Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Hello Goodbye

Here is today's story from the Feb 16, 1984 issue of Rolling Stone (issue 415). It is about Carroll James, who was the first deejay to have played 'I Wanna Hold Your Hand' on the air (note:  he is not the first person to play the Beatles on air).   

It was  a Tuesday.   The Beatles came by train because of the snow.  It was quite a mob scene at Union Station.  They picked them up in limos and got 'em over to the Coliseum, where they did a news conference at about there, four o'clock.  I was on the air at the time.  Then, after that, they came out to the studio for an interview.  There were times when I couldn't tell whether they were making fun of me or not.  For instance, when they talked about being influenced by Small Blind Johnny.  I said, "Small Blind Johnny?"

They said, "Oh yes, he played with Big Deaf Arthur."

Carroll- "John, they call you the chief Beatle..."

John- "Carroll, I don't call you names."

Carroll:  "What do you think of President Johnson?"

Ringo:  "We haven't met him.  Does he buy our records?"

Carroll:  "What are your favorite sports?"

Paul:  "Sleeping"

Carroll:  "Excluding America and England, what are your favorite counties you have visited?"

John:  "Excluding America and England, what's left?"

Carroll:  "Does anyone in the group speak a foreign language?"

Paul:  "We all speak fluent shoe."

Carroll:  "John, who was responsible for your haircuts?"

John:  "Well, Carroll, let's just say that it's bigger than both of us."

The whole story dates back to December 10th.  This young lady, Marsha Albert, saw them on the Cronkite news.  They did a piece from London or Liverpool.  now, I had seen it, too, but she wrote in to me and said, 'Hey, why don't we have some of this great music here?'

And I said, "All righty!  There's nothing we won't do for our listeners!  So we called up BOAC and within one or two days had the record flown over, and carried by a stewardess.

I listened to it and said, "I don't know.  It's a big hit there, but who knows what will happen here."  I was afraid to say, "This is it, baby."

Then I called up Marsha, asked her to come on the show and introduce it.  She said, "Ladies and gentlemen, for the first time in America, the Beatles singing 'I want to hold your hand.'

The switchboard lit up immediately.  The kids went absolutely wild.  They didn't just say, "We like it."   They said, "We want to hear it again."  So I did something I  had never done before.  I played the song a second time, I had it exclusively for about 10 days.  It became a very exciting time for me.


  1. The first issue of Rolling Stone was published in September of 1967. So this could not be from the Feb. 16, 1964 issue of RS as that would have been more than 3 and a half years before the magazine existed.

    1. Ooops...of course I meant 1984. I think I have been typing 1964 so much these past few days that I just automatically typed it that time. I will fix my type-o

  2. Any idea where the first pic was taken? It's on the first US tour Aug-Sept 1964.