The First Ever KRLA BEAT

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In October 1964 KRLA historian Bill Earl, future author of "Dream-House" (the definitive history of the station), was hanging around the station porch with other KRLA fans---the "porch people" were legendary in Pasadena and were treated kindly by KRLA deejays and staff. That particular day someone handed out copies of a new publication, four hand-crafted pages of pop music news on newsprint, the first issue, he was told, of a brand-new KRLA newsletter. A small squib on page four asked: "Would you like to see something like it every week?" Did one even need to ask?

Beat reporters were already well connected with Beatles sources, evidenced by their lead article revealing that Ringo would be entering the hospital later that autumn for a tonsillectomy. Pages 2 and 3 include exclusive photos of the Beatles' 1964 Los Angeles press conference and their Hollywood Bowl appearance. Erroneously credited to Robin Hill, the photos were actually by Beat photographer Jerry Long. Page 4 included stories about Dusty Springfield, Peter and Gordon, the Dave Clark Five, record reviews from KRLA deejay Reb Foster, plus plans by singer Bobby "Boris" Pickett to host his own radio show.

Anyone involved with graphic production during this era will recognize press-type, used for the headlines of each news story, as well as decorative borders painstakingly laid down by KRLA Beat production artist Bonnie Golden (later radio and newspaper journalist Wina Sturgeon). The actual print schedule was every two weeks, so a second October issue probably came out later this month. The Beat took a great leap forward in February 1965, converting to a weekly format on newsprint under the aegis of publisher Cecil Tuck and established print journalist Derek Taylor.

This issue's date is estimated at October 9, 1964 based on the KRLA Tunedex and the appearance of Roy Orbison's hit "Pretty Woman" at the top of the charts. If the first tabloid issue of the Beat was released on Geroge Harrison's birthday (February 25, 1965), it stand to reason that the first ever Beat would be released on John's birthday.

We're indebted to Bill Earl for providing this issue for scanning and uploading. Mr. Earl consults & advises a blogsite related to Los Angeles radio history, http://krlabeat.sakionline.net/issue/9oct64.pdf. PDF size is 2.2MB.