Author Salon Series with Bob Kealing


Come and join Writer's Block Bookstore at The Winter Park Library for an in-person event and Author Salon series with Bob Kealing. General Admission is free, however when you pre-order a ticket with the book, Good Day Sunshine State: How the Beatles Rocked Florida, you will receive your book at 20% off. This event is for ages 18+ and may not be suitable for younger audiences.

If you cannot attend the event but would like a signed copy, please follow the link here and add in the notes you would like a signed copy.

While Bob’s events are free to attend and open to all, a purchase of Good Day Sunshine State: How the Beatles Rocked Florida from Writer's Block Bookstore is required to enter the signing line.


In 1964, Beatlemania flooded the United States. The Beatles appeared live on the Ed Sullivan Show and embarked on their first tour of North America--and they spent more time in Florida than anywhere else. Good Day Sunshine State dives into this momentous time and place, exploring the band's seismic influence on the people and culture of the state.

Bob Kealing sets the historical stage for the band's arrival--a nation dazed after the assassination of John F. Kennedy and on the precipice of the Vietnam War; a heavily segregated, conservative South; and in Florida, recent events that included the Cuban Missile Crisis and the arrest and imprisonment of Martin Luther King Jr. in St. Augustine. Kealing documents the culture clashes and unexpected affinities that emerged as the British rockers drew crowds, grew from fluff story to the subject of continual news coverage, and basked in the devotion of a young and idealistic generation.

Through an abundance of letters, memorabilia, and interviews with journalists, fellow musicians, and fans, Kealing takes readers behind the scenes into the Beatles' time in locations such as Miami Beach, where they wrote new songs and met Muhammad Ali. In the tropical environs of Key West, John Lennon and Paul McCartney experienced milestone moments in their friendship. And the band dodged the path of Hurricane Dora to play at the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, where they famously refused to perform until the city agreed to integrate the audience.

Kealing highlights the hopeful futures that the Beatles helped inspire, including stories of iconic rock-and-rollers such as Tom Petty who followed the band's lead in their own paths to stardom. This book offers a close look at an important part of the musical and cultural revolution that helped make the Fab Four a worldwide phenomenon.

Funding for this publication was provided through a grant from Florida Humanities with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent those of Florida Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Bob Kealing is a retired broadcast journalist based in Orlando. During his thirty-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 theRoots of Country Rock and Elvis Ignited: The Rise of an Icon in Florida.


Event date: 
Tuesday, March 12, 2024 - 6:30pm to 8:00pm
Event address: 
1052 W Morse Blvd
Winter Park, FL 32789
Good Day Sunshine State: How the Beatles Rocked Florida By Bob Kealing Cover Image
ISBN: 9780813068930
Availability: Available for Immediate Order
Published: University Press of Florida - March 7th, 2023

Event Type: