Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Good Day Sunshine State : A Book Review


I enjoy reading books that focus on and dive deep into a small part of the Beatles story.   Good Day Sunshine State: How the Beatles Rocked Florida by Bob Kealing is just the type of Beatles book I enjoy reading.

You think you know all of the stories about The Beatles visit in February 1964 to Miami, Florida. However,  Bob Kealing has interviewed people that were there and has discovered new stories and information about the days the Beatles spent in the sun.   I especially enjoyed hearing all about Sgt. Buddy and the friendship he formed with the Beatles and the story of how the Life magazine photographers got the famous shot of The Beatles in the swimming pool.

The book's second part deals with the Beatles' 1964 North American tour and their time spent in Key West (again, where Kealing interviewed important people from there that I had never heard of before).  One of the wonderful stories was about The Beatles jamming with a local musician in the early morning hours.  

A portion of the book discusses Martin Luther King and the racial strife in Florida in 1964.   While I have read a lot about Civil Rights, I was unfamiliar with what occurred in St. Augustine, Florida.   When you put the race issues going on just a few weeks before the Beatles' arrived in Florida and the fact that The Beatles refused to perform to a segregated audience, you realize the importance of their beliefs.  Kealing spoke with one of the Black girls who attended the Beatles Jacksonville concert alone.  It is a really great view of how different things were in the American south in the mid-1960s.  

I highly recommend Good Day Sunshine State.  It was an enlightening book with several "new" stories.  Many of them made me laugh and others made me think.  I think all Beatles fans will enjoy this refreshing look at The Beatles in Florida.

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your kind take on this book Sara. Best of luck on yours! This is a fantastic site and I mentioned it in the notes because of the many stories from real folks deeply affected by the Fab Four!