I am old enough to have watched The Beatles make their live American television debut on The Ed Sullivan Show back on February 9, 1964. It was certainly a life-changer, and I will never forget the excitement the next morning when I joined my third-grade classmates to sing “She Loves You” on the schoolyard steps. One day shy of its golden anniversary, Nashville’s preeminent album covers band, The Long Players, deviated from their long player norm to celebrate this historic night in American pop culture.
The music consisted of all the songs from the Fab Four’s three 1964 Sullivan appearances skipping over the duplicates. The first set was rounded out with songs from the band’s first U.S. concert on February 11, 1964 in Washington D.C., followed by an encore set of more early Beatles’ songs.
Tonight’s cast of singers was smaller than usual with local lads Mike Vargo and Young Hines doing most of the Lennon and McCartney vocal work. The other singers on hand included Turtle and Belmont University prof, Mark Volman. When asked of his Sullivan appearance, Volman said that in Ed’s jaded eyes, no one else ever lived up to The Beatles. Two crusty old Brit rockers, Michael Snow (Rockin’ Horse) and Ritchie Rutledge (The Cryin’ Shames), teamed up adding some English pride to the occasion.
Despite all of the great guest singers, I most enjoyed the moments where it was just The Long Players foursome of Lloyd, Allen, Jones and Ebe. In fact, on their own they would make a great Beatles tribute band. In honor to the original Fab Four, this group even let the drummer (Steve Ebe) sing one song just like Ringo got to do back in the old days.
Although it differed from their norm, The Long Players gave us a rock solid evening of entertainment. You are making a mistake if you are avoiding them as just another cover band. These guys are truly something special no matter what they are playing.
- All My Loving (Mike Vargo)
- ‘Till There Was You (Young Hines)
- She Loves You (The Long Players)
- I Saw Her Standing There (Mike Vargo)
- I Want to Hold Your Hand (Mark Volman)
- This Boy (Young Hines)
- From Me to You (Michael Snow and Ritchie Rutledge)
- Please Please Me (Mike Vargo)
- Twist and Shout (Young Hines)
- Roll Over Beethoven (Steve Forbert)
- I Wanna Be Your Man (Steve Ebe)
- Long Tall Sally (Mike Vargo)
- A Hard Day’s Night (Mike Vargo)
- I’ll Cry Instead (Young Hines)
- No Reply (Steve Forbert)
- I Don’t Want to Spoil the Party (Wise Water)
- Love Me Do (Young Hines)
- Don’t Bother Me (Mark Volman)
- Money (That’s What I Want) (Young Hines)
- I Should Have Known Better (Michael Snow and Ritchie Rutledge)
- I Feel Fine (Steve Allen)
- She’s a Woman (Brad Jones)
- Honey Don’t (Bill Lloyd)
- Nowhere Man (The Long Players)
- Eight Days a Week (Mark Volman)
- Can’t Buy Me Love (Mike Vargo)
- You Can’t Do That (Young Hines)
- I’m Down (The Long Players)
- Slow Down (The Long Players)
- Dizzy, Miss Lizzie (ALL)
with special guest: