It was 61 years ago today...

You are part of a select group of music fans to perhaps see on television, read the newspaper or maybe even be there to experience arguably a HUGE moment in music history.

I was only 2, so all I cared about was eating and sleeping. Maybe I was in the room while my family watched the Ed Sullivan show, later that week?

On this day in history, Feb. 7, 1964, Beatles arrive in US for first time, inspire nationwide mania (


Wouldn't that be "59 years ago today..." or are you making a play on whatever Beatles song I'm thinking of?


Yes, my actions often are often out of synch with my  brain!

59 doesn't have a better flow either...



I was 12… in bed listening to WLS Chicago on the turquoise clock radio… when the announcer said… this a big hit from England, the very first time to be heard in the United States… the band is called The Beatles. I Want to Hold Your Hand came on, and I was completely taken away. It was the most remarkable thing I had ever heard. I got goose bumps and it just scrambled my brain.

What has always shocked me about it was there was no peer influence… No anticipation as no one had heard them before. No, preconception. Just the biggest instant reaction I had ever had to a piece of music.

I was around 12 or 13 and watching with my parents and some friends of the family. Most of their reactions are along the lines of 'Maybe Ed will pay 'em enough to get haircuts!'. I liked 'em OK, but didn't really become a big fan until around 1966 when they were getting weird. 

I saw the Beatles on Ed Sullivan in ’64. I was about to have my 12th birthday on the 16th. Not only that, but I do remember seeing Elvis Presley on his first appearance on Ed Sullivan in 1957. Both times with my parents watching. B&W TV!

My mother commented both times! With Elvis it was about his gyrating as he sang. With the Beatles she didn't like their haircuts! My father said nothing! And seversl years later Ed Sullivan had on the Jefferson Airplane. Grace Slick wore blackface makeup as she sang Lather! Their second song was Crown of Creation.

Older brothers and many I've spoken to over the years mention 3 events-

Elvis, the Fab Four and Stones.

I can only imagine listening/seeing any of them like the rest of the world for the 1st time. 

I'm not aware of any new music events that happened in the last 4-5 decades that can compare?

Oh well, the world has Beyonce, Hip Hop and the rest. Carry on.

For a guy who appeared to be so stiff, Ed Sullivan was one hip cat.  We all owe him a big debt for inviting so many cutting edge bands onto his show.  And what a Really Big Show it was.  Thanks Ed.

Before the Beatles went on Ed Sullivan and my sister brought home the Meet the Beatles LP, I only listened to classical music and mostly hated everything else. The Beatles, though, totally turned my head around.  What's better, as I spent all day listening to KFWB waiting for another Beatles or British Invasion song to be played, I learned to love all the other artists the deejays put on.  I learned to love Motown and guys like Elvis and Chuck Berry.

I was 6. I probably watched it but don’t remember. Must have been all the weed I smoked in my teen years! 🤣

i was 12. and watched that broadcast. remember it well. been a fan for life since. never tire of listening to them. they were the real deal.

I remember watching the Beatles with my pet dinosaur.


It’s a joke- couldn't resist! (I’m over sixty)


Your time is coming!!



Exactly! That’s why a generation prefers Welch’s jelly!

I had heard all the fuss about this British rock band coming on the Ed Sullivan show. But I had to go out and collect for my paper route because my bill was coming due, so I solicited some help from a couple of buddies. We split up my route and then ran to my house to watch the show. We watched about twenty seconds of the these four stiff hillbillies playing tinny music while an audience full of pimple-faced girls screamed and cried for who-knows-what or why. Without saying a word, we all got up and left the room; my friends left for home. I retired to my room and tuned my radio into a station that played Motown music. I never was a fan but did like the Stones though.



Thank You for sharing. History made indeed.


Happy Listening!

I watch Ed on free TV about 2-3 times a week.  He  got a bad rap.  Though not sure rappers would have worked for him. A lyric too far. 

I'm 70 and I recall how the girls were so enthralled with the Beatles.    My school teacher was not impressed with the Beatles.   The came and played here in DC.

Ed Sulivan, Lawrence Welk and Arthur Fiedler Boston Pops concerts.  On Black and White TV!  On the more serious side.  Adams Family, Munsters, Dobie Gillis, Hogan's Heros, Gilligan's Island... And the great Warner Brothers and Hanna Barbera Saturday morning cartoons!!  Those were the days.

