News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists

Steve Stewart

More about the Beatles in post office

An item in this column three weeks ago sent Jonathan Baggs to the Internet, where he learned more about the night a Hartselle man’s father met the Beatles.

Ray Bell’s father was a postal worker in Carlisle, England, and the Beatles took refuge in the post office to get away from screaming girls at a concert. According to one news account, nine teenagers were injured when 600 fans rioted.

Jonathan, a Decatur musician and former Daily reporter, says that night was Nov. 21, 1963, the eve of the release of the Beatles’ second album in Great Britain. They had sold 300,000 albums in advance.

“Mr. Bell can be assured that his father witnessed firsthand what the world was about to encounter,” Jonathan wrote. “He saw, before most people, how rock ‘n’ roll was about to change the world and societal landscape.”

With help from a friend in Spain, Jonathan located a picture from the Carlisle concert — a close-up of Paul McCartney and George Harrison performing — at

Beatles, Super Bowl

If you want to hear Beatles music, the best recordings are those mixed in monophonic sound, especially “Sgt. Pepper,” Jonathan advises.

“Beatles albums were mixed in mono for the U.K. market, and this is the way Beatles albums should be heard. Capitol (Records) USA would take the English mixes and add ‘fake stereo’ and a bunch of reverb that would cover up a lot of things going on in the songs.

“Later this year, all of the Beatles albums will be re-released as they were intended to be heard — in mono but with state-of-the-art 24-bit sound — with the original U.K. track (song) sequences. It will be the closest thing to being in the studio when the songs were recorded and hearing them the way the Beatles intended for them to be heard. …

“What I’ve heard from industry insiders is that a special announcement will be made by iTunes during today’s Super Bowl.”

Pancakes with what?

The Kiwanis Club of Decatur is gearing up for its annual all-you-can-eat Pancake Day on Feb. 24, but the chairman’s activities have left other officers wondering what’s on the menu this year.

Phil Mitchell, club first vice president, gets the duty of making sure that enough pancake batter is on hand, along with margarine, syrup and, usually, sausage patties.

He missed several board meetings when Pancake Day plans were on the agenda, citing some extremely necessary hunting trips to Canada, Arkansas and North Alabama areas known for ducks and geese. Patrice Stewart says you’ll have to attend Pancake Day in the Decatur High cafeteria to see what he serves.

His space

Lo Pu-yi of Taipei, Taiwan, is an expert in feng shui, an ancient Chinese practice of arranging space to achieve harmony with the environment.

He cut down more than 40 banyan, willow and bamboo trees at an apartment complex next to his house in order to improve his feng shui, according to The Associated Press.

His neighbors claim $12,000 in damages. Meanwhile, he can try out the feng shui in jail. A criminal court sentenced him to four months.

Send stories for You Don’t Say to, or call Weekend Editor Steve Stewart at 340-2444. Or write P.O. Box 2213, Decatur, AL 35609. Daily staff members contribute many of the items you see here. This column appears Sundays and Wednesdays.

Steve Stewart Steve Stewart
DAILY Weekend Editor

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