50 Years Ago Today: Beatlemania USA

On February 7, 1964, The Beatles arrived in the United States for the first time, at John F. Kennedy International Airport, giving rise to Beatlemania on this side of the Atlantic.

The appearance by The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964, watched by a TV audience of 73 million viewers, marked the beginning of the British Invasion in music.

The set list for their February 9, 1964, appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show was:

  • All My Loving;
  • Till There Was You;
  • She Loves You; 
  • I Saw Her Standing There; and
  •  I Want To Hold Your Hand.

Click here to see all three appearances by The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show

The last Beatlemania event (with the actual Beatles) took place on August 29, 1966, before a crowd of 25,000 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, where The Beatles performed the last live concert of their 1966 U.S. Tour. That night, they retired from touring and live performances (other than, of course, their final live performance on the rooftop of Apple Studios in London on January 30, 1969).

As an historical aside, since the resurgence in popularity of vinyl recordings, Nielsen SoundScan began specifically charting vinyl sales in 2008. The highest-selling vinyl title in 2009, 2010, and 2011 was The BeatlesAbbey Road; not bad for an album released in 1969. (In 2012, Jack White‘s Blunderbuss bested the vinyl version of Abbey Road, which came in second place.) 

Click here to hear The Beatles being interviewed in 1964 about touring America.

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