The Beat Ballad Show Tour

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The Beat Ballad Show Tour
Tour by Johnny Gentle and the Beatles
LocationScotland
Start dateMay 20, 1960 (1960-05-20)
End dateMay 28, 1960 (1960-05-28)
No. of shows7

The Beat Ballad Show Tour was a 1960 tour of Scotland by singer Johnny Gentle, backed by the Beatles (billed as Johnny Gentle and His Group).[1][2] It was the first-ever concert tour by the Beatles.

Background[edit]

On 10 May, the Beatles competed with other local Liverpool bands in an audition for talent manager Larry Parnes for a chance to back singer Billy Fury on a summer tour called "Idols on Parade".[3] There was also an opportunity for the second-best band to back singers Duffy Power and Johnny Gentle in a tour of Scotland beginning in June. However, Beatles drummer Tommy Moore arrived late, forcing another drummer to sit in with the band. Parnes and Fury were also unimpressed with bassist Stuart Sutcliffe, and the Beatles were turned down for either spot.

However, a few days later, Parnes contacted Beatles manager Allan Williams, as Gentle needed a backing group for a Scottish tour beginning 20 May. The Beatles were the only group Williams could book on such short notice, and they got the job.[4]

The Tour[edit]

For the tour, the Beatles adopted stage names - John Lennon became known as "Johnny Lennon", Paul McCartney was "Paul Ramon", George Harrison was "Carl Harrison", Stu Sutcliffe was Stuart de Staël, and Tommy Moore was "Thomas Moore". The band was very underehearsed, barely knowing the songs they were to perform with Gentle.[5] Gentle and the Beatles were friendly with each other on the tour, and Lennon contributed to a song Gentle was writing, "I've Just Fallen For Someone".[6]

The exact songs played on the tour are unknown. It is known that the Beatles performed by themselves before Gentle came on the stage. Harrison would remember performing "Teddy Bear" and "Wear My Ring Around Your Neck" by Elvis Presley.[5] Other sources report that they played "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" and "Raining in My Heart" by Buddy Holly, "I Need Your Love Tonight" by Elvis Presley, "Poor Little Fool" by Ricky Nelson, "(I Don't Know Why) But I Do" by Clarence "Frogman" Henry, "C'mon Everybody" by Eddie Cochran, and "He'll Have to Go" by Jim Reeves.[7]

Dates[edit]

Date[8] City Country Venue
20 May 1960 Alloa Scotland Town Hall
21 May 1960 Inverness Northern Meeting Hall
23 May 1960 Fraserburgh Dalrymple Hall
25 May 1960 Keith St Thomas’ Hall
26 May 1960 Forres Town Hall
27 May 1960 Nairn Regal Ballroom
28 May 1960 Peterhead Rescue Hall

Tour band[edit]

References[edit]

  • Lewisohn, Mark (2013). The Beatles: All These Years, Vol. 1: Tune In. Crown Archetype. ISBN 978-1-4000-8305-3.