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sweetly, his composure broken only

when - horror of horrors - his guitar


a tercame unplugged. (Therewas
rible moment of silence. One expected
him to run down altogether, and dissolve into a pool of quivering static.)
George Hamson tuned his guitar continually, and seemed preoccupied mth
someone or something at stage right.
Ringo Starr, the drummer, seemed the
only authentic wild man of the group,
totally engrossed in his own private
cacophony. For the rest, it was Just another one-night stand.

.NOSOUL IN BEATLESVILLE
Alan Rinzler

Popular music in America is better


&
a
n ever. For thefirst time in the
history of the Top-Forty-Juke-BoxBest-sellers there is some correspondence between the singer and the song.
The best of todays vocalists - Diane
Warwick, Martha and the Vandellas,
Dusty Spnngfield,Patty Labelle and
the Blue Belles - are young people
singing from their own experience in
a stjrle that is a part of their particular heritage. They learned this music
at home, at church and in the neighborhood - andafter
bhe recording
session is over, its only natural that
they shquld keep on singing in the
same way about the same things.
I n &is sense, they are the real folk
singers of our time, far more authentic than the citybillys aoademically perfectimitation
of a sound
created- from an experience different
fx,om his own. As much as he sounds
like Leadbelly or Big Bill Broonzy,
Johnny Hammond did not grow up a
black man in the South; nor did the
New Lost City Ramblers learntheir
old-tlmey mountain
music
as poor
Kentucky ffarmers. Theirlmusical tradition Roes back no farther than some
very carefullistening,to old Library
of Congress tkpes and Folkways recordings.
Another group which musthave
spent agreat deal of timelately paying close attention to old records and
makingfaces in the mirror arethe
Beatles, four young men from ahe
mainstream of working-class Liverpool, with skin-tight, blue gray suits
(velvet lapels), mops of long brown
hair, and an electrical system guaranteed to numb the senses of even the
mostreluctantattendant.Theirrecentinvasion
of the United States
was the PR mans ,finest hour(reportedly, thirteen ,publicity firms
worked on the debut). For weeks the
national press, radio and TV, and the
slick magazines had inshucted novitiates on what to expect and how to
react. Beatle records blastedtheair
waves, promoted by disk jockeys
eager to claim s first discovery
(actually Beatle records were in this
country ten months ago, but noone
played them until the press agents got
1

to work). Whigs, $utfpnsJocks of h&,


wallpaper, the h$ur of their arrival in
New York, the exact location of their
daily activities, all contributed to a
triumphant exploitation of the affluent
teen-ager. By the time the Beatles
actually ,appeared on the stage at Carnegie Hall,,therewasnt a person in
thehouse
who didnt know exactly
what to do: flip, wig-out, flake, swan,
fall, get zonked - or at least try.,
\

The Beatles themselves were


impressive in their detachment. They
came to America for ~e money.
Theyattributetheir
success to our
press agent,. They looked down at
theirscreaming,undulatingaudience
with what appeared to be considerable
amusement, and no small understanding of what theirslightest twitch or
toss of head could produce. John Lennon; the leader of the group, seemed
particularly
contemptuous,
mocking
the audience several times during
the
evening, and openly ridiculing a young
girl in the first row who tried to claw
her way convulsively to &e stage.
Paul McCartney bobbed his head

Musically, the Beatles arean


and
anachronism. They come pure
unadulteratedfromtheearly
1950s,
the simple, halcyon days of rock. n
roll: Bill Haley and his Comets, Little
Richard,
Elvis
Presley, the
Eberle
Brothers, the Ted Steele Bandstand.
The Beatle sound is primitive rock n
roll - straight four-four rhythm, undistinguishable melody, basic ~ r e e chord guitar progressions electrically
amplified to a plaster-crumbling, glassshatteringpitch. Its loud, fast and
furious, totally uninfluenced by some
of the more sophisticated elements in
American music that have brightened
our pop scene i n recent years One can
only assume that Ray Charles, gospel,

Alan Rinzler i s a goung editor at


Simon & Schuster where he produced
the Young Folk Song Book. A student
of music f o r b a n y years, he has sung
i n koth2gp-@ar -a@ ~ o l kgroups;

After a season of quiet, the sounds of the Negro


revolt -the manifestoes, the marching footsteps,
the anthems of freedom-echoed in the landonce
more, The *fire in! the streets had been banked , .
when summer ebbed into fall, when the weather
turned c@l, when the student cadres returned to
school. But the flames were dancing again last I
week. A second year of revolution was at hand.

From a recent Newsweek stoly.

A glzmpse of how d e read these days.


Have y&read
Newsweek lately?
.

Newsweek
221

"LEADING

'CONTEND-ERST

National Book Awards


The judges for the 1964 National ,Book Awards are readlng widely to
find the books
that they will choose I n March.as the most d~stlngulshed.books-by,Ame~~can
authors
publiskd in theUnlted States during 1963. Some of the books tliev fmd mbst outdtanding are listed below:

'

POETRY

At the End of the Open Road

"_

.~

. "

- , ,

LOUIS $IwPSO.v:

-.

