- Associated Press - Friday, February 7, 2014

CODY, Wyo. (AP) - The unmarried stewardesses, who had passed weigh-in, moved down the aisle, their pressed skirt suits hiding their girdles, to the rear of the plane where the cigarette smoke billowed into a thick smog before being vented out into the sky.

Ahead, in the cockpit, the pilots wore wigs.

Somewhere between, Stan Beach, a 20-year-old guitarist for the Briarwood Singers, put his head back and thought he might let his hair grow out - nothing too shaggy, but enough to hang over his forehead.

Beach, now 69, is a frequent visitor to Cody where his daughter Nikki Brew and husband Ward Dominick and their children live.

It was 1964 and all five Briarwood Singers (Beach, Dorinda Duncan, Bob Hoffman, Harry Scholes and Barry Monroe), still were reeling from the excitement of the chaos they witnessed the night before - the screaming, the protests, the near-riot conditions.

They expected big things when they boarded the plane in Miami en route to New York City, but they had no idea four British musicians would cause such fuss.

But the chaos had not yet ended for the Briarwood Singers - the Beatles were on the same flight headed for Miami and another “Ed Sullivan Show” performance, the Cody Enterprise reports (http://bit.ly/1c7wwni).

The Beatles first landed in the U.S. at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City at 1:20 p.m. EST, Feb. 7, 1964, on Pan Am flight 101. More than 3,000 fans greeted them.

On Feb. 9, they famously performed on “The Ed Sullivan Show” (their first American TV appearance) and 73 million people (45 percent of American TV households) tuned in.

Beach first heard the Beatles on the radio while parking his car at Sears.

“Here’s the new group, the Beatles,” the radio disc jockey said. “They’re the big rage now.”

It didn’t seem like anything special and it had a European sound, in Beach’s opinion.

But in time he heard “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” ”Love Me Do” and “Twist and Shout.”

After the Sullivan Show performance in NYC, the Beatles took a train to Washington, D.C., where they again were met by screaming fans who were held back by 20-foot gates at Union Station. In D.C. they performed their first U.S. concert (on Feb. 11) to a crowd of more than 8,000 people at the Coliseum.

They attended a reception at the British Embassy before returning to New York for a Feb. 12 concert at Carnegie Hall.

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