The Beatles make their historical debut on The Ed Sullivan Show on this day in 1964

The Beatlemania was in full steam powered by hysterical crowds of girls and boys

The Beatles make their historical debut on The Ed Sullivan Show on this day in 1964

It is estimated that 73 million Americans were watching TV on February 9, 1964, the night the Beatles made their live U.S. television debut, and to this day, there wasn’t any other musical moment on television that had the same historical impact. Having arrived earlier to New York on what was their first American visit, meeting 5.000 hysterical fans waiting for them at the JFK Airport, The Beatles couldn’t guess yet how these events would impact the Rock and Pop music for generations to come. Several musicians stated decades later that it was The Beatles TV performance at The Ed Sullivan Show that influenced or made them play music. The Beatles impacted the whole 1960’s cultural scene, not just in the U.S but globally, however, this American visit earned them millions of new fans and popularized Beatlemania hysteria around the world. Roughly eight minutes before guest Fred Kaps took the stage, Sullivan gave his now-famous intro, “Ladies and gentlemen…the Beatles!” and after a few seconds of rapturous cheering from the audience, the band kicked into “All My Lovin’, the first audience-reaction shot of the performance shows a teenage girl beaming and possibly hyperventilating. The band’s second song was “Til There Was You,” and there was screaming at the end of every phrase in the lyrics, of course, but to view the broadcast today, it seems driven more by anticipation than by the relatively low-key performance itself. And then came “She Loves You,” and the place seems to explode. What followed was perhaps the most important two minutes and 16 seconds of music ever broadcast on American television. The Beatles would return later in the show to perform “I Saw Her Standing There” and “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” as the audience remained at the same fever pitch it had reached during “She Loves You.” Their three final appearances at The Ed Sullivan Show were in the shape of pre-recorded promotional music films, two in 1967 and the final on February 15, 1970 (almost exactly 6 years since their first one) where the songs “Two Of Us” and “Let It Be” were performed.

Watch The Beatles performing “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” live at The Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964

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