, t

'

We+yan

~.Collected and-New Poems.: 1924-1963 MARK VAN DQREN Hill and wahg
'
Moving.Targ$t W.5. MERWIN 'Atheneum ,

Selected
Poems
JOHN.CROWE'RANS0M
h o p f I.'
To Mix WithTime' MAY SWLNSONScribners
Judges: Jean Gatrigue,Anthony Hkcht, John Hall Wheelock

'

rhythq and blues, country and western, and ,other purer folk sound @as
yet to cross the Atlantic, The EI1gz
:fish &ways have 'been a bit behind us
"wltriess Olaver, a gqod old-fashioned
American musical comedy, or Suturdug Night and Sunday Morning and
-in the 1930s'
otherrealisticfilms
style. Often they do improve uponour models; the Beatles, with h e i r
American accents,their savagely delivered'musical
clichCs, their tight
pants, hair cuts and
wild 'gyrations,
are more -entertaining and intelligent
than anything we produced ten years
ago.
Butthe'BeatIes remain derivative, a
deliberate imitation of an American
genre, They -are surely n o t , singing
ih a musicd tradition 'which evolved
spontaneously Boin their own lives or
from a 'haturd:'habit
of expression. This is pcobably why the reaction at
Carnegie Hall was not a real response
td" a real stimulus.There
weren't
too many soul people here
that
night
either on the stage or, .in
the audience. Thefull
house was
made up Idrgelp of upper-middle-class
young ladies, stylishly dressed, carefully' made .up; brought into town by
ptivatecars
or ,suburbanbuses for
their night to howl; to let*go, scream,
bump, twistand
clutch themselves
ecstatically out "therein the floodlights
for everyone to see; and with ( d e full
blessings of .all Authority: indulgent
parents,
profiteering
businessmen,
gleeful national media, even ~e police.
Later they can all go home and grow
up like their mommies, but this was
theirchancetoattempt.
a very safe
and very private kind of raptpre. .
Most did what was expected bf them
and went home disappointed. Disappointed b,ecause nothing really passed
from the stagetotheaudience
that
night, n o r from one member 'of the
audience to another. There Was mayhem and clapping of .hands, but 'no
sense of a shared experience, none 02
theexuttation feltat aspontaneous
gathering of good folk musicians, or,
more important, at a civil rights rally
wherefreedom songs are sung.. The
spectacle of all those anguished young
grrls at Carnegie Hall, trying to follow
''I Warlt To Huld Your Hand," seems
awfully vapid compared to the young
men and women who sing "I Woke Up
This
Mornid
With ' My Miud"
(, , . Stayed-on Freedom). The Beatles
themselves are lively and not kithout
charm.Perhaps ,their greatest virpe
is their, sense of -humor . and -,selfcaricature. But Beatlemania as"a p h nomcnon is manlia for -dull uiinds.
. .
&e m
,rj N
.,. . .

. .

IOHN
Centaur
The
UPDIKE Knopf
The Group ' MARYMcCARTHY
Haicourf;Brace
add
World '
Jdlots
Fttst
BERNARD MALAMUD Fdrrar; Strads:. , ,',
' V THOMAS PYN'CHON Lippincott , .
The Wlll HARVEY SWADOS
World
- .-JudgesTJbhn-Ch'eever,Rob~eMacauley,Ph~l~pR~hv._-.
1

'
-

"

"

"

"

OTHER

ri

Anti-Intellectualism
Amerlcan
in
Life
RICHARD HOFSTADTER knopf
,
1.j Apollmalre:PoetAmongthePamters
FRANCIS STEEGMULLER ' Farrar,Straus j
Beyond the'Mehng Pot NATHAN GLAZER and DANIEL P.MOYNIHAN 'PMIT-Harvard
II
,
Change,
Hoperand
the
Bomb ;DAVID E. LILIENTHAL' 'Princeton
' .
.
f
;
TheCivjlfiar - SHELBY FOOTE. RdsIon'~', , ,_
.
The Fabulous Llfe of DlegoRiveraBERTRAM'D
WOLFE Stein andDay
The'Fire
Next
Tlme
'JAMES
BALDWIN Dlal
I
i
,
The Fzrst New Natlon SEYMOUR M. LIPSET Baslc Bboke .
j
John
Keats
The
Maklng
ofPoet
a
AILEEN WARD Viking
f. ',_.
JphDiKeats .WA.LTER~JACKSONB-ATE Hayard. 1
'
The Last
Horizon
R; F. DASMANN
Macmillan
Man-MadeAkotica:,ChaosorControl?
-' CHRISTOPHER-TUNNARD
and BORIS PUSHKAREV.Yale
The'Quiet Crms STEWART UDALL Holt; Rmehartand Winston
The South and the Southerner1 RALPH McdILL Atlantc Monthly Press-Llttk, Browt2.
'
Success Story-The t f e andTimes of 5. S McClure
PETER L Y O F ,.Scrlbners
' v a s p Farrri HOWARD ENSIGN EVANS Natural Hlstory;Pcess-.Do$bleday
' Jddges: 'Arts and Letfers-Charles
Rolo, John K. Sherman, Wylle Sypher
Science, Pf+!osophy and ReZlgion-Houston Peterson, Paul E Sears, George Shuster
Histcry nnd B!ography"BenJamin DeMott, James Thomas.Flexner, C. Van? Woodward
6

___

-I

I,

, . -

T h e NatlonaI Book Awards are administered by theNatlonal Bobk' Commlttee, a non-profit educatlonal association The awardsconslst of $1000
'prizes donated by the American Book Publishers .Counal, the Amefican
Booksellers Assonation,andthe Book ManufacturersInstltute.
'
F

-.

'

Watch for announcement of the winners-Tuesday,. March 10


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