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The Beatles on BBC Radio in 1963: The “Scouse” Inflection and a Politics of Sound in the Rise of the Mersey Beat

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Abstract:

BBC radio's role in the dissemination of the Beatles' sound in Britain in 1963 is examined through analysis of relevant program content and media coverage. As will be seen, both the Beatles' music and their speech reflect their Liverpool roots, and the band's involvement in the hegemonic format of BBC radio provides a key signifier in the absorption of the provincial “Mersey Beat” into British culture. This is demonstrated to have implications in the context of Britain's imperial decline, the emergence of new representational forms in arts and media, and the transition towards a more inclusive society in the 1960s.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/03007760903268809

Publication date: 2011-05-01

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