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Allan Williams, who set up Beatles' early gigs, dies at 86

Associated Press logo Associated Press 12/31/2016

LONDON (AP) — Allan Williams, a Liverpool music promoter who helped the Beatles get early gigs, has died. He was 86.

Graham Stanley, manager of the Jacaranda Club that Williams used to operate, said Saturday that Williams died Friday night. He did not have further details.

Williams played an important role in finding the young Beatles club dates in Liverpool and in Hamburg, Germany, before they started on a long string of hits.

Williams took the band to Hamburg in 1960 for an extended series of shows there that honed their stamina and live skills.

He is sometimes described as their first manager. The band moved on to be managed by Brian Epstein, who helped propel them to stardom.

Former Beatle Paul McCartney has described Williams as "a great guy, a really good motivator."

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