Personalities | The Beatles | The Beatlemania Era (1963–65) | An Overview
Between early 1963 and early 1964 The Beatles went from being virtual unknowns to international pop superstars, a position they maintained over the next two years by an intense schedule of recording and touring, as well as two major feature films. They did it by writing consistently better and better songs, often under extreme pressure, and by charming the media who seized on the group’s popular appeal and turned it into Beatlemania.
There were other factors that helped to drive The Beatles’ success. Britain shivered under a blanket of snow for the first three months of 1963 and the news was dominated by the Profumo scandal and its political fall-out. The newspapers needed a feel-good story and The Beatles provided it. Their mop-top haircuts were a newspaper layout artist’s dream and their witty, intelligent and lively attitude to journalists ensured a stream of positive stories.
Similarly, America was traumatized by President Kennedy’s assassination in November 1963. Two months later The Beatles were a sensation before they’d even set foot in the country. When they did the sensation exploded as the media revelled in their repartee: ‘How did you find America?’ ‘Just turn left at Greenland’ (John Lennon). ‘What do you call that hairstyle?’ ‘Arthur’ (George Harrison). Manager Brian Epstein’s role in The Beatles’ success cannot be overemphasized. He made them presentable, he oversaw their UK career and planned their American breakthrough meticulously. They were the first British group to crack America, changing the whole course of popular music as they did so.
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