Saturday, 1 July 2017

Happy Canada Day 2017

My regular readers know that for most holidays I post classic pinups. Today being Canada Day I thought I would post pictures of classic Canadian actresses, as well as two more recent Canadian patriotic pinups. By the way, as Canada Days go, this is one of the bigger ones. It was on July 1 1867 that the Canadian Confederation was officially proclaimed, marking the foundation of what we now call Canada. Originally it only consisted of four provinces:  Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. This is then Canada's 150th birthday!

Without further ado, here are the pinups!

First up is Fay Wray, possibly the first scream queen ever. She's best known today for King Kong, but she also appeared in such films as The Most Dangerous Game, The Vampire Bat, Mystery of the Wax Museum, and even Tammy and the Bachelor!

Many people might think of Ann Rutherford as being as American as apple pie, but she was actually born in Vancouver, British Columbia. Besides playing Polly in the "Andy Hardy" series, she also appeared in Gone With the Wind, A Christmas Carol (1938), and Pride and Prejudice (1940).

Deanna Durbin was best known for her incredible voice, but, as you can see, she was also extremely beautiful. Her movies were so successful that she is often credited with single-handedly keeping Universal afloat during the Forties! Among her films were Three Smart Girls (1936), First Love (1939), The Amazing Mrs. Holiday (1943), and Lady on a Train (1945).

Today most people know Yvonne De Carlo as Lily Munster, but in her day she was both a major movie star and a popular pinup. Her career was still going strong in the Sixties when she starred in The Munsters! Among the films in which she starred were Salome, Where She Danced (1945), The Desert Hawk (1950), The Captain's Paradise (1953), The Ten Commandments (1956), and McLintock! (1963).

Ruta Lee is probably a familiar face to viewers of classic television, having appeared in everything from Perry Mason to Murder, She Wrote. Miss Lee also has had a successful movie career, appearing in such films as Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954), Witness for the Prosecution (1957), Marjonie Morningstar (1958), and Sergeants 3 (1962). Of the stars I have included so far, Miss Lee is the only one still with us. I do believe she appeared at the last Turner Classic Movies Classic Film Festival!

Here is a Canadian patriotic pinup! Kelli Baker is a model from Toronto, Ontario. She's appeared in magazines from Canadian Sports Magazine to FHM Australia. If you'd like to see more of Kelli, her website is at Kelli Online.

 Finally, here is Kelly Abbass. Kelly and I have been online friends since the days of MySpace. She is a model, an actress, and a singer. With Steph Dilts she is one half of the music duo Pristine. Kelly's husband Steve Dilts is a very talented photographer and takes many of her modelling photos. If you'd like to see more of Kelly, her website is at The One and Only Kelly Abbass. If you want to hear Pristine, their Facebook page is here.
Happy Canada Day!

Friday, 30 June 2017

Lena Horne and Susan Hayward's 100th Birthday

It is not unusual for classic movie stars to share birthdays. In fact, a large number of big names were born on April 5 (Walter Huston, Melvyn Douglas, Bette Davis, and many others) . That having been said, it is rare for two legendary stars to have been born on the exact same day. That is the case with regards to Lena Horne and Susan Hayward. Both of them were born 100 years ago today, on June 30 1917.

The two women did have a bit in common besides their birth date. Both Lena Horne and Susan Hayward were extremely talented actresses. Both were extremely beautiful. And both were regarded as sex symbols in their day. What is more, both of them were born in Brooklyn. That having been said, they were also very different. Lena Horne was primarily a singer and much of her work was in musicals. Because she was African American when roles for African Americans were limited (to say the least) she would not really get a chance to shine in dramatic roles until late in her career. Susan Hayward was best known as a dramatic actress, appearing in such films as Smash-Up, the Story of a Woman (1947),  My Foolish Heart (1949), and I Want to Live! (1958).

One thing the two women had in common was they each had highly successful careers. Lena Horne started her career at the Cotton Club and it was before long she was singing with Noble Sissle's Orchestra. It was with  Noble Sissle's Orchestra that her first records released on the Decca label. She would go onto have a number of hit records, including "Stormy Weather" in 1943, "One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)" in 1945, "'Deed I Do" in 1948, and "Love Me or Leave Me" in 1955. She released a number of albums in her lifetime, her first being It's Love in 1955 and her last being Seasons of a Life in 2006.

