Monday, February 9, 2009

45 Years Ago

On Feb. 9, 1964, at 8 p.m. ET, the Beatles appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, forty-five years ago. You can watch all four Sullivan shows on which the Beatles made live. We have a two-disc DVD set called “The Four Complete Historic Ed Sullivan Shows Featuring the Beatles”. Not just the parts with the Beatles but each hour-long program in its entirety, commercials included. It provides an unvarnished picture of the popular culture of that year, and thus, the impact the Beatles had on it.

The Ed Sullivan Show was American popular culture, more than fifty million Americans, over half of TV-viewers tuned in every Sunday Night. More than seventy million watched the Beatles debut. The Ed Sullivan show was a variety show like no other with animals, acrobats, puppets, plate-twirlers, stand-up comics, nightclub singers, and performers from the latest hit musicals and ballets. On Feb. 9, 1964, The Ed Sullivan Show was the stage on which this change was dramatized. The Beatles were the young and the new; almost all the other acts were the old and the stale. That night, at least to every kid I knew, the future looked clear, happy, and ours.

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