Fifty years ago today, Americans got their first glimpse of the Beatles.
The Beatles had released their first album in the Spring of 1963 and it held the top selling position in Britain throughout the summer and fall. The only reason it lost its number one selling position was because the Beatles released their second album in November. The group had been unable, however, to secure a major recording company in the United States to produce and market their recordings.
Coincidentally, on the date of the release of their second album, CBS news produced a 5 minute segment to be broadcast on its evening news broadcast on November 22, 1963. The segment was pulled, however, with the news that President Kennedy had been assassinated in Dallas, Texas that day.
On December 10, 1963 CBS finally broadcast the segment:
The segment actually resulted in the beginning of Beatlemania in the states.
A 14 year old girl in Silverspring, Md. saw the broadcast. She called her local radio station to request the DJ to play some Beatles records. She was told the records were not available in America. The DJ promised to get his hands on them.
The DJ dated a flight attendant (or stewardess back in 1963) at British Airways at the time and asked her to purchase some Beatles records and bring them back to the states on her next flight out. After she returned with the recordings, the DJ invited the girl down to the studio to introduce the Beatles as he cued up the most recent single, "She Loves You."
Listeners swamped the radio station with calls about the new group. The DJ soon made cassette recordings and sent them to DJ friends in Chicago and St. Louis, who inspired the same fan reactions. And so Beatlemania was born.