Lena Horne would not just see successful in the recording industry, but success on film as well. She was gifted not only with an incredible voice, but acting talent and good looks as well. She made her film debut in the musical The Duke's Tops (1938), when she was only twenty. It was produced by  Million Dollar Productions, a company that made films with nearly an all-African American cast and crew. She starred in the films Cabin in the Sky (1942) and Stormy Weather (1943),  and appeared either a supporting role or as a speciality act in many others, including Panama Hattie (1942), I Dood It (1943), and Two Girls and a Sailor (1944), and so on. Sadly, Lena Horne's career would suffer during the Golden Age of Hollywood, a time when the vast majority of roles open to African Americans were outright stereotypes. Worse yet, she would fall victim to the Hollywood blacklist after her name had appeared in the notorious right-wing tract Red Channels in the Fifties.

Fortunately Miss Horne's career would recover. While she would only appear in a few more films (Meet Me in Las Vegas in 1956, Death of a Gunfighter in 1956, and The Wiz in 1978), she established herself as a nightclub performer and also appeared frequently on television. Her recording career also prospered. While she would have only a few hit singles after the Fifties, Miss Horne released several albums between 1955 and 2006. Arguably when Miss Horne died on May 9 2010, she was as famous as she ever was.

Like Lena Horne, Susan Hayward also found stardom while relatively young. She started her career as a photographer's model. In 1937 she moved to Hollywood in hopes of being cast as Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind. While she did not get that role, she soon found herself cast in supporting roles in such films as Beau Geste (1939) and I Married a Witch (1942).  Miss Hayward eventually began playing leads with Reap the Wild Wind (1942) and The Fighting Seabees (1944).

If anything Susan Hayward's career would grow even bigger in the Fifties. In the early part of the decade she appeared in such films as David and Bathsheba (1951), With a Song in My Heart (1952), The President's Lady (1952), and I'll Cry Tomorrow (1955). Her career continued to go very well in the Sixties and Seventies. She appeared in such films as The Marriage-Go-Round (1961), Ada (1961),
Where Love Has Gone (1964), and Valley of the Dolls (1967). Sadly, Miss Hayward died on March 14 1975 from brain cancer.  In a career that spanned over thirty years, she saw a good deal of success. She was nominated for Academy Awards five times.

Both Lena Horne and Susan Hayward were legends. That they were both born on the same day (and in the same city at that) is remarkable. Classic film buffs should perhaps count June 30 1917 as one of the best days for classic film ever.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

The Loved One (1965) on TCM Tonight!

Those of you who know me already know The Loved One (1965) is one of my all time favourite comedy films. It is very loosely based on one of my favourite books, The Loved One: An Anglo-American Tragedy by Evelyn Waugh. The film was advertised with the tagline, "The Motion Picture With Something to Offend Everyone!". This was quite probably true when it was released in 1965, and it would probably offend a great many now.  Indeed, when I first saw it I have to admit that some of the material actually shocked me (this was made in 1965?)!

Regardless, The Loved One is a biting satire in the vein of Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), targetting everything from the American funeral industry (a primary target of the original book), Hollywood (another primary target of the original book),  religion, Oedipal complexes, overeating, the rich, the military, the space programme, and television, among many other things. The jokes are delivered rapid-fire and non-stop, the comedy is often very broad and more often than not very dark, and there are a tonne of celebrity cameos. If you have ever wanted to see Tab Hunter as the tour guide for a Forest Lawn-style, Hollywood cemetery or Liberace as a casket salesman, The Loved One is definitely for you.

On this blog I have written two articles dealing with The Loved One. The first dealt with the film over all. The second dealt with the possibility of an adaptation of The Loved One: An Anglo-American Tragedy starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton (fortunately it never got off the ground).

 The Loved One: The Motion Picture With Something to Offend Everyone

The Loved One Starring Burton and Taylor? 

If you live in the Untied States or Canada, I urge you to watch The Loved One on TCM. And if for some reason you can't, by all means DVR it to watch later!

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Paddington Bear Creator Michael Bond R.I.P.

Michael Bond, best known for creating Paddington Bear, died yesterday at the age of 91.

