From 1949 until its cancelation in 1971, The Ed Sullivan Show ran on CBS every Sunday night from 8–9 p.m. E.T., and is one of the few entertainment shows to have run in the same weekly time slot on the same network for more than two decades. (During its first season, it ran from 9–10 p.m. E.T.) Virtually every type of entertainment appeared on the show; opera singers, popular artists, songwriters, comedians, ballet dancers, dramatic actors performing monologues from plays, and circus acts were regularly featured. The format was essentially the same as vaudeville, and although vaudeville had died a generation earlier, Sullivan presented many ex-vaudevillians on his show.

The Ed Sullivan Show - Netflix

Type: Variety

Languages: English

Status: Ended

Runtime: 60 minutes

Premier: 1955-09-25

The Ed Sullivan Show - British Invasion - Netflix

The British Invasion was a cultural phenomenon of the mid-1960s when rock and pop music acts from the United Kingdom and other aspects of British culture, became popular in the United States and significant to rising “counterculture” on both sides of the Atlantic. Pop and rock groups such as the Beatles, the Dave Clark Five, the Kinks, the Rolling Stones, Herman's Hermits, and the Animals were at the forefront of the invasion.

The Ed Sullivan Show - Beatlemania - Netflix

The Beatles soon incited contrasting reactions and, in the process, generated more novelty records than anyone — at least 200 during 1964–1965 and more inspired by the “Paul is dead” rumour in 1969. Among the many reactions, favoring the hysteria were British girl group the Carefrees' “We Love You Beatles” (#39 on 11 April 1964) and the Patty Cakes' “I Understand Them”, subtitled “A Love Song to the Beatles”. Disapproving the pandemonium were American group the Four Preps' “A Letter to the Beatles” (#85 on 4 April 1964) and American comedian Allan Sherman's “Pop Hates the Beatles.” On April 4, the Beatles held the top five positions on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, and to date, no other act has simultaneously held even the top three. The Beatles also held the top five positions on Cash Box's singles chart that same week, with the first two positions reversed from the Hot 100. The group's massive chart success, which included at least two of their singles holding the top spot on the Hot 100 during each of the seven consecutive years starting with 1964, continued until they broke up in 1970.

On January 3, 1964, The Jack Paar Program ran Beatles concert footage licensed from the BBC “as a joke,” but it was watched by 30 million viewers. While this piece was largely forgotten, Beatles producer George Martin has said it “aroused the kids' curiosity”. In the middle of January 1964, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” appeared suddenly, then vaulted to the top of nearly every top 40 music survey in the United States, launching the Fab Four's sustained, massive output. “I Want to Hold Your Hand” ascended to number one on the January 25, 1964 edition of Cash Box magazine (on sale January 18) and the February 1, 1964 edition of the Hot 100. On February 7, 1964, the CBS Evening News ran a story about the Beatles' United States arrival that afternoon in which the correspondent said, “The British Invasion this time goes by the code name Beatlemania.” Two days later, on Sunday, February 9, they appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show. Nielsen Ratings estimated that 45 percent of US television viewers that night saw their appearance. According to Michael Ross, “It is somewhat ironic that the biggest moment in the history of popular music was first experienced in the US as a television event.” The Ed Sullivan Show had for some time been a “comfortable hearth-and-slippers experience.” Not many of the 73 million viewers watching in February 1964 would fully understand what impact the band they were watching would have.

In October 1963, the first newspaper articles about the frenzy in England surrounding the Beatles appeared nationally in the US. The Beatles' November 4 Royal Variety Performance in front of the Queen Mother sparked music industry and media interest in the group. During November, a number of major American print outlets and two network television evening programs published and broadcast stories on the phenomenon that became known as “Beatlemania”. On December 10, CBS Evening News anchor Walter Cronkite, looking for something positive to report, re-ran a Beatlemania story that originally aired on the 22 November 1963 edition of the CBS Morning News with Mike Wallace but became shelved that night because of the assassination of US President John Kennedy. After seeing the report, 15-year-old Marsha Albert of Silver Spring, Maryland, wrote a letter the following day to disc jockey Carroll James at radio station WWDC asking, “Why can't we have music like that here in America?” On December 17 James had Miss Albert introduce “I Want to Hold Your Hand” live on the air. WWDC's phones lit up, and Washington, D.C., area record stores were flooded with requests for a record they did not have in stock. James sent the record to other disc jockeys around the country sparking similar reaction. On December 26, Capitol Records released the record three weeks ahead of schedule. The release of the record during a time when teenagers were on vacation helped spread Beatlemania in the US. On December 29, The Baltimore Sun, reflecting the dismissive view of most adults, editorialized, “America had better take thought as to how it will deal with the invasion. Indeed a restrained 'Beatles go home' might be just the thing.” In the next year alone, the Beatles would have 30 different listings on the Hot 100.

The Ed Sullivan Show - References - Netflix