Cincinnati • Sunday, August 21, 1966

ConcertBy The Beatles • Part of the Summer 1966 US tour
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Crosley Field

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The Beatles were scheduled to perform at Crosley Field in Cincinnati on the evening of August 20, 1966. However, a huge storm rolled in while the opening acts (The Remains, Bobby Hebb, The Cyrkle, and The Ronettes) were performing, forcing the concert to be cancelled before The Beatles took the stage.

The Beatles already had a show scheduled for the next evening in St. Louis, so they rescheduled the Cincinnati concert for the early afternoon of August 21.

About 15,000 people attended the cancelled concert on Saturday, but only about 12,000 were able to make it back for the postponed concert on Sunday.

After the Cincinnati concert, The Beatles boarded a plane to St. Louis, where they performed that same night. This marked the only time in their career that The Beatles played two different American cities on the same day.

We got up at 7:30 AM and got to Crosley Field by 11:15 AM, all checked out of the hotel. When I went out to the stage to tune my guitar, there was water in the guitar case from the rainstorm last night. Damn! A wet guitar. The show was at noon. It was sunny and hot, but very pleasant to be playing during the day under a blue sky. We had a canopy over the stage that kept the sun off of us, so it was cool. No electrical shocks from my guitar. […]

I’m on the plane now. We’re landing in St. Louis for a show here and flying to New York afterwards, arriving at 3 AM. What a long day, but it’ll be groovy to go home and sleep in my own bed.

Barry Tashian – Leader of the Remains, one of the opening acts of the Beatles for the 1966 US Tour – From “Ticket To ride – The Extraordinary Diary of The Beatles’ Last Tour” by Barry Tashian

Sunday was hot and humid; by this time, there was a canopy over the stage, effectively blocking the upper seats from any view of Ringo. It wasn’t a very large crowd for the performance — most of the kids were jammed into the corridor outside The Beatles’ dressing room.

When The Beatles got on stage and hit the guitar strings, Paul made a face and yelled something at Malcolm, their equipment manager. It seems that his amplifier had been damaged in the rain and sounded like a “fuzz box.” He couldn’t force himself to smile during the entire show. He wasn’t feeling well, and he felt terrible having to perform under bad conditions. Fans in Cincinnati got to see The Beatles, but they didn’t see them at their best.

The Beatles escaped via limousine, while the rest of us plowed out in a bus, hot, sticky, and looking forward to that air-conditioned plane. Goodbye, Cincinnati.

Judith Sims – From TeenSet Magazine – Quoted in “Ticket To ride – The Extraordinary Diary of The Beatles’ Last Tour” by Barry Tashian

I was actually at this show. It rained like hell the night before and the concert took place at 12:00 noon on Sunday. Price of the ticket – $3.00. Oh my goodness. I was in 8th grade. We were from Texas, visiting relatives in Chicago and Detroit, but my dad finally relented and took me to see them at Crosley Field. Awesome!

Margaret – From Meet the Beatles for Real: Fans remember the hot Beatles show

I saw them 8/21/66 at Crosley Field, Cincinnati. We were rained out the previous night and the Fabs, even with McC having been reportedly sick that night, agreed to do a show the next sweltering afternoon.

The speakers run out from the second base stage were horns; the “flat’ three-hole kind. Being in the first row in an open-air setting enabled me to hear the band.

They were rather ragged as I recall. I do remember them nailing “Paperback Writer” and “If I Needed Someone”. Paul mangled “Yesterday” and I wondered if the key was too high for him that day.

“fabgear” – From Meet the Beatles for Real: Fans remember the hot Beatles show

From, May 9, 2017:

They took to the stage on Aug. 21, 1966, after the performance was cancelled the previous night, then flew to St. Louis for a concert that evening – the only time the Beatles played two cities on the same day.

No one knew at the time that just eight days later they would play their last show – at Candlestick Park in San Francisco – and then stop touring all together. […] For the lucky ones who were at the concert, that indelible experience is captured in memory. […]

Girls were screaming everywhere, a shrill roar every time someone glimpsed a mop-top from the player’s tunnel at the Reds’ ballpark. Handmade signs draped from the upper deck proclaimed “Beatles – We Luv Ya” and “Hi Ringo.”

