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The Beatles In Boys' Life Magazine

Index. Links are internal - so scroll away.

Introductory comments.
Abbreviations and conventions used.



Nothing heavy here - just another fun look at the Beatles through the eyes of a contemporaneous publication, Boys' Life. Be forewarned - there are lots of hair jokes. Still, that may be eye-opening to people who don't know - or have forgotten - what a tempest Beatle hair stirred up.

The Boys' Life jokes page, Think & Grin, was not noted for its classy, much less funny, humor. Even Boy's Life readers got in occasional digs about the dumb puns. Nevertheless, a few jokes gave me a little, inner chuckle, and that's enough, isn't it? So, I've added another component to this web page - a sort of "Best Of Think & Grin." What I did was pick a few favorite jokes off of the Think & Grin pages which were already included here for having Beatle mentions. If they don't quite make you laugh, maybe they'll carry you back to a long-gone, more innocent time.

I went through the Boys' Life magazines at the Library of Congress, which I thank. I stopped at the end of 1969 since the references had fallen off sharply that year. Keep in mind, there's hardly a reason the Beatles should pop up at all in Boys' Life. There was an irregular record review column called Platter Chatter that had ended in 1968. And, after 5 years, even hair jokes would have to start wearing out. By the way, the Think & Grin page for November 1968 was missing. I hope it wasn't stolen for a great Beatle joke.

I tried to err, if at all, in the direction of inclusiveness. Thus you get a few letters arguing classical versus pop music which don't even have Beatle mentions. Closest to making the cut, but failing, were a couple of examples of very Yellow Submarine-ish artwork in 1969; and an article in March 1968 called "The Guitar" in which the Beatles should have gotten a mention. The article linked classical, jazz and rock guitar styles with Andres Segovia, Wes Montgomery and the Rolling Stones, respectively, as exemplars. The rolling whats?

As always, I hope a little effort such as this might inspire others to do the same for newspapers and periodicals with more important Beatles connections. It's fun, I assure you. We now have the technological capabilities to document history like its never been done before. The Beatles were a very important historical phenomenon. Beatle fans could show the way. See my page on the subject of an all-inclusive Beatles database.

For now, have a bit of fun.

Contact Donald Sauter: send an email; view guestbook; sign guestbook.

Abbreviations and Conventions

BL = Boys' Life

Unless otherwise indicated, material is directly quoted from the magazine.

Comment: indicates a comment by me.

[Information and comments in brackets] are also my words.

... Tight dotes indicate text deleted by me.

. . . Spaced dots were in the original magazine text.

Assume the record club ads showed tiny pictures of the albums.

ALBUM TITLES are shown in all upper-case letters.

All Other Titles, such as for songs, movies, books and articles have the first letter of each word upper-case.

*** 1964 JULY ***

Think And Grin

Boys' Life: July 1964, page 72

Daffynishion: The Beatles - Barbershop quartet that did not get waited on. - Fred Bunch, Alamosa, Colo.

Q: Why does the baby duck walk softly?
A: Because he can't walk, hardly. - David Weise, Bethesda, MD.

Moe: Did you know that having children is hereditary?
Joe: No, how do you figure?
Moe: Well, if your parents didn't have children, neither would you. - Mark Binkley, Denver, Colo.

*** 1964 AUGUST ***

The Hitchin' Rack

Boys' Life: August 1964, page 4
Comment: This is the letters column for Boys' Life. Letters are handled by Pedro, a mule who is unbelievably cool, even by today's standards. The letters column always opens with a few paragraphs about one or another of Pedro's escapades. I've included the intro to this particular column so you can get to know Pedro. My buddy David, a surf music aficionado who likes to pretend that surf music has proven more staying power than Beatles music, got a big laugh out of surfin' Pedro putting down the Beatles. Pedro signs his name with two horseshoes, which I'll approximate with "UU".

For Pedro, surfing was a supersport. During the summer months he'd slip out to the beach with his board, wait for a break in the waves and go paddling out like mad. When he was out far enough, he'd ride in on the crest of a big wave, standing up with his powerful chest sticking out. Sometimes, when a pretty girl was looking, Pedro would bow and balance himself on one foot.

The last time out, as he was riding a mountainous wave, he noticed that people on the shore were gathering around pointing at him. Pedro's puffed up ego nearly exploded with all the attention being paid him. What he did not know was that a pelican, spotting the silly surfer's ears, had taken them for flying fishes and was out after a nibble. Zeroing in on Pedro, the bird took a mighty bite. Off the board went the flabbergasted mule, his lead-weight frame taking him straight down.

Within minutes a lifeguard was tugging the soggy surfer in, while the beach people gave out with the laughs. On shore, sopping wet, a perplexed Pedro plodded home, blushing from end to end and leaving a soggy trail of prints on the sand. UU

Dear Pedro:

Since we all know what a great column you've got and how wonderful your opinions are, I was just wondering what you think of that wonderful, great, fab, R and R group, the Beatles! I'm sure, knowing how intelligent you are, you'll agree with me that Paul, George, John and Ringo are too fab to describe, uh?

I thought BL's Cavern of the Lost by Hugh B. Cave, in May, was one of the best you have printed yet. Kevin Galagan, Potomac, Md.

They are indeed to fab to describe, so we won't. Next to a four-car crash, the sounds they make are the best. - UU

*** 1964 SEPTEMBER ***

Think And Grin

Boys' Life: September 1964, page 72

Daffynishion: Long-haired music - Beatles Album. - Billy Schwartz, Ocala, Fla.

Q: Why do kindergarten teachers enjoy life?
A: Because they make the little things count. - Thomas Soerens, Hingham, Wis.

He: How do you spell rain?
She: NIAR.
He: That's the worst spell of rain we've had in a long time. - Rodney Holtzmuller, Farmersville, Ohio

Q: How would a want ad for a Russian cook read?
A: Wanted: a crew chef. - Danny Wort, Wichita, Kans.

