Beatles arrive, make American TV debut, as reported by The Associated Press in February 1964

The Associated Press

FILE - In this this Feb. 7, 1964 file photo, Britain’s Beatles arrive at John F. Kennedy Airport, in New York, after their flight from London. From left to right, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison. The Beatles would go on to take America by storm, and rock 'n' roll was never the same. (AP Photo/File)

Associated Press SHARE

The seats in the Columbia Broadcasting System studio where they appeared live on the Ed Sullivan variety show were given more of a workout by jumping and squirming teenaged girls than were the singers in their fast-moving routine.

The four mop-topped entertainers, who came here Friday from London, provided their own musical background with string and percussion instruments.

Throughout their two appearances during the show, the 721 members of the audience - mostly young girls - kept up a steady stream of squeals, sighs and yells.

The four British imports, appearing for a total of about 20 minutes on the hour-long show, may well have ended up with second billing.

Camera crews were lavish in their shots of the audience, showing young girls leaping from their seats, throwing their arms into the air and staring bug-eyed. Some appeared as if on the verge of coma, staring open-mouthed.

At one point before the program, there was some doubt that the four singers would be able to make their way into the studio through the masses of teenage fans trying for a glimpse of their idols.

But hundreds of Manhattan Police, including mounted officers, shoved back the eager fans and cleared a path for the four entertainers.

Fans also gathered outside the Plaza Hotel in sunny, freezing weather as the performers went back and forth earlier in the day to rehearse at the studio.

Following the afternoon rehearsal, the Beatles recorded three numbers for an Ed Sullivan show to be aired Feb. 23. They will be on the show next Sunday, live from Miami Beach, Fla. The Beatles will also give concerts in Washington, D.C., and in New York.

On Saturday, George Harrison, lead guitarist of the Beatles, was confined to the hotel with a sore throat while drummer Ringo Starr and guitarists John Lennon and Paul McCartney rehearsed and toured New York by car.

The Beatles wear mushroomed shape hairdos down to their eyebrows and tight black suits. In America they currently have the top selling album and the number one and three top selling single records, "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and "She Loves You."

___

REVIEW: FOR TEENAGE GIRLS ONLY

NEW YORK, Feb. 10 (AP) — Anyone who is not a teen-age girl obviously is unqualified to comment on the sight of the Beatles in action.

Heaven knows we've heard them enough. It has been impossible to get a radio weather bulletin or time signal without running into "I Want to Hold Your Hand."

And now, having seen the four performers on Ed Sullivan's CBS show last night, Beatlemania is even more of a mystery to an elderly viewer.

They sing close harmony, stomp their feet and play electric guitars, but so do a lot of crew-cut American boys in slacks and sweaters, and they cause no riots.

Beatle clothes look about two sizes too small, and I've seen Hungarian sheep dogs with more attractive hairdos.

But thousands of squealing young girls get their message. Camera shots of panting youngsters in Sullivan's audience were disquieting, in fact.

Maybe after two more exposures to the Beatles on television, all of us elderly people will become Beatlenuts, yeah, yeah, yeah, but I doubt it.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.