The opening acts went on. The Remains, Bobby Hebb crooning “Sunny,” then the Cyrkle singing “Red Rubber Ball” and the Ronettes (minus Ronnie Bennett). Good solid groups, all of them, but not the Beatles.

It had been two years since Beatlemania had exploded, a tonic for the nation’s ills after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The WSAI-AM “Good Guys” DJs had brought the Fab Four to Cincinnati Gardens on their first U.S. tour in August 1964.

The concert was a smashing success, and the lads were booked at Crosley Field for the 1966 U.S. tour. It didn’t go smoothly.

The concert had been scheduled for 8:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 20, 1966. Tickets sold for $4.75, up to $5.50.

Just before show time, the rain started coming down hard. For two hours, fans in the exposed stands of Crosley Field were drenched as they waited and waited for the Beatles to come out. The promoters hadn’t put up a canopy, in violation of the contract, so the stage was sopping wet.

“Cincinnati was an open-air venue, and they had a bandstand in the centre of the ballpark, with a canvas top on it,” George Harrison recalled. “It was really bad weather, pouring with rain, and when Mal [Evans, the Beatles’ road manager] got there to set up the equipment he said, ‘Where’s the electricity power feed?’ And the fella said, ‘What do you mean, electricity? I thought they played guitars.’ He didn’t even know we played electric guitars.

“It was so wet that we couldn’t play. They’d brought in the electricity, but the stage was soaking and we would have been electrocuted, so we cancelled – the only gig we ever missed.”

About 10:25 p.m., a spokesman announced that due the threat that the Beatles could be electrocuted the concert was cancelled. Disappointed teens threw away their tickets.

Backstage, John Lennon stepped up and agreed that they would come back to play the next day. The band spent the night at Vernon Manor in Mount Auburn.

The Enquirer headline: “Beatles All Wet But They’ll Be Back Noon Today.”

After church on Sunday morning, the teen-age crowd filed back to their seats. Ticket stubs were slashed with a black marker for re-admittance.

About 1:30 p.m., the Beatles finally emerged from the player’s tunnel near third base, their guitars slung over their shoulders, and trotted out to the stage. The crowd took to their feet. The stage, now under a canopy, was at second base, some 100 feet from the audience, and a row of policemen (with cotton in their ears) stood as a barricade for overzealous fans.

The Beatles wore matching gray suits with red pinstripes and blue paisley shirts. George sported small round sunglasses, and he and Paul waved, exciting the girls.

The screaming was non-stop.

Then, a guitar jangled and John started singing. Justletmehearsomeofthat rock and roll music!

The crowd roared. The band had no monitors so they couldn’t hear themselves play.

Two huge speakers blasted out the music and you could actually hear their singing unless you were too close to a hysterical teenager or were one of them.

“I reckon we could send out four waxwork dummies of ourselves and that would satisfy the crowds,” John Lennon once said. “Beatles concerts are nothing to do with the music any more. They’re just bloody tribal rites.”

That summer, the luster of Beatlemania had started to fade. […]
The reaction in the Bible Belt to the “more popular than Jesus” quote, taken out of context, was swift and vicious. […] Shows were no longer selling out. The stands at Crosley were half full. About 15,000 fans filled two decks of a ballpark that seated 30,000. […]

“We had to get up early and get on and play the concert at midday, then take all the gear apart and go to the airport, fly to St. Louis, set up and play the gig originally planned for that day,” George recalled. “In those days all we had were three amps, three guitars, and a set of drums. Imagine trying to do it now!”

The St. Louis show that night also had a torrential downpour, but the Beatles were protected under a canopy and played the show.

We were having to worry about the rain getting in the amps and this took us right back to the Cavern days – it was worse than those early days,” Paul McCartney remembered. “And I don’t even think the house was full.

The experience convinced Paul to stop touring.

I finally agreed. I’d been trying to say, ‘Ah, touring’s good and it keeps us sharp. We need touring, and musicians need to play. Keep music live.’ I had held on that attitude when there were doubts, but finally I agreed with them. George and John were the ones most against touring; they got particularly fed up. So we agreed to say nothing, but never to tour again.” [….]

