Before Fab Four takes US on 'Ed Sullivan,' Harrison quietly visits sister in Ill. mining town

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By JIM SUHR, Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Fifty years ago Sunday, the Beatles launched the British invasion with the band's live gig on "The Ed Sullivan Show." But it's a trip a member of that Fab Four made to southern Illinois that made a bit of history of its own.

Five months earlier, George Harrison became the first Beatle to cross the pond when he spent two weeks visiting his sister Louise in Benton, a small mining town. No one recognized the musician already famous in his native England.

Louise Harrison recalls how her "kid brother" was able to anonymously walk Benton's streets and jam with a local band.

Just five months later, people in the 7,000-resident town likely kicked themselves for not snagging the vacationing Brit's autograph or photo as proof they saw him standing there.

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