in Melbourne, waving to fans in the streets below. Paul McCartney plays with a boomerang and laughs with the crowd. The Beatles song 'Love Me Do’ is on the soundtrack while a sequence of Beatles albums, photographs and tabloid headlines are shown. Commentator Ken Sparkes describes the 'Beatlemania’ and the extensive merchandising that has accompanied it. Beatles fans are filmed outside the Sheraton Hotel in Kings Cross along with equally enthusiastic followers of Polish-American piano virtuoso Arthur Rubinstein (1887–1982) who is seen smiling as he is mobbed by the crowds. The Beatles arrive at Wellington Airport in New Zealand. John Lennon plays with a stuffed kiwi and Paul McCartney gives a traditional Maori greeting. Summary by Poppy De Souza

The Beatles leaving Sydney on Sunday 21 June 1964
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
286629
Courtesy:
WIN Television Corporation Pty Ltd
Year:
Year

The news file here depicts the band’s departure from Sydney on Sunday 21 June 1964 for the New Zealand leg of their world tour, showing ’Beatlemania’ in full flight.

Note: parts of this story are silent but there are two segments with sound.

Martin Benge on the Sgt Pepper and Abbey Road albums
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
143871
Year:
Year

Martin Benge, former EMI studio engineer, shares his thoughts on The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Abbey Road albums in this oral history excerpt.

The Beatles at Sydney Stadium, 1964
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
9243
Courtesy:
Cinesound Movietone Productions
Year:
Year

This newsreel features live footage of The Beatles and their fans during a concert in Sydney during their 1964 tour of Australia.

Concert footage of popular acts was still in its infancy in the 1960s. This professionally shot footage is the result of employing multiple cameras and stylish editing in post-production that effectively captures the phenomena known as 'Beatlemania'.

It's very effective in showing the band performing and perhaps more so in showing the reaction of the fans!

Parts of the clip appear to be sped-up because the frame rate has been adjusted by the filmmaker; whether or not this is deliberate is unknown. Studio recordings of several songs – which don't match the images – have been dubbed over the images, presumably because the sound that was captured live was predominantly screaming!

Despite this, it is an important recording of a significant era in popular culture. The scenes in this clip effectively serve to contextualise the pop culture phenomenon of Beatlemania.

Dawn Swane with The Beatles
Year:
Year

Never-before-seen footage of The Beatles, getting ready for the special The Music of Lennon & McCartney on 1 November 1965. This clip is silent. The footage was shot by Dawn Swane, an Australian dancer and make-up artist who at the time was working at Granada TV in Manchester.

Dawn says: 'I was in the make-up room. And so we were having some champagne and so we started to, well we were all drinking some champagne. [...] And anyway, I don’t know if it was John or if it was Ringo but they took the camera off me and said, “This is no way to use a camera!" and they sort of jiggled it upside down and inside out a bit, and everybody was just mucking around. But that was great. I mean they were a nice group of people. They really were.'

Dawn's collection of home movies and video recordings have been donated to the NFSA by her daughter, production designer Melinda Doring.

Bendigo record store window display promotes The Beatles appearance on television. The promo reads 'THE BEATLES SING FOR SHELL' and the display includes photographs and memorabilia.
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/05-2017/beatles-sing-for-shell.jpg
Bendigo record store promotes 'The Beatles Sing For Shell'
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
669351
Courtesy:
Ten Network
Year:
Year

Promotion for a television screening on BCV-8 entitled 'The Beatles Sing for Shell'. The TV station used the services of a local record store 'Every's Melody Bar', enlisting them to do this window display for the band's only Australian television appearance. 

The Beatles in Australia
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
9243
Courtesy:
Cinesound
Year:
Year

This clip is part of the Cinesound newsreel That Mersey Sound: Beatles at the Stadium, that captured highlights of the Fab Four's 1964 tour of Australia. 

The Beatles interviewed by Binny Lum, 1964
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1108342
Courtesy:
Sharon Terry and Geoff Charter
Year:
Year

George Harrison, John Lennon and Ringo Starr of The Beatles interviewed by Binny Lum in London, England in 1964.

https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/uploads/2016/04/22/dawn.jpg
Dawn Swane holding The Beatles call sheet
Courtesy:
Melinda Doring

Australian dancer and make-up artist, Dawn Swane and the autographed call sheet for The Music of Lennon & McCartney, 1 and 2 November 1965.

Frank Ifield on having The Beatles as his support act
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
679203

Frank Ifield recalls the first time he heard about this new group called The Beatles, and why he agreed to give them the chance to perform on his tour.

How The Beatles forced change at Abbey Road studios

Studio engineer Martin Benge recalls the time that EMI (later Abbey Road) studio manager Alan Stagg turned the power off during a Pink Floyd recording session, because the band was working after the closing time of 10 pm. Following a conversation between Roger Waters spoke and Paul McCartney, the latter decided it was time for a change.

Binny Lum on interviewing The Beatles
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
270970
Year:
Year

Binny Lum talks about her interview with The Beatles in London, 1964. This clip is an excerpt from Binny Lum's oral history interview with Denzil Howson in 1994. 

The full oral history interview can be found here on the NFSA Australia Soundcloud channel.

Brian Epstein, interviewed by Binny Lum (1964)
Year:
Year

Australian radio personality Binny Lum talks to manager of The Beatles, Brian Epstein. 

