On February 7 in 1964, the Beatles landed at New York’s Kennedy airport, arriving in the United States for the first time and taking the country by storm. Two days later, on February 9, Paul McCartney (21), Ringo Starr (23), John Lennon (23), and George Harrison (20) appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show in front of screaming fans.
The four continued on a short American tour before returning to England on February 22. In the next few months, they had several hits in the U.S. and released their film, A Hard Days Night (1964). And then they returned to the U.S. in August to play sold-out arenas.
On their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, during the first half of the show, the Beatles performed “All My Loving,” “Till There Was You,” and “She Loves You.” They returned later in the program to sing “I Saw Her Standing There” and “I Want To Hold Your Hand.”
Before the last two songs, Sullivan announced that Elvis Presley and Colonel Tom Parker had sent the group a congratulations telegram.
The video below features the Beatles performing “I Want to Hold Your Hand” at this appearance. So, remember when rock was young while watching The Beatles play during their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show around a half century ago.
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