The Ed Sullivan Show Appearances
In late 1963, Ed Sullivan and his entourage happened to be passing through Heathrow Airport and witnessed how The Beatles fans greeted the group on their return from Stockholm. They had performed a television show as warm-
The Beatles appeared on three consecutive Sundays in February 1964, to great anticipation and fanfare as "I Want to Hold Your Hand" had swiftly risen to number one in the charts. Their first appearance on February 9, 1964 is considered a milestone in American pop culture, and the beginning of the British Invasion in music. The broadcast drew an estimated 73 million viewers, at the time a record for US television.
The Beatles followed Ed's show opening intro, performing "All My Loving" and "Till There Was You", which featured the names of the group members superimposed on the close-
The following week's show was broadcast from Miami Beach, Florida where Muhammad Ali (then Cassius Clay) was in training for his first title bout with Sonny Liston. The occasion was used by both camps for publicity. On the evening of the television show (February 16) a crush of people nearly prevented the band from making it onstage. A wedge of policemen were needed and the band began playing "She Loves You" only seconds after reaching their instruments. They continued with "This Boy", and "All My Loving" and returned later to close the show with "I Saw Her Standing There", "From Me to You" and "I Want to Hold Your Hand."
They were shown on tape February 23 (this appearance had been taped earlier in the day on February 9, before their first live appearance). They followed Ed's intro with "Twist and Shout" and "Please Please Me" and closed the show once again with "I Want to Hold Your Hand."
The Beatles appeared live for the final time on August 14, 1965. The show was broadcast September 12, 1965, and earned Sullivan a 60 percent share of the night time audience for one of the appearances. This time they followed three acts before coming out to perform "I Feel Fine", "I'm Down", and "Act Naturally", and then closed the show with "Ticket to Ride", "Yesterday", and "Help!." Although this was their final live appearance on the show, the group would for several years, provide filmed promotional clips of songs to air exclusively on Sullivan's program such as the 1966 and 1967 clips of "Paperback Writer", "Rain", "Penny Lane", and "Strawberry Fields Forever".