Feb 10, 2014
GEORGE HARRISON’S SISTER LOOKS BACK AT DAY IN ’64
By JERRY WOFFORD World Scene Writer | Updated Yesterday
When Louise Harrison’s brother got off the airplane in New York on Feb. 7, 1964, she knew she had a lot of work ahead of her.
Her brother, George Harrison, had a big gig Feb. 9 with his band. They were set to play the Ed Sullivan Show.
“I had been living in the United States most of 1963, and I’d been trying to get them some airplay that year,” Louise said in a recent telephone interview. “When they came to do the show, my brother invited me to come over … which was probably just as well because when he arrived in New York on that day, he had a really bad strep throat and 104 degree temperature, so I got roped in to look after him and help him get back on his feet by Sunday night.”
Everywhere they and the screaming fans went, so did the television cameras.
“When they first arrived at the hotel, the TV had been covering their arrival, so on every TV in the suite they all had different channels on and we were running from room to room to see what the different people were saying about the Beatles’ arrival,” Louise said. “It was a lot of fun.”
George got in better condition, and the Beatles performed the now-famous show. And Louise had a front-row seat.
About 73 million Americans tuned into that Ed Sullivan Show, at the time the most watched television program in history.
“All this fame and money and all this stuff, it wasn’t very satisfying, and they felt sort of hollow,” Louise said. “That’s why (George) started getting into finding what it’s really all about. Maybe there’s more to life than all of this nonsense.”
After George’s death in 2001, Louise met Marty Scott. She was struck by his resemblance to her brother and by his musical ability.
“I’d always had the feeling that wherever my brother’s being went to, he kind of looked around the planet and said, ‘Ahh, here’s a likely guy who could be a brother to her.’ We have had a wonderful brother-sisterly relationship ever since,” Louise said.
They found musicians to play John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr and formed Liverpool Legends, which has a regular home in Branson, Mo., during the summer and tours the country through the year, often playing at schools as a way to raise money for school music programs or other charities.
“The fact that we’re doing this, to me, means that I’m sort of fulfilling what my brother’s mission was, to help keep music alive and encourage young people to enjoy music and spread the joy of music to other people,” Louise said.
The group, for which Louise is manager, is set to perform March 29 at the Bartlesville Community Center. Get tickets at bartlesvillecommunitycenter.com