Fresh Air Celebrates The 50th Anniversary Of The Beatles' Arrival

Members of The Beatles play in the snow outside Washington, D.C.'s Coliseum where they were scheduled to perform before a sell-out audience in 1964. i i

Members of The Beatles play in the snow outside Washington, D.C.'s Coliseum where they were scheduled to perform before a sell-out audience in 1964. Central Press/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Central Press/Getty Images
Members of The Beatles play in the snow outside Washington, D.C.'s Coliseum where they were scheduled to perform before a sell-out audience in 1964.

Members of The Beatles play in the snow outside Washington, D.C.'s Coliseum where they were scheduled to perform before a sell-out audience in 1964.

Central Press/Getty Images

Fifty years ago, on Feb. 7, 1964, The Beatles touched down at JFK airport. Two days later they broke TV viewing records and changed music, fashion, history — and basically an entire generation — when they appeared live on The Ed Sullivan Show.

For the anniversary of the Beatles' first weekend in the U.S., Fresh Air listens back to a 1995 interview with Ringo Starr and a 2001 interview with Paul McCartney.

An estimated 73 million people saw that first Beatles appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, says TV critic David Bianculli. "The Beatles were a blast of fresh energy from overseas, and America was eager to embrace them."

Click the audio link above to hear Terry Gross' interviews with Starr and McCartney.

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