Paul Revere warned us that the British were coming in the 1700’s, however; he was wasn’t around to warn us that the British were coming again when The Beatles landed in America 50 years ago on Friday, February 7, 1964.
Some may say that this day started Beatlemania and some may say that it changed the world.
If that wasn’t enough, on February 9, 1964, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr performed on the Ed Sullivan Show setting a record for having over 74 million viewers watch the Fab Four take over America.
The band was already famous in England before touching U.S. soil. They also sold millions of records in England, but The Beatles wanted more.
Their manager, Brian Epstein, worked hard to get The Beatles played on American radio by negotiating deals with American record labels like Vee-Jay Records and Capitol Records. Although they received some radio play, nothing seemed to solidify The Beatles as a hit band.
In late-December 1963, The Beatles were introduced to the Virginia Tidewater area by Gene Loving of radio station WGH-AM. Backed by a full marketing campaign, which included Beatles shirt giveaways, almost every other song on the station was a Beatles song.
The Beatles secured a U.S. record deal with Capitol Records. The label was still skeptical of their music. When the song, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” caught on in the U.S., Capitol Records had to work fast in order to capitalize on the success. The song sold a million copies in January 1964. A month before their appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show.
The legend behind the Ed Sullivan and The Beatles hook up was when he landed at a London airport in 1963 and heard loud screams from thousands of young girls. When he found out it was for a band he never heard before, he figured they must be somebody to have all these girls waiting for them at an airport in the middle of the night. Brian Epstein later negotiated a deal with Ed Sullivan to have The Beatles perform on his show. The rest was history.
The Beatles invaded and penetrated America 50 years ago by using influences from the music created by their heroes right here in America. Some influences included, Little Richard, The Isley Brothers, The Everly Brothers, Elvis, Bob Dylan etc.
The Beatles are survived by Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. John Lennon’s life was cut short when he was gunned down on December 8, 1980 at the age of 40 and George Harrison lost his battle with lung cancer on November 29, 2001 at the age of 58.