To complement Radio 2's celebration of 25 years of Brian Matthew's Sounds of the Sixties, 6 Music presents a season of documentaries about Brian's friends the Beatles.
Every day, tourists beat a path to Lennon and McCartney's childhood homes, restored to their 1950s glory by the National Trust. From Albert Dock to Mathew Street, Beatle memorials are ever present: Penny Lane and Strawberry Field, clubs like The Jacaranda, The Casbah and The Cavern where the group learned its trade, The Grapes and Ye Cracke, where the young Beatles would enjoy a pint of cider and Gambier Terrace where John Lennon shared a flat with fellow art student Stu Sutcliffe. The Beatles connection is worth millions of pounds a year to the local economy.
In a programme filled with atmospheric location recordings, music and archive, Craig Charles visits Menlove Avenue, where Lennon's Aunt Mimi ruled the roost and the young John practised his guitar in the porch, and Forthlin Road where John and Paul composed so many of their most famous songs in the McCartney's front room. He'll sit in 'the shelter in the middle of the roundabout' at Penny Lane and head for the Cavern with fans like Geoff Davies who saw the Beatles perform there more than seventy times. We'll hear the Kop singing She Loves You in 1963, listen to acetates of the earliest recordings made by the Quarrymen in a local DIY recording studio, discover how Eleanor Rigby really did exist and find out about Tommy Handley and Albert Stubbins, the Scouse legends Lennon picked to grace the cover of Sgt.Pepper.
What was in the Mersey air that enabled John, Paul, George and Ringo to conquer the world ? How did the city shape The Beatles and how does their enduring success continue to impact upon their home town ?