8 things to know about the Beatles' debut on 'The Ed Sullivan Show'
By Kyrie O'Connor, Houston Chronicle
Published Thursday, February 9, 2017
The Beatles appeared on "The Ed Sullivan Show" on Feb. 9, 1964 to a live audience of 73 million, or about three-quarters of the total adult audience in the U.S.
It was the highest live audience ever at the time.
On, Feb. 9, 1964, the Beatles made their first appearance on the "The Ed Sullivan Show" on CBS.
By that date, what was known as Beatlemania was well under way.
The fours guys from Liverpool would go on to change American music in the 20th century.
Here are some things to know about that appearance.
After honing their craft in Germany and Liverpool, the group became a hit in England.
Photo: Keystone-France/Gamma Keystone
Sullivan, who had an eye for talent, had twice seen airport crowds in England greeting the Beatles.
Photo: Getty Images
Sullivan gets all the credit, but "Tonight Show" host Jack Paar had had a tape of the group a month earlier, and they had appeared on a CBS news report in late 1963.
After seeing the CBS news report, a young fan asked a Washington, D.C. radio station to play "I Want To Hold Your Hand." The station flew a copy over from England and soon many stations were playing the song, weeks before the record company had intended.
Photo: Album Art
The first song the group sang was "All My Loving," followed by Paul McCartney singing the utterly mainstream "Till There Was You" from the musical "The Music Man."
Their second set was "I Want To Hold Your Hand" and "I Saw Her Standing There."
Photo: Uncredited, HONS
As they performed, the words under John Lennon's name said "Sorry Girls, He's Married."
Photo: Uncredited, STF
Lennon and McCartney became the most successful songwriting pair in history.
The success of the Beatles paved the way for the so-called British Invasion, an influx of British rock into the U.S. that included the Rolling Stones, the Who and many flash-in-the-pan acts as well.
The band broke up in 1970, but not before changing popular music around the world.
Photo: ALFREDO ESTRELLA, AFP/Getty Images