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CBS celebrates Beatles' performance anniversary

By Zachary Lederman
On January 29, 2014

Has it really been 50 years since those four lads from Liverpool first stepped onto American shores? This year, Feb. 9 will mark the 50th anniversary of The Beatles first arrival in America, and their subsequent appearance on the "Ed Sullivan Show."
It's a little hard to believe that as of 50 years ago, nobody knew the profound effects that The Beatles were going to have on music, the United States and the entire world when they entered America for the first time. Today, we take the fame of The Beatles totally for granted. To most alive today (myself included), the band has just always been an ever-present force in the musical world of rock and roll.
To celebrate this monumental event, CBS will be airing a special on Feb. 9, featuring various artists preforming covers of their favorite Beatles songs. Artists include Katy Perry, Maroon 5, Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder and Ed Sheeran, among others. Also present will be Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, the two surviving members of the Beatles, who will be preforming eight Beatles tracks separately, one track together, "With a Little Help From My Friends," and one final track, "Hey Jude," with the entire musician lineup. This marks the second collaborative performance by the two this year, following their performance at the Grammy awards Sunday, where they preformed "Queenie Eye," one of McCartney's solo tracks.
The show will not, unfortunately, be broadcasted live. It was actually pre-recorded on Monday, though this shouldn't turn away any fans.
The Beatles' history, though it may hold near and dear to billions around the world, is one marked by tragedy. John Lennon was murdered on a cool December evening in 1980 after a night out with his wife, Yoko Ono, while George Harrison passed away from cancer in 2001. The festivities promise to give tribute to the memories of Lennon and Harrison as much as to McCartney and Starr, with the inclusion of many of their most well known songs, including "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," "Here Comes the Sun," "Revolution," "Something," and "Magical Mystery Tour."
"We were in a band," said Starr of Lennon and Harrison during the show. "It's called The Beatles. And if we play, John and George are always with us. It's always John, Paul, George and Ringo."
But despite the sadness, Beatles fans don't seem to be letting it get them down. Internet commenters on Beatles fan sites and forums are already abuzz for the coming celebrations, sharing their favorite Beatles memories, songs and albums.
I'd like to conclude this by stating that there's never been a better time to be a Beatles fan, but I think that would be patently false. Being a Beatles fan today likely in no way competes with being a Beatles fan on Feb. 9, 1964.
The special, "The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to The Beatles" will air Feb. 9 at 8 p.m., on CBS.

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