*** 1964 NOVEMBER ***

The Hitchin' Rack

Boys' Life: November 1964, page 4

Dear Pedro:

I was raving mad when I read your rude criticism of the Beatles in the August BL. In answer to Kevin Galagan's question in The Hitchin' Rack you described their music as best "next to a four-car crash." Well, for your information, their music is fab, gear and socko! They're the greatest thing that ever happened in the teen world, and I hope all kids feel the same way. So please apologize to the many Beatle fans who dearly love this fab foursome. Even though I'm a girl, I enjoy your magazine immensely, with the exception of your cutting description of the Beatles. Lynne Johnson, Austin, Minn.

Well, I'll say this - I'd rather listen to 'em then look at 'em. - UU

Advertisement: Columbia Record Club

Columbia Record Club now presents a brand-new selection of Christmas Albums and year-'round favorites to give as gifts or to add to your own collection

Boys' Life: November 1964, page 8-11
Comment: A HARD DAY'S NIGHT is the featured album in this ad. Its picture is twice as big as the others. A border of holly surrounds the picture and text.

Special! The Original Sound Track of a Great Motion Picture. The Beatles Biggest Hit Album!

Here they are! - the world's most popular foursome . . . singing and swinging all the hits from their sensational motion picture! It's the biggest album of the year . . . and you can begin your membership by purchasing it as your first selection. To receive it, just write the number "1553" in the "First Selection" box on the postage-paid card . . . and write in the numbers of the other six records you want free in the boxes provided.

Buddy Morrow. BIG BAND BEATLEMANIA. I Want To Hold Your Hand, Roll Over Beethoven, She Loves You, 9 more.

Advertisement: M. Hohner

The Beatles do

The Dave Clark Five do

Why Don't you?

Boys' Life: November 1964, page 59

They all love the Hohner harmonica. (Yeah. Yeah. Yeah!) It's the new fun way to get all the play wherever the gang goes. 'Cause Hohner really scores a hit with the crowd. It's cool. You can play everything - from bebop to Bossa Nova. You can carry it everywhere - from cookouts to hayrides. It's the best pocket-size playmate anyone can have. So get more swing. More zing. Get the great little harmonica that goes over big. Hohner. And there's a special Beatle-Hohner Harmonica at your dealer, complete with autographed photo, easy to play instructions and original Beatle song hits...

*** 1964 DECEMBER ***

Think And Grin

Boys' Life: Dec 1964, page 90

Richard: What would you have if you crossed the Beatles and the trash men?
William: I don't know.
Richard: Litterbugs. - Martin Blackwell, Tallmadge, Ohio.

Tom: Hey, Tim, have you heard about the baby that drank elephant's milk for one week and gained 10 pounds?
Tim: No! Whose baby was it?
Tom: The elephant's. - Charles Zaruba, Palm Bay, Fla.

Hunter: All of a sudden, I spotted a leopard . . .
Wife (interrupting): Don't be silly dear. They're born that way. - Mike Newell, Lawrence, Kans.

Class president: Congratulate me. I won the election.
Pop: Honestly?
Class president: Oh, why bring that up? - T. Goles, San Antonio, Tex.

Q: Why is the man who does not bet as bad as the man who does?
A: Because he is no bettor. - Ken Mickelson, La Porte, Ind.
[I first heard that one on a cylinder recording of the Imperial Minstrels from the 1890s.]

A termite walked into a saloon and asked, "Is the bar tender here?" - Steven Goolsby, Arlington, Tex.

Bobby: Dad, what are those holes in the board?
Dad: Those are knotholes, son.
Bobby: Well, if they're not holes, what are they? - Keith Kauffman, Allentown, Pa.

*** 1965 JANUARY ***

Advertisement: Columbia Record Club

Columbia Record Club invites you to join our 10th Anniversary Teen Party

Boys' Life: January 1965, page 8
Comment: Again, A HARD DAY'S NIGHT is the featured album in this ad. It has a larger picture. This time it is in a plain box.

Special! The Beatles. The Original Sound Track of a Great Motion Picture.

The Beatles Biggest Hit Album . . . and you can begin your membership by purchasing it as your first selection. To receive this great best-seller, just write the number "1553" in the "First Selection" box on the postage-paid card, and fill in the numbers of the other six records you want free.

*** 1965 FEBRUARY ***

The Hitchin' Rack

Boys' Life: February 1965, page 4
Comment: If you noticed that this and the previous Hitchin' Rack letter defending the Beatles were by girls, you might be wondering, "Hey, isn't this magazine for boys?" Yes, the correspondence - letters and jokes - is almost exclusively from boys. These two letters are the exception - and make me wonder how many comments Pedro got from boys about his Beatle insults.

Dear Pedro:

I was reading the November BL, and I am ashamed of you for cutting up the Beatles. They are wonderful, sharp, tuff, great. Well they're just everything! I think you ought to take back what you said about them. You said, "Well, I'll say this - I'd rather listen to 'em than look at 'em." Please take it back for the sake of us Beatle lovers. Yeah for the Beatles. Mary Pettibon, Aliquippa, Pa.

One thing I learned - never step on the Beatles. I apologize. They're just grand. Handsome, too. Great voices. Now will you all please get off my back? - UU

Platter Chatter

Boys' Life: February 1965, page 10
Writer: Ernest Doclar
Comment: The Platter Chatter column was an irregular Boys' Life feature. It was running at least as early as February 1964. Besides short reviews of albums that were generally not of the typical teen pop variety, it might include other information, such as how to take care of records, in this particular installment, and how records are manufactured, in the November 1966 column.

Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! We've been bitten in a big way. Buddy Morrow was the insect keeper on BIG BAND BEATLEMANIA - THE BIG HITS OF 1964. It's big-band orchestration of these standbys and more: I Want To Hold Your Hand, Bits And Pieces and Glad All Over.

Lorne Greene, eldest of TV's Cartwrights, may win no Emmy for his singing, but there's something magnetic about his WELCOME TO THE PONDEROSA. With no doubt, Ringo (Starr isn't the last name) is a song you'll remember long after hearing this platter. Each selection is a western favorite...

Clebanoff has trimmed his baton down to teen-age size. The resulting alteration is an unusual treatment of many young folks' favorites on TEEN HITS PLAYED THE CLEBANOFF WAY. Show stoppers are The Girl From Ipanema, Cotton Candy, P.S. I Love You (by Beatles McCartney and Lennon) and Love Me With All Your Heart.

