​Previously unheard Beatles interview published by NFSA

Beatles fans will be able to hear, for the first time ever, the unedited version of an interview that John, George and Ringo gave to Melbourne radio personality Binny Lum ahead of their Australian tour in April 1964.

The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA) will publish the 16-minute conversation to mark the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ Australian tour tomorrow, 11 June. Edited versions have been broadcast and included on special discs over the years, but the full interview had never been released.

Radio curator Maryanne Doyle says, “The Beatles were at the height of their popularity and it was a real coup that an Australian radio personality, unknown in the UK, had managed to secure an interview with the English rock band, the hottest property in show business. The fact that this occurred says as much for Lum’s tenacity as her well connected network of contacts.”

Lum’s recordings (including interviews with a young Barbra Streisand, Fred Astaire and many other Australian and international personalities) were donated to the NFSA by her husband Geoff Charter and her daughter Sharon Terry.

The interview and a full transcript is available on the NFSA’s SoundCloud channel from today 10 June 2014.

The celebration will continue with a special free event, The Vinyl Lounge – The Beatles Down Under, on June 13 at 5:30pm.

NFSA sound curators will play the band’s best tracks – directly from rare British, Australian, Japanese and Spanish vinyl pressings from the 1960s – as well as selections from the interview disc The Beatles Down Under. They will also show television footage featuring the band about to board their transcontinental flight, John Lennon’s auntie Mimi Smith in Australia, and excerpts from their press conference in Adelaide.

The NFSA blog will publish additional Beatles-related materials throughout the week – including oral history interviews with Frank Ifield and Martin Benge, both of whom worked with the Fab Four, and newsreels and other footage from the era.

Clips from the Binny Lum Beatles interview are available for media use. Binny Lum’s daughter Sharon Terry is available for interviews, and NFSA senior sound curator Thorsten Kaeding is also available to talk about the impact of The Beatles in Australia.

If you’d like to set up an interview or have other questions, contact Miguel Gonzalez on (02) 8202 0114 or [email protected] for more information. 

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