Forty five years ago today, the American music scene was forever changed. The first on-slaught of the British Invasion arrived in the form of the Fab Four, those crazy, lovable long hairs from Liverpool.
I Want to Hold Your Hand was #1 in the U.S. when The Beatles landed at the newly-named JFK airport for their first foray on American soil. Within a few short months, The Beatles would hold the top 5 spots on the Billboard charts — a feat that had not been achieved before and likely never will be again.
While the The Beatles were accustomed to the foolishness of European teenagers, they anticipated a much more sedate audience from the prim and proper American youth. Likely the biggest misunderestimation of their careers.
The Beatles arrive @ JFK
Press Conference & Crowds
The Beatles took America by storm. After the infamous press conference, they were on to experiencing New York City and to the Ed Sullivan Show.
The Beatles debut on American Television via The Ed Sullivan Show — February 9, 1964 (The end shows the group taking in some music & dancing at a NYC club)
Can you see/hear the Buddy Holly influence? Master showman, Sullivan, ingenuously had The Beatles both open and close the show to keep viewers the entire hour. It worked. The Ed Sullivan Show garned the largest T.V. audience to date.
After NYC, the lads moved on to D.C., where they played the Washington Coliseum on February 11th:
I Saw Her Standing There
Long Tall Sally
The next night, they were back in NYC to play the legendary Carnegie Hall. The Beatles then traveled down to Miami Beach where Ed Sullivan had deftly booked them for their farewell performance before departing for Britain. Out of the Deauville Hotel, The Beatles….
The Beatles, breaking the previous record for T.V. viewing that they had set the week before
Just three short months removed from the horror of the JFK assassination, The Beatles brought a welcomed, exciting diversion that helped Americans briefly forget about their sorrow and troubles. They brought fun, pleasure, and hope. Hope for a new generation.
NOTE: Some of the videos are long, but if you have time please listen to the end…there are some gems there.