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George Harrison’s First Trip to America…was to Benton, Illinois

Before the Beatlemania that started in the US in early 1964, a member of the band visited the states, played a few sets with a band in Benton, Illinois and was interviewed by a young radio broadcaster named Marcia.


(Duration: 51:26)

A photo of the Beatles George gave Marcia back in the 1960's. He autographed the back "Love from George Harrison."

A photo of the Beatles George gave Marcia back in the 1960's. He autographed the back "Love from George Harrison."

When she was 17 years old, Marcia Raubach got a phone call to come into the station where she hosted a weekend morning teen music show because there was a musician there who wanted to personally thank her for being one of the first to play his band’s record on the radio in America. That musician was none other than the late George Harrison, and 50 years later, when she looks back on it, Raubach kicks herself for not recording the interview she did with Harrison on WFRX in West Frankfort, Illinois in the fall of 1963.

It was the first interview with a member of the band that aired on American radio, and this hour on Focus, we’ll talk with Marcia about what she asked Harrison all those years ago. We’ll talk with her about meeting him and how the interview has remained a part of her life ever since.

We’ll also talk with Jim Kirkpatrick, author of the book “Before He Was Fab,” a book about Harrison’s visit to Illinois in 1963 and Bob Bartel, a Beatles memorabilia collector and the man responsible for the “Beatles house” in Benton, where George stayed when he first visited, being named an Illinois historical landmark.

Are you a Beatles fan? Do you remember when you first discovered the band? We’d love to hear from you this hour on Focus!

Categories: Music

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    Transcript for file: focus130919a.mp3


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