*** 1965 MARCH ***

Think and Grin

Boys' Life: March 1965, page 78
Comment: The Boys' Life cartoonist supplied a drawing for the joke below. A young man sitting in the barber chair has what would universally have been considered a "Beatle haircut". In fact, the drawing brings Ringo to mind, although that may be more a function of the cartoonist's style.

Barber: Your hair needs cutting badly.
Customer: No, it doesn't. You cut it badly last time. - Roy Hanson, Forest Park, Ga.

Joe: Did you know that in Arizona a hundred years ago, you couldn't hang a man with a wooden leg?
Moe: Oh, really. Why?
Joe: You had to use a rope. - L. Hershberger, Tucson, Ariz.

Pilot: First one wing came off. Then the other wing.
Copilot: Then what happened?
Pilot: I finished off a drumstick and helped myself to some white meat. - Steve Karp, Tucson, Ariz.

*** 1965 MAY ***

The Hitchin' Rack

Boys' Life: May 1965, page 4

Dear Pedro:

I was just reading The Hitchin' Rack in your February edition of BL, and I came across a girl who criticized you for saying that you'd rather listen to the Beatles than look at them.

I completely agree with you about telling them to get off your back, and I'd like to know what is so good about them hairy things. Jay Vognetz, Danville, Pa.

They're great dancers. - UU

*** 1965 JULY ***

Advertisement: Columbia Record Club

Columbia Record Club invites you to have a party with your favorite music . . . and teensville's greatest recording stars!

Boys' Life: July 1965, page 10-13
Comment: This ad also has a picture of the Dave Clark Five with the heading, "The Lively Liverpool Beat." The ad writer had Beatles on the brain. The Dave Clark Five were from Tottenham, not Liverpool.

THE CHIPMUNKS SING THE BEATLES HITS. I Want To Hold Your Hand, Please Please Me. Also: Love Me Do, I Saw Her Standing There, etc.
20 TOP POP SONG HITS. The House Of The Rising Sun, Glad All Over, She Loves You, I Want To Hold Your Hand, Needles And Pins. Recorded in England! Also: Bits And Pieces, A Hard Day's Night, My Guy, etc.

*** 1965 SEPTEMBER ***

Platter Chatter

Boys' Life: September 1965, page 16
Writer: Ernest Doclar

You'd think the artists in this album couldn't talk because instead of words all you hear is, "Ba-ba, baya-baya, byu-byu," and so on with little relief. The results are unique (as you'd expect) but pleasing. It's Gary McFarland's SOFT SAMBA. Lots of guitar, flute and vibraphone sounds team up so that after an intro of Ringo, She Loves You and A Hard Day's Night (where have you heard them?) you're really swaying. We found the wedding of the soft samba to rock 'n' roll a joyous union, thanks to the musical ministry of Mr. McFarland.

Ian and the Zodiacs boast of a new sound. After scrutiny of their latest recording, we've come to the conclusion that the only new sound is that we could understand what they were saying. It's rock with just a shade of novelty but enough to make the Zodiacs popular swingers. The Liverpudlians do some interesting tricks with The Crying Game, Jump Back and A Hard Day's Night. Their vocalising of It's Alright (British spelling) wins hands down our award for the tune with the least original lyrics.

*** 1965 OCTOBER ***

Think And Grin

Boys' Life: October 1965, page 88

One day a boy with exceedingly long but untrained hair walked into a barbershop, sat down in the chair and demanded, "Make me look like Ringo Starr." The barber studied the tonsorial problem for a moment, carefully picked up his hairbrush, took aim and broke the boy's nose. - Chuck Gould, Seattle, Wash.

Mom: Son, if you don't stop strumming that guitar, I'll go out of my mind.
Son: It's too late. I stopped playing an hour ago. - Lawrence Drinkwater, Peabody, Mass.

Warden: I'm going to put you on bread and water as punishment. How do you like that?
Convict: Whole wheat, toasted, with jam and butter. - Tim Bregenzer, Quincy, Mass.

Sign on a lonely road in a western state: "Welcome to Powderville, population 1. Mayor, Joe Hodges; Chief of Police, Joe Hodges; Fire Chief, Joe Hodges; Superintendent of Utilities, Joe Hodges; Postmaster, Joe Hodges. Drive carefully - the life you save might be Joe Hodges's." - Ed Hewitt, Taylor, Mich.

*** 1965 NOVEMBER ***

Platter Chatter

Boys' Life: November 1965, page 20
Writer: Ernest Doclar
Comment: Shows a picture of the four Beatles with outstretched arms, as on the album covers. The order is George, John, Ringo and Paul, which is a different order then on either the British (G J P R) or U.S. (G R P J) album covers. Ringo's and Paul's pictures have been flipped right-for-left relative to their album cover pictures. Comparing the 2 album covers, I've also just noticed for the first time that George has been flipped right-for-left on one of them. It's worth pointing out here that the Beatles are just flapping their arms, not signaling semaphore - and certainly not spelling HELP. About the dig at John's Help! lyrics, recall that he consciously tried to use longer, more sophisticated-sounding words in that song in response to Maureen Cleave's complaint that Beatle songs always used simple words.

M'aider! Socorro! Auito! HELP! After studying the new Boy Scout Handbook, they're even trying to send it by semaphore. No matter how you say it, the "hairy ones" are in trouble but they still have time to wail. HELP! is the Beatle's [sic] newest flick and, naturally, the name of their crispest recorded soundtrack from that film. It's heretical, I know, but the most melodious music on the disc is the background sounds, especially a Calypso-East Indian dialect of the Beatles anthem, A Hard Day's Night. The mop-pets do a credible job on You're Gonna Lose That Girl. You'll probably find the lyrics to Help! though straight from the Iowa corn belt.

*** 1965 DECEMBER ***

On The Screens

Boys' Life: December 1965, page 14
Writer: Fran Smith.

Other good bets for anyone are some of the recent reserved-seat specials that may be getting to the neighborhood screens such as The Great Race; Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines. Others rather so-so: The Hallelujah Trail; Help; Billie; The Family Jewels; Seaside Swingers; Laurel And Hardy's Laughing Twenties; The Little Nuns; The Face Of Fu Manchu.

