The Beatles first came to the United States on Feb. 9, 1964. Last month was the 50th anniversary of their debut USA performance on the Ed Sullivan Show at Studio 50 in New York City. Over seventy-three million people tuned into witness the British invasion sweeping the nation while hundreds more cramped into Studio 50.
Four boys from Liverpool, England with sharp suits and mop haircuts graced the stage and performed a few of their famous songs including “All My Loving”, “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, “She Loves You” and more. The crowd was reportedly so loud no one could actually hear the music.
This year the anniversary was celebrated with a CBS special, The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to The Beatles. The special featured performances of the Beatles’ hits by artists such as John Legend and Alicia Keys, Katy Perry, Maroon 5 and a few others. The remaining Beatles, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, watched from the front row with their wives. George Harrison’s widow and family were there as well Yoko Ono.
At the end of show, Ringo and Paul each performed songs by themselves before playing together to close out the special. Together they sang “With a Little Help from My Friends” and “Hey Jude” as a tribute to the late John Lennon and George Harrison.
Here is a list of some of The Beatles’ songs performed by Grammy artists on the special.
“All My Loving” and “Ticket to Ride” – Maroon 5
“Let it Be” – Alicia Keys and John Legend
“Yesterday” – Katy Perry
“Don’t Let Me Down” – John Mayer and Keith Urban
“Here Comes the Sun” – Brad Paisley and Pharrell Williams
“Revolution” – Imagine Dragons
“Hey Bulldog” – Dave Grohl and Jeff Lynne
“In My Life” – Ed Sheeran
“We Can Work It Out” – Stevie Wonder
“The Fool on the Hill” – Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart of The Eurythmics
“While My Guitar Gently Weeps” – Dave Grohl, Gary Clark Jr. and Joe Walsh
The special also had short biographies of each Beatle member as well as interviews done by McCartney and Starr with David Letterman.
My favorite artist is John Legend, so I was overjoyed to hear him and Alicia Keys sing my favorite Beatles’ song, “Let it Be”.
Out of the songs performed during the CBS special, which one is your favorite?
Which artist is your favorite? Leave a comment below!
– Jasmin ☼
Photo Credits: Beatles Bible and Associated Press