ON SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 1964, rock'n'roll changed overnight. The Beatles' live debut on The Ed Sullivan Show was broadcast to a staggering 73 million Americans, bringing the music and haircuts of John, Paul, George and Ringo into homes across the country.
The US was given a potent shot of Beatlemania and the band were instantly elevated to teenage idols, the shiny heroes of rock'n'roll and the talismans of a new generation of young people looking to break away from the staid America of the 1950s.
Over the course of that momentous February weekend, the band would play three sets – two from Studio 50 in Manhattan and one from a Miami stage flanked by legions of screaming fans. Each made an indelible mark, forever making the name Ed Sullivan synonymous with the rise of The Beatles in America.
To mark this auspicious occasion, it’s time to lift the lid on the ins and outs of this seismic moment in popular culture. From the show’s stiff-necked host to George Harrison’s sore throat, the sound mix to the studio audience, the telegram from Elvis to the real Beatles US debut, those astonishing statistics to what happened next – all are featured in our list of the 20 Things You Need To Know About The Beatles On The Ed Sullivan Show.
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