*** 1966 JANUARY ***

Advertisement: Columbia Record Club

C'mon and enjoy your favorite singers - all swinging their greatest hits!

Boys' Life: January 1966, page 6-9

THE CHIPMUNKS SING THE BEATLES HITS. I Want To Hold Your Hand; Please Please Me; Love Me Do; I Saw Her Standing There.
20 TOP POP SONG HITS. She Loves You; I Want To Hold Your Hand; A Hard Day's Night.

*** 1966 FEBRUARY ***

Advertisement: Capitol Record Club

Imagine! Join the Capitol Record Club now, and get this amazing cordless "carry-anywhere" phonograph for only $4.95...

Boys' Life: February 1966, page 5
The Beatles. Original Movie Soundtrack. HELP!
Peter & Gordon. A WORLD WITHOUT LOVE. Lucille...
Hollyridge Strings. BEATLES SONG BOOK. Romantic instrumental versions of 11 Beatle hits.

Platter Chatter

Boys' Life: February 1966, page 14
Writer: Ernest Doclar
Comment: This whole column is about Glen Yarbrough.

Though the name may be new to you, I'll bet you my I Love the Beatles button that you've heard singer Glenn Yarbrough. Have you ever listened to the "Things Go Better With Coca Cola" commercial on your transistor radio? Know who made that single famous? Yep! Glen Yarbrough...

*** 1966 MAY ***

Think And Grin

Boys' Life: May 1966, page 74

Daffynishion: Beatle school - A place to learn reeling, writhing and a rhythmic tick. - Benjamin Koslover, Reading, Mass.

While driving in a storm a man got a flat tire ouside [sic] a California monastery. A monk came out and invited him to come inside, have dinner and spend the night. The motorist accepted. That night he had a wonderful dinner of fish and chips. He decided to compliment the chef. Entering the kitchen he asked the cook, "Are you the fish friar?" "No," the man replied, "I'm the chip monk." - Jim Jenkins, Arcadia, Calif.

A small boy disagreed with the talk about a painless dentist in his neighborhood. "He's not painless," yelled the youngster. "He put his finger in my mouth and I bit it and he screamed like everyone else." - Charles Fowler, Tyler, Tex.

*** 1966 JUNE ***

Platter Chatter

Boys' Life: June 1966, page 18
Writer: Ernest Doclar

No matter if you have 20 or 200 hi-fi or stereo albums, it's a time-saver to be able to put your finger on the one you want at any time. This requires a system, and while it doesn't take a musicologist to figure one out, perhaps you've just never given it much thought.

A great many collectors file their collection alphabetically, according to the last name of the composer in the case of one man, the orchestra for a collection, or the musical group for an album of tunes. Thus you'd put the Beatles' latest waxing under B, the Dave Clark Five under C, Mozart's serenades under M and an album of several hits cut by the Philadelphia Orchestra under P.

A piece of masking tape with the letter of the alphabet marked on it can be attached to the visible edge of one of the albums which will serve as the beginning of that alphabetical section of your library.

*** 1966 JULY ***

Advertisement: Columbia Record Club

Come on in where the hits are

Boys' Life: July 1966, page 10-13

TOP POP SONG HITS, VOL. 2. Ticket To Ride; Help!
20 TOP POP SONG HITS. She Loves You; I Want To Hold Your Hand; A Hard Day's Night.

*** 1966 AUGUST ***

Think And Grin

Boys' Life: Aug 1966, page 66
Comment: The non-Beatle joke was the best I could do on this page. Times have changed, I guess.

Dad: Robert, how come all of a sudden you're such a nature lover?
Bob: Since the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Byrds and the Animals. - Ross Schwartzberg, Northridge, Calif.

Batz: Why does everyone want to burn Superman?
Robie: I don't know. Why?
Batz: Light up a Kent and you've got a good thing going. - Douglas Graham, Caldwell, N.J.

*** 1966 SEPTEMBER ***

Advertisement: Vox guitars and amplifiers

Vox: it's what's happening

Boys' Life: September 1966, page 75
Comment: Shows large picture of two members of Paul Revere and the Raiders.

Vox is the sound - the sound at the top. Like Paul Revere and the Raiders, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones. If you want to sound like the sound at the top, buy Vox. That's what's happening.

*** 1966 OCTOBER ***

The Hitchin' Rack

Boys' Life: October 1966, page 4

Dear Pedro:

In regards to Randy Michielsen's - that jazz-loving boy - letter in August's Hitchin' Rack, I wish he would keep his comments on the great masters (Mozart, Bach, etc.) of music to himself. I don't mean to be nasty, but someone - even if I'm in the minority as one teenager - has to uphold the great composers.

You may laugh at their powdered wigs, but what about the modern singers - that's what they do. I don't know what the pop singers wear, but wigs or not, they're powdered - FLEA POWDER!

I have to hand it to the modern groups for their titles. They use everything from silverware (the Loving Spoonfuls) to the Froggs. They use everything but the kitchen sinks (soon there will be Oliver Faucet and the Drips!) . . . Beatles. Rolling Stones - UGH! . . . That Classical Kook, Steven Antenucci, Hollidaysburg, Pa.

I'll count the "with you" and "against you" letters - but I refuse to stick my neck out. UU

Platter Chatter

Boys' Life: 1966 October 1966, page 6
Writer: Ernest Doclar

If you had the chance to paraphrase the French words from "Michelle", you guys and gals who are smitten with Beatlephilia might well scream, "Beatels, mes belles, ceux sont les punaises qui vont tr`es bien ensemble." Paul pleads with Michelle best, but don't overlook "Norwegian Wood", a pleasing blend of the group's instruments. Worst on the waxing is that originally titled piece, "Girl", with lyrics taken right from the Green Giant's can of niblets. (RUBBER SOUL, Capitol) ...

[And the last paragraph of the column:] Oh, yes. You say you don't read French and you want to know what I said about the Beatles? Translation: "Beatles, my lovely ones, you are the bugs that go so well together."

