It was 59 years ago today! The whole country knew the Beatles were coming. It was a huge deal when John, Paul, George and Ringo landed at New York’s JFK airport on February 7, 1964 and were greeted by thousands of screaming girls, making this
NATIONAL BRITISH INVASION DAY!
Two days later The Beatles made history playing on the nationally televised Ed Sullivan Show, the first of many British bands that breathed new life into Rock & Roll.
Their single “I Want To Hold Your Hand” had sold a million and a half copies in just 3 weeks, and “She Loves You” was climbing the charts. They would go on to dominate the charts for the rest of the 1960s, the best Rock & Roll band ever, their music still in heavy radio rotation over 50 years later.
Following them to America were more rock giants; The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Animals, The Who, The Yardbirds, Moody Blues, Dave Clark Five, Cream, Led Zeppelin and Traffic, to name but a handful.
These British musicians introduced many young Americans to the music of early American blues masters like Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Robert Johnson and Willie Dixon, the Founding Fathers of Rock & Roll that were rarely heard on mainstream American radio at the time.
American roots music had conquered Britain following World War 2, and in the 1960s British bands brought it back home. All in all it worked out pretty well.
•Suggested Activities: Shake it up, baby. Twist. Shout.