Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show

On February 9, 1964 over 73 million people crowded around their television sets that Sunday evening to tune in to The Ed Sullivan Show for The Beatles first live appearance on the show.
Watch the complete set here: 

After this performance, they would take America by storm, gain a huge following and even a few haters.  Sixty four years later, and The Beatles are still making an impact on us.  Check out this wedding ensemble my good friend Kathryn at Invitation Solutions of Houston, Texas blogged about today that has a Beatles theme.  What an awesome idea!  Have you considered a fun theme for your wedding invitations, menus, etc? 

"All you need is love, love. Love is all you need." - The Beatles, All You Need is Love 

"And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make." - the last line of the last song collectively recorded by all four of The Beatles.

Ed Sullivan tried to provide wholesome family entertainment on Sunday evenings for over twenty years, but it was not without some controversy.  Last semester, I wrote a term paper on music censorship.  Here are some highlights from the section on The Ed Sullivan Show.  

The Rolling Stones' Raucous Fourth Appearance on Ed Sullivan
1957 January 6– Cameramen only show Elvis Presley from the waist up during his third and final appearance on the show.  80% of the nation’s television audience was tuned in that evening.

1963 February – Bob Dylan refuses to appear on the show after being told he cannot sing “Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues.”

1967  January – The Rolling Stones agree to change the lyrics to “Let’s Spend The Night Together” for the show. Mick Jagger maintains he sang the original lyrics. 

1967 September – Jim Morrison agrees to change “Girl we couldn’t get much higher” in “Light my Fire” but during the live performance, clearly sings the original words directly into the camera.  

Update: Check out this post from O Say Can You See?, the blog of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History about The Beatles' first concert in America, which occurred just two days after their appearance on Ed Sullivan.  

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