From Выступления в Цинциннати и Сент-Луисе – The Beatles History (
From Paul McCartney and John Lennon On Stage, Crosley Field, Cincinnati, OH, August 21, 1966 #1 | Bob Bonis Archive – In this magnificent photograph, taken by the band’s U.S. Tour Manager Bob Bonis, John Lennon and Paul McCartney seem to be singing to each other, while performing an afternoon concert in Cincinnati, Ohio on August 21, 1966.
From – Beatles fans scream and shout for the Fab Four at the concert at Crosley Field on Aug. 21, 1966. Fred Straub
Photo: Dayton Daily News archive

I lived my first 20 years in Cincinnati. My dad, Fred Straub, worked at the Cincinnati Enquirer as long as I could remember. He eventually aspired to Chief Photographer’, until his retirement in 1995. As such, he had access to virtually any newsworthy activity in the tri-state area. He travelled with the cincinnati reds to spring training and knew ‘the big red machine’ personally. We couldn’t walk anywhere downtown without someone saying “hey, Fred!”.

I wasn’t a rabid music fan until the Beatles. I got swept up in the Beatlemania like so many others at that time. I was 12 in ’66 and across the street was my 10-year-old girlfriend. We couldn’t get enough of the Beatles. My dad, however, wasn’t all that impressed with them, but when they returned to Cincy in 1966, Dad took covering the concert and decided to let me and her tag along. Sadly for her, her mother said, “Absolutely not!”. Maybe it was the ‘long hair’, but I suspect it had more to do with Lennon’s fairly recent ‘Jesus’ mess. To this day, my once was girlfriend has a strong resentment for her mom’s choice.

We got to Crosley and hung out in the third-base dugout. Being as the stage was out in the field on second base, there was no ‘backstage’. Some guy came by and said, “Fred, you going to the press conference?”, to which he replied, “no”. You can imagine how bummed I was. He realized later that was a mistake. Other groups came on stage and Dad went out to cover them, while I waited in the dugout for the fabs.

When the time came, we walked out onto the field and to the stage. The noise was tremendous: so much screaming for the duration of the 25 minute show. Luckily, I was close enough to actually hear their voices directly. I nodded and waved to them, and they responded with a smile and nod. Pretty cool, yet wildly surreal.

I did record the show on a small cassette recorder, which were fairly new at the time, but it was haphazard and sounded like crap. I have no idea what happened to the cassette as I never saw it again after awhile. Dad probably recorded jazz over it.

Dad was busy snapping shots and, eventually, the show was over and The Beatles literally ran off to St. Louis. We went to the Enquirer to develop the film and make prints; his photos were instantly in high demand. He offered a set of three 8 x 10 black and-white photos, depicting the four Fabs. I now have all the negatives.

Son of Fred Straub – Photographer for the the Cincinnati Enquirer – From 08.21.66 (
From Beatles 1966 Cincinnati Concert Photos. Includes 13 b&w | Lot #30308 | Heritage Auctions ( – Beatles 1966 Cincinnati Concert Photos. Includes 13 b&w snapshots and three b&w 8″ x 10″ photos of the Beatles’ taken by Cincinnati Enquirer photographer Fred Straub during their August 21, 1966 performance at Crosley Field. The concert was originally scheduled for the day before but was delayed due to heavy rain. They also had a show scheduled in St. Louis on that day, meaning they had to give two concerts on the same day in cities that were 341 miles apart, ultimately flying to St. Louis to perform the second show at Busch Stadium at 8:30 p.m. — in heavy rain. The photos are in Very Fine condition, with photographer stamps on the reverse of the larger shots. Also included is a letter from Straub that accompanied the photos when they were originally purchased.
From Crosley Field, Cincinnati, today in 1966 – photobombed by the 12-year-old son of Cincinnati Enquirer lensman Fred Straub. : r/beatles (

Double-Header With the Beatles

If there are two unusual items in this world they are the Beatles and Beatles fans. Mix it with rain and you have instant chaos, but the “double-header” finally turned out well at Crosley Field over the weekend.

The Beatles performed before about 12,000 young fans Sunday noon after a steady rain had forced cancellation of the original Saturday night plans. About 15,000 people had arrived for the Saturday show. But many of them were unable to return Sunday. Since the show did eventually go on, no refunds are likely for the thousands unable to come back. Dino Santangelo and Steve Kirk, promoters of the Beatles date here, weren’t able to tote up the score by the time the Beatles flew out of Greater Cincinnati Airport Sunday at 4 pm. It will take several days to sort out the many complications caused by the last-minute postponement of the concert.

