One Day in Your Life: February 10, 1964

February 10, 1964, was a Monday. By a vote of 290 to 130, the House of Representatives passes the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and sends it to the Senate. President Lyndon Johnson makes a statement in the Cabinet Room regarding the certification of the 24th Amendment to the Constitution, which gained enough states for ratification late last month. Johnson also sends a message to Congress advocating adoption of a public-health program that will be known as Medicare, and he releases a report recommending a new system of satellites for global communication. Two Australian navy ships on maneuvers collide in Jervis Bay; 81 sailors die. Future media personality Glenn Beck is born. The Rotary Club of Dickinson, Texas, holds its first meeting. The Manley Popcorn Machine company, which makes commercial poppers and other concession equipment used in theaters, stadiums, and schools, gets a patent for a new control mechanism.

Guests on The Ed Sullivan Show last night included Terry McDermott, America’s lone gold-medal winner at the just-completed Winter Olympics, held in Innsbruck, Austria, and the Beatles. (Before the show, McDermott, who is a barber, was photographed pretending to cut Paul McCartney’s hair.) Today, the Beatles hold a press conference at the Plaza Hotel in New York, where they are presented with gold records for Meet the Beatles and “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” They will remain in the city until tomorrow, when a snowstorm will force them to take a train to Washington, D.C., for the first date on their American tour. On TV tonight, ABC airs The Outer Limits and Wagon Train; CBS has episodes of I’ve Got a Secret (with special guest Jonathan Winters), The Lucy Show, The Danny Thomas Show, The Andy Griffith Show, and East Side, West Side, which stars George C. Scott as a New York social worker. Tonight’s episode of the latter is the pilot, which has never been broadcast because some roles were recast with different actors before the series premiered last September. CBS is apparently running it at last because they’ve decided to cancel the show.

Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers record an entire album, to be called Free for All. An item in the Harvard Crimson announces that Bob Dylan will be the featured performer on Jubilee Weekend in April. Del Shannon will also appear.  At WIBG in Philadelphia, where DJs Joe Niagara and Hy Lit call themselves the fifth and sixth Beatles, “I Want to Hold Your Hand’ and “I Saw Her Standing There” are co-#1s on the station’s survey. The Beatles are also at #3 with “She Loves You” (tucked in behind Lesley Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me”), at #13 with “Please Please Me” and “From Me to You,” and at #44 with “My Bonnie,” an old recording with Tony Sheridan. The hottest record on the survey does not belong to the Beatles, however: “Dawn” by the Four Seasons is up to #6 from #34. Others in the top 10 are Major Lance (“Um, Um, Um, Um, Um”), Rick Nelson (“For You”), the Marketts (“Out of Limits”), Andy Williams (“A Fool Never Learns”), the Impressions (“Talking About My Baby”), and the Tams (“What Kind of Fool”). Notable farther down: “My Boyfriend Got a Beatle Haircut” by Donna Lynn (#71) and  “The Boy With the Beatle Hair” by the Swans (#84).

Perspective From the Present: Donna Lynn was 14 in 1964, and she actually got a whole album out of her novelty single. It features chipper-sounding versions of several recently popular songs and something called “I Had a Dream I Was a Beatle,” which sounds almost exactly like “My Boyfriend Got a Beatle Haircut.” The Swans’ “The Boy With the Beatle Hair” was released on Philadelphia’s Cameo label and is far better than “My Boyfriend Got a Beatle Haircut,” by a long shot. Both made the Hot 100; Lynn got to #83 and the Swans to #85 , peaking in early March.

But the Beatles proved to have somewhat greater staying power.

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4 responses

  1. Somehow, Joe Niagara and Hy Lit got shouldered aside in the great, long-smoldering who-was-the-fifth-Beatle? discussion.

  2. if you like this Beatle answer stuff (like I do) here’s a show from KFAI, 12-8-06 called “Not the Beatles,” an hour-and-a-half of this type of thing. It’s not annotated so you don’t know what’s coming up and there are some real stinkers but you can take it in small bites.

    https://archive.org/details/rrr-2006-12-08

  3. Never thought I’d get into a hair-pulling tussle, but how can you say the Swans record is far better by a long shot than Donna Lynn’s? The latter is a hell of a lot catchier, with a still-contemporary 1963-’64 girl-group sound, while the former cops its musical template straight from Patience & Prudence’s “Gonna Get Along With You Now,” which had already sounded positively ancient back in 1956.

    Round one: Donna 1, Swans 0

    The real deal-breaker is that “Beatle Hair” wimps out with a fade. Would it have killed them to wrap it up in true, teen-drama fashion, where that boy over there with the Beatle hair actually *did* “come and dance with me?” Nearly two-and-a-half minutes was wasted with all that wishful thinking, while Donna already owned the Fabs-coiffured boyfriend from her opening line.

    Final score: Donna 2, Swans 0

  4. Yah Shure’s note above is one of my favorite comments ever posted here, especially the last sentence. But I LOVE Donna Lynn’s “My Boyfriend Got a Beatle Haircut” (which even has a great stereo mix); as he noted, it’s totally in keeping with the girl-group sound of its day, and she sings it with great confidence. Don’t despair, Donna — we’re on your side.

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