As a record 73 million viewers watched the Beatles American debut on The Ed Sullivan Show a half-century ago, the audience was largely unaware of the behind-the scenes efforts in the preceding weeks and months that made the historic Feb. 9, 1964 performance a reality.
Those efforts were spearheaded by Louise Harrison—sister of guitarist George Harrison—from her home in a small town in southern Illinois. In My Kid Brother’s Band a.k.a. The Beatles Louise describes her tireless efforts to help promote the Beatles—who were already household names in England—and their records on this side of the Atlantic.
My Kid Brother’s Band a.k.a. The Beatles is the never-before-told story of the author’s crucial behind-the-scenes work as an American resident to guide Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein and producer George Martin and assist them in the effort to spread Beatlemania from Britain to the U.S. In the book, Louise Harrison describes and documents her efforts to establish nationwide contacts and help Epstein secure distribution agreements with Capitol Records and assist him in securing a meeting with CBS’s Ed Sullivan.
The book also describes her experiences in traveling with the Beatles on their first American tours in the summer of ’64, ’65 and ’66, including many untold episodes of the ever-present hysteria faced by brother George and band mates Paul McCartney, John Lennon and Ringo Starr and how they coped with Beatlemania.
In My Kid Brother’s Band a.k.a. The Beatles, Louise tells of the Harrisons’ Liverpool home becoming a regular hangout for the group, and how her parents provided a nurturing environment for George and the other Beatles.
The family principles, Louise says, helped to guide Harrison and the band through their unprecedented success during the ‘60s and through George’s solo career. “It’s important for you to know more about our parents and our upbringing, ”writes Louise, “so you can better understand how (George) became the man you love and admire.”
The book contains dozens of photos of George and the Beatles, as well as images of correspondence documenting her communication with Epstein and with radio and recording industry executives as she worked to give the group exposure in the months leading up to the landmark Sullivan appearance.