Louise (Lou) Harrison paid a visit to the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee (USFSM) this week to speak with business students in a promotions class. She introduced herself as “Lou” and began telling stories about her “kid brother” and “this band he was in” but did not mention either by name. As she progressed through her story, she asked if anyone in the class could guess what band she was referring to – she dropped hints like “Liverpool” and “their big break on the Ed Sullivan show” and it wasn’t long before students began to catch on.
“I’m talking about the Beatles,” she stated, and even those that knew let out a small gasp. “I promoted them tirelessly, even though I was met with discouragement from the men of that time. It was expected that I would be at home cooking dinner for my husband, not out promoting my kid brother and his band.” Lou went on to discuss her role in the beginnings of the introduction of The Beatles in the United States. “Don’t ever promote something unless you truly believe in it,” she said. “That is the secret to great promotion.”
The students at USFSM will be working with Lou upon her return from the Grammy Awards show next week, where she is competing with Shakespeare, Val Kilmer, Tina Fey and Betty White for Best Spoken Word Album for 2011. The rest of Lou’s presentation entailed the details of her non-profit organization – Lou Harrison’s Help Keep Music Alive – an organization devoted to keeping music education in schools across the country. The business students will work throughout the semester with Lou on business plans, promotion and publicity of her organization.
Louise Harrison poses with business students at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee where she shared her experiences with promotion by telling stories of promoting The Beatles along with her new non-profit organization, Lou Harrison’s Help Keep Music Alive.