They called it Beatlemania. Screaming fans who fainted for Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon and George Harrison. The Beatles already had a huge following, but on February 9th, 1964… America was really introduced to what would become one of the most legendary bands in history. On that night, they had their groundbreaking first appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”
During the 6½ years between the appearance of the “I Want to Hold Your Hand” single on the Billboard Hot 100 and the “Let It Be” LP, The Beatles had the #1 single in the US for a total of 59 weeks and topped the LP charts for 116 weeks. That means they had the top-selling single one out of every six weeks, and the top-selling album one out of every three weeks. “Please Please Me,” “A Hard Day’s Night,” “Help!,” “Yellow Submarine,” “Abbey Road”… all albums that have shaped the history of music.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of their very first performance on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” CBS is airing “The Beatles: The Night That Changed America – A Grammy Salute.”
The show will be broadcast exactly 50 years to the day, date and time of the original event, Sunday, Feb. 9 (8:00-10:30 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. The special will feature musical performances by Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr in addition to today’s top artists including The Eurthymics, Alicia Keys, Dave Grohl, John Legend, Imagine Dragons, Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry, Jeff Lynne, Stevie Wonder, Joe Walsh, Brad Paisley, Gary Clark, Jr., Maroon 5, John Mayer, Keith Urban and Ed Sheeran, covering the songs performed by the Fab Four on that momentous evening and Beatles’ songs through the years. The special also features a new interview with McCartney and Starr conducted by David Letterman at the Ed Sullivan Theater, as well as vintage footage from that landmark Sunday evening and other archival material.
Throughout the weekend the CBS station marquee in NYC will feature the exact wording that was posted for “The Ed Sullivan Show” on Feb. 9, 1964 and will cover the current LATE SHOW with DAVID LETTERMAN marquee.
Tune in tonight.