I have a few vivid memories and one of them occurred 50 years ago tonight, February 9, 1964.
As a family, we did three things together – went to church, the beach and we all sat down together every Sunday night and watched the Ed Sullivan show.
As a boy, I adored Topo Gigio, marveled at the plate spinners, couldn’t quite understand the allure of Totie Fields and was a little scared of Johnny Cash. I loved the show and it was a mild tonic to the miasma the country was in following the Kennedy assassination.
When my sisters and I heard that the Beatles were going to be on the Ed Sullivan we freaked out! We begged our parents to get a new TV – they said NO – then we messed with the antennae for days to get it in the perfect spot for decent CBS reception. ABC always came in the best and NBC sucked. Thank God it wasn’t on NBC!
The broadcast was thrilling – though I admit to being put off a bit by all the girl hysteria in the auditorium. Hey - I was only 9.
In retrospect – this one broadcast signaled the end of one era and the beginning of another - for me and our nation – if not the world.
Since that night – my childhood was marked by getting in trouble at school, launches at Cape Canaveral and the debut of one great Beatle album after another. Yes, I was a fan of the Stones, The Doors, Steppenwolf the Beach Boys. But the Beatles were my sound track mostly - and I guess they are even today.
For those of you who weren’t around yet – you really missed something special 50 years ago today.Return to Musings