The British music invasion of the early Sixties is a hazy memory to most of us who are old enough to remember it at all. For many of us, it’s the kind of memory that makes us smile and remember a time when things were less complicated… when we shared with each other the pure joy and energy of the new music playing on our radios.
On Sunday February 9th, 1964 over 70 million people in North America turned their TV’s to The Ed Sullivan show to see the Beatles first live performance in the US. Over 60% of America’s television sets (in excess of 23 million homes) were tuned in to watch Beatlemania hit North America.
Here is Ed Sullivan’s introduction: “Now yesterday and today our theater’s been jammed with newspapermen and hundreds of photographers from all over the nation, and these veterans agreed with me that this city never has witnessed the excitement stirred by these youngsters from Liverpool who call themselves The Beatles. Now tonight, you’re gonna twice be entertained by them. Right now, and again in the second half of our show. Ladies and gentlemen, The Beatles! Let’s bring them on.”
Then it was on with the show and The Beatles opened with “All My Loving”. Next, Paul sang “Till There Was You” and “She Loves You” was the last song in the first set. Their second set included two more of their hits, “I Saw You Standing There” and “I Want To Hold Your Hand.” It is estimated that over 40% of every man, woman, and child in the US watched the Beatles that night – An incredible success for any television show.
That Was It!
There it was … the floodgates opened and the phenomenon became known as the British Invasion. Over the next couple of years wave after wave of British acts arrived:
The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Yardbirds, The Animals, Chad & Jeremy, The Dave Clark Five, Dusty Springfield, Petula Clark, The Spencer Davis Group, Donovan, Marianne Faithfull, Freddie and the Dreamers, Georgie Fame, Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Herman’s Hermits, The Hollies, Tom Jones, The Kinks, Billy J Kramer & The Dakotas, Lulu, Manfred Mann, The Moody Blues, Peter and Gordon, The Pretty Things, The Searchers, The Small Faces, The Troggs, Ian Whitcomb and The Zombies.
“Close your eyes and I’ll kiss you … Tomorrow I’ll miss you … Remember I’ll always be true”
The phrase that’s hard to say … you simply have to sing or hum it!