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Today in Music History: The Beatles Hit the Shores of the USA

The Beatles touch down at JFK today in 1964.
The Beatles touch down at JFK today in 1964.AP

February 07, 2017

History Highlight:

Today in 1964, the Beatles landed in the United States for the very first time. The Fab Four arrived at JFK to a cheering crowd. They were in town to play "The Ed Sullivan Show" and unsure if Beatlemania had taken over the U.S. the way it had in Britain. The screaming throngs of sign-holding fans that greeted them were telling of their future in the U.S., to say the least.

Also, Today In:

1963 - The first Beatles single "Please Please Me" was released in the U.S. on the Vee-Jay label. Capitol Records, EMI's United States label, were offered the right to release the single in the U.S., but turned it down. Dick Biondi, a disc jockey on WLS in Chicago and a friend of Vee-Jay executive Ewart Abner, played the song on the radio from February 1963, thus becoming the first DJ to play a Beatles record in the United States.

1969 - The Who recorded "Pinball Wizard" at Morgan Studios in London. The song is one of the band's most famous live songs, being played at almost every Who concert since its debut live performance in May of 1969. The track, which featured on their 1969 rock opera album Tommy was released as a single in 1969 and reached No. 4 in the U.K. charts and No. 19 in the U.S.

1969 - John Lennon and Yoko Ono were featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, on sale for 35 Cents. John was named as Rolling Stone's Man Of The Year.

1970 - Led Zeppelin scored their first U.K. No. 1 album with Led Zeppelin II. Released in November 1969, and featuring the U.S. No. 4 single "Whole Lotta Love", it went on to stay on the U.K. chart for 136 weeks. Also reaching No. 1 in the U.S., the RIAA in the U.S. has now certified it as having sold over 12 million copies in the U.S. alone.

1976 - Paul Simon's "Fifty Ways To Leave Your Lover" was the No. 1 single in the U.S., while the best-selling album was Bob Dylan's Desire.

1979 - The Clash launched their first American tour at the Berkeley Community Theatre. Bo Diddley served as the opening act and The Clash began their set with "I'm So Bored with the USA".

1979 - Stephen Stills became the first rock performer to record on digital equipment in Los Angeles' Record Plant Studio.

1981 - John Lennon was at No. 1 on the U.K. singles chart with "Woman", an ode to his wife Yoko Ono. It was Lennon's third No. 1 in seven weeks after his death on December 8, 1980.

1986 - Using dancers and animation, The Rolling Stones shot footage for their new single, "Harlem Shuffle", in New York City.

1987 - George Michael and Aretha Franklin were at No. 1 on the U.K. singles chart with "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)". Written by Simon Climie, it gave Aretha her first U.K. No. 1 almost 20 years after her first hit.

1989 - A Georgia state representative introduced a bill that would make Little Richard's "Tutti Frutti" the state's official rock song.

1994 - Oasis started recording their debut album Definitely Maybe at Monrow studios in South Wales.

1999 - Blondie went to No. 1 on the U.K. singles chart with "Maria", giving the group their 6th U.K. No. 1 single, 20 years after their first. At the age of 54, lead singer Debbie Harry became the oldest female to hit No. 1.


Earl King, New Orleans Blues guitarist, was born today in 1934.

Jimmy Greenspoon, organist with Three Dog Night, was born today in 1938.

Garth Brooks is 55.

Jain is 25.

Highlights for Today in Music History are gathered from This Day in Music, Paul Shaffer's Day in Rock, Song Facts and Wikipedia.