Michael Bond was born in Newbury, Berkshire on January 13 1926. He grew up in Reading. As a child he regularly visited Reading Station to see the Cornish Riviera Express. As a result he developed a life-long love of trains. He attended Presentation College in Reading, but would have little in the way of fond memories of his time there. Because of his bad experience with Presentation College he elected to forego college to work in a solicitor's office for a year and then work as an engineer's assistant for the BBC.

It was after an air raid on Reading in February 1943 that he volunteered to serve in the Royal Air Force. Unfortunately Mr. Bond suffered from acute air sickness and, as a result, was discharged from the RAF. He then served in the the Middlesex Regiment of the British Army. He was demobilised in 1947. It was during World War II that he began writing, and he sold his first short story to the magazine London Opinion.

While continuing to write he took a job at the BBC as a cameraman. It was on Christmas Eve in 1956 that he visited Selfridge's department store and noticed a lone teddy bear upon a shelf. He bought the bear as a present for his wife and then set about right away writing a story about the bear. The first book, A Bear Called Paddington, was published in 1958. It centred on the bear of the title, who came from "darkest Peru". His Aunt Lucy sent him with a jar of marmalade to England to live, where he was taken in by the Brown family. They named him for Paddington Station, the train station at which they found him.

A Bear Called Paddington would prove very successful, so much so that it was followed by several more books about the bear. Paddington Bear would also be adapted several times. From 1966 to 1970 many of the books were adapted as episodes of the children's show Jackanory. In 1976, 1989, and 1997 there would be TV series based on Paddington Bear. There would also be TV specials, including Paddington Goes to the Movies in 1980 and Paddington Goes to School in 1986. In 2014 there was the feature film Paddington.

Michael Bond wrote several other books besides those about Paddington. In 1971 he began a series of books about Olga da Polga, a guinea pig who would tell tall tales. He also wrote a series of culinary mysteries for adults centred around French detective and gourmand Monsieur Pamplemousse starting in 1983. He wrote many other books that were not part of a series, as well as the TV movies Simon's Good Deed (1955) and Napoleon's Day Out (1957) and the 1968 animated series The Herbs.

There can be no doubt that Michael Bond had a huge impact on British popular culture, and to a large extent on popular culture in the rest of the Anglosphere as well. More than 30 million copies of Paddington books have been sold worldwide, and the books have been translated into 70 different languages. Indeed, so beloved is Paddington Bear in the United Kingdom that when the two sides of the Channel Tunnel were connected in 1994, a Paddington Bear stuffed toy was chosen as the very first item to pass over to the French. Paddington has twice appeared on 1st class Royal Mail stamps, in 1994 and in 2006. A statue of Paddington is at Paddington Station in London. Of course, Michael Bond wrote many other books than the Paddington series, many of which were quite successful. Ultimately he is perhaps one of the most successful English writers of all time.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Captain Kangaroo

Today would have been the 90th birthday of Bob Keeshan. Of course, for most Americans Bob Keeshan will forever be known as Captain Kangaroo. Indeed, most Baby Boomers and Gen Xers, if shown a picture of Bob Keeshan (even when he wasn't in costume), would identify him as "Captain Kangaroo" rather than by his given name. There should be little wonder that this should be the case, as the TV show Captain Kangaroo ran for a total of 36 years between CBS and PBS.

Captain Kangaroo was the brainchild of Bob Keeshan and his business partner Jack Miller. Mr. Keeeshan was the original Clarabell the Clown on the highly successful children's show Howdy Doody. After five  years with the programme, Bob Keeshan left the role in 1952. In 1953 he was hired by WABC in New York City for their new children's show Time for Fun. More importantly, it was later that year that starred in Tinker's Workshop, a forerunner of Captain Kangaroo. Like Captain Kangaroo, Tinker's Workshop was created by Bob Keeshan and Jack Miller. Bob Keeshan played the title character, a grandfatherly toymaker, even though he was only 26 at the time. Unable to have a grey wig made in time for the first broadcast, Mr. Keeshan simply used grey hair spray and makeup to make himself look the proper age.

Tinker's Workshop proved successful, successful enough that CBS took notice. CBS offered Bob Keeshan and Jack Miller a deal. If they could develop a show right away, CBS would give them the prized 8:00 AM EST time slot. In fact, CBS wanted the show on the air so quickly that they only gave Messrs. Keeshan and Miller nine days to come up with a pilot. The two used Tinker's Workshop as a template for their new show. It would centre on an elderly captain complete with a walrus moustache and bushy sideburns. It was from an artist's sketch of the character in a jacket with deep pockets that the name "Captain Kangaroo" was derived. The show debuted on October 3 1955 (another legendary children's show, The Mickey Mouse Club debuted later that afternoon). As to Tinker's Workshop, it continued without Bob Keeshan. Gene London took over as Tinker and the show ran until August 22 1958.

