Carol grew up in in Pueblo, Colorado. They called it the little Pittsburg of the West. Her dad was a steelworker. Her mom was a lab tech phlebotomist at the hospital. Whenever one of the kids got sick, her mom would bring home a hypodermic needle in her purse to draw some blood.
“To see if you have strep throat,” she’d say.
Carol was so excited for the Ed Sullivan show. It was February, 1964, and the Liverpool band, The Beatles, were set to perform that coming Sunday evening. Her parents said she could invite two of her girlfriends to come over to watch with her on their color TV.
The show opened with Ed telling his live studio audience, “We have a really big shoo for you tonight, a really big shoo.”
The variety hour seemed to drag on forever. Finally, at the very end, Ed said, “And now, here are the Beatles!”
John, Paul, George, and Ringo! John was too edgy for a thirteen year old girl, but Paul was just right.
Carol started screaming. Soon her friends joined in. The screams gave way to sobs as the Beatles sang All My Loving and then I Want to Hold Your Hand.
Carol’s dad looked at the three crying teens.
“What the hell is wrong with you girls?” he asked.
But Carol couldn’t say. She was too busy staring at Paul McCartney.
Seventy-three million people tuned into the show that night. Every girl in America over the age of twelve had screamed along with Carol and her friends.
Beatlemania had come to the U.S. A.
Couldda Wouldda Didda
I watched along with my older sister, Barb, and the rest of the family in Iowa. I was eight years old, and she was about to turn twelve. Yes, she screamed and cried. I didn’t get it, but since I shared a bedroom with her, I would learn every word to every Beatles song on the first five albums, until she got her own bedroom downstairs when my brothers moved to the basement.
My favorite album back then – Rubber Soul.