News

50 years later, legacy of The Beatles lives on

50 years later, legacy of The Beatles lives on

THE LADS FROM LIVERPOOL: The Beatles, wearing black suits and mop top hair, appeared on "The Ed Sullivan Show" on Feb. 9 1964, to screaming crowds in what became a seminal moment for the British band, and U.S. television. Photo: Associated Press

Friday marks the 50th anniversary of arrival of The Beatles coming to America. On Feb. 7, 1964, the Fab Four – John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr – arrived from the U.K. at the newly-named John F. Kennedy International Airport to the tears and screams of teenagers all across America.

That Sunday, Ed Sullivan introduced the band to a captivated American audience of more than 73 million viewers—at the time a television record.

The Beatles, wearing black suits and mop top hair, appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show” on Feb. 9 1964, to screaming crowds in what became a seminal moment for the British band, and U.S. television.

PHOTOS: The Beatles ‘Ed Sullivan’ appearance | Beatlemania | How The Beatles spent 1964

Nearly 50 percent of American households with televisions tuned in to see the show.

Technicians on the set 50 years ago explained that the “crowd shot” was born that night in 1964. The teenage audience was so hysterical that a camera was devoted entirely to their reaction, a television first.

THE NIGHT THAT CHANGED AMERICA

CBS will celebrate the anniversary with a concert on Sunday, 50 years to the day that The Beatles first performed on the “Ed Sullivan Show.”

The concert, “The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to The Beatles, was filmed last month and included tributes by a number of performers.

In a rare joint appearance singing Beatles numbers, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr were flanked on stage by artists including Stevie Wonder, R&B singer Alicia Keys and country singer Keith Urban to celebrate that night in 1964.

WATCH: Why call yourselves The Beatles?

McCartney and Starr paid special tribute to their former band members, John Lennon and George Harrison. Lennon was shot and killed in 1980. Harrison died of cancer in 2001.

“We were in a band called The Beatles and whenever we play George and John are always with us,” Starr told the crowd. McCartney said: “Tonight we are remembering our beautiful friends John and George.”

McCartney, playing guitar, and Starr on drums, brought the tribute to a rousing close both with “Hey Jude” and another classic Beatles song, “With a Little Help from My Friends.”

The concert was attended by Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, 80, and Harrison’s widow, Olivia. The last time McCartney and Starr performed Beatles songs together was to celebrate Starr’s 70th birthday, in 2010.

In a three hour tribute before they appeared, a series of artists performed Beatles numbers.

British pop duo Eurythmics – singer Annie Lennox and musician Dave Stewart – reunited to perform “The Fool on the Hill,” and U.S. singer Katy Perry sang a version of “Yesterday.”

EXTRA: Beatlemania was big | Then & Now: 1964 versus 2014

Oscar-winning actors Tom Hanks, Jeff Bridges and Sean Penn were among a Hollywood crowd which danced along to the music.

Even the Beatles’ backing musicians were not anonymous journeymen: they included The Eagles’ Joe Walsh and singer-songwriter Peter Frampton.

The tribute airs Sunday evening on CBS. Check local listings for time.

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

Benedict Cumberbatch apologizes for ‘colored’ remark

Benedict Cumberbatch attends a special screening of "The Imitation Game" at the DGA Theater on Monday, Nov. 10, 2014, in Los Angeles.

Benedict Cumberbatch is "devastated" after realizing he caused offense during a chat about diversity on Tavis Smiley's late-night show.

in Sports, Viral Videos

Marshawn Lynch holds an “awesomer” press conference

23-overlay4

"You don't feel in beast mode. It feels you."

in Entertainment, Trending, Viral Videos

Check out the rebooted Fantastic 4 teaser trailer

10-overlay2

Watch the first teaser trailer for the rebooted Fantastic 4

in Music

Peter Frampton, Gibson copy his beloved guitar

peterframpton

It wasn't just any guitar, but Frampton's absolute favorite, and the one he played on "Frampton Comes Alive."

in Music

Stevie Nicks would (maybe) quit Fleetwood Mac for the Heartbreakers

stevienicks

Nicks, who joined Petty and his cohorts on the 1981 hit "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" admits the band has always been her favorite.