But the box office gross didn’t quite reach the break-even point by Saturday night. And the extra financial obligations for the Sunday performance, which includes about $4000 for police protection, might be steep. The Beatles left with $60,000. That was their guarantee, reduced from the original $75,000 contract after John Lennon’s controversial remarks about Christianity reportedly hurt ticket sales in several cities.

SUNDAY’S SHOW was as smooth as Saturday’s affair was nightmarish. Veteran police officers asked me to compliment the young audience on its Sunday behavior. Only one girl caused any real trouble and she was taken to Juvenile detention after repeatedly trying to reach the Beatles dressing room. There were, of course, the usual assortment of weeping girls after the show, a present-day phenomenon brought on by the mass hysteria generated in the thrill of finally getting within a few hundred feet of their heroes. The girls are as much a part of the Beatles show as the Beatles – more actually, since the Beatles were in sight barely half an hour. The girls wore gaudy “I Love John” pins, and several strung signs throughout the baseball park “Beatles, We Luv Ya,” was typical but the most original was “Long Live Bernard Webb.” It was presumed Bernard Webb owned the sign (next year a Bernard Webb concert?)

AS FOR ANY actual critical review of the Beatles, it is hardly possible— or necessary. I got so close my nose was on their stage. And this time I could hear their music, since the constant screaming was dissipated into the open air. They sang “Paperback Writer” and “Yesterday” and “Nowhere Man” and “Long Tall Sally,” among others, and seemed to be having a good time.

The boys wore grey suits with plum striping (in the dressing room Saturday night Paul McCartney had showed me his red belt and said it was our team colors, meaning the Red-legs) and their trousers tapered into a slight bellbottom effect. Lenon had sunglasses of yellow hue, George Harrison featured the small, round granny glasses, and the only major difference between the four was their shoes. McCartney wore boots. Harrison moccasins, Lennon a smart pair of red suedes and Ringo had an ordinary pair of dress shoes.

After the show they were hustled into an unmarked police cruiser which took off for the Centerfield exit door. One girl eluded police to get out of the stands and through the door but the Beatles by this time were gone and she was greeted on the street by the police. “Oh, well,” she said. “I tried.”

THE BEATLES were preceded on stage by the Remains, the Cyrkle, Bobby Nebb and the Ronettes. The young Cyrkle boys were interesting but all the acts were on far too long and the Beatles portion was far too short. A standard star act does a 45-minute turn. This is routine in show business. And for $60,000, the star should contribute even more. An hour of the Beatles would have been a more fair repayment for their audience.

The Saturday night rain-out was really something. It started pouring just before show time. The stage covering hadn’t been installed and before it could be, all electrical outlets were too soggy to permit the electric guitars to be used.
Still, I’m told, the Beatles were insisting that since the audience was getting wet. they were willing to get wet, too. But the danger of electrocution was a major factor.

ANOTHER MESSY part of the complexity was the need to get permission to use Crosley Field again Sunday. John Murdough of the Redleg staff couldn’t reach owner Bill DeWitt but finally talked to Bill DeWitt Jr. At 10:25 pm, after allowing the Beatles enough time to slip out of the park, the audience was told of the new plans. I must say they took it nicely, though there were tears from one group of girls who had to leave for camp today, and angry grumbling from out-of-towners who couldn’t come back.

The patrons were admitted Sunday via their ticket stubs. Those who had lost them still managed to get in Sunday, when Santangelo and Kirk agreed to let all such claimants in 15 minutes before showtime. They figured the number of people who would “sneak” in that way would be insignificant compared to the service to the genuine ticket buyers.

The traffic jam Saturday night was monumental. It was tamer Sunday. Trouble stemmed from need for parents to drop their children off and come back to pick them up.

MY BACKSTAGE conversation with the Beatles will be carried on these pages within a day or two. Meanwhile, these final notes: A patient non-official member of the audience Saturday night and Sunday noon was Col. Stanley Schrotel, head of the police department, with his family… A 14-year-old from Lexington was persuaded to give up plans to charter a helicopter and land in the middle of Crosley Field. She wanted to give the Beatles the keys to the city, which Lexington mayor Fred Fugazzi donated. One teen-age girl lost both contact lenses while jumping up and down during the Saturday excitement… John Lennon of the Beatles crooks his neck in rhythm, much like a Balinese dancer, as he performs… Some of the girls yelled “traitor” and “fiend” at me after my story that the Beatles brushed off their fans… And staff photographer Gordon Baer was given a ring by one of the girls to give to Ringo Starr — but the Beatles ignore most gifts. They get too many to keep.

