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50 Years Ago: The Beatles’ First ‘Ed Sullivan Show’ Appearance Changes the World

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50 years ago today (Feb. 9), the world of rock music — and American culture in general — was turned upside down by the Beatles‘ legendary debut performance on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show.’

That seeds planted by this event would soon grow out of control, and for all intents and purposes, the world would never be the same again. As it’s been described by more than one ecstatic soul — 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 ’60’s and ’70’s. The impact of this simple event is still felt to this day. Need proof? Click the button below to hear Tom Petty, Billy Joel, Kiss and Aerosmith talk about how much this day meant to them, or watch Styx, Foreigner and Don Felder trade stories about the Fab Four’s arrival in the video below that.

Next: Rock Stars Rave About the Beatles on Sullivan

Styx, Foreigner and Don Felder Trade Awesome Beatles Stories

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