Captain Kangaroo centred on the title character, who lived in The Treasure House. The show featured an extensive cast of supporting characters. Mr. Green Jeans (played by Hugh Brannum) was a farmer who acted as the Captain's sidekick as well as the handyman around The Treasure House. He often brought various animals to The Treasure House. Other characters were puppets played by puppeteer Cosmo Allegretti. Mr. Bunny Rabbit was a rabbit who was always trying to trick Captain Kangaroo into giving him carrots. Mr. Moose was a moose who was fond of both riddles and knock-knock jokes, both of which would result in hundreds of ping pong balls descending from above. Grandfather Clock was an anthropomorphic clock. In addition to the puppets, Cosmo Allegretti also played Dancing Bear (in a bear suit) and, in later years, Dennis the Apprentice. Over the years other characters would come and go, but Mr. Green Jeans, Mr. Bunny Rabbit, Mr Moose, Granfather Clock, and Dancing Bear remained constants for most of the show's run. A few cartoons also aired on Captain Kangaroo, including "Tom Terrific" and "Lariat Sam" in the Fifties and Sixties. Captain Kangaroo differed from earlier children's shows in that it was not shot in front of an audience of kids (an example being Howdy Doody's Peanut Gallery).

Captain Kangaroo spent its first several months airing from Monday through Friday. It was on August 4 1956 that an edition was added on early Saturday morning as well. For the 1965-1966 season its old Saturday morning timeslot was taken by a new show Mister Mayor. Mister Mayor starred Bob Keeshan in the title role, the mayor of an unusual town. Bob Keeshan created Mister Mayor because of a dispute with his agent, Mitchell J. Hamilburg over the rights to Captain Kangaroo. In March 1965 CBS even announced that Captain Kangaroo would end its run on weekday mornings to be replaced by Mister Mayor. This resulted in various campaigns to save Captain Kangaroo, such as one started by the National Association  for Better Radio and Television. Ultimately Bob Keeshan and Mitchell J. Hamillburg were able to work out their differences and Captain Kangaroo remained on the air for many more years. As to Mister Mayor, it ended its run on September 18 1965. Captain Kangaroo returned to Saturday mornings the following week, where it remained until 1968.

Captain Kangaroo underwent various changes in its long run. On May 17 1971 the show was given a slight revamp. The Treasure House was refurbished and renamed "the Captain's Place". The Captain's navy blue coat was also replaced by a red one. In 1974 the original theme song for Captain Kangaroo, "Puffin' Billy", was replaced by a new song, "Good Morning, Captain". Sadly, changes would be coming that would ultimately mean the end of Captain Kangaroo's run on CBS. In the fall of 1981 CBS moved Captain Kangaroo from 8:00 AM Eastern to 7:00 AM Eastern and cut it from an hour to a half hour. It was also given a new title, Wake Up with the Captain. In the spring of 1982 it was moved to the even earlier time of 6:30 AM Eastern. In the fall of 1982 Captain Kangaroo was restored to an hour, but it was moved from weekdays to Saturday morning at 7:00 Eastern. CBS affiliates were offered reruns to air on Sunday mornings. In the fall of 1984, Captain Kangaroo was once more cut back to a half hour. Bob Keeshan, unhappy with CBS's treatment of Captain Kangaroo, ended the show when his contract with the network expired. It last aired on CBS on December 8 1984.

Captain Kangaroo would not remain off the air for long. On October 13 1986 Captain Kangaroo made its debut on PBS. The editions of Captain Kangaroo that aired on PBS were a mixture of both old and new material, not quite the repeats as often reported. It ran on PBS until 1993.

