Today in history... The Beatles' first live US TV appearance

Ed Sullivan was a New York-born former boxer and sportswriter and, by the 1960s, The Ed Sullivan Show could make or break upcoming stars in the US.

And, on this day, in 1964, it would be the turn of four lads from Liverpool to step before The Ed Sullivan Show's cameras, before an audience of 73m.

CBS Television's offices in New York reportedly received more than 50,000 ticket requests to see the Fab Four. The studio could hold an audience of 703.

The event has since been described as 'the most important event in the history of rock music' - a much needed boost to America in the wake of John F Kennedy's assassination.


The Beatles arrive at Kennedy Airport, two days before their Ed Sullivan
Show appearance

According to reports, most normal activities in America - and, apparently, criminal activity - came to a standstill during their performance. Getting a taxi or bus in New York was allegedly impossible.

The group performed All My Loving, Till There Was You, She Loves You, I Saw Her Standing There, and I Want To Hold Your Hand - for which The Beatles are said to have received $10,000 plus expenses.

It was certainly among the most important events in The Beatles' career. In those days, hysteria greeted them wherever they went - the echoes of which can still be heard on the auction block today.

In a December 2009, a special Christmas edition of the monthly Beatles Book, from the Mop Tops' heyday in 1963, sold for a remarkable $12,000 at Bonhams.

However, it wouldn't be long before The Beatles' relations with the US ran into problems.

In 1966, John Lennon's iniquitous "We're more popular than Jesus now" proclamation would attract death threats from far-right Christian groups - which many suggest contributed to the group's decision to quit touring.

The infamous 1966 issue of the magazine, Datebook, sold in New York.

The magazine, whose contents attracted death threats from some far-right Christian groups upon its release, sold to an orthopaedic surgeon for $12,713.

 

 

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