WANT TO GO?
WHERE: Riggleman Hall, University of Charleston
WHEN: 3 p.m. Sunday
TICKETS: Adults $35, college students $10, youth 18 and under $5. Season tickets: adults $90, college students $30 and youth 18 and under $10
INFO: 304-744-1400 or www.communitymusicassociation.comCHARLESTON, W.Va. -- There are a lot of things to remember about 1963. That was the year John F. Kennedy was assassinated, Martin Luther King Jr. led the march on Washington and the biggest song of the year (at least in the U.S.) was "Louie, Louie" by the Kingsmen. But Louise Harrison remembers it as the year she spent going from radio station to radio station trying to get them to play her kid brother's band.
It doesn't come easy, even if your brother is George Harrison and his band was The Beatles.
The 80-year-old mother, grandmother and housewife said, "For the most part, back in 1963, a woman going around talking about business, they were looking at me like, 'Who let you out of the kitchen?'"
And maybe she did seem kind of an unlikely advance agent for some pop band out of Liverpool, but Harrison thought they sounded pretty good to her -- and in 1963, on the eve of the British Invasion, she wasn't the only one.
A fact, Harrison, with her armload of 45s, tried to point out to every DJ she met that year.
"Hey, they're number one in England," she told them. "You should be playing them here."
Harrison is still trying to get Beatles music played. Only, now it's a lot easier, and she also has her own version of the band: the Grammy nominated Legends of Liverpool tribute band, which she handpicked.
"I wanted to put together a band that would do a good, respectful and joyful tribute to The Beatles," she said. "It is really good music. To most people, they look a lot like the people they represent, and they're kind, decent guys my brother would have hung out with."
The tribute band kicks off the new Community Music Association season in the series' new venue, the University of Charleston's Riggleman Hall.
Harrison said Beatlemania and the British Invasion were an incredibly exciting time, but not exactly unexpected. Her father had raised them all to not expect too little.
"We were raised by our parents to have great respect for our abilities," she said. "We were taught that if we were endowed with any particular talents, we had to use them wisely and use them for the benefit of ourselves and others."
These endowments, Harrison explained, were gifts for all.