Luving Fans Return by 1000s To Adore Beatles

“I finally got to see them!” beamed a teen-age girl. Another cornered a sponsoring disc jockey and pleaded, “Please bring them back next year, oh, please!” Two girls put their arms around each other and sobbed until a policeman said kindly, “Why don’t you go on home, girls.” A boy with them just shook his head and moaned.

THIS WAS at the end of the Beatles’ concert. During the concert, no one had time to talk. The thousands of fans were too busy screaming, wiping tears and hair out of their eyes so they could see the stage and waving their “We luv you” placards. They were well-behaved. One girl tried to break away from police to run onto the infield, but submitted to being led back to her seat.

Several fans tried to scale the dugout roof but decided the police would never let them past, so they gave up. They offered to pay policemen and news photographers to touch the hands which might have brushed against one of the hallowed four.

MOST IMPORTANT of all, they came back from Saturday night’s rainy cancelation. One girl said she made her parents postpone their vacation one day so she could come to the concert. “Let me touch you or I’ll die! I love you. John,” cried one girl, giving her heart, soul and straight long hair to the Beatles.

Another screamed.“I wish my hair looked like his!” as Ringo bobbed his head to keep time with his drumming. During the show, one policeman seemed extremely content in the midst of all the wailing as he stood guarding the fence between the audience add the Beatles on the second-base stage. The reason: His ears were plugged with cotton!

From The Cincinnati Post – August 22, 1966
From The Cincinnati Post – August 22, 1966

Beatles Cincinnati Turnout Is Only Half Of Prior Visit

CINCINNATI. Ohio (UPI) – Cincinnati’s teenagers still love the Beatles — but perhaps only half as much. A crowd estimated at 8.000 turned out at Crosley Field Saturday night, braving a drizzling rain, wind and thunderclaps to cheer the British quartet. A crowd of 20,000 had been predicted. The advance ticket sale for this concert in April was 14,000 and another 5,000 went on sale Saturday. When the Beatles appeared here in 1964 they attracted 15,000 spectators.

The Beatles arrived here at 2:45 a.m. Saturday from a Friday performance in Memphis, Tenn. Four policemen guarded their hotel room to prevent over-zealous fans from storming the door. At the ballpark, an estimated 500 teenagers tried unsuccessfully to crash the gate when the bus carrying the singers arrived.

The Beatles performed in Cleveland last Sunday and drew about 25,000 despite the controversy over John Lennon’s recent remarks about religion.

In Memphis, the Beatles proved they can outdraw religion — even in the Bible Belt. Some 20,128 screaming customers turned up at the Coliseum where the Beatles appeared and only 8,000 youths came to a religious rally being staged by ministers to protest the Beatles concert.

Six Ku Klux Klansmen picketed the Beatles show and three persons were slightly injured when a cherry bomb exploded j in the audience. Another cherry bomb landed at Ringo Starr’s feet. The Beatles did not miss a note.

From The Modesto Bee – August 21, 1966
From The Modesto Bee – August 21, 1966

It’s Yeh, Yeh, Yeah for Beatles’ Show

Yeh, yeh, yeah… And the Beatles finally made it to Crosley Field Sunday afternoon. 

The sun occasionally peered through a milky sky and by show time, high noon, a very blue, puffy-clouded sky smiled down on the Cyrkle, the Ronettes, the Remain, Bobbie Hebb and none other than the long-awaited Beatles.  

Most of the estimated crowd of 15,000, which withstood Saturday night’s disappointment, made it back yesterday.   Consisting primarily of teenage girls, both Saturday and Sunday’s fans were to be commended on their patience and all ’round orderliness.

What could have turned into a rather messy occasion was handled with utmost decorum. About 150 of “Cincinnati’s finest” were on hand at both performances to make sure there were no disastrous consequences. The stage, situated on second base, reminded me much of a carrousel with the peaked tarp covering the platform and the policemen circled around the circumference.

