Celebrating The 40th Anniversary Of
The Beatles Coming To America


This page presents ultra-rare archive audio clips relating to the 40th anniversary of the Beatles' breakthrough in America. The sound-bites include a few rare moments with the Beatles.

The clips primarily feature Washington DC radio disc-jockey CARROLL JAMES - and 15-year-old Maryland schoolgirl MARSHA ALBERT - the pair who unwittingly kick-started Beatlemania into full gear a full month earlier than the timetable carefully planned by the Beatles' US record company.


In mid-December 1963 - prompted by a letter from radio listener Marsha Albert requesting that he play the Beatles - and totally unaware that an American record release of the Beatles had been scheduled for the middle of January 1964 - DJ Carroll James secured a UK copy of "I Want To Hold Your Hand." He then invited the young schoolgirl to his radio studio to personally introduce the premiere of the record live on-air - on Tuesday December 17th 1963.

Because of the instant and massive positive public reaction to the record - Carroll James and WWDC (the station he worked for) started playing the song hourly. Within a few days of the unofficial premiere - Capitol Records took a snap decision and "I Want To Hold Your Hand" was rush-released in the USA on Thursday December 26th 1963 - three weeks earlier than the originally-scheduled release date.

Without the enthusiasm and actions of Marsha Albert and Carroll James in playing the record a month before its scheduled release date - the Beatles' first record would have been issued as originally-scheduled on January 14th 1964 - just 3 weeks before the Beatles' arrival in the US.

If that had happened - the record would not have had time to climb the charts and be in the #1 position for three crucial weeks PRIOR to the Beatles' arrival. Which was the principal trigger for the massive fan welcome at JFK and outside their NYC hotel - seen on live TV. Which in turn helped sparked the nationwide curiosity about the Beatles' phenomenon that caused a record 73 million people to tune in to see them on The Ed Sullivan Show on Sunday February 9th 1964.

It is incontrovertible that the last-minute decision to bring the record release forward by three weeks was the crucial factor in the extent and speed of the Beatles' American breakthrough. These historic audio clips illustrate what sparked that fateful decision.

  • Clip #1 - DJ Carroll James recalls how he first heard about the Beatles from 15-year-old schoolgirl Marsha Albert. This recollection leads into the historic sound clip from Tuesday December 17th 1963. Marsha Albert as a special guest on the Carroll James radio show (WWDC in Washington DC) introduces "I Want To Hold Your Hand" and gives the record its US premiere.

  • Clip #2 - The historic sound clip on its own. Marsha Albert as a special guest on the Carroll James radio show (WWDC in Washington DC) introduces "I Want To Hold Your Hand" and gives the record its US premiere.

  • Clip #3 - Carroll James snatches a brief interview with George Harrison (and jazz great Dizzie Gillespie) backstage after the Beatles' first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show on Sunday February 9th 1964.

  • Clip #4 - Tuesday February 11th 1964 - Carroll James interviews the Beatles backstage before their first-ever US concert - at the Washington Coliseum. Also heard is Marsha Albert who is introduced to the Beatles.

    (These assets are available by emailing Martin Lewis.)


These sound clips may be played by radio & TV outlets. The sound clips are courtesy of the Estate of Carroll James - which should be credited.

Please credit the remarkable story illustrated by these audio clips to its contemporary source - the new book by Bruce Spizer - "The Beatles Are Coming!" (498 Press)

For standard copyright reasons - this website cannot provide you with the audio of the Beatles song "I Want To Hold Your Hand"

However - if you wish to produce a sequence in which you exactly re-create the US radio premiere of "I Want To Hold Your Hand" - it is exceptionally easy to do.

  1. Get a copy of the song "I Want To Hold Your Hand." It is available on two Beatles CDs. Their hits compilation "1" and on "Past Masters - Volume One"

  2. Then simply edit together a sequence which plays Clip #2 (link above) followed by the song from the CD.

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