Ambrose Brazelton: Fab Four as Force for Fitness

In a noble attempt to leverage the Beatles’ massive popularity on behalf of making kids more physically fit all across America, Ambrose Brazelton – a lifelong educator and former Director of Health, Physical Education & Recreation for the Ohio public school system – went into a NYC recording studio in 1971 and (with help from hired musicians) transformed six Beatle hits into educational vehicles for teaching balance, body control, endurance, and coordination, among other skills. For instance, “ObLaDi, ObLaDa” – Paul McCartney’s attempt to emulate the “new” reggae sound of 1968 – in Brazleton’s hands, becomes a vessel for achieving “mastery of the gallop and slide to effect smooth transition to polka step”:

Ob La Di – Ambrose Brazelton

[Psst: Click on the triangle above so you can gallop & slide along with Ambrose Brazelton.]Ambrose Brazelton - And The Beatles Go On & On

The album (which I discovered in the combined record collection of my brother & his wife) includes detailed notes and photo illustrations for each of the physical activities associated with “Ticket to Ride”; “Eleanor Rigby”; “Ob-La-Di”; “Something”; “Got to Get You Into My Life”; and “With a Little Help from My Friends.”

Ambrose Brazelton received his B.S. Degree at the University of Akron in 1952, his Master’s Degree at Kent State University in 1960.  He was the recipient of the Valley Forge Freedom Foundation Teacher Award in 1963.  He is a member of AAHPER, OAHPER, Midwest AHPER, Ohio State Education Association, National Education Association, and the Society of State Directors of Health, Physical Education & Recreation.  Brazelton (1924-2010) once traveled extensively throughout Ohio and the nation as a consultant lecturer and demonstrator.  He proved again and again his ability to make children enjoy and participate in physical education programs.

George Draws the Short Straw – Again

On the back cover, just below the list of song titles, it states “Music and lyrics, Lennon & McCartney” – even though George Harrison’s #1 Beatle single, “Something” is on the album!