Comment: It's kind of funny to compare Doclar's opinion of the lyrics of "Girl" with John Lennon's: There's no such thing as "The Girl"; she was a dream. But the words are all right. It's about "Was she taught when she was young that pain would lead to pleasure, did she understand it . . ." and all that. They're sort of philosophy quotes, [it] was reasonable. I was thinking about it when I wrote it; it wasn't just "a song".

Advertisement: Vox guitars and amplifiers

Vox: it's what's happening

Boys' Life: October 1966, page 62
Comment: Shows large picture of Paul and George singing into a microphone onstage in front of Vox amps. Washington Coliseum concert?

Vox is the sound - the sound at the top. Like the Beatles, Paul Revere and the Raiders, the Rolling Stones. If you want to sound like the sound at the top, buy Vox. That's what's happening.

*** 1966 NOVEMBER ***

Advertisement: The Harmony Company





. . . and they sound as good as they look.

Boys' Life: November 1966, page 12
Comment: Shows three Harmony guitar styles. No Beatle mention here, but I wonder if the adman was trying to use them to catch the reader's attention. The word BEAUTIES caught my eye as looking more than a little like the word BEATLES. That may be far-fetched, but isn't it odd to emphasize a musical instrument's appearance first and foremost? The remaining two paragraphs about Harmony Brand guitars do not mention appearance at all.

Advertisement: Ludwig Drum Company

Join the "in" group . . . go Ludwig!

Boys' Life: November 1966, page 22

... Ask any of the top drummers like Joe Morello, Ringo Starr, Sandy Nelson or Roy Haynes! They'll tell you why it's "in" to play Ludwig...

Advertisement: Vox guitars and amplifiers

Boys' Life: November 1966, page 59
Comment: Same as September 1966, page 75.

*** 1966 DECEMBER ***

The Hitchin' Rack

Boys' Life: December 1966, page 6
Comment: These responses to the 1966 October Hitchin' Rack letter continue the classical vs. pop music fight, but do not contain Beatle references. By the way, Pedro's full name is Don Juan Pedro Ladino de Philmonte.

Dear Son of Amigo del Rio Pomposo Philmonte:

I would like to tell you that I agree 201 percent with Steven Antonucci. It is stupid to even think that compositions that have lasted for one, maybe two, maybe even three hundred years, can compare with tunes that are here today and gone tomorrow. We will see by the test of time. Fifty years from now we will recall which compositions are still around - that of the masters or of our present day recorders. Tell Steve he is not alone in his fight . . . Milton Miller, Los Angeles, Calif.

Score one for Steve. UU

Dear Don Juan:

I am not a Boy Scout, for that matter, I'm not even a boy! . . . I would like to tell Steven Antonucci one thing - Baby, I like Rock 'n' Roll and don't particularly dig the 3Bs' bag (Editor's note: Bach, Beethoven, Brahms), but I'm not gonna cut it down and I don't think anyone else should. Also I think if he doesn't want us cutting him, he shouldn't say anything against our music (and it is music). The Loving Spoonful are one of the best groups in the world, the "Froggs" are the "Troggs," and I think Oliver Faucet and the Drips is a darling name. So come on, baby, let's not dig in too hard . . . Danni Ellis, Seattle Wash.

How's that hit you, Steve? So far you're taking a pounding - the letters are running 3 to 2 against you. UU

Advertisement: Vox guitars and amplifiers

Vox: it's what's happening

Boys' Life: December 1966, page 82
Comment: Shows large picture of 3 Rolling Stones in concert.

Vox is the sound - the sound at the top. Like the Rolling Stones, Beatles, Paul Revere and the Raiders. If you want to sound like the sound at the top, buy Vox. That's what's happening.

Think And Grin

Boys' Life: December 1966, page 98

Dad: I can't understand why boys grow their hair so long these days.
Lad: Well, Jefferson and Washington had pretty long hair, too.
Dad: Yes, but they didn't go around beating guitars to call attention to it. - Richard Gillette, Fair Haven, N.J.

A father listening to his seven-year-old scratch away on the violin while the dog howled nearby finally asked the boy, "Can't you play a tune that the dog doesn't know?" - George Wolf, Fresno, Calif.

Sinking down into the barber's chair the man asked for a shave. After the barber's first few strokes with a dull razor the customer asked, "Do you have another razor?" "Yes, I do," responded the barber, "why?" Answered the customer, "I'd like to defend myself." - Leo Cain, Levittown, Pa.

An English tramp knocked at the back door of an old inn called "George and the Dragon" and asked for a bite to eat. "Not on your ruddy life," shouted the landlady. "Be off with you before I clout you on your noggin and call the constable!" The tramp slouched off but within a few minutes was at the door again. "Now what?" demanded the shrewish old woman. "I wonder," he asked, "if I might have a few words with George?" - Colin Cooke, Montara, Calif.

*** 1967 JANUARY ***

The Hitchin' Rack

Boys' Life: January 1967, page 6

Dear UU:

I agree with Steven Antenucci's statement 100%. The so-called "IN" groups such as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones sound as bad as my dog with its tail caught in a cement mixer. Anybody can get up on stage and make a lot of noise! Steve's right all the way. We should give more credit to the classical composers. At least they made music!!! It's not your fault a buncha boneheads send in crazy letters praising the long-haired, floppy-eared idiots. A new singing group should be called "Willie Wiggle and the Four Jerks" . . . Alan Neumann, Bakersfield, Calif.

You're a bit harsh, Alan. UU

Advertisement: Columbia Record Club

Hits make the difference!

Boys' Life: January 1967, page 12-15

Ramsey Lewis Trio. HANG ON RAMSEY. A Hard Day's Night.
Johnny Mathis. Michelle; Yesterday.
Les & Larry Elgart. SOUNDS OF THE TIMES. Michelle.
Trini Lopez. TRINI. Yesterday.
The Brothers Four. A BEATLES SONGBOOK. Michelle; Yesterday; All My Loving; If I Fell; Help; And I Love Her.
The Toys. Yesterday.
The Four Tops. ON TOP. Michelle.

