Breakfast with the Beatles
|Country of origin||United States|
|Created by||Helen Leicht|
|Original release||1976 – present|
Breakfast with the Beatles is a popular programming segment format on FM radio in cities in the United States. The segment format typically features one or more hours of programing consisting exclusively of music by or related to The Beatles. Several nationally syndicated variations exist as well as many locally produced versions. Once a month, a live version of the Los Angeles broadcast with Chris Carter, though still recorded for radio, is hosted during an actual brunch at the Kobe Steakhouse & Lounge in Seal Beach, California.
Program contents include Beatles recordings; solo recordings by former members of the Beatles; cover versions of songs written or performed by the Beatles or the former members thereof; music by close associates of the Beatles, such as Yoko Ono, and the children of members of the band; music by artists that influenced the Beatles; music by musicians who personally knew or played with members of the group; news, features, and interviews related to the Beatles, former members and associates; family members; and interviews with experts on Beatle history and trivia.
Disc Jockey Helen Leicht created, hosted and produced an early version of Breakfast with the Beatles on WIOQ in Philadelphia beginning in 1976 and running through 1989; when WIOQ changed formats, Leicht moved the program to station WMGK. Disc jockeys and program directors at other stations picked up the idea and variations on a Beatles-themed programming block appeared throughout the US. The concept proved a good fit for morning programming (particularly on weekends) and so the Breakfast name, or a variant, was often used. The all-Beatles format was further popularized by such nationally syndicated programs as Ticket to Ride, hosted by Scott Muni in the 1980s.
Radio stations which feature, or have featured a Breakfast with the Beatles program include: WXRT in Chicago, WMGK in Philadelphia, WGRF in Buffalo, WMXJ in Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, KMET in Los Angeles, KLSX in Los Angeles, KCBS-FM in Los Angeles, KLOS in Los Angeles, KSLX in Phoenix, Arizona, WZLX in Boston, WAXQ Q104.3 in New York, WGRX (now known as WZBA) in Baltimore, WICB in Ithaca, WQXA in Harrisburg/York Pennsylvania, WYUU and also WMTX in the Tampa Bay Area, WBIK in Cambridge, Ohio, WTUE in Dayton, Ohio, KQMT in Denver, KZOK in Seattle, WTIX in New Orleans, The Walrus FM in Baja California, Mexico (serving San Diego, California), and WEXT in Albany, NY.
Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Pete Best, Olivia Harrison and Yoko Ono have all been guests on the longest-running version of the show (30 years) in Los Angeles, which was dropped in 2006 by KLSX-FM, but picked up by 95.5 KLOS in November 2006. Ringo Starr, Pete Best and Spencer Davis along with Beach Boys Brian Wilson and Mike Love also frequently called into the Tampa Bay's WYUU U92 92.5 fm 1988 to 1999 show with Dr. Chuck Stevens as the host. Dr. Chuck Stevens was also awarded a RIAA Gold and Platinum album awards from Capitol Records for "The Beatles Anthology" also credited as the first American radio personality to debut the Capitol Records Single "Free As A Bird" (Documented)
The Los Angeles show is currently hosted by longtime Beatles expert Chris Carter, who replaced the late Deirdre O'Donoghue in 2001.
In 2008, Chris Carter took Breakfast With The Beatles to Little Steven’s Underground Garage on Sirius XM Satellite Radio. Carter’s Sirius XM version of Breakfast with the Beatles was the only officially EMI/Apple sanctioned Beatles show on the air. With the launch of The Beatles Channel in 2017, Carter's program moved to that station. However, Chris still does the local (L.A.) version on KLOS live every Sunday morning, which is not the same version as the one he does on Sirius XM.
A syndicated version of the program format, Dennis Mitchell's Breakfast With The Beatles, is carried to 60 radio stations, including in North America, Great Britain, Germany, Sweden, three affiliates in New Zealand and one affiliate in Australia. Mitchell, a member of the Nevada Broadcasters' Hall of Fame, had hosted a local version of the program for 11 years prior to moving to syndication in early 2002. Mitchell's guests have included Yoko Ono, Ringo Starr, Olivia Harrison, Brian Wilson, Geoff Emerick, Pete Best, Sir George Martin and many others. As of 2013, the show's ad sales were being handled by United Stations Radio Networks. It is distributed by DOR Productions, Inc. of Las Vegas, Nevada.
There are also four other all-Beatles radio formats that air nationally, although with slightly modified names: The Brunch with Joe Johnson (known as Beatle Brunch for much of its history) is distributed by Westwood One and Radio Express. A different "Beatle Brunch" is heard Sunday mornings at 10:00am EDT on www.xersradio.com. Bob Malik's The Beatle Years is carried by Compass Media Networks. Pat Matthews hosts Beatles-a-Rama, which also operates as a 24/7 Internet stream with full staffing (the 24/7 Beatles-a-Rama channel also carries Mitchell's "Breakfast with the Beatles").
The longest-running Beatles themed Radio Show outside of the USA is BeatlesandBeyond presented by Pete Dicks of England. BeatlesandBeyond is played in 4 Countries (England, USA, Spain and Dubai) and is not only recognised by Apple Corps., but is the only Radio Show recommended by Liverpool's award winning 'Beatles Story Exhibition.' Estimated listener figures of BeatlesandBeyond are in excess of 200,000 weekly from over 50 Countries
- Baja California, Mexico/San Diego Breakfast With The Beatles official site
- Los Angeles Breakfast With The Beatles official site
- Joe Johnson's Beatle Brunch
- Example at KQMT Denver-Boulder
- Example at WXRT Chicago
- Example at WTUE Dayton, Ohio
- Example at KLOS Los Angeles
- Dennis Mitchell's BWTB
- Andre Gardner WMGK Philadelphia Breakfast With The Beatles