The 50th Anniversary of The Beatles’ First Appearance on Ed Sullivan



50 years ago, on February 9th, a pop group performed on American TV. Simply.

It doesn’t sound, on the face it, like the stuff of pivotal, watershed moments. And yet, as that pop group was The Beatles, and the program on which they performed — The Ed Sullivan Show — the most popular of its era, it was.

Into a country still shaken by the tragic assassination of its president only a handful of weeks prior, came four boys from, of all places, Liverpool, England; John, George, Paul (PeekYou profile here), and Ringo (PeekYou profile here). Singing, of all things, their own take on American rock and roll.

While their records had gotten here ahead of them by a few weeks, and American teens were already rabid for them, February 9, 1963 was really the night that it — and by “it” we really mean the 60s — began in America.

(You can read what The Ed Sullivan Show‘s official website has to say about the evening here.)

Libraries have been composed, by women and men far more capable than we, examining that evening and all surrounding it in detail; why it mattered and to whom, how it impacted the culture, what changes it signaled, etc. Countless American musicians of significance cite the broadcast as the moment from which their entire careers sprang forth. So, really, we’ve not much more to add to the dialogue, except to suggest that you visit Paul’s and Ringo’s PeekYou profiles; from where you’ll find links to videos, photos, articles, social pages, and loads and loads of music.