We are coming up on the 50th anniversary of the Beatles arrival in America. Of course many of us were aware the Fab Four for months. Many of their early U.K. releases come to the U.S. in the fall of 1963 on small independent labels because EMI couldn’t convince their American partners, Capitol Records, to issue the records in the U.S. In early January ’64 Capitol woke up. And by March the Liverpool quartet dominated the American charts and American Top Forty radio.
I knew it was going to happen. Which media out-let first put the Beatles on American TV?
NBC says: November 18, 1963, Huntley-Brinkley featured a report by Edwin Newman on the Beatles phenomenon. It was the Beatles’ first appearance on American television. Nearly four minutes long, the piece was seen by millions of people across the country.
CBS: Most people think the Beatles made their American television debut on the “Ed Sullivan Show,” in 1964. But Walter Cronkite, a stickler for accuracy, always wanted people to know it actually happened on the “CBS Evening News” in 1963, reports CBS News anchor Katie Couric. Beatlemania was well underway in the United Kingdom. “We were offered a piece from our London Bureau of this phenomenon,” Cronkite said. “So we put it on the air one night.” That night was November 21, 1963. The Beatles had already sold 2.5 million records.