Beatles’ 1964 TV debut to be saluted in CBS-Grammy special

The Beatles’ watershed first performance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” on Feb. 9, 1964, will be saluted with a two-hour CBS-TV special to air exactly 50 years after the Fab Four ignited Beatlemania in the U.S.

“The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to the Beatles” is scheduled for 8 p.m. Feb. 9 and will feature performances of Beatles songs by many of the contemporary musicians who are scheduled to take part in the 56th Grammy Awards ceremony on Jan. 26 in Los Angeles.

Executive producer Ken Ehrlich cited the oft-acknowledged connection between the eruption of Beatlemania on the heels of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963.

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“The Beatles arrived 77 days later,” Ehrlich told The Times earlier this week, “and we can look at that as the moment our nation began the healing process.”

Recording Academy President and Chief Executive Neil Portnow said in a statement, “The Beatles are one of music’s most iconic groups. … It’s only fitting that we recognize this milestone moment in music history and pay tribute to this larger than life group and their enduring music and legacy.”


In the same statement, CBS Entertainment Executive Vice President of Specials & Events Jack Sussman added, “That night 50 years ago on the Ed Sullivan stage, the Beatles delivered a momentous performance, and America witnessed a historic television event and the beginning of a new era in music. We are thrilled to honor these music legends with performances from amazing Grammy-winning artists who were influenced by the Beatles’ unforgettable music through the years and that incredible performance in 1964.”

Details on which acts will play which songs has not been announced.

Here’s video of their performance of “All My Loving” on the Sullivan show.


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