Monday, February 9, 2009

Beatles History: The Beatles Debut on Ed Sullivan

For America, the best of Beatles facts is that on February 9, 1964, the Beatles made their debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. A few of the Beatles' singles had trickled into America by the end of 1963 and January of 1964, and "I Want to Hold Your Hand" forever sealed the deal between America and the music of the Beatles. Word of Beatlemania had begun to spread by the time Sullivan stepped onto his stage that night to introduce the "moptops," as they were called, and an unprecedented number of viewers tuned in to watch the Beatles perform. It has always been alleged that for the fifteen minutes that the Beatles performed that night, not s single crime was reported in all of New York City.

The group performed the following in the first half of the show:

All My Loving
Till There Was You
She Loves You

In the second half, the Beatles performed "I Saw Her Standing There" and "I Want to Hold Your Hand."

During a taped dress rehearsal at 4:30 on February 9, 1964, the Beatles also sang "Twist and Shout, "Please Please Me," and "I Want to Hold Your Hand," songs that would be aired for their thir Sullivan appearance two weeks later. Even earlier in the day, at a dress rehearsal where camera angles were blocked out, roadie Neil Aspinall stood in for George onstage since Harrison was very sick with the flu.

The Beatles would travel to Washington, D.C. within a few days to perform at the Coliseum, with the concert also broadcast on closed circuit TV to cities around the U.S. After that, they headed to Miami for a second Sullivan taping since the variety show hit the road that week.

Beatlemania was in America to stay.

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