It was later in the Nineties that Bob Keeshan attempted to revive Captain Kangaroo. Unfortunately, ICM, who then owned the rights to Captain Kangaroo, refused him permission to go ahead with the revival. A reboot entitled The All New Captain Kangaroo would emerge from Saban Entertainment in the late Nineties. It starred John McDonough as the Captain. Bob Keeshan was invited to appear as a character called the Admiral in a guest appearance. Not only did he turn the invitation down after he saw some sample episodes, but he entirely distanced himself from the show. It ran for a single season in 1997-1998. The  Cashin Comedy Co. obtained the trademark to Captain Kangaroo in 2011.  Pat Cashin portrayed the Captain on a blog and there were plans for another revival of the show. These ended when Pat Cashin died at age 48 in 2016. As of 2016 the rights to Captain Kangaroo were for sale.

Captain Kangaroo was a truly revolutionary children's show when it debuted. It had a slower, gentler pace than many of the shows that preceded it. Although cartoons appeared on the show, there was not a plethora of them. What is more, it lacked an audience of children present at the studio, aiding in the illusion that the Treasure House was an actual place. Ultimately it would be one of the longest running children's shows of all time. There can be little doubt that its success was mostly due to Bob Keeshan. Possessing a good deal of common sense and a gentle demeanour, he was a children's advocate his entire life. While he might not have owned the rights to the character, Bob Keeshan was Captain Kangaroo.

Monday, 26 June 2017

20 Years of Harry Potter

It was 20 years ago today that Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (retitled Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone for some odd reason in the United States) was published in the United Kingdom. It would mark the debut of  what is the most successful book series in any genre. Approximate sales were 504 million copies worldwide as of May 2013. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and the books that followed it in the series would lead to a highly successful series of movies, beginning with Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in 2001. It would also lead to a series of amusement park attractions at Universal theme parks under the collective name "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter", the first of which opened at Universal's Islands of Adventure in 2010. In 2016 a play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, opened on the West End in London. There have also been games and further works set in the Harry Potter universe (the book The Tales of Beedle the Bard and the film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), as well as tonnes of merchandise.

Harry Potter was conceived by Joanne Rowling while on a train from Manchester to London King's Cross in 1990. Over the following five years she planned out the series of seven books. After finishing the manuscript for Harry Potter and the Philsopher's Stone she sent the first three chapters to a number of agents before one finally asked to read the rest of the manuscript. It was eventually accepted by British publisher Bloomsbury. Published on June 26 1997, it became a bestseller very quickly. It repeated its success when published in the United States in 1998. It was not very long before it was an international best seller. If anything, the following books in the series would prove even more successful. The last four books each broke records as the fastest selling books in history. In the United States alone the final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, sold around 11 million copies in the first 24 hours of its release in the United States alone.

Because of the phenomenal success of the Harry Potter series it is difficult to adequately assess precisely how much impact it has around the world. The series certainly inspired a number of imitators, both in books and film, including the "Charlie Bone" series of books, the "Vampire Academy" series of books, and yet others. More importantly it inspired a bit of a boom in young adult novels. In the wake of "Harry Potter" there would be published a number of highly successful series of young adult novels, including the "Artemis Fowl" series by Eoin Colfer, the "Hunger Games" series by Suzanne Collins, the "Mortal Instruments" series by Cassandra Clare, and the "Percy Jackson" series by  Rick Riordan, among others. Many of these series would in turn inspire their own series of successful movies.

The Harry Potter books may have had more impact than simply inspiring a new boom in young adult novels. A Pew Research Centre study in 2014 indicated that individuals under 30, precisely those who grew up with Harry Potter, read more than those over 30. A study published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology in 2014 found that reading the Harry Potter books made individuals more tolerant of groups that have generally stigmatised in society.

Whether or not the Harry Potter series makes it readers more tolerant individuals, it certainly has made fantasy literature more mainstream. While there have certainly been highly successful fantasy works before the Harry Potter series (The Lord of the Rings chief among them), arguably it was the Harry Potter series that made it acceptable to talk about fantasy books in polite society. Quite simply, in 1987 I would get odd looks if I started talking about Frodo and Sam. In 2017 most people wouldn't think it odd if  I started talking about Harry and Ron.

Regardless of the impact of the Harry Potter series, the biggest question may be why they were successful. In my humble opinion the chief reason for their success is that the books actually transcend generations. They are not simply "Young Adult" books. Like other classic books written for young adults (such as The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Expéry, A Wrinkle in Time by  Madeleine L'Engle, The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl), they can be enjoyed by adults as well. All of these books have something in common. All of them are deep, complicated works that are not afraid to shield children from some of the uglier aspects of life.

