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Doug Moody & The Beatles?
A little known story.
There is a lot of hoopla about the 50th anniversary of the Beatles 
appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, which, in effect introduced a Beatles live performance to the whole of America. There was, of course a lot of work going on behind the scenes before The Beatles could get to that point. Doug Moody has always been a modest man and I have had the privilege of hearing more of his music business stories than just about anyone over our 31 year friendship. One story he told me was about how The Beatles were first introduced to America.


Doug's father Walter Moody had been the Recording Manager of Popular Music at EMI Records in Britain.  Dick James, had been one of Walter's Recording Artists. Dick James, along with Brian Epstein, Paul McCartney and John Lennon owned Northern Songs, which published all of the Beatles Songs. James sent a record to Doug who had moved to America in 1953, via Lenny Hodes, asking Doug to introduce The Beatles to America. 


The 45, which was the first Beatles record to come to America, had "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" and "Please Please Me" on it.  Doug first brought the record to Mercury Records, which he worked for, and they turned it down saying "You can't sell an Everly Brothers record and these guys sound like the Everly Brothers."  Doug and Lenny shopped the record to all the major labels and 14 labels turned it down. VeeJay, an independent label, agreed to release the record. Doug knew 20 powerful DJ's who knew that when Doug gave them a song, it was usually a really good one and often became a hit. These DJ's, on Doug's reputation, played the songs. 


Then, as the songs began to take off, Doug went to WKBW a 50,000 watt radio station in Buffalo New York. WKBW was a powerhouse radio station because, at night, its signal could be heard all across America. Doug spent several hours at the station & did an interview with DJ Joey Reynolds where he impersonated Ringo Starr. People had heard of The Beatles but no one had ever seen them. Doug, who by this time was in his mid-thirties, knew that anyone who saw him would never believe that he was a Beatle. He devised a plan to offset this. He rented a limo to take him from the airport to the radio station and back and got Kenny Dino, a popular music artist in his own right, to don a blond wig and join him in the Limo. He did this so that anyone seeing them enter or leave the radio station would think Dino was Ringo and Doug was a manager. Doug, with his British accent could (at least over the radio) pass as another Brit.


While he was being interviewed, a DJ from WBZ in Boston called the station, and when asked to talk to Ringo was told by a friend at the station that it was actually Doug Moody impersonating Ringo. The DJ, who knew Doug spoke with him and told Doug, if he didn't get on a plane and come to his station to be interviewed as Ringo, that he (the DJ), would never play another record for Doug again. Doug complied and arranged a plane for Boston. As he and Kenny Dino emerged from WKBW, throngs of teenage girls were waiting outside, true to expectations, the girls thought Kenny was Ringo as he and Doug scurried into the Limo, took off for the airport with the sirens of a police escort in front of them and cars and pick- up trucks filled with screaming girls following behind them. Doug did the interview in Boston as well.


As a footnote, Kenny Dino had been a longtime friend of Doug's and had a hit in the 1950's entitled "Your Ma Said You Cried In Your Sleep Last Night". 


Doug is doing better but is still in a lot of pain after his accident. He and Mary Ann appreciated hearing from those of you that have sent your good wishes.


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Until the next chapter of the saga, take it easy, take it slow, take it any way it comes. Keep on sending me your news, I'm working on another newsletter.

Mystic Mark




Doug & Maryann Still On The Mend