Platter Chatter

Boys' Life: January 1967, page 20
Writer: Ernest Doclar

That other guy from U.N.C.L.E., believe it or not, is a pretty fair musician - oboe and English horn his specialties. Capitol Records set out to prove that David McCullum is a passable conductor and composer too. Make up your own mind - I was convinced. MUSIC - A PART OF ME has "One, Two, Three", Yesterday, Downtown, The Far Side of the Moon, plus two McCullum originals.

Big dance-band leader Lester Lanin was quarantined with Beatlemania, but he gets it all out of his system in this Phillips platter, 40 BEATLES HITS. Discarded: A Hard Day's Night, Michelle, Nowhere Man, Ticket To Ride - you name it.


Boys' Life: January 1967, page 62
Writer: Dinger
Comment: A hair joke, but with no explicit Beatles mention. Two buddies walk down the street. They both have hair down below their shoulders. It covers their faces, even. Only their noses protrude. Another guy walks up the street with hair only down past his eyes. One of the long-hairs exclaims, "Look, a butch!"

*** 1967 FEBRUARY ***

Making the Scene:


Boys' Life: February 1967, page 4

A Beatle on his own, John Lennon, will star in How I Won The War, a movie to be released by United Artists.

Advertisement: Vox guitars and amplifiers

Boys' Life: February 1967, page 44
Comment: Same ad with Beatle photo as 1966 October 1967, page 62.

*** 1967 MARCH ***

Platter Chatter

Boys' Life: March 1967, page 10
Writer: Ernest Doclar

It's a long way between Nashville and Liverpool, but guitarist Chet Atkins bridges the distance nicely when he PICKS ON THE BEATLES. Chet snuggles that big, shiny, black Gretsch guitar under his arm and makes a fool out of the guy who says Beatle music isn't bautiful. He does it with tender care in If I Fell, Yesterday, Can't Buy Me Love, more. George even gave his imprimatur when he wrote the liner notes.

Advertisement: Ludwig Drum Company

Boys' Life: March 1967, page 22
Comment: Same ad as 1966 November page 22. Mentions Ringo.

Think And Grin

Boys' Life: March 1967, page 70

One day Beatles George Harrison and Ringo Starr were walking along, in the park. George exclaimed, "Boy, I'm so hungry I could eat my guitar." "Here, George," said Ringo, "have a drumstick." - Tommy Finnell, Rockville, Md.

Shannie: Your sister is spoiled, isn't she?
Arpie: No, that's just the perfume she's wearing. - Andy Tannen, Silver Spring, Md.

There was once a papa, a mamma and a baby tomato. Papa and Mamma were in a big hurry, but poor Baby couldn't keep up. So Papa said to Baby, "Either keep pace with us or I'll punish you." But alas, Baby still lagged behind. Papa walked back and stepped on the baby tomato saying, "Now maybe this'll make you catch up." - Conrad Lowry, Lancaster, Calif.

*** 1967 MAY ***

Platter Chatter

Boys' Life: May 1967, page 8
Writer: Ernest Doclar

A sure sign of a recording group's cocksuredness is when they can have their latest album appear in a liner that's printed in black and white, no color. And that's just the case with the Beatle's REVOLVER. I finally figured out the key to the Liverpudlian's success: You can actually understand the words they sing! Best samples of the Beatlesongs: Good Day Sunshine, Got To Get You Into My Life, Ringo singing (?) Yellow Submarine. The worst: I Want To Tell You, which sounds like the work of a deaf, novice piano tuner. Most unique electronic effect: Tomorrow Never Knows, which at various moments sounds like something from "Space Conquerors," next moment like wild Indians besieging Custer, bagpipes, then a flock of seagulls - absolutely the craziest.


Boys' Life: May 1967, page 57
Writer: Not legible to me. Cartoonist's name starts "shir", possibly "shirl". Best guess for the whole name is "shirljuiju".
Comment: At the peak of a very high, Everest-type mountain. Two climbers have just conquered it. An American flag is planted between them. The climber on the left taps in a National Geographic Society flag. He looks perplexedly (presumably, under his goggles and mask) at his partner who pounds in a flag that shows four hairy, singing heads, and proclaims BEATLES.

*** 1967 JULY ***

Article: The Great Hair Hangup

It's total war as America's mop-tops take on the PTA in the wild and wooly Battle of the Bangs!

Boys' Life: July 1967, page 29, 44-45
Writer: Robert Abel

Is that a boy or a girl? Is that a boy or a sheepdog? Can this boy possibly be saved?

These, gentlemen, are some of the burning questions which have been bothering adults from Nome to New York, San Diego to Savannah, Milwaukee to Miami in recent months. Can this boy be saved? From what? From the long hair covering his forehead and his ears and a good part of his neck. On the other hand, does this boy want to be saved? Since it's no news that boys dearly dig the long hairstyles, the real news today is the reactions of adults to the styles, and it's often pretty funny news at that.

For example, a Massachusetts high-school football coach ordered members of his team to get a haircut or get cut from the squad. "I'm not coaching a girl team," he growled. His hairy athletes obeyed their coach's orders and afterward one of them admitted, "My helmet fits better. It was giving me a headache." Down south a Lexington, Ky., father bought his Beatle-browed son a dog license, complete with tag, in honor of his shaggy dog looks. And over in England, where this long hair fad originated, a school principal scolded a "girl" for being in the boys' room. Only she was a he and he was in the right room all right. ...

Many parents recognize that the current styles may be part of a fad - partly [partly???] started by the Beatles and the 123 million rock 'n' roll groups which came after them - and no parent has yet won an argument against the Beatles and their followers. [Heeheehee! See my Beatles newspaper clippings page.] Furthermore, some parents like the long hair on top of their sons. An Alexandria, Va., woman, the mother of four sons with mop-tops, says, "It's really great for the boys' egos, the way everybody makes a fuss over their hair." And Marya Mannes, the well-known social critic and also a parent, has made the following interesting judgment: "Hair is both manly and womanly, and the shock of hair on a boy is far more virile and decorative than the crew cut." ...

The 17th century saw the most dramatic changes ever in men's hair styles. Two important kings, England's James I and France's Louis XII, wore long hair...