Indeed, the Harry Potter books deal with themes not often encountered in children's books at the time Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was published. At the heart of the series is classism and racism. The wizarding world of Harry Potter is not one where tolerance always prevails, with pure-bloods sometimes discriminating against half-bloods or, worse yet, the Muggle-born (and Muggles, those who lack any sort of magical ability, as well). There are those who have seen the Harry Potter books as a metaphor for Nazi Germany or Fascism in general.

At the same time that the Harry Potter books address issues of classism and racism, they also promote tolerance and diversity. Hogwarts is a multi-ethnic and multicultural institution. Individuals of various ethnicities, cultures, and faiths all attend the school. She even created a bit of a controversy when she revealed that Albus Dumbledore was gay.  What is more, J. K. Rowling gave the world one of the strongest female characters in children's literature. Hermione Granger is intelligent, resourceful, level-headed, compassionate, and fiercely loyal to her friends. If the Harry Potter books are popular with many young women, it is perhaps because in Hermione they have a very good role model.

All of this makes for some very serious material to appear in books meant for young adults, but then J. K. Rowling did not shy away from the harsher aspects of life even though she was ostensibly writing children's books. Harry Potter's life with the Dursleys can only be described as abusive. Worse yet, throughout the series several characters die. Indeed, in the final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, several beloved characters were killed off. Prior to the Harry Potter books it was rare that anyone died in young adult novels and rarer still that several would die throughout the course of a series.

While the Harry Potter books have had their detractors over the years, there can be no doubt that they are among the most successful books ever published. While the total extent of their impact on popular culture is probably impossible to calculate, there can be little doubt that that impact is very great. One has to suspect people will still be reading the "Harry Potter" series twenty years from now.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

The 50th Anniversary of The Beatles' "All You Need is Love"

It was fifty years ago today, on June 25 1967, that The Beatles performed "All You Need is Love" live on the television special Our World. It was the first time the song was performed in public and it was used to close the programme.

Here it must be pointed out that Our World was not just any television special. It was the first live, international, television programme broadcast by satellite. It had been conceived by BBC producer Aubrey Singer, who would later become managing director of BBC Television. Nineteen different countries participated in the programme, each contributing something of their own. Among the artists who participated were legendary opera singer Maria Callas, actress Olivia Hussey, actor Milo O'Shea, painter Pablo Picasso, and many others. In all, Our World took ten months to put together.

Quite naturally, The Beatles were selected to represent the United Kingdom. The BBC asked only that The Beatles provide a song that could be easily understood by anyone. To this end, John Lennon wrote "All You Need is Love". Lyrically the song is very simple, while at the same time it conveyed an important message for an international broadcast.

The Beatles performed "All You Need is Love" at EMI's Studio One in London. A broadcast van was outside the studio which would broadcast the performance around the world via the satellites Intelsat I (Early Bird), Intelsat II (Lana Bird) and ATS-1. The performance took place at 9:36 PM GMT or, for those of us in the States, 3:36 PM Central time. During the performance The Beatles were surrounded by a number of famous friends, including Jane Asher (then Paul McCartney's girlfriend), Pattie Boyd (then married to George Harrison), Eric Clapton, Hunter Davies, Marianne Faithfull, Mick Jagger, Keith Moon, Graham Nash, and Keith Richards.

Today the Our World broadcast is best known for the performance of "All You Need is Love", but apparently not all British citizens were happy that The Beatles were representing the United Kingdom. In a memo written by a BBC official, who had been asked to assess viewer reaction, at the time, it was noted, "There was little specific comment on the separate parts of the programme apart from a volume of angry protests at the choice of The Beatles as one of the UK's contributions." Apparently some viewers did not think The Beatles were the best that Britain had to offer, especially when compared to what had been offered by many other countries. The BBC wisely never told The Beatles any of this, nor was it made public until decades afterwards. Of course, today most people do not know that Maria Callas and Pablo Picasso were part of the Our World special. What they do know is that it was the first time The Beatles performed "All You Need is Love" in public. It would seem the naysayers were wrong about the United Kingdom's choice of The Beatles to represent them on Our World.

The Beatles would tweak "All You Need is Love" a bit before it was released as a single on July 7 1967. It went to number one in both the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as several other countries.

Since there seem to be no clips of The Beatles' performance of "All You Need is Love" remaining online, here is the track from the single courtesy of Spotify.