After all kinds of “thank yous” and “the Beatles are here” from WSAI Good Guys, the first act to come out was the Remains. For all of you rather more seasoned teenagers, the Remains have appeared on the Ed Sullivan show, probably the night you just happened not to be home. They opened with “Hang on Sloopy” and their other numbers included “Don’t Look Back,” “Walkin’ the dog” and “I’m a Man.”

Singer Bobbie Hebb probably would have sounded much better had the Remains remained a little softer with their accompaniment.  During Bobbie’s act, many fans were part of a mass exodus – some undoubtedly had seen the Beatles emerge from their dressing room.

I must admit that Hebb did frighten me a bit. A couple of times I thought he would propel right off the stage. His big hit, “Sunny” brought out the first real signs of enthusiasm in the audience.

The Cyrkle, billed as a new sound in today’s music world, appeared bedecked in red and black striped blazers.  Singing “Why can’t you Give Me What I Want” and a medley of songs made famous by other groups, they were a favorite of the afternoon.

The Ronettes did not evoke quite as many squeals and screams from the mostly female audience, but they are a talented trio of young ladies who can produce a good sound.  Their big tunes were “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,”  “Walkin in the Rain” and “What’d I Say?”

Although the fans seemingly enjoyed the acts prior to the Beatles, they did not come alive until their idols were brought before them. You should have heard the noise!  Prior to their appearance, the fans were warned to stay in their seats – kinda like the roller coaster, but when they were announced, the entire audience rose en masse. The screaming, with was absolutely deafening, continued through the performance. 

I don’t know what their magnetism is — perhaps it’s because they were THE first – it’s hard to say, but you have to admit that their sound is good, head and shoulders above anything heard previously that day.

And they really put on a show, certainly not lettering their loyal fans go away unsatisfied. They were working under rather adverse circumstances, too; their arrival marred by an incident at Lunken airport, last night’s rain out with more than a few unhappy customers, to say nothing of their running rivalry with Jesus.

Saturday night’s antics were inexcusable on the part of the promoters, but thanks to a great bunch of kids and surprising number of adults, the backers came out smelling like the proverbial rose.

Never have so many badges “I Love George, John, Paul and Ringo” been seen on so few:  never have I seen so many binoculars!

Yeh…Yeh, Yeh…kids, you’re great!

From The Cincinnati Enquirer – August 22, 1966
From The Cincinnati Enquirer – August 22, 1966

To Auction Towels Used By Beatles

CINCINNATI (UPI) – Beatles fans will have an opportunity to buy the hotel towels used by the rock and rollers during their stay here last weekend. Donated by the Vernon Manor Hotel, the towels will be auctioned off during a Boy Scout carnival at Clifton Primary School Saturday night. Proceeds from the auction will go to the heart fund at Children’s Hospital here.

From Telegraph-Forum – August 24, 1966
From Telegraph-Forum – August 24, 1966

On August 16, in Philadelphia, Paul McCartney sat down for an interview with DJ Ken Douglas. A few days following their conversation, McCartney penned a postcard to Douglas, which was notably signed by all four members of The Beatles. This postcard was postmarked from Cincinnati on August 21, 1966.

From The Beatles Autographs – Presented by Frank Caiazzo – Handwritten Items:

In the late fall of 1966, a charity LP called “Beatleviews-66” was released. The record contained interviews conducted with the Beatles while on their 1966 tour of North America.  The narrator of the LP was Ken Douglas, a deejay from radio station WKLO in Louisville, Kentucky. In the mid-1960s, Douglas was somewhat of an anomaly among deejays in America. He was British. As might be expected, amid all of the fan frenzy surrounding the Beatles and other British groups, this made Douglas (and his accent) very popular among listeners of WKLO. Never mind that he had long hair, vaguely resembled George Harrison and wore clothes that looked to be straight out of Carnaby Street.

The London-born Ken Douglas had migrated to the United States in 1964 on the heels of the British Invasion, having been exposed to America through his earlier career as the athletic director on a cruise ship. From New York, he traveled to Louisville to visit friends and met up with a man who had a men’s clothing store that happened to be across the street from WKLO. Douglas got a job at the clothier and in 1965, through the store’s proximity to the radio station, had a chance encounter with program director Mitch Michael.  Michael invited him to the station, gave him a tour, introduced him to the staff and, seeing the potential in having a Brit on the air, asked him if he’d like to sit in with one of his deejays and talk about London life, fashion and music. Douglas did the gig for about two months, and was soon offered his own show. For “The Ken Douglas Show”, he would make frequent trips to London to interview all the top British stars, and before long, he was the top jock at WKLO.  By early 1966, the much in-demand Douglas had his own fan club with a devout following of over 1,400 members.

