(Rochester, New York) – In February 1964, a young English rock’n’roll quartet called the Beatles arrived on U.S. shores, kicking off a musical explosion that took the country by storm — and reverberates to this day. PBS revisits the time when the nation’s airwaves grooved to the swinging sounds of London in The British Beat, a My Music presentation, airing Friday, March 8 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV/HD (DT21.1/cable 1011 and 11).
Britain’s first lady of song, Petula Clark, hosts this all-star reunion of some of the best of the British Invasion and performs her #1 million-seller “Downtown.” Beloved duo Peter (Asher) and the late Gordon (Waller) reunite for the first time in nearly four decades to perform their hits “World Without Love” and “I Go to Pieces.” Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent of the Zombies bring back the British psychedelic pop sound with the Brit-rock anthems “Time of the Season” and “She’s Not There.”
“This is an amazing night of amazing music from across the pond,” exclaims TJ Lubinsky, creator and executive producer of the My Music series. “To feel the emotions as Gerry and the Pacemakers ‘Ferry Across the Mersey’ and the Tremeloes take us back into the coffee houses of the 60s with their classic ‘Here Comes My Baby’ is an awesome, touching tribute to some of the most familiar and timeless songs of the 20th century.”
The British Beat includes numerous #1 Billboard hits such as “To Sir With Love” by Lulu, “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter” by Peter Noone of Herman’s Hermits and “Game of Love” by Wayne Fontana, original lead singer of Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders, who also reprises the favorite “A Groovy Kind of Love.”
Additional highlights include the earthy, feel-good declaration “Do Wah Diddy” from Paul Jones of Manfred Mann, the pulsating “Needles & Pins” by Mike Pender’s Searchers, “Yesterday’s Gone” by balladeers Chad & Jeremy and the R&B-flavored “Go Now” from Denny Laine, original singer for the Moody Blues. Eric Burdon of the Animals offers another Brit-rock anthem, “The House of the Rising Sun” — based on an American folk ballad.
An archival performance of her 1966 worldwide smash “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me” pays tribute to the late Dusty Springfield, while vintage clips from “The Ed Sullivan Show” provide era-defining moments from the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.
Pictured: Host Petula Clark
Credit: Courtesy of TJL Productions/Christopher Mourthe
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