Since the early part of this century, it has been first the movies, and then both films and television, which have helped to inspire male hairstyles... Wavy hair remained popular into the 1940s but the U.S. Government-issue haircut made everyone look pretty much alike. After the war, the crew cut continued this trend and even led to a near scalping known as the "flattop". Then Elvis Presley began to bring long hair back into fashion and whatever he left undone the Beatle-brows have completed. We are now back to where we were in the 17th century - which is a kind of progress, if you want to look at it that way...

*** 1967 AUGUST ***

Making the Scene:


Boys' Life: August 1967, page 4

If you dig technical achievements, you should have seen the N.E.T. [National Educational Television] program Our World broadcast from four satellites - three American and one Russian - to viewers on five continents - live. No tape or film was used in presenting scenes in 18 nations. Highlights of "The Hungry World" part were a phytotron in Australia, which can create 24 hours of simulated sunlight daily to speed plant growth, and an American mechanized farm. "Aspirations to Excellence" (arts and outdoor athletics) offered the Beatles, young pianist Van Cliburn, conductor Leonard Bernstein, and a 16-year-old girl freestyle swimmer. "The World Beyond" zeroed in on the Moonport at Cape Kennedy. Hope you can catch a repeat if you missed this.

*** 1967 SEPTEMBER ***

Platter Chatter

Boys' Life: September 1967, page 14
Writer: Ernest Doclar

Ten or 15 years from now [that would be 1982] you'll look back on the songs and singers of your youth. Will you remember the Beatles [who???] - or will you remember their songs? It's probably a tossup, but if you've heard the Hollyridge Strings do Beatle music, you know that who actually performs it matters little. That music's got it - it'll be around for a long while after the mopheads are out of it. Best from Liverpool: Penny Lane, Yellow Submarine, Good Day Sunshine, Eleanor Rigby, and others on THE BEATLES SONGBOOK, VOL. 4.

*** 1967 NOVEMBER ***

Advertisement: Ludwig Drum Company

Boys' Life: November 1967, page 58
Comment: Same ad as 1966 November page 22. Mentions Ringo.

*** 1967 DECEMBER ***

Advertisement: Vox guitars and amps

Leave this ad in Santa's pad

Boys' Life: December 1967, page 68-69

Vox: it's what's happening. And Santa ought to know. But be subtle. Circle your favorite Vox gear and leave the ad in a rather unconspicuous place. Like under Dad's dinner plate. Join the Beatles and the Monkees. Get with Vox, the sound at the top. Tell Santa to make it part of his bag.

The amps of the champs.

Vox sounds off with 12 big sound amps. All solid state. All guaranteed for one year - even speakers. With powerful exclusives. Like the giant 240-watt peak power of the Vox Beatles... Solid backs intensify bass. Repeat percussion of the big Beatle Deluxe lets you accompany yourself with a new range of effects...

Other accessories? Everything from guitar strings, boosters, P.A. systems, echo reverb units, Vox's exclusive tone bender, microphones, all the way up to shoulder straps, like John Lennon's.

*** 1968 JANUARY ***

Advertisement: Columbia Record Club

Happiness is any 10 free

Boys' Life: January 1968, page 12-15

SERGIO MENDES & BRASIL 66. Daytripper.
Vanilla Fudge. THE BEAT GOES ON. Eleanor Rigby.
Jack Jones. OUR SONG. Michelle.
Claudine Longet [bride of O.J.?] CLAUDINE. Good Day Sunshine.
Joan Baez. JOAN. Eleanor Rigby.

*** 1968 FEBRUARY ***

Think And Grin

The Cartoon Bug . . .

Boys' Life: February 1968, page 78
Comment: The Cartoon Bug feature is just a few months old. Boys' Life readers are invited to send in their own cartoons, and one is selected for publication.

Has he ever bitten you? This month he got John D. Woods Jr... John... now lives in Dayton Ohio. He's 13 years old and a seventh grader...

Comment: Cartoon shows a young man in the barber's chair. A sign on the wall says "Beatle Haircuts $2.00" and shows a head with a Beatle-style haircut. The young man is looking at the sign. The barber has a look of shock on his face, and drops his electric clippers because the young man has just requested, "A Beatle, please." If that needs further explanation, you can get it from the accompanying comments:

The Cartoon Bug made very few alterations in John's drawing. The only change was John's use of black areas. Black is best used conservatively and saved to add punch to that part of the gag to which one hopes to draw the reader's attention. An example in John's cartoon focuses on the Beatle's black haircut in contrast to the young man's crewcut. Remember, in a cartoon, the humor should be clearly stated.

[And a few jokes from the page...]

Visitor: Is this a healthy place?
Native: It sure is. When I came here I couldn't utter a word. I had scarcely a hair on my head. I hadn't the strength to walk across the room. Why, I had to be lifted from my bed!
Visitor: Wow, that's wonderful! How long have you been here?
Native: I was born here. - John Frank, Philadelphia, Pa.

At a school dance a sad-looking student made an announcement, "I have just lost my wallet with 50 dollars inside. To the student who returns it to me, I'll give five dollars." I voice from the back of the hall piped up, "I'll make it 15!" - Steven Mills, St. Louis, Mo.

At the theater a fat man and his wife were returning to their seats after intermission. "Did I step on your foot as I went out?" he asked the man at the end of the row. "You certainly did," replied the other man grimly, expecting an apology. The fat one then turned to his wife and said, "OK, Ruth, this is our row." - Carl Larrabee, Liverpool, N.Y.

*** 1968 MARCH ***

Platter Chatter

Boys' Life: March 1968, page 8
Writer: Ernest Doclar
Comment: This is the last Platter Chatter column for Ernest Doclar. He writes, "The boss says I gotta cut out all this discs and data." It turns out there was one more - without Beatle mentions - by a different reviewer in September 1968.

PENNY LANE AND TIME (Kai Winding.) Kai Winding's long trombone oozes with Beatlejuice like the title tune and Eleanor Rigby. The woodwinds hum melodiously throughout but most noticeably in Amy's Theme. A swayin' sampling of Latina Americana is the bossa version of A Man And A Woman.

*** 1968 MAY ***

Think And Grin

Boys' Life: May 1968, page 82

Pop: No, you cannot wear your hair like those Beatles!
Junior: But why not, Pop? You wear yours like Yul Brynner. - J. Abeles, Fair Lawn, N.J.

