Her little brother's band
In 1963, a young gal went around to tiny Midwest radio stations, trying to get them to play a record made by her little brother’s band.
That girl happened to be Louise Harrison, and her brother, George’s band was called The Beatles.
“Oh yes,” she said in a phone interview. “I was trying to get radio stations to play Beatles music. I was writing to Brian Epstein and George Martin and explaining how different the music business was in this country.”
She ticked off some of the ways.
“In Britain you only have the BBC,” she explained. “If you get recognized by the BBC, that’s all you need for total national coverage. In this country, there were thousands of independent radio stations. I wrote and told them they needed to be with a better record label. They were with VeeJay Records. Here the big three were Capitol, Columbia and RCA. They needed to be with a record company with a lot of clout, otherwise it doesn’t mean a thing.”
Louise found out that Capitol Records was a subsidiary of EMI, and EMI was the company George Martin worked with. Louise urged Brian to get with Capitol Records, which the Beatles eventually did. (Note: All these names mean something to Beatles fans.)
“I told them all these things, and yet no one really knows what I did to get the Beatles going,” she said. “I have letters from Brian saying they were studying carefully what I was saying.”
We all know the Beatles did conquer the states. Was it because they took her advice?
“I don’t like to blow my trumpet,” Louise said with a chuckle, “but I think I did have something to do with it.”
Louise Harrison is still doing it, but now the band is Liverpool Legends, her hand-picked Beatles tribute band that plays regularly at Fredericksburg’s Rockbox Theater.
The genesis of that band happened during a Beatles weekend in Chicago just a few weeks after George Harrison died in 2001. Filling the role of George in one of the bands was a young man named Marty Scott. Louise met him after the show and they immediately hit it off.
“Wherever George went to after he went off this planet, he must have found this guy,” Louise said of Scott. “I immediately adopted him and he’s been my ‘brother’ ever since.”
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