Author Bob Kealing takes us through the two momentous weeks the Beatles spent in 1964 Florida, in Miami Beach, Key West, and Jacksonville. He’ll talk about their seismic influence on a fraternity of future Florida rock ’n’ roll luminaries, including Tom Petty, Tom Leadon, Bernie Leadon, Don Felder, Ronnie Van Zant, and others. Kealing’s research for his latest book, Good Day Sunshine State: How the Beatles Rocked Florida, published by the University Press of Florida on March 7, includes more than thirty new primary-source interviews and access to Beatles letters, artwork, and historic documents from the Hard Rock Collection and the Flagler College Digital Civil Rights Collection.
Bob Kealing is a retired broadcast journalist based in Orlando. During his 30-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. Kealing was instrumental in discovering the story of author Jack Kerouac’s time in Florida, told in work including his book Kerouac in Florida: Where the Road Ends, and in rediscovering a Central Florida icon in Life of the Party: The Remarkable Story of How Brownie Wise Built, and Lost, a Tupperware Party Empire.
The Brechner Speaker Series honors the late Joseph L. Brechner, a longtime journalist, Central Florida community leader, and television pioneer who is also remembered as one of Orlando’s first clear public voices for civil rights.
This Brechner Speaker Series program is free and takes place at the History Center, 65 E. Central Blvd., Orlando. Parking is available at the Library Garage, 112 E. Central Blvd. Please RSVP.