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Relive the soundtrack of 'Beatlemania' as IUPUI professor and DJ spins the hits


Douglas Babb, Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI, The Music of the Beatles, The Music of Pink Floyd


INDIANAPOLIS — IUPUI music professor Douglas B. Babb will appear as his alter ego — Dr. Spin, “The World’s Only All Vinyl D.J.” — during two events celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ arrival in America.

Babb teaches the semester-long “The Music of the Beatles” course in the Department of Music and Arts Technology in the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI.

In celebration of the anniversary of the Beatles’ first visit to America, Dr. Spin will play all the English rock group’s records in the order of their release from 7 to midnight Friday, Feb. 7 at Smee’s Place, 1454 W. 86th St. in Indianapolis.

It was Feb. 9, 1964, when the Fab Four took America by storm as 74 million people watched them perform on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”

Dr. Spin also will play The Beatles music at 2 p.m. Feb. 16 at Indy CD and Vinyl, 806 Broad Ripple Ave., during the store’s five-hour salute to the Beatles. Dr. Spin’s presentation will feature little-known and obscure Beatles covers including versions by Switched-On Beatles, Motown Does the Beatles and Wes Montgomery.

While the Beatles’ success in America appeared to be a spontaneous — if not overnight — success, it was part of a carefully orchestrated plan, according to Babb.

“Already well known in England and throughout Europe, the Beatles decided not to come to America until they had a No. 1,” Babb said.

After several stalled releases of early singles by small independent labels, including the blues, jazz and soul label Vee Jay Records based in Gary, Ind., Capitol Records came on board. Capitol released “I Want to Hold Your Hand”/”I Saw Her Standing There” on Dec. 26, 1963. By Feb. 1, 1964, it was No. 1.

Ready with re-releases of the earlier songs and a steady stream of new recordings, films and relentless tours, the Beatles dominated the press and radio.

“Beatlemania had come to America,” Babb said.