The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show

1960s: Days of Rage

The Beatles made several appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show, including three in February 1964 that were among their first appearances in front of an American audience. Their first appearance, on February 9, was seen by a then-record 73 million viewers and came to be regarded as a cultural watershed that launched American Beatlemania—as well as the wider British Invasion of American pop music—and inspired many young viewers to become rock musicians. The band also made another appearance during their 1965 U.S. tour. Ed Sullivan Show talent booker Jack Babb saw the Beatles twice in concert in the UK in 1963, after being invited by Peter Prichard, a London talent agent who was also friend of Beatles manager Brian Epstein. Babb was initially uninterested in booking the group for the show, as British musical acts at that time experienced little commercial success in the U.S…

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