The Beatles: The Night That Changed America

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American television host Ed Sullivan smiles while standing with British rock group the Beatles on the set of his television variety series, New York, February 9, 1964. Left to right: Ringo Starr, George Harrison, Sullivan, John Lennon, Paul McCartney. (Photo by Express Newspapers/Getty Images)

American television host Ed Sullivan smiles while standing with British rock group the Beatles on the set of his television variety series, New York, February 9, 1964. Left to right: Ringo Starr, George Harrison, Sullivan, John Lennon, Paul McCartney. (Photo by Express Newspapers/Getty Images)

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I cannot believe it has been 50 years since the pop music phenomenon known as “The British Invasion” hit the shores of America from coast to coast and border to border. No pop music group in the history of mankind has had the impact on the world like the four guys from Liverpool, England: The Beatles.

Formed in the late 1950’s, they were known originally as The Quarrymen, Johnny & The Moondogs, The Rainbows, and the Silver Beatles. In 1960, they took the name The Beatles consisting of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Stu Sutcliffe and Pete Best. Sutcliffe, who was the bassist, left in April 1961 and McCartney moved to bass. Best was replaced by Ringo Starr in 1962. From 1964 until 1970, the Beatles were the undisputed leader in pop music with 17 number one hits on the Billboard Charts.

Their arrival in America in February 1964 was one of the biggest news events of the year. Flying in on PanAm, they were the object of many press interviews, journalists curious about they way they dressed, the way they wore their hair, and why they were the idols of millions of teens around the globe. The group wrote most of their songs but they did re-record songs written by other artists as well….and did them as well the original artists and maybe better! As a 10 year old, I was always asking my mom to take me to the record store (yes, we had them back in the day!) to get the latest single or album (vinyl too!).

Locally on Dallas/Fort Worth radio, the four major Top 40 stations: KLIF 1190, KBOX 1480, KFJZ 1270, and KXOL 1360, were spinning the Beatles songs incessantly. Of these four stations, KLIF had the best signal during the daytime hours and by far the best promotion given its owner Gordon McLendon who was a genius. On September 18, 1964, the group performed one show in Dallas at Memorial Auditorium. Each member of the group, including manager Brian Epstein, were given cowboy hats

This Sunday, February 9th, on the CBS Television Network and CBS11 at 8pm ET/7pm CT we will air a 90-minute special entitled “The Beatles: The Night That Changed America-A Grammy Salute” . On that date in 1964, the group made their first appearance on American network television on CBS’s The Ed Sullivan Show. The boys played five songs to 74 million viewers! This was one of the biggest events in music and television history, and this upcoming special will take us back to that day in history!

Ladies and gentlemen, The Beatles!!!!!

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