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Journalist and Beatles Author Coming to New College House

  • Larry Kane Talks New College House
  • There at the beginning, journalist and author Larry Kane will appear at Franklin & Marshall College's New College House to talk about his 50-year experience covering the Beatles and his latest book on the band,  "When They Were Boys, the True Story of the Beatles Rise to the Top." (Photo Courtsey of Larry Kane)

On Feb. 7, 1964, the Beatles -- John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr -- arrived for their first visit to the United States, greeted by thousands of screaming music fans on a New York airport tarmac.

Journalist and author Larry Kane was there, and remained with the band throughout their '64 and '65 tours.

He has written several books on the musicians, including 2003's "Ticket to Ride," which detailed the Beatles' American tour, and "When They Were Boys, the True Story of the Beatles Rise to the Top," published in 2013.

Kane, a Philadelphia-based journalist, will share his experiences with members of the Franklin & Marshall community Feb. 11 during New College House's monthly lunch series, "What Matters?" The talk begins at 11:30 a.m. in the meeting room.

Why would students, who were not even alive when the Beatles were a powerful force in music, care about Kane's history of the band?

"It's the story that he tells," said Dean Hammer, The John W. Wetzel Professor of Classics and Professor of Government and New College House Don. "The students only know the Beatles as a formed product. This is about their forming."

  • Larry Kane Talks New College House
  • When the Beatles were boys and Larry Kane, today a distinguished Philadelphia broadcaster, was a young man. (Photo Courtsey of Larry Kane) 

Despite being a 50-year-old band, the Beatles have fans among F&M students.

"I'm definitely a fan of the Beatles, and the impact they had on our world," New College House sophomore Hannibal Robinson said. "The Beatles brought many cultures together with their great melodies and simplicity."

Hammer said the Beatles and Kane fit the theme of "What Matters?" Neither knew in 1964 where they were headed in their professions and their lives.

"We like to bring in different people to show the paths they end up taking that are unexpected," Hammer said. The speaker series, he said, is an example of the many opportunities the College Houses create for learning outside the classroom.  

New College House Senior Arianna Riccio, a French major, said she associates the Beatles with her childhood more than anything else.

"While my peers were still fawning over The Backstreet Boys, I stumbled upon my parents' CD collection and found a few Beatles albums," she said. "My favorite songs were by George Harrison, such as, "Let it Be" and "Here Comes the Sun."

  • Larry Kane Talks New College House

Riccio, who is interested in traveling and writing, said she wants to hear Kane discuss his profession as a journalist.

"I'm very much looking forward to learning how he crafted his profession, and whether he has any advice for students who are interested in such a position," she said.

Born in New York City, Kane began his broadcast journalism career in Miami at 16, where he was first at WGAM and later at WAME and WFUN Radio. While at WAME, Kane became the first U.S. news correspondent to break the story of the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, when the U.S. tried to help rebels topple Fidel Castro in 1961.

A longtime Philadelphia television news anchor, Kane has been a broadcast journalist for more than 55 years. He hosts the Voice of Reason program on The Comcast Network and is a special contributor for CBS’s KYW Newsradio.