The Tokyo Beatles 1

On February 15, 1964, 52 years ago today, “Meet the Beatles!” hit number one on Billboard album charts in the US. Anticipation had been building for the four lads from Liverpool, particularly since The Beatles were to make their second appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show the next day, so the album shot to number one in only three weeks after its release.

Way over in Tokyo, The Beatles were also popular, and were not to arrive on the scene until 1966. That didn’t stop four lads from Tokyo from adopting John, Paul, George and Ringo’s moptop hair style and starting a tribute band that performed in Tokyo clubs from 1963 to 1965.

They called themselves The Tokyo¬†Beatles. They even recorded¬†an album called “Please Please Me”, which had covers in English and Japanese of “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, “Please Please Me”, “Can’t Buy Me Love”, and “Twist and Shout”.

The Tokyo Beatles 2


This link takes you to a blog post that shares pictures of the band taken by photographer, Michael Rougier, during the summer of 1964, when Tokyo was building for excitement for the coming Olympic Summer Games in October, and clearly also going gaga over the Fab Four.

And now, “I Wanna Hold Your Hand”, by The Tokyo Beatles!

Billboard Top of the Charts_October 2_1964

UPI used to survey teenagers buyers to determine the 20 most popular records in the US. And in the first week of October in 1964, the week leading up to the Tokyo Summer Games, the top five most popular songs among teenagers in the US were:

  1. Oh Pretty Woman, Roy Orbison (#4 in the US Billboard Hot 100 in 1964)
  2. Do Wah Diddy Diddy, Manfred Mann (#1 in the US Billboard Hot 100 in October)
  3. House of the Rising Sun, Animals (#1 in the US Billboard Hot 100 in September)
  4. Remember (Walking in the Sand), Shangri-Las
  5. Last Kiss, Frank Wilson and The Cavaliers (#2 in the US Billboard Hot 100 in October)

Here’s the song I had never heard before – #5, Last Kiss.