50 Years Ago, The Beatles Invaded America

By MERRIS BADCOCK | mbadcock@whag.com

Published 02/07 2014 05:43PM

Updated 02/07 2014 07:41PM

WINCHESTER, Va. - February 7 of 1964 was a day that changed the face of pop culture. The Beatles had arrived and the whole country was watching.

"It was a tremendous success, both AM and FM at the time, and we had listeners in Hagerstown all the way to Richmond," said former WINC-FM Disc Jockey, Norman Mann.

And while radio stations and fans around the world were listening to The Beatles on repeat, small towns like Winchester, Virginia were the one's keeping The Beatles in business.

"We could turn out an excess of 100,000 to 120,000 albums easily a day,” said Chuck Jarrett.

Capitol Records, who originally signed The Beatles, had an album manufacturing plant in Winchester from 1969 to 1989. Jarrett worked at the plant for nine years.

"You know you don't really think about that, about shaping the course of history,” he said with a laugh. “The wonderful part of it was, you were listening to music all day long while you were there. You got to meet some of the artists who came in."

The Beatles were so successful, that at the height of their contract with Capitol Records, the plant would run seven days a week, 24 hours just to keep up with demand.

"The Winchester Capitol Records Plant, the majority of LPs and things from major artists were pressed in this area. And I know probably a majority of the Beatles albums were pressed here in the 60s,” Jarrett said.

It's a small town connection that contributed to big time success.

"It was like one big family. It was a wonderful place to work,” he said.

The Beatles arrived in the states on February 7, 1964, and made their famous appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show on February 9. 

The rest, as they say, is history.

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