Dem Beatles

        When I was growing up my parents were afraid I might become “one of dem Beatles,” except they said “those” instead of ‘dem. (Remember?  Mama was an English teacher.)  Bub the barber worried the new haircuts might set a trend and run him out of business.  I remember I was so excited they were gonna be on Ed Sullivan.  I told my uncle the farmer the Beatles were coming and he said he hoped they didn’t eat up his crops.  

        Over time most of us got used to the fact that even Harvey County might change some.  Of course there are always a few people who hold onto things they shoulda turned loose of a long time ago.  Believe it or not this even applies to the Beatles.

        I saw a fellow at the Billiard and Bowl the other day who was like that.  He had on a bright orange hunting cap that had this huge peak on the front and wore a camouflage jacket.  If he’d had a shotgun over his shoulder he’d been a ringer for Elmer Fudd gone to shoot some ‘wabbits.’

        “Hey Doc how come you let dem Beatles come to North Carolina?”

        “Whatda you mean?”

        “Dem Beatles.  They was over near Charlotte at that new Don Gibson theatre.”

        “The Beatles?  I think some of them are gone, my friend.”

        “Hell no.  They wuz there. How come you didn’t stop it?”

        “Hm.  It must have been ’64.  They’re a tribute band.  But brother I gotta tell you, I ain’t in charge.”

        “Well you shoulda been.”  He grumped around a minute and put some salt on his liver mush.  “I tell you what’s the truth.  When dem Beatles came out I didn’t put me a radio in my new car.  Still don’t have one.”

        “Lordy man, that was near a half century ago.  You’ve missed some good music.  They’ve got bluegrass on the radio nowadays.”


        “Yes sir, no kidding.”

         “Do they still got dem Beatles?”

         “Well, yes sir, at least some stations do.”

        “Then I’m agin it.  Hmph.”  He sipped on his coffee a minute.  “At least they didn’t put ’em over at the new Scruggs place.”

         “I reckon.  Maybe so.  We don’t want no riots.”

        “You tell ’em, Doc.”

        I didn’t know I was in charge of so much.

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8 Comments on “Dem Beatles”

  1. You are a good writer. I’m an English teacher too. Maybe one day I can teach the love of languages to my children too. Listen, I added you to my blogroll. I’m new to blogging, 2 weeks now so I added you because you are nice and funny and one of the first people to respond. Can you add me to your blogroll too? I’m trying to increase my share of the audience. I must admit, I have nearly 300 hits since starting – and dat ain’t bad.


    • drtombibey Says:


      You make me smile too, ’cause I never met an English teacher I didn’t like. I’ll add you to my blogroll today.

      You might also enjoy chili. She was the first English teacher on my blog roll, and was an early cheerleader for me with my writing.

      Dr. B

  2. newt221 Says:

    I had one of Dem Beatles lunch boxes when I was in the first grade. Still had it when I graduated high school. Somehow…I don’t have it now. Bet it would be worth some money!

    • drtombibey Says:


      I lost a few things like that in moves along the way too. I am sure it would be worth a lot now. Heck, the memories are worth a bunch.

      Dr. B

  3. fred6368 Says:

    Hey Dr Tom, stories about music, just like my blog! Only bluegrass I have bought is Alison Krauss though, so any recommendations? I am a voracious listener…
    Never saw a Beatles lunch box as it took me weeks to save up to buy a single record, back in old austerity Britain in 1963. There are Beatles stories on 9 after 909, check the pages for (true) stories and the posts for comments. Here is one about buying a Beatles single the first day it came out (I Feel Fine) when Beatles for Sale was released.

    • drtombibey Says:


      Hey there. Appreciate your visit.

      I am mostly a bluegrasser these days, but I appreciate all fine music. The Beatles were a major influence on me. I always heard McCartney was a big Bill Monroe fan and liked songs such as ‘Blue Moon of Kentucky.’ Do you know if that’s true?

      I also love Alison Krauss. Even though she does some cross over work, she came up in bluegrass, and my guess is she’s still very bluegrass at heart. I believe all of us in music are in it together and different genres have more in commen than it might seem at first glance.

      One of bluegrass buddies always says The Beatles were bluegrass without a banjo. They did wonderful melodic songs.

      Monroe, Flatt and Scruggs, and the Stanleys are the backbone of our repertoire. In new bluegrass try Sam Bush, Blue Highway, or III Tyme Out. A sleeper group you’ll want to check out is the Darin and Brooke Aldridge Quintet. They do a lot of duets with an Everly Brothers kinda sound, except it is a husband and wife. They have a new CD coming out soon, and folks in Nashville are saying it it will go world wide. Their label just put up a new website for them and it is on my blogroll. the link is:

      Hope you’ll come back. Love your blog and I am going to put it on my blogroll as my Beatles source.

      Dr. B

  4. Thanks for the giggle Doc. When the Beatles arrived stateside we lived in Alaska. I remember staring at my older sister in shock when she watched them on TV and was screaming like a ninny.

    I do love the music, I love most music. However, I never screamed at musicians. I’ll applaud good ones but I swear, they put their pants on one leg at a time just like anyone else. Don’t they?

    • drtombibey Says:


      I love good music but I also was mystifed by all the screaming, even back then. I bet deep down inside they didn’t know what to make of it either.

      I agree. They were gifted artists, but only human beings. In the end we are all dust to dust and the same.

      Dr. B

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