I was 6 when the Beatles first played Ed Sullivan. I had older brothers and sisters. My 16 yr old sister was quite excited. I recall sensing a seismic shift. This was obviously a whole new thing from "How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?" In my memory this was the beginning of the shift from black and white to color.  Soon after came "Satisfaction" and "Mr Tambourine Man".  When I was introduced to the Grateful Dead in 1972 I realized I would never hear surf music again.

I was only 7 at the time but was aware of the buzz from my sister who was three years older. I don’t recall what I did that day but was banished to my bedroom for unacceptable behavior and missed the program. But for Christmas that year I asked for and received my very first album Introducing The Beatles. Sorry it was my second. My first was Bye Bye Birdie. Because I was of course in love with Ann Margaret. But I still have that original Beatles album. 

Although I don't remember when they were on the Ed Sullivan Show, my family was in the same hotel as the Beatles in 1966 when the Beatles played Washington DC. We were in the pool area they came out on their balcony and waved. The girls went nuts. Later on when they were leaving the hotel for the concert (which we did not go see!). My Mom threw my 5 year old sister head first into their limo to give one of the beetles a kiss. All she remembers is kissing some hairy guy with a beard. So we figured it was John she kissed.


*sigh*  They had haircuts...that's why they looked like That.....

I wasn't all that impressed until much later, the earlier music still struck me as a variant of the 'bubblegum' muzic played by various groups....

I originally was more attracted to 'jazz' of various stripes...Brubeck, Szabo, Dizzy, others...  'Rubber Soul' and later MoTown changed my focus, later Zappa, Fugs, Airplane, and all that ...

We is what we was... ;)  And later, more.....*G*


ghdprentice nailed it for me.  I was the youngest in my peer group and the only one, of the four of us, who's musical life was changed forever.  

The Beatles were simply more sophisticated than most pop bands, had better singing generally, and pointier boots. Also, they could deliver live to a degree that only comes from hard club and touring work. Without monitors! (amazing they could sing anything live). Did I mention the boots?

I liked them from the beginning, but it was "Rubber Soul" that really kicked my ass.

I was a kid & remember watching w/ my parents who I recall not being too impressed so therefore I wasn’t . When Rubber Soul & Revolver came out, it all changed!! Ground breaking stuff from supremely talented artists & the world never looked back. They could & did it all in their own style: harder rock, folksy love songs, spiritual / deeper meaning songs & just fun stuff. 

I told my Dad about 30 years ago that the Beatles would one day be considered to have as much worldly influence & be more famous than Beethoven or Mozart & he said no way. Not long before he passed away a couple years ago, he agreed. Truly great artists & art endures. People will know & listen to the Beatles for a long time. 

I was 13. I wore my hair kind of long at the time and all it took was a change in comb direction to have bangs. Which I immediately did right after the show. 

Saw the Beatles live at Busch stadium in St Louis, August of 1966. All in all, a totally underwhelming experience. Too weak sound system for such a large outdoor space. It rained and what little sound we heard was largely drowned out by the screaming girls. That part I never understood. I suppose it was because in all the news clips of the Beatles in Europe, all the girls were screaming so that’s how they they were supposed to act.

Perhaps because of that experience, I never was a fan. I didn’t dislike them. I just never understood the adulation. I was more caught up in the folk scare of that era.

Three months later I was off to boot camp for my four year stint and my journey from country mouse began.



Watched that on a neighbor's TV (we had none), then in September of that year my dad took me to their show, in Baltimore, on my 12th birthday.  My first concert.  With many more since then.  But that band, just the one time.  

So, how many Ed Sullivan Show "really big hits" end up being "really big duds"?

Yes! Amarcord! I watched the mop tops on Ed Sullivan too. And the screaming girls were in full force too. 
Fast forward to now and there’s a bra and panties ad on the bottom on this page. 
Then and now all in a swirl. 

When the Beatles first hit our shores, I was firmly into the Motown sound and did not like the Beatles while in high school, yeah, yeah, yeah. Then I went to college, Sgt. Pepper's came out, and Vietnam war was killing my friends while I played baseball on a sports scholarship. Oh, and I discovered weed.

That synergistic interaction was a reality check on how I perceived my world. Forgetabout the old conservative, racist, religious shackles of the mind numbing 1950ies. Instead of Motown (still great) it was the Beatles, Stones, Doors, Led Zepplin, The Band, Airplane, Santana et. al.  Music fueled my generation and as a result I got my "head screwed on correctly" and have had a "wonderful life". Oh Yeah!

