When We Was Fab – George Harrison

It was fifty years ago, tonight…

It was the pop culture equivalent of the Big Bang, a televised moment that changed music for decades to come.

Fifty years ago Sunday, the Beatles made their U.S. live television debut on “The Ed Sullivan Show” as 73 million people tuned in, the largest audience in history at that time. The English band’s appearance ignited American hysteria over the group and its music on a scale unmatched to this day.

In the shorthand of history, it appears to be a moment of spontaneous combustion. In reality it was the result of musical talent, managerial chutzpah and marketing genius.

It was so Fab…

So fab, Ed Sullivan was rattled

When Capitol did decide to sign the band, they threw a lot of money into promotional efforts, one of which was having disc jockeys announce the Beatles’ whereabouts. This, along with the unexpected success of “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” created mass teenage hysteria in New York.

According to Vince Calandra, who was a stage producer for “The Ed Sullivan Show,” fear of out-of-control teens worried Sullivan enough that he showed up at the Saturday rehearsal — something he never did — to lecture the audience.

“He was saying things to the audience like. ‘Kids, you have to be respectful to our other performers, and if you’re not, I’m gonna come out into the audience and take everyone’s name and address and report you to your mothers and fathers.’ Silly stuff like that,” Calendra told TODAY.

How can ya not love’em…? ;-)

What’s on your mind tonite…?