Enter: The Beatles.

The Great Radio Documentaries – “You’ll Never Be Sixteen Again” – Episode 3: 1962-1967 – Past Daily Pop Chronicles

Enter: The Beatles.

“You’ll Never Be Sixteen Again” – Episode 3 (1962-1967) – Narrated by John Peel – 1983 – BBC Radio 1 –

Part 3 of this 7 part landmark series. It’s here where things veer off for a bit (between the UK and The US). Merseybeat and what would become the first wave of the British Invasion were already underway by 1962, while America was discovering Folk, Protest and later on, Surf, Britain was undergoing a Social change which included the rise of the Working Class and the birth of the Modernists, or Mods. America was knee-deep in the Civil Rights Movement and its Youth of were starting to question values and norms and Folk music of the Bob Dylan kind were riding the crest of very potent wave. We were the same kids going through the same sets of feelings and aspirations, but our social climate was different and many felt America was the originator of Rock n’ Roll and everyone else was a pale comparison.

All of that would come crashing down on November 22, 1963. The day America went into Shock and Mourning and looked for some saving grace, some sign of hope that the world was not destined to be incinerated by an Atomic Bomb or its streets would not be torn apart by race riots. Teenage America was growing up pretty fast and desperately needed something to feel good about.

Some say it was purely by accident that The Beatles became the phenomenon they did. Many others felt it was the Perfect Storm – the coincidental/not coincidental timing of The Beatles first singles and how this felt like just exactly what was needed among Americas Teenage population to take us out of ourselves, and in doing so, change the direction the 60s would be heading.

The similarities between the two sides of the Atlantic were the reactions to this wave of artists appearing on the scene for the first time. It was just as overwhelming in Britain and it was here – the flood gates seemed to open all at once. And what was next was anyone’s guess. All bets were off – the Youth Market was the primary focus. The world became different and America was on a crash course with the Generation Gap and a War. But we were just getting accustomed to this new power and we weren’t quite draftable age . . .yet.

As in the previous two episodes, the research, interviews and certainly the music, are stellar. John Peel was one of the great personalities whose career was pretty much launched in the 60s and became a household name all the way until his untimely death in 2004. And even though he’s on hand only for the intro and outro to each episode, his expertise and guidance are indelible and help make this documentary series required listening.

On to Episode four.

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