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"Good Day Sunshine State" book sheds light on the dawn of Beatlemania in 1964 Florida

The Beatles made their American debut on the Ed Sullivan Show in February of 1964. Shortly after that performance, the band flew to Miami for a 9-day stay that included two more performances on the Ed Sullivan Show filmed at the Deauville Hotel in Miami.

While they were in Miami, the Beatles experienced their first real taste of the kind of stardom that was rushing toward them, and what might be their last taste of what life is like for everyday folks here in the United States.

Between that stint in Miami, and a return trip the Florida later that year for a show at the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville — which turned out to be the first racially integrated stadium concert ever in the Southeastern U.S. — the Beatles spent more time in Florida than anywhere else in North America during that time in their career.

A new book by author Bob Kealing provides an intimate account of that time, how it affected the four band members, and how they affected the people, and the culture, around them.

Good Day Sunshine State: How the Beatles Rocked Florida” is the sixth nonfiction book by Kealing.

His earlier books include: “Elvis Ignited: The Rise of an Icon in Florida” and “Kerouac In Florida: Where The Road Ends.” He was also a reporter at WESH-Channel 2 in Orlando for 25 years before retiring from TV news in 2017.

Copyright 2023 WGCU. To see more, visit WGCU.

Mike Kiniry
Tara Calligan