Dawn Swane on working with The Beatles

Make-up artist Dawn Swane records her memories of working with The Beatles in a typed note. 

Martin Benge on The Beatles Anthology
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1143871
Year:
Year

Martin Benge, former EMI studio engineer, shares his thoughts on The Beatles Anthology (1995) project in this oral history excerpt.

The Beatles address crowds in Melbourne from the balcony of the Melbourne Town Hall in 1964, along with the Lord Mayor of Melbourne.
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/05-2017/beatles-cinesound-waving-to-crowds.jpg
The Beatles in Melbourne
Year:
Year

Close-up of The Beatles waving to crowds from the balcony of the Melbourne Town Hall with the Lord Mayor, Edward Leo Curtis, on 16 June 1964.

Fans in Sydney hold up photos and heart-shaped cards as they wait for The Beatles arrival at the Sheraton hotel.
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/05-2017/fans-holding-photos2.jpg
Fans in Sydney await The Beatles arrival
Year:
Year

Beatles fans in Sydney hold up photos and heart-shaped cards that read 'I Love The Beatles' as they wait for the band to arrive at the Sheraton Hotel in Kings Cross.

Map of Australia and program outlining the details of The Beatles tour in 1964, marking cities on the map where The Beatles were scheduled to visit and on which dates.
https://www.nfsa.gov.au/sites/default/files/05-2017/the-beatles-tour-details.jpg
The Beatles Australian Tour Details
Courtesy:
National Library of Australia
Year:
Year

This two-page spread maps out all the stops on The Beatles' tour of Australia and New Zealand in 1964. It appeared in Teenagers Weekly, a supplement to The Australian Women's Weekly, on 17 June 1964.

(nla.gov.au/nla.news-article48077793)

The Beatles medley: Young Talent Time, 1977
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
1494334
Courtesy:
Johnny Young, Clearvoice Pty Ltd
Year:
Year

This is a lovely example of the popular music medleys the variety show was known for.

It also highlights the show’s appeal to family members of all ages with a mix of contemporary music alongside classics from the 1960s by artists like The Beatles, The Supremes and Elvis Presley. 

Every episode of Young Talent Time ends with the cast singing ‘All My Loving’, so the music of The Beatles is part of the show’s DNA. 

The relatively low production values seen here – from simple costuming and choreography to basic set design – give the show a homespun charm. Nevertheless, the accompaniment from the Young Talent Time band is polished and the singing talent of the performers is obvious. 

The Beatles' songs featured are ‘All You Need Is Love’, ‘Love Me Do’ and ‘She Loves You’, which are all credited to the prolific songwriting partnership of John Lennon and Paul McCartney.  

This is the 6th birthday episode. As was customary for these birthday shows, the cast is joined by special guest stars from the ‘Young Talent Time family’: Jamie Redfern (1971–72), Derek Redfern (1973–76), Philip Gould (1971–76), Jane Scali (1971–76), Sally Boyden (1973–76), Greg Mills (1971–75), Rod Kirkham (1971–73), Vikki Broughton (1971–73) and Trevor Hindmarch (1972–77). 

It is interesting to see ‘Tiny’ Tina Arena (1977–83) at the very beginning of her highly successful career here. She is the youngest member of the cast and has some trouble with the dance moves at the end of the song. 

The clip also features the rest of the 1977 cast: Karen Knowles (1975–80), Steven Zammit (1975–80), Debbie Hancock (1975–78, 1979), Robert McCullough (1976–79), Nicole Cooper (1976–81) and  Johnny Bowles (1977–81). 

The series ran from 1971 to 1988 with musician host Johnny Young and his team of young performers. This is episode 77/12 and was broadcast in June 1977 (hence the winter setting and wardrobe!).

Notes by Beth Taylor

All My Loving: Young Talent Time, 1979
NFSA-ID:
NFSA ID
34388
Courtesy:
Johnny Young, Clearvoice Pty Ltd
Year:
Year

The Beatles’ song ‘All My Loving’ plays an integral role in Young Talent Time with every episode since the very first one in April 1971 closing with a rendition by host Johnny Young and the cast. This example is made unique by its outdoor setting in Melbourne.  

Young released his slower version of the Paul McCartney song in 1967 and it became his signature tune, making it a natural choice for the Young Talent Time theme.  

Eight years into its staggering 18-year run the coverage and staging of this clip follows the conventions established by the show, such as the cast swaying to the music and their formation around Johnny resembling a family portrait.

John Young says today that ‘All My Loving’ was an important part of the program because it ‘said we were a family’. 

Cast featured are Karen Knowles (1975–80), Steven Zammit (1975–80), Debbie Hancock (1975–79), Robert McCullough (1976–79), Nicole Cooper (1976–81), Johnny Bowles (1977–81), Tina Arena (1977–83) and Bobby Driessen (1979–83). 

Johnny Young had a string of pop hits during the mid-to-late 1960s including a No. 1 hit with 'Step Back' / 'Cara Lyn' (by Johnny Young and Kompany).

He also wrote hits for other artists; 'The Real Thing', recorded by Russell Morris, was named one of the Sounds of Australia by the NFSA in 2013.

This is episode 79/08. 

Notes by Beth Taylor