Lest we forget that the arrival of the Beatles was exactly the cure needed for America's mass depression following JFK's assassination.

The Beatles let us be happy again.


The best was The Doors on Ed playing Light My Fire, they were told to change the lyrics so as not to say "Babe we couldn't get much higher" Morrison defied Ed and sang it anyway and that was the last they were on there!



I saw the Beatles on Ed Sullivan on the recommendation of Mr. Foster the school band teacher who in November had entered the practice room to inform us that President Kennedy had been assassinated a few miles from our school.

Watching Get Back last year was a reminder of how creative the Beatles were and of course they could afford to have a film crew follow them for a month. 

My dad had just purchased a stereo with flip-down turntable and foldout speakers for us kids so my brother and I could play music in our bedroom. (Probably had nothing to do with the fact that we were playing OUR music on HIS Admiral console stereo). We were in hifi heaven.



My Mom was a huge Beatles fan and also a surfer. I remember when The Beatles played Ed. My mom invited a bunch of her friends over. I was only 5 but I remember it was a big deal. Lots of smiles in our living room that Sunday night.

I was 10 in 1964. The Beatles' Ed Sullivan show appearances were such a huge hit, first because they were good, and second because that kind of performance on "family" TV was almost unprecedented. The Sullivan show  was warmed-over 1920s-era vaudeville.  Remember Topo Gigio the mouse puppet or the corny spinning plates act?   Before we knew it, nearly every week was another break-out rock band pushing the envelope of what was allowed in living rooms, pissing off parents all over America, and we (the kids) loved it.  Along with some of the younger "with it"  parents for that matter.

I was 14 months old that day. I guess I was there, in spirit anyway. Weird that now, at 59 years old, I am just now starting to peruse the Beatles catalog?  

Have seen the clips of Ed's Beatles presentations many times. Always amuses me. 

It's a treat to reading everyone's experiences.

" My Mom threw my 5 year old sister head first into their limo to give one of the beetles a kiss. All she remembers is kissing some hairy guy with a beard. So we figured it was John she kissed."

Great story Deadhead1000!


I was there and the experience informed the rest of my life: the Acid, The Dead , I saw over 300 GD shows and I don't regret a single minute of it. Culturally J,P,G&R formed us all and anyone who sez otherwise is just lying or Dead Wrong. The Material still rocks (mostly) and you can play it loud. That's true of Stones as well that last part. Side Note; New Ian Hunter material is coming.

By the time The Beatles appeared on the Sullivan show, I had already been buying Beach Boys and Paul Revere & The Raiders LP’s (along with instrumental surf albums, Chuck Berry’s Greatest Hits on Chess Records, A Roy Orbison collection on Monument Records, a Jimmy Smith album, and Johnny Horton’s Greatest Hits on Columbia), and lots of 7" 45 RPM singles (Girl Groups, The Everly Brothers, Del Shannon, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, The Righteous Brothers, Ricky Nelson, all the Pop hits that were plentiful in the early-60’s. The myth that there was no good music between the death of 1950’s Rock ’n’ Roll and The Beatles is pure bs.).

I had mixed feelings about the group, and though I saw The Beach Boys live in the summer of ’64 (my first concert, at the San Jose Civic Auditorium), and along with my sisters had a ticket to see The Beatles at The Cow Palace in S. San Francisco later that summer, I at the last minute changed my mind (my mom used my ticket. She liked Johnny Cash and Elvis). By the time they returned in the summer of ’65 I had come to like them more, and went to see them at the CP (and was disappointed. Not a good live band, honest ;-). Still, it wasn’t until Rubber Soul that I thought they made a really good album (I preferred The Kinks, The Animals, Them, Manfred Mann, and The Yardbirds. I didn’t like The Stones then, and still don’t.), an opinion that has not changed.

Here’s how fast things were changing in those days: it was only three years later that I was going to The Fillmore Auditorium and Carousel and Avalon Ballrooms in SF, seeing first Cream and Hendrix live, the following year The Jeff Beck Group, The Who, The Electric Flag (with Michael Bloomfield and Buddy Miles, of course), and all the old Blues guys Bill Graham brought to their first white audiences. Seeing Albert King live put everything into perspective ;-) .