“I Read the News Today, Oh Boy”: The British Press and the Beatles

Ian Inglis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The public arrival of the Beatles in 1963 brought unforeseen difficulties for journalists in the UK. Although there was an established weekly music press, centered around a quartet of titles, its writers had little practical experience of British performers whose popularity and success eclipsed that of their American contemporaries, and who actively sought to create a distinctive musical style of their own. However, the problem was even more acute for the country's national daily and weekly press: the traditional policy of regarding popular music as either an amusing and peripheral diversion or an incitement to delinquency and depravity left it ill-equipped to structure its coverage of a group whose personalities, behavior, and achievements transcended previous categorizations and blurred the distinction between news and entertainment. The decisions taken by the British press played a crucial role in shaping the early popularity of the Beatles, and also helped to establish a journalistic approach through which popular music became a legitimate and lucrative topic for newspapers in the UK.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)549-562
JournalPopular Music and Society
Volume33
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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