When the return flight landed in Miami, the Briarwood Singers again witnessed the pandemonium of Beatlemania. Some 7,000 fans filled the top floor of Miami International Airport, awaiting the Beatles’ arrival. (The same 2004 Observer article reported a riot occurred at the airport.)
Beach’s sister accompanied the group to the concert in New York. Their father boarded the plane and made Beach’s sister wait onboard until the crowd dispersed.
And that’s where the Briarwood Singers’ relationship with the Beatles ended.
The Beatles went on to become the legend they are today. The Briarwoods? Not so much.
The Briarwood Singers gained some lasting success from the gig - their next concert playbill triumphantly exclaimed, “Welcome home! Briarwood Singers. United Artists recording stars returning direct from an engagement at Carnegie Hall with the Beatles.”
The interest in the Briarwood Singers persisted, and they borrowed the Beatles’ signature bow at the end of their shows.
The Crossway Airport Inn in Miami, the Briarwood Singers’ venue of choice, was recognized for having good talent, Beach says. Other artists playing Crossway at the time included Peter, Paul and Mary, the Chad Mitchell Trio and the Everly Brothers.
“Everyone was coming out to see whoever was playing, but we were kind of like, ‘Miami’s own,’” Beach says.
Beach joined the Coast Guard in 1964 as a result of the Vietnam War. The Briarwood Singers slowly broke up around the time he left.
In the Coast Guard, Beach trained to become a pilot and, after he left the service, he became a commercial pilot and had a long career in aviation.
Beach now lives in the western mountains of North Carolina, and is a guitar player for Chalk Mountain Connection, a classic rock cover band.
Twice a year, Beach travels to Cody to visit family. He enjoys fly fishing and time with his grandchildren before traveling to Kalispell, Mont., where he visits another daughter.
“I love Cody,” Beach says. “We almost moved here when I retired.”
Ultimately, Beach decided to stay in the East where he has family property and more grandchildren.
When recounting highlights of his life (marrying the right woman, having children and grandchildren, living in Asia, his career in aviation) opening for the Beatles no longer makes the list.