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By Posted on 0 31

Some of the most famous photographs of past celebrities were taken by one man – photo journalist Harry Benson. He’s photographed all the presidents since Eisenhower, Bobby Kennedy’s assassination and Richard Nixon’s resignation.

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked to 87-year-old Scottish-born Benson about his iconic career. The multi-award winning photo journalist will be awarded in St. Louis and inducted into the International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum. He said he appreciates the award but that it was never his objective when he started his career.

“I wasn’t thinking of any awards,” Benson said. “…Basically, [I] just wanted to stay on the payroll at the end of the week.”


In regards to his work, he said he was never choosy. One day he would photograph The Beatles and the next he could be at the White House or covering a traffic accident. But sometimes, luck was on his side as well. He happened to be at the scene of Bobby Kennedy’s assassination. Amid the chaos, he took the iconic photo tied to that tragic event.


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“How The Beatles Changed The World” is a unique feature documentary reassessing the Beatles’ impact as artistic, social and cultural revolutionaries. With unlimited access to the ITN, ITV and Fox archives, including some footage that was only discovered for the first time last year, the film traces the band from class warriors to mystics of the psychedlic age. From the rock and roll boom and the band’s emergence in Liverpool, to the UFO club and Tim Leary, the CND, the Paris riots and Vietnam – this 110 minute film is an alternative cultural history of the most remarkable decade of the twentieth century – the 1960s – with the Beatles in the driving seat.

A fascinating story of the cultural, social, spiritual and musical revolution that was ignited by The Beatles, with revealing interviews and rarely-seen archival footage of the band.



This documentary presents a bold new take on the most significant band in the history of music and their enduring impact on popular culture.


By Posted on 0 19
“Exploring Fab Four Landmarks” by Sandi Anne Borowsky
Exploring Fab Four Landmarks is the culmination of Sandi’s 2013 trip to Liverpool and London where she visited, photographed and researched landmarks while walking in the footsteps of the Beatles. The book is being published by Covenant Books and is scheduled for a Spring 2018 release.
Sandi’ previous titles include the currently out-of-print title The Trip of a Lifetime, published in 2013 by Plantapress (ISBN 9780957332874), a personal memoir of 2011 trip to London and Liverpool to walk in the tracks of The Beatles, and a book about the history of Watervliet, NY.


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Birkenhead’s former Majestic Ballroom, where the Beatles made the first performance of their debut single Love Me Do and played more than 15 concerts in the 1960s, is due to be sold at auction next month. Built as a cinema in 1916 and most recently used as a Chinese restaurant, the property’s glory days were in the 1960s when it became a dance hall and music venue at the centre of the Liverpool and Merseyside music scene.

Between 1961 and 1963, the Beatles appeared no fewer than 17 times at the Majestic Ballroom, which was then owned by the Top Rank entertainment group. At one sell-out appearance the crowd was so large that a further two shows had to be arranged to accommodate disappointed fans who had been unable to get tickets.

The venue was also the site of Cilla Black’s first, unsuccessful, audition for Brian Epstein and the backdrop to gigs by the Rolling Stones, the Searchers and many others. The iconic 10,000 sq ft property is due to go under the hammer at Pugh’s next North West property auction, in Manchester on 5 December, with a guide price of £175,000. Pugh managing director Paul Thompson said: “It’s a privilege to be auctioning a property which gained legendary status in a decade that was ground-breaking for the music scene in Liverpool, and when the city was propelled on to the world stage.

“This is an exciting time for Birkenhead, with £1bn of regeneration at key Wirral development sites including Birkenhead town centre announced by the council just last month.“With the relevant planning consent, the Majestic Ballroom could be redeveloped for a variety of leisure uses as it’s in a great central location, close to the main shopping and entertainment area of town. It would be fantastic if we could see the building restored to its former glory.”

Established 25 years ago, Pugh was acquired by property consultant Eddisons last year and now has a team of 36 staff. The firm sold £100m of property at auction in 2016. Pugh’s North West auction will be held in Manchester at the AJ Bell Stadium on 5 December. The firm’s Yorkshire and North East auction will be held at Leeds United’s Elland Road Stadium on 7 December.

The full catalogue is available to view at


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The Beatles were caught on camera by actor Leo McKern while on location in the Austrian Alps for the 1965 movie Help!. McKern was cast as Clang, the leader of a mystical cult determined to recover a ring from Ringo Starr’s finger which would enable a sacrifice to proceed. The late actor was a keen amateur photographer who took images on the major locations of the film – Obertauern in Austria, the Bahamas and Salisbury Plain. He also put together a reel of 8mm film, running time 14 minutes 55 seconds and with no sound, which captured the Beatles and fellow cast and crew members in March 1965.

The footage is bookended by shots of McKern’s then 10-year-old daughter, who grew up to become the actress Abigail McKern, sledging down a variety of inclines, taking a ride on a cable car and playing with her baby sister. The film captures the Beatles being transported by snowmobile to a rehearsal with a stuntman for the sequence in which Ringo is lassoed from a sledge and dangles upside down from a ski-lift cable. The band also have a go at tobogganing and play brass instruments at the bottom of the ski run, while George Harrison and John Lennon play a game of curling.

The auction takes places at Warrington-based Omega Auctions on November 20


By Posted on 0 27

The man who made the The Beatles’ first suits has died aged 83.

Walter Smith crafted thousands of bespoke suits at his shop, Craft Tailoring, in the city centre .

But the tailor, who also served on Wirral Council , secured his place in music history after he suited and booted Liverpool’s fabulous four back in 1962.One of his regular customers was Brian Epstein and one day that summer he walked into the shop looking for clothes for the four lads in his new up and coming band.

Speaking to the ECHO four years ago about the experience he said: “It’s funny. I had no idea on that Wednesday 50 years ago that those four lads would go on to do so much. Even with that silly name.”

When the boys came in for a measuring and fitting of the blue wool and silk mix suit, with a thin-lapel box jacket with drop shoulders and drainpipe trousers, Walter had two requests: one to leave their stinking, sweaty boots outside and another to watch their language.

The suits were made in a fortnight ready for the Beatles’ first TV appearance on Granada. And his shop became a regular stopping off point for Beatles tours.


Mr Smith was also deeply involved in local politics and was elected councillor for the then Egerton Ward on Wirral Council in 1979.

Frank Field, MP for Birkenhead , said: “Walter’s death robs the Wirral and the wider Merseyside region of a towering ethical socialist who devoted the whole of his life to establishing the common good. To his family I send my sincere condolences.

“Walter was the Chairman of the Birkenhead Labour Party that selected me in January 1979 to be MP for Birkenhead. My mind is full of all the wonderful things Walter achieved in his life- but how could it be otherwise given the life he lived?”