An encounter with Beatles press officer Tony Barrow led to a meeting with Brian Epstein, who told him that the next time the Beatles toured America, he’d be invited to join them. For the first half of the 1966 North American Tour, Douglas was at their side, in hotels, on the plane, on buses and backstage before the shows. His reports from the tour helped place WKLO at the top of the ratings heap in Louisville.

The Beatles found Douglas someone they could easily relate to – a fellow countryman. In Cleveland on August 14, 1966, Douglas sat down with Ringo Starr, who told him about his home life and fatherhood.  Douglas also reported on the chaotic scenes at Cleveland Stadium. Two days later, on August 16th in Philadelphia, Douglas snared Paul McCartney for a lengthy recorded chat. When Douglas brought up the diminishing crowds at Beatles concerts, McCartney was quick to remind him that the Beatles still played to more people than any other act. Douglas predicted that the Beatles would continue to sell records long after they stopped touring, which led McCartney to reveal that the group was far more interested in writing and recording than performing, citing the band’s increasing inability to be heard above the screams. Of course, history has shown that, two weeks later, their touring days would indeed end. McCartney then spoke with Douglas about his life in London (having just bought a home near the EMI Studios), the Beatles’ recording schedule after the tour, the trip he took to Paris with John for the latter’s 21st birthday and the mayhem in Cleveland, commenting that he enjoyed “fan participation” as long as no one got hurt. Finally, referring to the negative publicity generated by Lennon’s “Bigger Than Jesus” statement, McCartney told Douglas that when there was no good news to report, the papers preferred disparaging articles. The pair got on well together.

Within five days of Douglas’ interview with McCartney, the Beatles’ bassist had written him a letter, which was on Paul’s personal linen stationary. It read:

“Dear Ken and fellow Tea People,

Just a line to say best, yes best, of luck on this new and courageous enterprise. May she reign forever, and sail the ocean blue, yes blue.

All the best to everyone there from all of us here.”

McCartney then signed his full name, followed by the other three Beatles – John Lennon (who has added “F.B.O.” following his signature), Ringo Starr and finally, George Harrison, who has written “and not forgetting” before his signature, and a star-burst symbol afterwards. The “J” used by John is a ‘throwback’ to the style of “J” that was last seen in early 1963 – some 3 ½ years prior. All four of the signatures on this letter are perfect; they are excellent and complete examples, and are as nicely as they could have signed on that day. Additionally, McCartney has written “ESQUIRE” following his printed name in the letterhead.

The included, original mailing envelope is also fully-addressed in Paul’s hand on the front:

“Tea Time”
Ken Douglas
Radio WKLO
307 West Walnut St.

This envelope is postmarked from Cincinnati, Ohio on August 21, 1966, the exact mid-point of the tour. Affixed is the required 5 cent postage, in the form of a blue tinted George Washington stamp. On the reverse are the printed words “J.P. McCartney, London, England”, the font being an exact match to that on the stationary – therefore making this the proper accompanying envelope!

“Tea Time” refers to the frequent tea breaks that Douglas would take on the air with students visiting the station. While the content of the letter is subject to interpretation at this point in history, the “new and courageous enterprise” that McCartney writes about could refer to Douglas’ possible return to the men’s haberdashery business, which had been his occupation prior to his stint at WKLO.  After leaving the station in 1969, he worked briefly at WINN and WAKY in Louisville and then moved to California where he did return to the men’s clothing business, this time in a partnership with his close friend Davy Jones of the Monkees. This letter could allude to an earlier possible venture in men’s apparel, which indeed would happen, but not for several years after. […]

From The Beatles Autographs – Presented by Frank Caiazzo – Handwritten Items
From The band arrived in Cincinnati – The Beatles History (

Last updated on September 20, 2023

Crosley Field

This was the 1st and only concert played at Crosley Field.

Going further

If we like to think, in all modesty, that the Paul McCartney Project is the best online ressource for everything Paul McCartney, The Beatles Bible is for sure the definitive online site focused on the Beatles. There are obviously some overlap in terms of content between the two sites, but also some major differences in terms of approach.

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