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Lecture: “Good Day Sunshine State: How the Beatles Rocked Florida”

Jan 25, 20246:00 pm

** Free ** to teachers & students: call 561,274.9578

Heritage Lecture Series Presented by the Colony Hotel & Cabana Club

“Good Day Sunshine State: How the Beatles Rocked Florida”

The musical and cultural impact of the Fab Four in Florida  

Join us for a fun night! We are thrilled to welcome Bob Kealing, a retired broadcast journalist based in Orlando. During his thirty-year career, he received six Emmy awards and was a two-time recipient of the Edward R. Murrow award. His many books include Calling Me Home: Gram Parsons and the Roots of Country Rock and Elvis Ignited: The Rise of an Icon in Florida.

Mr. Kealing’s lecture sets the historical stage for the band’s arrival—a nation dazed after the assassination of John F. Kennedy and on the precipice of the Vietnam War; a heavily segregated, conservative South; and in Florida, recent events that included the Cuban Missile Crisis and the arrest and imprisonment of Martin Luther King Jr. in St. Augustine. Kealing documents the culture clashes and unexpected affinities that emerged as the British rockers drew crowds, grew from fluff story to the subject of continual news coverage, and basked in the devotion of a young and idealistic generation.

Through an abundance of letters, memorabilia, and interviews with journalists, fellow musicians, and fans, Kealing takes readers behind the scenes into the Beatles’ time in locations such as Miami Beach, where they wrote new songs and met Muhammad Ali. In the tropical environs of Key West, John Lennon and Paul McCartney experienced milestone moments in their friendship. And the band dodged the path of Hurricane Dora to play at the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, where they famously refused to perform until the city agreed to integrate the audience.

Kealing highlights the hopeful futures that the Beatles helped inspire, including stories of iconic rock-and-rollers such as Tom Petty who followed the band’s lead in their own paths to stardom. This book offers a close look at an important part of the musical and cultural revolution that helped make the Fab Four a worldwide phenomenon.

Historic Field House, 51 North Swinton Avenue


Lecture and Book Signing

Refreshments will be served. 



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