HAVE YOU WONDERED?: Come hear 'The Beatles Guy'

Russ Whitten
Russ Whitten

Ken Mansfield, former U.S. manager of The Beatles’ Apple Records, will speak at 9 and 11 a.m. June 30 at Destin United Methodist Church.

Fifty years ago today … the Beatles’ second single of 1969, "The Ballad of John and Yoko," was released in the United States. A few days earlier, John Lennon and Yoko Ono had recorded "Give Peace a Chance" in their hotel bedroom. These iconic songs created more promotional projects for Mansfield.

Ken was a high-ranking executive at Capitol Records, MGM Records and Barnaby/CBS Records, working with such artists as James Taylor, Roy Orbison, Judy Garland, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, David Cassidy, Don Ho and Andy Williams.  

He spearheaded country music’s "Outlaw" movement, producing Waylon Jennings’ No. 1 album, "Are You Ready for the Country," and aiding The Beach Boys, Glen Campbell, Jimmy Buffett, The Band, Bobbie Gentry, Lou Rawls, Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, The Steve Miller Band and Bob Seger's careers. 

In 1991, Ken produced the Gaither Vocal Band’s Grammy and Dove Award-winning album, "Homecoming."In 2000, he penned his first book, "The Beatles, The Bible and Bodega Bay." Amazingly, this was the only book officially approved by The Beatles outside their own "Anthology." He has since written six other books, including "The Roof: Beatle’s Final Concert."

I recently spoke with Ken about his incredible journey from being "on top of the world" with The Beatles to becoming a faithful follower of Jesus Christ. He said, even at the height of his career, he sensed this: "Something was wrong. Something was missing." 

C.S. Lewis once said, "If in this life I find in me a hunger for something else that nothing in this world can satisfy, perhaps it shows me that I’m made for another world." Ken Mansfield eventually discovered this essential truth. 

In 1984, the bottom dropped out on Ken’s life. Facing insurmountable debt and spiritually broken, he moved to Nashville with three cardboard boxes and three suitcases and became a roadie. There, a beautiful, unwavering Christian woman with a charming Southern accent named Connie entered his life and made it abundantly clear that she would not be "unequally yoked" in marriage, and would readily chose Jesus over him.

"[She] simply and courageously lived out the Christian faith, and this was very attractive and compelling," he said. He started looking seriously into the Christian faith.

Come to Destin UMC and hear how a man can go from working with John, Paul, George and Ringo to teaching Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Russ Whitten is a ministry leader for Celebrate Recovery of Destin (which meets every Monday evening at 6:45 p.m. at Destin United Methodist Church - 200 Beach Drive, Destin) and preaches every Sunday at 7:30 a.m. at the Henderson Beach State Park Worship Service - #destinbeachworship - and then preaches at 1 p.m. at The Downtown Church, meeting at Enlightened Studios, 144 Miracle Strip Parkway SE in Fort Walton Beach. He can be reached at russwhitten@gmail.com.