The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute To The Beatles

The Grammy Awards commemorated the 50th anniversary of The Beatles first television debut last night with a two-hour special on The Ed Sullivan Show on CBS. Many of today’s top artists took part to honor the group, while Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr were in attendance.

John Legend and Alicia Keys sang “Let It Be.” Katy Perry performed “Yesterday,” John Mayer, teamed with Keith Urban on “Don’t Let Me Down” and Brad Paisley and Pharrell Williams put their spin on “Here Comes the Sun.”

The Beatles Ed Sullivan debut was a historic moment, with more than 73 million Americans tuning in, and it changed pop culture in profound ways. Even so, McCartney told the crowd he was hesitant to agree to commemorate it. “What can I say about this evening, it’s just amazing,” he said. “At first when I was asked to do the show, I was wondering if it was the right thing to do. Was it seemly to tribute yourself? But I saw a couple of American guys who said to me, ‘You don’t understand the impact of that appearance on the show on America.’ I didn’t realize that.”

Maroon 5 started the show by re-creating the opening moments of the February 9th, 1964, appearance with “All My Loving,” then “Ticket to Ride.”

Ringo Starr performed three songs, including “Yellow Submarine.” McCartney took the stage next for five songs of his own before Starr returned for a finale. It was the first time the two had performed together since 2010. “We were in a band. It’s called The Beatles,” Starr said near the end of the show. “And if we play, John and George are always with us. It’s always John, Paul, George and Ringo.”


Kristen Carpenter CBS Radio Intern


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