Jonathan: Grandma fell down a flight of stairs.
Sam: Cellar?
Jonathan: No, I think she can be repaired. - Howell Styre, Nazareth, Pa.

*** 1968 OCTOBER ***

November Cub Theme Tips

Building a Showboat

Boys' Life: October 1968, page 74-75

Don't feel sad about the death of the showboat. You and your den, working with other dens in your Cub pack, can bring it back to life - for one night. You'll have fun reliving those happy days on the river. And every Cub in the pack can take part, either on stage or backstage. ...


Entertainers and actors must perform in a show. Perhaps in your pack are cubs who can play the guitar or a banjo. There may be boys who can sing well. But the show can go on, even if the pack has no one to do these things for real.

Anyone can act as if he were singing, and with the hidden record player any kind of music you want is ready at the flick of a switch.

Organize a combo. Make them look and act like the Monkees or the Beatles. Any odd clothes will make them look the part. The boys in the combo can comb their hair over their eyes, wear turtleneck sweaters. The combo's main job will be to look the part. Voices will be supplied by the record player...

*** 1968 NOVEMBER ***

Advertisement: Ludwig Drum Company

Are you drummer enough for a Ludwig?

Boys' Life: November 1968, page 20
Comment: Shows a young drummer in a collarless jacket.

The move up from "just any" drum outfit to the true professional quality of a Ludwig outfit is an important step for any young drummer. It means you've become aware of the difference between just pounding some "skins" and really expressing your own sounds. The way a Ringo Starr does. Or a Sandy Nelson, Dino Danelli, or Ginger Baker... In drum outfits, anything less than a Ludwig is less than perfection.

*** 1969 JANUARY ***

Advertisement: Columbia Record Club

12 records for only $3.98. Plus free all-transistor radio

Boys' Life: January 1969, page 18-21

Paul Mauriat. MAURIAT MAGIC. Michelle.
Andre Kostelanetz. FOR THE YOUNG AT HEART. Lady Madonna.
Ramsey Lewis. MAIDEN VOYAGE. Lady Madonna.
SERGIO MENDES & BRASIL 66. Daytripper.
Claudine Longet. CLAUDINE. Good Day Sunshine.
Tammy Wynette. D-I-V-O-R-C-E. Yesterday.

*** 1969 FEBRUARY ***

Making the Scene:


Boys' Life: February 1969, page 10

The Yellow Submarine is a vastly different vehicle. For all-out groovy fantasy it's the most. John, Paul, George and Ringo, in animated cartoon figures, come from Liverpool via sub to rescue the good people of Pepperland who have been socked, inundated and depressed by the Blue Meanies - they hate music, goodness, love and laughter. The Beatles music is real enough, with the beat somewhat mellowed, and the technical camera work is more than up to date.




*** Surprise Addendum ***

In 2007 I subscribed to Boys' Life. In the very first issue, I found a couple of Beatle references. Might as well keep adding them to this page . . .

Article: Finding Help on the High Seas

When these Boy Scouts need some sailing expertise, they turned to a crew of Sea Scouts for help

Boys' Life: June 2007, page 20
Writer: Aaron Derr
Comment: The Beatle quote serves as a heading of one chunk of the article.

A Little Help From Their Friends

At 15, Sea Scout Ellington Tynes is younger than many of the Troop 2 Scouts. But he has something they don't: experience on the Odyssey...

"We tell them what they have to do to sail safely," Ellington says. "Sometimes it's hard to get everybody coordinated."

Think And Grin

Boys' Life: June 2007, page 57

Jake: What did the boy octopus say to the girl octopus?
Jim: What?
Jake: "I wanna hold your hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand." - Clark Hense, Ventura, Calif.

Article: On A Mission

Eagle Scout John Beck's journey from Arizona High School football star to Miami Dolphins quarterback
was a long and winding road. He wouldn't have it any other way.

Boys' Life: September 2007, page 34,35,37
Writer: Aaron Derr

Beck has taken a long and winding road to this point: high school in Mesa, Ariz.; to a two-year mission in Lisbon, Portugal; to college football at Brigham Young University in Provo...


Date: April 28, 2007. Here's how John spent draft day...

Think And Grin

Boys' Life: November 2007, page 69

Robby: What is a pigeon's favorite song?
Bobby: Uh, I have no idea.
Robby: "All You Need Is Dove!" - Peter Eric Dykhuis, Raleigh, N.C.

Article: Doing His Part (and More) To Save The Earth

Josh Stone shares what it takes to earn
a Hornaday Silver Medal - work, work,
and more work, along with a little help
from his friends.

Boys' Life: April 2008, page 18
Writer: Caitlin Kelly

Comic: The Wacky Adventures of Pedro

Boys' Life: May 2008, page 55
Comment: This installment wraps up Pedro's adventures in which he was nabbed by aliens. It shows sample frames from earlier installments, one of which shows Pedro at the cockpit of his spaceship. I'm guessing the frame first appeared in the May 2007 installment. In it, Pedro is wearing beads, hippie glasses, and a Sgt. Pepper-ish jacket.

Pedro: Coming in too fast! Got to level off! I'll try the retro rockets - and the retro styles!

Music from speaker on control panel: "All you need is love!"

Article: Here Comes The Sun!

Be prepared for those broiling summer days
with these handy tips and hot gear.

Boys' Life: June 2009, page 24
Writer: Mark Anders

Comic: The Wacky Adventures of Pedro

Boys' Life: June 2009, page 43

Our dizzy donkey, marooned on a far planet, slips and falls into a teleport unit connected to a wild, disordered destination - a typical woozy Pedro stunt!

And instantly, across the universe...

Pedro: Why, I... I'm in my own office at Boys' Life!

Article: Good Night

Washington Boy Scouts stay up late testing their Scout skills at the all-night Nite Hike.

Boys' Life: September 2009, page 40
Writer: Aaron Derr
Comment: This nod to the Beatle song "A Hard Day's Night" serves as a heading for one chunk of the article.

Hard Night's Work

In addition to the Scout Law test, the competition features a contest called Blow Guns of Death...




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