February 9th 1964: Beatles on Ed Sullivan
On this day in 1964, the British band the Beatles made their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show in the USA. This performance, watched by a record 73 million - which accounted for around 40% of the American population at the time - began the so-called ‘British Invasion’ when British music made its mark on America. On February 7th 1964, the Beatles had arrived at New York’s John F. Kennedy airport to a crowd of over 4,000 fans. The band was beginning to take off in America, with their hit ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’ having risen to number 1 in the charts. On the Ed Sullivan Show, two days after their arrival, the four-man band from Liverpool performed hits such as ‘All My Loving’ and ‘She Loves You’. The Beatles were already popular in their native Britain, but their success in America forever established them as a world famous musical sensation. The performance on the Ed Sullivan Show is credited with beginning the worldwide spread of ‘Beatlemania’.