The Beatles arrive in America

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History on 7th February


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The Beatles arrive in America

The 7th of February 1964 AD

Even before Pan Am flight 101 touched down at JFK Airport in New York it was obvious that The Beatles had already conquered the American market. In January 'I want to hold your hand' sold half a million records in less than a fortnight, and is number one in the USA at the start of February. A crowd of 3,000 screaming fans waits for the arrival of the Fab Four; the LP 'Meet the Beatles' hits number one at the end of January and stays there for almost three months; before they land music stations throughout the country are playing Beatles songs more than anybody else's, and after they land some stations play almost nothing else for days.
Once installed in their hotel in New York, The Plaza, the band is to all intents and purposes under siege by fans eager to see them, or seemingly to rip them limb from limb given the chance.
The highlight of the brief trip to the USA comes on February 9 , with their appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. There are 728 seats available for the show; 50,000 apply for them. The Beatles play five songs, opening with 'All my Loving' and closing with 'I Want to Hold your Hand', with much screaming to accompany every note.
According to TV ratings company Nielsen their appearance on the show was seen by 73 million viewers. Beatlemania had arrived with a bang.

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