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The Beatles’ First ‘Ed Sullivan Show’ Appearance Remembered on 48-Year Anniversary

Express Newspapers/Hulton Archive, Getty Images

48 years ago today (Feb. 9), everything changed. Well, maybe not everything, but with the arrival of the Beatles on our shores and their debut performance on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show,’ seeds were most definitely planted.

That plant would soon grow out of control, and for all intents and purposes, the world would never be the same again. It’s been described by more than one ecstatic soul whose imagination was captivated by the “Fab Four” that before John, Paul, George and Ringo, the world was in black and white, and after them it was in technicolor.

The Beatles arrived in America on Feb. 7 of that fabled year, and within 48 hours or so, a new era in youth culture would begin. They first appeared on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ on Feb. 9 for what would be the first of three consecutive weekly appearances. Watched by over 73 million viewers, it has long been mentioned as one of those ‘where were you when…?’ moments in history, and with ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ sitting atop the US charts, “Beatlemania” had officially begun!

The band performed five songs: ‘All My Loving,’ ‘Till There Was You,’ ‘She Loves You,’ ‘I Saw Her Standing There,’ and finally ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’. All except ‘She Loves You’ would appear on their first album for Capitol Records, ‘Meet The Beatles,’ released a couple weeks after this appearance. Oh and just for the record, it was live, not lip synced!

The Beatles would transcend mere ‘pop culture’ in ways never dreamt of before. They inspired countless kids to pick up instruments and start bands, leading to the rock and roll revolution that was the 1960′s and 1970′s. The impact of this simple event is still felt to this day. Now stick that in your ‘American Idol’ and smoke it!

Watch The Beatles’ First Appearance on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’

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