by Tom Chillemi
This Sunday, February 9, at 8 p.m. marks the moment 50 years ago when The Beatles performed live on The Ed Sullivan Show. In a country of 190 million, an estimated 73 million people witnessed the electrifying event.
Things would never be the same.
The Beatles music and harmonies set up a vibration that excited everyone who was a fan and made them “happy inside.” In less than three minutes a Beatles song would have you humming the tune or singing the chorus for hours.
The Beatles’ fresh unique sound, and those “mop-top” haircuts, energized a young generation, sparked “Beatlemania,” and helped set the 1960s on a new course.
Their music was a voice for a new generation that would grow up in the 1960s, a time of change. The Beatles inspired people to reach higher.
The Ed Sullivan Show was only the beginning. It would be years before we realized the full meaning of what we had just seen. No one could have imagined where this musical revolution would lead.
Their songs left you wanting more. And there was much more to come.
I was eight years old when The Beatles arrived in the United States in February 1964, and I remember it like it was last week. My good friend Lynda Gann and I were so excited to watch The Ed Sullivan Show, but I knew if I screamed like the girls in the audience, my dad would make me turn off the television, which was the only one in the house and black-and-white of course.
Lynda and I bought their records, “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “She Loves You,” and “Please, Please Me,” and we played them over and over on her record player.
I never got to see The Beatles live, but I’ve seen Paul McCartney live twice; the first time with my brother, and the second time, I took my daughter Rebecca with me. That was a special thrill. My children have grown up listening to Beatles music, and both love it too.
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